What is the MLS?
MLS stands for Multiple Listing Service. The origins of the MLS can be found in the 1800's when brokers would gather together at local association meetings to swap information on their listings. They agreed to compensate the brokers in attendance that helped sell the listing.
Today MLS's are private databases that are created, maintained and paid for by real estate professionals to help their clients buy and sell property. In most cases, access to information from MLS listings is provided to the public free-of-charge by participating brokers. Data that is not publicly accessible includes information that would endanger sellers' privacy or safety, such as seller contact information and times the home is vacant for showings.
Why Should I Place my Property on the MLS?
According to the National Association of Realtors, greater than 80% of all homes in the United States are sold through the MLS. The primary resource realtors use when helping their buyer/lessee clients to find a home is the Multiple Listing Service. Additionally, in a market as developed as Houston's, many consumers know that HAR.com is a "one-stop shop" for finding the property that is right for them. Placing your property on the MLS not only ensures you dramatically increase your exposure to Houston's tens of thousands of real estate agents, but your exposure to unrepresented buyers/lessees will also increase significantly.
Can I Get a Lockbox for my Property?
Absolutely. We can provide a variety of lockbox types for your property ranging from electronic Supra-key lockboxes that are the standard in real estate today to the more traditional combination lockboxes. We lease these to you for $50 and require a deposit up front in the event of damage or loss.
Can I Get a For Sale/For Lease Sign for my Property?
Absolutely. We have worked with sign companies to provide customized For Sale and For Lease signs that can be customized with your name, phone number, and even e-mail address. You choose the information on the sign, the material (aluminum, corrugated plastic, etc), and whether it's single or double-sided. These choices will determine the price of your signage. We will also provide you, free of charge, a metal stand for your sign. Most custom signs are available within 2 weeks, though we can have them shipped faster for an additional fee.
Custom for sale/lease signs are $100 and are shipped to our office within 2-weeks of the order date. We can provide expedited shipping for an additional fee. Conversely, if you use a cheaper material or opt for a single-sided sign we can provide a discount of 10-20%. For those clients looking to spend less, we can provide our own customized single-sided coroplast signs for a $40 lease fee, and the signs must be returned at the expiration of your flat fee listing. A sample of customized signs appears below on the left, while our ready-made signs appear to the right.
How Long Will it Take for My Listing to Show Up On HAR.Com?
From the time you submit all the relevant information, and complete your payment it is generally less than 24-hours before we have entered your listing onto the MLS. Syndication to other websites can take up to a couple of days.
What Other Websites Will my Listing Show Up On?
We can't provide an exhaustive list, but here is a list of some of the more well-known websites you will see your listing populated on:
- Chron.com (Houston Chronicle)
Can I Make Changes to My Listing?
Any changes you make to your listing like price changes, scheduled open houses, or new pictures can generally be made within 12 hours of submission.
What About Commissions?
Under our listing agreement you do not owe any further commission to the listing broker. If you sell/lease your property to a buyer/lessee who is not represented by a licensed Texas real estate broker you owe nothing further. However, if you sell/lease to someone that is represented by a licensed broker you will owe the commission set by you in the MLS.
What is 713-Realtor?
713-Realtor is a service that the Houston Association of Realtors offers to their members to help market listings. If you elect to use our 713-Realtor service we recommend that you also purchase a sign with a 713-Realtor rider. The service allows us to record a message that interested drive-by's can listen to when they call 713-Realtor. You can include detailed information on your listing, and will receive a report of all parties that have called to listen to the recording on your property.
Patrick Foley is a licensed real estate broker by the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC). His license number is 566802.