Are you a real estate buyer, seller or real estate agent trying to buy or sell a home? Surely you're familiar with the MLS (Multiple Listing Service), a multitude of databases in each city of homes for sale under the control of real estate agents. These databases all feed into various website such as Realtor.com and Zillow.com to show home shoppers what they are trying to sell.
Chances are you have not heard of the BLS (Buyers Listing Service), a few have come and gone but now a better version has been introduced. A BLS is a database of home buyers requesting specific types of homes in specific neighborhoods throughout America.
Whether you're a buyer, seller or real estate agent, here is some help in deciding which one to use to help you buy or sell a home. Pay careful attention as each has their advantages and disadvantages.
Home Buyers & Their Real Estate Agents: If you want to buy a home you have two approaches available. You can look at the MLS (Realtor.com, Zillow.com, etc) to see about 5% of the homes in any given neighborhood where the owner has hired a real estate agent to display their home for sale.
The advantages of the MLS are: 1. Most likely a motivated seller. 2. Easy access to data and photos of the home.
The disadvantages of the MLS are: 1. Buyers only see about 5% of the homes in the neighborhood, less in better neighborhoods. 2. The seller's real estate agent may already have a buyer waiting for this home. 3. Seller's agent is already working with an agent friend that has a buyer. 4. Having to monitor the MLS daily waiting for a matching home to show up. 5. Reactive approach as new listing trickle on to MLS.
Home buyers using a BLS, where they post a request for the type of home they want in a specific neighborhood have these advantages: 1. Access to 100% of the homes in every neighborhood. 2. Opportunity to buy a home before it shows up in the MLS. 3. Seller's agents will contact you with matching homes they have in the MLS (so you don't have to search the MLS everyday for new listings). 4. Finding homes that are a better match to your requirements. 5. Proactive approach to reach every home owner in the neighborhood. 6. If you're a real estate agent working on behalf of a buyer, this is the only way you will ever be able to "double end" a commission.
There are a lot of home owners that would love to sell their home if they knew there was a buyer already lined up to buy the home. A lot of home owners do not want to have their home listed in the MLS, have a for sale sign in the yard, open houses, etc. A BLS enables a home owner so sell their home more discretely and privately.
If you're a home seller, you could hire a real estate agent to input your home in the local MLS system then wait and hope for a buyer to see it and contact your agent. This traditional method will work eventually if you wait long enough and are willing to lower your asking price over time. Before you use the wait and hope approach, you and should look for a buyers posting on a BLS that are a match for your home. You can communicate directly with the home buyer (or their agent) and not have to publicly display your homes information (photos, size, etc) to the whole world.