Tag Archives: mls

Highlands MLS Listings: Good Place to Start a Class on Real Estate

7-30-mlsWouldn’t it be great if high schools started a Driver’s Education kind of class for real estate? At some point—I think it was in the 1930s—Americans realized that it would be a good idea for the public schools to offer Driver’s Ed, just as a matter of public safety. If you’ve ever tried to deal with a clutch and stick shift built before the mid-50s, you’ll understand the need. Too bad the damage that can result from lack of real estate knowledge isn’t as obvious as a dented garage door.

The first Realty Ed class session could deal with the history of MLS listings. Even given the void in the school system, a teenager wouldn’t need much real estate exposure to have at least heard of “the listings.” “The Multiples” is more obscure, as is “MLS” (when you Google that, you get a lot of major league soccer sites).

They are all jargon that refer to the information published by “the” Multiple Listing Service. “The” is in quotes because there isn’t just one Multiple Listing Service in the United States; there are many different ones, run by different companies. Our Highlands MLS Listings are produced by our Highlands MLS Listing publisher, who cooperates with others across the country to come up with the not-quite-exactly-uniform format you see when you go searching online for Highlands homes for sale.

If the high school kids’ first homework assignment is to go online to check out the Highlands MLS listings (like the ones I provide), what they find looks quite straightforward and self-explanatory. They see pictures and descriptions of each property for sale, an asking price, and details that a future owner would want to know. Square footage, lot size, the year built, number and types of rooms are all there, making it easy to compare properties. There may be more details in some of the listings than in others, but the real estate agent who prepares the MLS listing makes sure the most important elements are covered.

What will not be obvious to the students (but what will make excellent Friday quiz material) is how the Highlands MLS listings embody other elements that are commercial and legal. Behind each of the listings (under the hood, in Driver’s Ed terms) is the fact that an MLS listing ordinarily represents a contractual offer by the listing brokerage to compensate other real estate professionals who represent potential buyers…which means it also is ordinarily evidences that the owner of the listed property has made a separate “listing agreement” with the listing broker.

Later on in the semester, there will need to be a discussion of FSBOs and the whole “For Sale by Owner” situation. It’s likely that one of the more troublesome ‘A’ students will then certainly raise her hand to ask something like, “Well then what happens when there is a Highlands MLS listing for a FSBO property? Doesn’t that mean there isn’t a listing broker to make the offer to compensate other real estate professionals who represent potential buyers?”

That will be the moment when it is again demonstrated why teachers need three months off every year.

Our Highlands MLS listings are a superb way to organize today’s active real estate offerings—but they are only one of many elements. Call me for expert assistance in getting all those elements fall into place!

History of Sapphire Listings Started Centuries Ago

7-30-mlsWhen you put your Sapphire home on the market, your most effective marketing mechanism isn’t the front yard For Sale sign—although that sign is certainly one way to generate valuable neighborhood awareness. It’s not the well-designed ad your Realtor® publishes, even in the most well-read Sapphire newspaper or magazine—although those expensive insertions can draw valuable inquiries.

Without a doubt, the most powerful marketing mechanism at your disposal is the Sapphire Multiple Listing Service. Through it, your home’s listing in the Sapphire MLS is far and away your most potent advertising tool. Although today this seems so obvious that it’s barely worth restating, in important ways that’s a relatively recent development. The Why and the How of today’s listing availability provides an interesting peek ‘under the hood’ of how 21st century real estate works.

Back in real estate’s medieval past (before the Web reached everyone—say, 20 years ago), Sapphire “listings” took the form of printed sheets distributed between cooperating real estate brokers and agents. They were headed by mug shots of the properties, sometimes—when there were printing issues—less than flattering reproductions.

But even that practice was a modern development. Early in formation of the United States, groups called “Real Estate Exchanges”—the antecedents of today’s Boards of Realtors®—would meet on appointed days to exchange lists of properties their clients wished to sell. In practice, these meetings would often become auctions, with brokers bidding on behalf of their principals for properties they wanted to buy from other brokers.

It was only at the beginning of the twentieth century that the word “multiple” was sometimes applied to the “listing” of properties; but by the Roaring Twenties, the advantages of “multiple listings” were widely accepted. The difference was that now brokers cooperated to combine their separate portfolios of client offerings into integrated master lists…which usually translated into all those sheets of paper in the “orderly collections” of binders on the shelves and in the briefcases of real estate pros. Orderly or not, it took a lot of diligence to keep everything current…

It was a far cry from today’s Sapphire listings, which can be summoned up instantaneously on computer screens in homes and offices anywhere. Actually, on phones and tablets, no matter where they are! When you think about it, the technology has fundamentally changed the nature of how listings are used. Instead of being information that had to be gathered and shared by real estate professionals who would physically gather for that purpose, today’s MLS listings are available to be inspected and compared by you, the client, yourself—with your Realtor acting as expeditor rather than limiter. It’s the real estate professionals who make sure the parts of the listings on public view are as accurate as possible, and who guide clients all the way from their discovery of the most likely candidate properties through visiting, negotiating, and closing on their next Sapphire home.

The upshot is that today’s Sapphire listings are all right here, right now. And as soon as you find the ones you’d like to look into further, I’m right here—standing by for your call!