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Does being a member of MLS make a difference?

I recently got my real estate license and joined a smaller, rural brokerage company that specializes in farmland which is primarily what I list.  The brokerage firm that I deal with is not a member of the MLS and basically when a farm is listed its advertised on numerous websites and print advertisements.  Lately however I have listed some land with homes on them in suburban areas and I don't feel like I have a good grasp on the value of the home with the land and am lacking some research tools.  So basically my question is are most real estate agents members of the MLS and are other buyers agents less likely to steer a buyer towards my listing given that I'm not on the MLS?  Is it unusually for a brokerage to not be a member and will MLS data give me what the comps sold for etc?  Also if not the MLS are there any other data resources I can use as a substitute?  I just feel a little underprepared talking to land/homeowners about the value of their home without a lot of tools. I know the question is all over the place but hopefully you understand the general issue. I appreciate any advice. 
  • June 12 2012 - US
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Answers (4)

I don't believe you CAN join without your broker being a member. At least that has been my experience with the 3 different associations that I have or do belong to...
When choosing where to hang your license, this would certainly be a consideration.

Good luck to you!

Team Kern

  • June 12 2012
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Thanks for the response.  Also I assume that since my broker is not a member of the MLS what are my options?  I assume that its prohibitively expensive for me to join it myself and my broker is unlikely to join so I guess move agencies? 
  • June 12 2012
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I could not imagine listing residential properties without the use of MLS. The information is reliable regarding comps and a HUGE time saver rather than trying to figure out comps from various websites...which may not always be accurate. I belong to several associations and find it a real "value add" not only for us and our business but for our sellers as we can list thier properties on multiple MLS's. You never know where that buyer will come from...   : )

Good luck!
Team Kern
  • June 12 2012
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I have been an agent in both Florida and New Jersey, and when listing homes in those states, being a member of an MLS is crucial.  Most homes are sold using a realtor who lists it on the MLS, so that is a key source in getting comparables.  Most residential agents will look on the MLS exclusively when searching for properties to show their clients (commercial, depending on the type, is different).  Also, the MLS is where you confirm the commission amount that is being offered to other agents who are successful in finding a buyer for your listing.  Agents are much less likely to steer a buyer towards your listing (most will not consider your listing at all) if you are not on the MLS, since they would need to get an agreement in writing in advance from you regarding the commission being offered in order to fully protect themselves.  So, I would highly recommend joining the local MLS.  It will greatly improve your success with listings, and give you lots of data regarding valuation.  If not the MLS, you can use Zillow, and also your local tax rolls for information.
  • June 12 2012
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