The Secrets of Reading a MLS Listing

Hopping on MLS to check out a potential home is practically a given when you’re house-hunting. Here’s a few secrets to reading a MLS listing.

Everyone knows that “cosy” in a real estate listing means small. But when you’re researching potential properties to look at on MLS – either by yourself or through your real estate agent –

Each MLS listing contains three sections, which entail the property photos, property view, and property details. Each of these includes different kinds of information regarding the property. This article gives you the secrets of reading a MLS listing and equally tips on what to look out for in each section. Consequently, it helps you decide which homes are worth viewing in person.

1. Section 1 – Property photos

In this section, you can scroll through the pictures or click to enlarge. From here, the images help instigate an initial gut reaction from you. Next, look at the property condition, room size and their status, the lighting, and the style of entrances, hallways, and stairs.

What to look for:

  • Is this a fixer-upper or is it move-in ready? Are there any major projects you would need to consider?
  • What kind of natural light does each room get? Lighting fixtures are easy to replace; knocking out walls to get more daylight is a whole other matter.
  • Is the home accessible for your lifestyle? For instance, if you have an expensive California King bed and the staircase to upstairs master bedroom is narrow or winding, that could mean problems if you decide to make an offer.
  • Don’t be distracted by staging or the lack of it. The home may be beautifully styled or cluttered, but you have to look beyond that and focus on the property’s features.
  • Since this section also includes the address, use it to get a street view to check out the property’s surroundings.

2. Section 2 – Property view

Primarily, this section includes details like the number of rooms, pricing, property type, title, and community name. Some information here could be property specific depending on the type of property. For instance, the land size, the number of storeys, or the parking type. Look out for the title, community name, and MLS number. You can use the name to research the area online. You’ll require the MLS reference number when contacting your realtor to set up a viewing. This section also has interactive tools like the financial button, which you can use to calculate the home’s land transfer tax or monthly mortgage payments.

3. Section 3 – Property details

In this section, you’ll find more substantial information about the home. These include:

  • Features
  • Descriptions
  • Amenity details
  • Rooms and their dimensions
  • Land details
  • Neighbourhood demographics
  • Location & directions

While reading through this section, look out for the maintenance fees, lifestyle details, recreation facilities, heating and air conditioning systems, water provision directions, and neighbourhood demographics.

Although you can go through MLS listings on your own, be sure to hire a real estate agent to represent you in the buying process. They will arrange for viewing so that you can determine if the homes that appealed to you on the listing are worth further exploration.

Finished reading the MLS listings and ready to buy and ready for an experienced real estate lawyer? Contact us.