Selling Real Estate - The MLS
The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is the primary database that is used by Ocean City real estate agents to research property information when assisting their clients. Information on all properties that are listed for sale by real estate agents in the Ocean City area can be found in the Multiple Listing Service. When a real estate agent is working with a Buyer client they will use the MLS to find properties that match their client's specifications and schedule appointments to view them. Once a property is listed in the MLS a cooperation agreement is created that offers compensation to the Buyer's agent per the terms of the property's listing agreement.
The MLS is also the primary data feed for listing information on a majority of public real estate websites such as Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com and others. An agent will input the listing information (details, descriptions, photos, virtual tours, etc.) into the Multiple Listing Service and it will then get "syndicated" to all of these other websites automatically. Any changes or updates to the listing in the MLS will automatically get pushed to the respective listing elsewhere. Some sites do a better job of showcasing and updating your listing than others and you and/or your Ocean City Realtor have control over where it is displayed.
Any agent you hire in the Ocean City area is going to list your property in the Multiple Listing Service, however how agents go about this process varies greatly. This is a crucial step in the overall marketing process of your property that gets taken for granted by a majority of Ocean City real estate agents. Most agents haphazardly input the listing into the MLS with bits and pieces of information at a time. First they will add the listing details with no description or photos. Then they may add a half-hearted description coupled with some photos taken on their iPhone. This is a huge missed opportunity and makes a poor first impression on potential Buyers and real estate agents that may have a Buyer for your property.
One of the functions of the MLS is to send out new listing email alerts to potential Buyers whom are looking for a property similar to yours, which occurs right after the property is listed. If an agent doesn't input your listing thoroughly and correctly a potential Buyer is going to receive your new listing alert with limited information and likely no photos. This makes a horrible first impression and is a missed opportunity. The Buyer isn't going to pay your listing any mind and will pass right by it. The same is true with other agents in the marketplace whom run a "hot sheet" each day to research all of the new listings. When an agent comes across your incomplete listing they aren't going to pay much attention to it without any photos or limited details. This is another missed opportunity as they could potentially have a Buyer for your property.
My approach is quite the opposite. Before listing your property in the Multiple Listing Service I gather all of the marketing materials for your home or condo. This includes professional photography, 3-D Matterport tour, listing details, property descriptions, virtual tours, listing supplements and more. Once these are all in place and edited I will then input your listing into the MLS with all of these marketing materials at one time. When a potential Buyer or real estate agent views your listing for the first time everything they need to make informed decisions will be available to them. This guarantees a strong first impression on interested parties, which leads to immediate activity on your listing. Initiating a new listing this way also has considerable benefits on the popular real estate portals such as Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com and others.
Simply put, your listing needs to look great in the MLS in order to stand out, attract attention and get shown to potential Buyers. If you have any further questions about the Multiple Listing Service or anything else pertaining to selling real estate in Ocean City, MD feel free to contact me directly anytime at 443-614-9179 or by email below.