Looking for the MLS for real estate investors?
The Multiple Listing Service, known by the acronym MLS, is a database controlled and owned by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Technically, only licensed real estate agents who are also active Realtor members have access to the MLS. For several reasons, the NAR does not want to allow non-Realtors to get complete access.
So how does a real estate investor like you get access if you are not a Realtor? Here are 5 ways:
- Redfin.com - This company recently won a court case against the National Association of Realtors to provide free access to active as well as closed sales details obtained from the MLS. This service is terrific for giving real estate investors access to the MLS but is only available in select larger cities across the country.
- Realtor.com - The NAR does give the public access to the active listings on the MLS through their flagship website Realtor.com. However, it does not provide closed sales information which is far more valuable for most real estate investors.
- Local Real Estate Agent Websites with IDX Technology - Many local Realtors now employ a new technology that draws active listing information directly from the MLS to their website. Much like Realtor.com, it does not show closed sales which is the heart of understanding properties values and the crucial data for investors. Also, this technology is controversial among the real estate agent community right now, several lawsuits have sprung up as a result of it and therefore it may not be around much longer.
- Public Versions of Local MLS Systems - Each Multiple Listing Service is completely separate from the next and therefore can be drastically different from each other. Some systems provide a public version, as in the case of Middle Tennessee which has the Realtor side (Realtracs.net) and the public side (Realtracs.com). In the Los Angeles area of California, TheMLS.com has a guest login option so that
- Build a Relationship with a Realtor - This is simply the best way to get the MLS for real estate investors like you. Getting access to the Multiple Listing Service is mandatory for serious real estate entrepreneurs so an important step in training investors involves teaching them how to do this. We have an entire curriculum and plan on how to do this properly. To learn more, check out my Apprentice Program.
Those are 5 examples of the MLS for real estate investors.