MLS Bargain Hunting: Tips and Tricks (Part 2) – Property History

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The MLS can be a great resource for finding deals, especially given the glut of REOs and short sales currently on the market.  Over the last few years I have picked up some tips and tricks to help me get the most bang for my buck out of my MLS experience.  In this series, I’ll be sharing some of those tips and tricks with you.  (In case you missed Tip #1 from last week, you can click here to check it out).

Today I bring you Tip #2:

Tip #2:  Check the Property History

The history function on the MLS can be a very handy tool, especially when dealing with REO listings.

Like I mentioned in my last article, many of the REO agents (in my market, anyway) don’t do a very thorough job when inputting data into the MLS.  Many times they will leave out important information, or input an incorrect value for the number of bedrooms and/or bathrooms.  On top of that, there is rarely any additional information given about the property that would normally be included in a listing- things like recent repairs or upgrades to the property, settlement or sinkhole issues, zoning issues, etc.

Since many of the REOs that are listed on the MLS were once listed as short sales by other agents, there is a good chance that you can dig up some additional information about them by simply clicking on the history button.

To give you an example of how this can be helpful, let me show you an REO that is currently listed on the MLS in my market.  The property is listed as a 2/1, as you can see here:

If you click on the history button over there to the left, it will bring up a screen that looks like this:

This is the listing history of the property (it’s actually longer than what is shown- this is just the first few entries). You can see here that it was previously listed as a four bedroom home.  When I clicked on the circled listing I got the following information:

Here we find out that not only does it have 4 bedrooms, but it also has 2 bathrooms.  This obviously makes it a much more desirable property as compared to the 2/1 that the agent currently has it listed as.

If we scroll down to the bottom of the listing, we also find out some additional information in the “Realtor Remarks” section that is not included in the current listing.  Have a look:

It looks like this particular property is zoned for commercial use- another tidbit of information that is important to know!

As you can see, by utilizing the history function in the MLS, you can often get a much more detailed picture of a property than what is given in the active listing.  I have made it a habit to always check the history of any property before I make an offer.  You just never know what might pop up!

Stay tuned for Tip #3- coming at you next week!

About Author

Formerly a bartender, Steph Davis is now a full time wholesaler in Tampa, FL. If you'd like to get an idea of what it's really like out there in the trenches, head on over to her blog:!


  1. Well said Stephanie. I can’t tell you how lazy some REALTORS become when entering their MLS, or misc. data. As a REALTOR it becomes frustrating when you don’t schedule a showing because it does not meet your clients criteria, only to find out MLS is incorrect.

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    • Melinda Allen on

      Please someone correct me if I am wrong, but the only way to access this kind of information w/o assess to the MLS is through a licensed realtor. Stephani has another great article on “How to Access MLS Listed Properties Without Having a Real Estate License”.


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