The MLS (Multiple Listing Service) is without a doubt the single most important tool that real estate agents use to do their job.
In short, the MLS is a private database in which real estate brokers can add properties for sale & offer compensation to other brokers who belong to the MLS (often called a cooperating broker). Cooperating brokers use this database as a resource to help potential buyers and other sellers.
The Big Bear MLS is very unique in that it is a “member only” MLS with no reciprocal agreements with other MLS’ in the area. As a real estate agent, if you are not a member of the Big Bear MLS, then you will not have access to the data nor are you entitled to be paid a commission if you sell in the area. Some agents who belong to the Big Bear MLS will still cooperate with “outside” agents in an effort the property sold, which I believe to be the in the best interest of our clients.
What if the agent you are using to help you buy or sell a home in Big Bear is not a member of the Big Bear MLS?
Here are 2 reasons critical reason why they should be.
1. As a buyer, you need an agent who has the most complete Big Bear real estate market data available to them.
Isn’t the main point of using a real estate agent to make the job of finding a home easier? Using an agent who does not have access to the Big Bear MLS is like searching for a home partially blindfolded. While they may have some limited data at their disposal by way of their local MLS, as well as some public sites like Realtor.com, this can be a very inefficient way to find the home in Big Bear.
The MLS is the most up to date database out there. Make sure to ask your agent if they are a member of the Big Bear MLS. If not, at least you know what you are dealing with.
2. As a seller, you need to expose your property to the real estate agents who are actually showing buyers and selling properties in the Big Bear area.
The best way to expose your property to these agents is to have your property listed in the Big Bear MLS. If your property is listed in an MLS off of the hill only, how are the Big Bear agents going to find it? While there are a few sales every month from agents that are from outside the Big Bear area, the vast majority of sales every month are sold by agents who live and work in Big Bear.
If your property is invisible to the Big Bear agents, the chances are high that is will not sell. I have seen numerous properties for sale in the Big Bear area listed with an out of area agent, listed on and out of area MLS, that do not sell. When they are listed again later in the Big Bear MLS, they sell in a reasonable amount of time for the same price or more. The main difference is the agents in the Big Bear area knew about it the second time.
There are over 70 MLS’ in the state of California. While some brokers may belong to many MLS’, most only belong to 1 or 2. The current MLS structure in CA is not the most efficient way to run things. There are some big changes coming down the pike very soon, however. We might have one huge database for whole state though it is probably more realistic that there will be several large regional MLS’ along with a few pockets of small MLS’ still keeping their independence.
Either way, for the short term, make sure your agent is a part of the local Big Bear MLS so that you can take advantage of the knowledge and marketing advantage this has to offer.
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