The Free MLS Listings (multiple listing service) is an amazing tool for the real estate industry in Canada, and as a buyer you have access to view, for free, MLS listings via the website Realtor.ca (formerly MLS.ca). This is a publicly accessible website where all properties all over the country are listed.
What is MLS?
Real estate agents in Canada are members of the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), and there are around 100,000 members. Each one of these members advertises their property listings on MLS via their local real estate board with the idea being that all agents across Canada have access to this information. Armed with this information agents can work with both buyers and sellers in finding them the home of their dreams.
Free MLS Listings for Buyers
We recommend that anyone buying a home in Canada does so with the help of a real estate agent. Our expertise goes beyond simply showing you homes that meet your criteria, because we help with buying a home every step through the process. However, this doesn’t stop you from doing some of your own searching and this is where the website Realtor.ca comes in.
Buyers can look at free listings via the Realtor.ca website. This website has really improved over recent years offering more features for people like you – it allows you to search by map, narrowing your search down to certain parameters such as price, number of bedrooms, type of home, and special features such as a view. The map search function is great as it allows you to zoom in on certain neighbourhoods, giving you a better overview of what homes are listed for across your town or city.
By taking the time to look at the local MLS listings you can educate yourself on the market. Yes, an agent is there to help educate you, but a little extra learning never hurts! You may see a home that doesn’t really meet the criteria you had given to your agent but you like the look of it anyway. In that case, call your agent and tell them you’d like more information on it. Your agent can then find out if the home has any offers going through, or any other interesting information, before making an appointment to go and see it.
Free MLS Listings for Sellers
As a seller you may have heard that your home can be listed for free on MLS. Well, let me explain how the listing process works…
When you choose a real estate agent you sign an agreement that details the services that the agent will provide for you. Among these services is having your home listed on MLS so that agents all over Canada can see your home and what it has to offer. Your real estate agent has to pay to list on MLS but this is all part of the service they provide, so in a sense – as far as you’re concerned – it’s a free listing because you’re not paying out a separate fee for it.
Some agents offer different levels of service, such as those who charge a lower commission. But, while the commission is lower you should ask them if their service includes a free MLS listing, or if you will have to pay extra for it. You usually have the option not to list on MLS, but when this is the national standard it would be silly not to – in our opinion!
The fact is, only a licensed real estate agent can list a property on MLS, so if anyone else claims to be able to give you a free MLS listing you should be wary.
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