Real Estate Investors and MLS

Why Using MLS Listings as an Investment Tool Shouldn’t be Discounted

Opinions on the best ways to find real estate leads vary widely. This makes sense – after all, markets vary widely, and each investor is an individual with differing goals and strategies. If you spend any amount of time in the investing world, you’ll find folks who emphatically claim that using the MLS to find investment properties is a bad idea. While you should never limit yourself to only using the MLS, I believe that not using it at all could be a mistake that can result in missed opportunities.

Those who oppose using the MLS offer a variety of reasons. Some feel that properties listed on the MLS aren’t sufficiently discounted in price to be worth pursuing, and that wholesaling is the savvier way to go. Others feel that, because properties on the MLS are viewed and picked over by numerous agents, homebuyers and investors, those that seem like good deals must have hidden costs or hidden problems – especially if they’ve spent a long time on the market. Still others believe that high MLS traffic, combined with a lower inventory of foreclosures and other lower-priced homes, can result in tedious and potentially costly bidding wars.

These arguments aren’t wholly without merit. Some investors will find that, due to their specific market or their individual needs, using the MLS is more trouble than it’s worth.  But the MLS can be a profitable option, if you know how to use it to your best advantage. Here are some tips for doing just that:

Get help. Realtors know the MLS like the backs of their hands. They can help you use the system to learn about area comps and trends, find the right properties, and read between the lines of listings to find the best deals.

Be open to possibilities. Don’t decide offhand that because a property has been listed for a specific amount of time, or because it’s in a specific location, that it isn’t worth a second look. Other investors may have skipped it for reasons wholly unrelated to your needs. Do your due diligence on every property that has promise. Who knows? You may even end up finding something other investors missed and creating a niche market.

Take advantage of automation. You can program the MLS to do your bidding. It can find you the types of properties you’re looking for, in the price ranges of your choice, and alert you when they come onto the market.

Be resilient. When you under-bid for properties, you are going to hear the word “no” a lot. You may even ruffle a few feathers and offend some sellers. But the people who laughed at your offer three weeks ago may come to you today with hat in hand, willing to listen.

In the end, an opportunity never explored can never pay off. If you’re willing to be patient and put in some added effort, including the MLS among your other resources such as Find Motivated Sellers Now can be a profitable option.


About Kent Clothier

Kent Clothier is President and CEO of Real Estate Worldwide (REWW), a highly sought-after speaker, the owner of three multi-million dollar a year Internet marketed brands, and proud husband and father. Kent is motivated by his love of family and freedom, creating products that enable people to live their lives the way they choose.

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