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How to Get Access to the MLS Without a Real Estate License

Information on the MLS can be invaluable to buyers. While MLS access is usually only available to real estate agents, there are ways for buyers to gain access to data available on the MLS. Find out the best ways to gain MLS knowledge without getting your real estate license.
MLS multiple listing service

If you’re considering buying a house, you’ve likely been scouring the web, searching for every possible home listing that meets your criteria. But did you know there’s a better way to get the right listings to come to you?

When doing your research on real estate, you might have heard the term ‘MLS’ thrown around. MLS stands for multiple listing service, and is the place where every home listed for sale by a real estate agent resides. Only real estate agents can access the MLS, but there are a few ways buyers can indirectly get this information.

When MLS was first utilized, the information was printed monthly in a book. Thanks to technological advancements, this information is now all available online, via a private website.

Gaining access to the information found on the MLS can be extremely valuable for buyers and can help them make smart decisions throughout the home buying process.

What’s Listed on the MLS?

The MLS contains all of the data about homes that are for sale. Here, agents can find a home’s square footage, age, address, room count, upgrade history, and school district information. Home photographs and virtual tours are also listed here.

One handy feature of the MLS is that each home typically lists the type of financing sellers will accept, which is useful information that can help buyers narrow down homes based on the financing they’ve been approved for. Online listing sites might detail some of the information found in the MLS, but the information pulled is quite limited and sometimes, out of date.

The MLS can also offer agents a peek at homes just hitting the market before they hit public home listing sites.

Can Buyers Access the MLS?

The short answer is no, they can’t — at least not directly. In order to access the MLS, you need a real estate license, which means it’s not possible for buyers to access this data on their own. However, they can reap the benefits the MLS has to offer if they start the house buying process off right and partner with a local real estate agent.

When you partner with an agent, they can provide you with the comprehensive reporting data found in the MLS. In fact, they can even create individualized searches based on your home preference criteria and create reports that are emailed to you containing new listings, with information you won’t be able to find anywhere else on the web.

Types of MLS Searches

A qualified agent will likely ask you if you want to be set up with an MLS search to ensure you receive up-to-the-minute updates on any homes that meet your criteria. The MLS provides many different features for performing searches, and your agent will likely be doing their own searching on your behalf, throughout the day.

Searches can be set up to pinpoint homes in a certain zip code, neighborhood, or within a certain radius of a location. Listing price minimums and maximums can also be input, as well as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, square footage requirements, garages, and amenities, like pools or hot tubs.

Can MLS Information Be Found Anywhere Else?

Top listing sites might appear to have all of the home information you need, but many times these sites are missing crucial details or may not have updated new list prices.

While you can find a home through an online listing website, you can save money and time by partnering with an agent who can access the MLS for you. They can save you from touring a home that’s already pending an offer or alert you when the price of a house meeting your search criteria drops.

Partner with a Clever Agent

In addition to gaining access to the MLS, buyers who partner with a Clever agent will receive many additional benefits. A full-service agent can help navigate you through the buying process, helping you with financial questions and taking you on house tours.

Clever has teamed up with the top agents from brokerages like RE/MAX, Keller Williams, and Century 21 to ensure buyers receive the best possible service.

As an added bonus, agents who partner with Clever agree to provide buyers with a commission rebate at the time of closing. This commission rebate gifts up to 1% of the closing price back to the buyer.

Let Clever connect you with a talented local agent who can help you find the best homes available on the MLS.

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Andrew Schmeerbauch
Andrew Schmeerbauch

Andrew Schmeerbauch is the Director of Marketing at Clever Real Estate, the free online service that connects you top agents to save on commission. His focus is educating home buyers and sellers on navigating the complex world of real estate with confidence and ease. Andrew has worked on projects for the United Nations and USC and has a particular passion for investing and finance. Andrew's writing has been featured in Mashvisor, L&T, Ideal REI, and Rentometer.

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