What is the MLS?
MLS stands for Multiple Listing Service. Every home for sale by a real estate agent will be listed in MLS (unless it is specifically exempted). However, only real estate agents and other professional affiliates can access MLS for you in order to list a home or make changes. This doesn’t mean that a homebuyer or homeseller can’t obtain the same information—just that they can’t do so directly.
What does the MLS Do?
MLS shares comprehensive home information among real estate professionals. It’s an online software that contains all of the specific details about a home, from the address, age, square footage, number of bedrooms, baths, upgrades, school district location, types of financing the seller will consider, and much more. There’s also generally at least a dozen photographs of the home in question, and it may even include a virtual tour.
Home buyers often make the mistake of believing that they can access this information through online searches and real estate agent websites. However, the data that’s available to the public is limited in scope, can be outdated, and may even be inaccurate.
How Owns the MLS?
Victoria’s MLS is run and governed by the Victoria Real Estate Board. A growing trend is for local MLS systems to merge together to form regional MLS services, and most are subject to regulations set forth by the Canadian Real Estate Association.
Finding MLS Listings
Many services offer to provide homebuyers with a comprehensive list of available homes, but few provide comprehensive and up-to-date data. To get that information, you’ll need to ask your real estate agent to setup a customized search. There are typically many types of reports a buyer can receive, so ask your agent for the most comprehensive report they have available, and make sure to request the specific details that are important to you.
Victoria MLS Searches:
If you’re looking to begin a home search on Victoria MLS, consider yourself lucky. You can ask your agent to customize a search for you that will automatically send you updated listings. Not all agents will setup a search for you based on anything other than active listings, so if you want to receive notifications about price reductions and pending or sold sales data, ask for it.
Here are a few ways that you can request to have your report customized:
- Postal Code
- Radius Search (within a specified distance)
- Street or Subdivision
- Price Range
- Number of bedrooms and bathrooms
- Square footage
Depending on your priorities, your requirements may be even more clearly defined. But be aware that as the number of exceptions increases, you may start to miss out on good opportunities that didn’t make it past your strict filter.