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The Austin MLS is an extensive database of real estate listings in the greater Austin, Texas area. It includes all current active and pending listings as well as a large database of past sold listings dating well over twenty years.
The Austin Board of Realtors sponsors and maintains the Austin MLS. While the general public can search local MLS listings on websites such as freeaustinmlssearch.com, only licensed Realtors who are active members of ABOR can access to the official Austin MLS.
The Austin MLS is actually just one of several hundred MLS’s in the United States. Getting an exact count of the current number of MLS databases is difficult because they are constantly merging and breaking off from one another, but most sources estimate the total number of MLS databases in the United States to currently be greater than seven hundred.
The Austin MLS is a coordinated place for local real estate agents to share their listings. When a real estate agent signs an exclusive listing agreement with a seller, the agent typically does not have a qualified buyer on hand to purchase that property. Luckily, the Austin MLS allows listing agents and buyer’s agents to work together to get properties sold.
When a listing agent enters a new listing into the Austin MLS, the agent offers to share a certain percentage of the total commission with the buyer’s agent who brings a buyer for the property. The portion of the commission that a buyer’s agent typically receives is three percent of the sales price.
Entering a new Austin MLS listing is time consuming for agents because very detailed information is required to ensure listings offer the most accurate and thorough information possible to potential buyers.
Everything an agent or home buyer needs to know about a property for sale is listed in the Austin MLS. This includes the property address, year built, number of bedrooms and baths, square footage, features and upgrades, school districts, lot size, and much more. Not only this, the MLS also includes the types of financing the seller will consider as well as numerous photos of the property so that buyers can get a good feel for the property before taking the time to visit it.
Home buyers don’t have access to all the same information contained in the Austin MLS that licensed real estate agents do. That’s because real estate professionals pay for membership and access to this information. They also must follow strict licensing requirements to keep their license current with TREC and ABOR. The most accurate property information comes directly from the Austin MLS, and you can gain access to this information only through a licensed Realtor.
To list your home in the Austin MLS, you must work with a licensed Realtor. Sellers trying to sell their homes by owner can’t list their properties in the MLS. Remember, this is a database just for licensed agents and brokers who have paid the fees and followed the stipulations to be a part of the Austin MLS.
Sellers trying to sell by owner can use websites like Zillow to sell their home themselves and avoid real estate commissions. However, this isn’t an easy prospect. It is often challenging for sellers trying to sell by owner to gain the exposure they need to sell their home for full market value. For-sale-by-owner homes typically sell for thousands of dollars less than they would with a Realtor who uses a local MLS.
Most homes in the Austin area are sold with the help of a Realtor who lists the home in the Austin MLS. Realtors are trained to attract qualified home buyers to homes by utilizing the MLS database to the best of its capabilities. When listing your home for sale, a Realtor with access to the MLS is the smartest and safest way to go if you want your home to gather the most attention from the most qualified home buyers.
The Austin MLS levels the playing field for local real estate agents because it provides agents with access to all the same MLS listings regardless of the brokerage they are sponsored through. Home sellers can also gain the same exposure in the MLS regardless of the brokerage they list their home with. Home buyers can also search and tour any Austin MLS listings they choose regardless of the brokerages they are represented by.
Sharing listing information with other agents without an official Austin MLS would be very cumbersome and ineffective, and many homes for sale would inevitably fall through the cracks. The MLS helps brings together all listings available for sale with all local brokerages in one central database of properties.
When it comes to property details, official Austin MLS listings are considered to be the most accurate. You can usually count on accurate information for square footage, location, bedrooms, baths, and more. This makes the system easily searchable, helping buyers avoid wasting time on listings that don’t fit their specific criteria.
The Austin MLS is the largest source of homes for sale in the greater Austin, Texas area. If you are a seller trying to sell your home and want to generate as much exposure for it as possible, you need to hire a local Realtor who can list your home in the MLS.
If you are a buyer wanting to see all your best potential home options on the market, you need to work with a local buyer’s agent with access to the Austin MLS so that you can access all of the best home options on the market. Whether you choose to work with a small brokerage or the largest firm in town, you can feel confident you’ll have access to all the same homes for sale thanks to the Austin MLS.