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Intermountain MLS

Mar 13, 2008
The Multiple Listing Service for the Boise, Idaho area is called the Intermountain MLS. The Intermountain MLS essentially functions as the real estate marketplace for the Boise area including Ada, Canyon, Elmore, Gem, Malheur, Twin Falls, and Payette counties. It is the MLS service for nine different local associations, the largest of which is the Ada County Association of Realtors. Not only is it a searchable database of all listings in the area, it is an offer of compensation between brokers in attempt to attract other brokers to one's listed properties. As such, the Intermountain MLS is a marketing tool that is a hundred fold more effective than any other thing out there. The vast majority of Boise area homes sell through the Intermountain Multiple Listing Service. Besides resale homes, many builders now list their entire inventory for sale on the MLS.

The Intermountain MLS has approximately 6000 members. The members range from traditional brokerages that offer commission-based listings to discount and flat fee brokers that simply place properties on the MLS for a small flat fee. Either way, Boise sellers receive the tremendous benefit of having a property on the MLS. An added benefit of placing a property on the Intermountain MLS is that numerous other Internet websites pull a truncated version of this data into their own property search function. While it will not include all information such as commission offered to a buyer broker or showing remarks, it will generate interest in various properties. The reality is that most buyers at least begin their search for homes on the Internet, even though most end up using a real estate agent. Some of the sites that pull from the Intermountain MLS include national websites like Realtor.com, local newspaper sites like IdahoStatesman.com, and local brokerage sites like REMAX West.

A broker that lists properties for sale or assists a buyer looking for properties should be very knowledgeable when it comes to the MLS. Beyond obvious fields like city (Boise, Nampa, Kuna, etc.), the broker needs to understand map codes and grids, water districts, construction types, and many other fields. Comparative Market Analyses (CMAs) can also be pulled using MLS sold, pending, and active listings. This allows one to see not only what similar properties have sold for, but also what direction things are headed. It is possible that a property will sell for more or less than comparables based on current trends and the prices of competing homes. Licensed appraisers who pay certain fees are allowed a special type of access into the MLS so that they can use the data to assist them in completing an appraisal. The database is simply unmatched. While county assessors also keep sale data on file, it is difficult to get a full picture of the property without looking at the MLS to see photos, upgrades, or other factors that influence value beyond the more basic county assessor file. As many people are aware, assessed value and actual market value can differ greatly.
About the Author
Donald Plunkett is the President of Congress Realty, a company which allows homeowners to list their property on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) for a $299 flat fee rather than selling For Sale By Owner without MLS exposure. More info: http://www.congressrealty.com
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