By: Jessy Richards, Intern

*DING* You’ve got mail! A pop up on your screen displays a new home in the location of your dreams! Who would have known that the Internet of all things can show you listings in the palm of your hand? Zillow and Trulia are the most commonly known websites for searching properties, but did you know that these sites come from small, multiple, and local databases called the MLS – Multiple Listing Service. Ever wondered how your agent finds comparable homes in your area? Now you’re getting the right idea!

What is the MLS? “An Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is a private offer of cooperation and compensation by listing brokers to other real estate brokers,” stated by Realtor®.com. Both the seller and the buyer gain benefits for their potential real estate transaction; sellers increase their exposure of the property, and buyers can obtain access to the database while working with their current broker. There is a difference between Trulia and Zillow and the MLS, and the next paragraph talks about how we should stop relying on this inaccurate information and use websites such as Realtor.com® and an agent’s portal site.

Yes, I know you look up a home address online and Trulia and Zillow are the first two links recognized… do you know why? These websites pay to be the first look from people; they are selling their advertising, and not the home! Trulia and Zillow display small details of what the property has, while the MLS has all the details that a Realtor® has inputted personally for buyers to look at.

In recent studies, Trulia and Zillow prove to not provide accurate data (expired or duplicate listings), no updates on when the property was put on the market, and do not provide the necessary contact information. On these sites, the contact information that is displayed is connected to the advertising agent, not the listing agent. Why would you want to talk to the advertising agent, who has no idea what the property entails, while you could ask the listing agent who put the home on the market? The MLS however, finds it necessary to provide listings once a Listing Agreement has been signed and provide accurate price ranges and update new, pending, or expired listing information.

“More than 90% of the listings (on the MLS) are updated every 15 minutes.”

The MLS has access to the largest pool of properties for sale in the market, so why use other sites that falsify information and work against Realtors®? In other words, stop using Trulia and Zillow to search for homes, use Realtor.com® and your agent’s portal to their MLS; the realization of how much work these people put into the MLS is outstanding.

The Scenic City Team at Keller Williams wants our clients to have the finest understanding of the property and directing you to our personal MLS will put you in the right path to find the home of your dreams. Any questions or comments, contact us at the information at the top of this page. Thanks for reading and have a great day!