I was talking to a friend the other day and she said that she visits many realtor websites thinking that different real estate agencies will show different properties. I told her that all Darien brokerages participate in a local MLS and that it populates all websites, but she didn’t really get it.
Here’s the deal. MLS stands for Multiple Listing Service and that is exactly what is is. The Multiple Listing Service was originally formed as a tool for Realtors to communicate with each other regarding properties for sale and an agreed upon commission arrangement .For a fee, Realtors join the MLS and there are still hundreds across the country. There all agents see listings in their town or area and in the past they (the Realtors ) kept all the information proprietary. (I’m sure many of you remember a day when Realtors drove around with black binders full of listings and if you were lucky, you got to look through it.)
Enter the Internet and all those black book listings became available directly to consumers through Real Estate Brokerage websites and sites such as Trulia,Zillow and Realtor.com.No longer were Realtors the keepers of the information..now everyone had it.
Small local MLS’s consolidated, syndicated the information and now use it to populate sites like Trulia etc. It’s all coming from one source so the data is the same,wherever you look. Of course, the Trulias and Zillows of the world know that the data is identical and try to develop “value added” info…hence things like Zestimates are created.
There were and continue to be, smaller, Mom and Pop brokerages who have what is known as” pocket listings” or “exclusives” that are not on the MLS. However, their days are numbered.First, these boutique firms are being gobbled up by larger ones and it’s the rare occasion when there is a house for sale that isn’t on the MLS and hence the Internet.In fact, it’s a huge disservice to a seller since any homeowner should demand the widest possible marketing for their home.
THAT SAID, you may notice that a house can appear to be listed by one agent on say a XYZ Realty.com and by another agent on ABC Realty.com . The MLS allows agents to brand listings with their Brokerages’websites name regardless of whether it’s their listing or not.Confusing for the consumer,you bet. But that’s the way it is right now.
Long story short, almost all available properties in a town (in the case of Darien it’s 96% or more) are populating real estate websites from one source…the local MLS. Other than being confusing as to the identity of listing broker, there is NO REASON to visit multiple websites in the hope of finding more or different properties Pick one you like and stick with it. William Pitt Sotheby’s has just rolled out one of the most beautiful and easy to search sites out there so,be sure to go there. Or,sign up for an account with Listingbook on this site and you’ll get the MLS feed like everywhere else and other great features like real time price reductions,selling prices, email notice when homes have bindered and open house schedules.
Clear as mud? No problem.Call me for further explanation.203-554-0951