Alternative to MLS

15 Replies

What is the best alternative method to search for properties if you want to focus on MLS listings but without MLS access? Personally I found Redfin is the best alternative as new listings show up on Redfin as soon as they are on the market. Does everyone agree? I noticed Zillow and Trulia are usually a few days old. I don't understand Zillow being a public traded company can't get their listings updated or pulled from MLS as quickly as Redfin. Am I missing something?

Hi John,

Are you strictly looking for residential units? You can always access loopnet for free and that is a great resource to use for investment properties 2 units and above...@John Yu  

Thanks John. Currently only looking at SFR, but open to multi-units. Never heard of loopnet, but will definitely check it out. Thanks for the info.

I don't think you will find residential properties on LOOPNET.

Originally posted by @Joseph Ball :

I don't think you will find residential properties on LOOPNET.

 Yes you can...but not many.  Loopnet is a commercial tool/site.

@John Yu

Since Redfin is a broker that employs agents, I believe they purchase a subscription giving them a direct feed to the MLS. Zillow pulls their listing data from a separate feed which is why there is a time lag between the two.

Most of my clients use Redfin or my personal website to view MLS listings. If you don't mind receiving sales calls you should try signing up for a local brokers website. Most have idx feeds that give up-to-date MLS info.

MLS is #1

Redfin is #2 

These are my go to tools, (if redfin is available in your area)

@Joe Villeneuve   Nice, I've never heard of loopnet.  I think I may have just found my next property.  Thanks!

I just use or the local MLS website since it gives a limited search ability.

Have you looked at It looks like it is just Washington and California right now, but definitely something of interest.

Redfin did just start aggregating some information from sources other than the MLS, and this new data source, whatever it is, has had a number of inaccuracies in it. The inaccurate information they have been aggregating has been mostly in regards to new construction homes, but it is still annoying.

All the real estate websites like Redfin, Zillow, etc. are aggregators from the MLS and will never be as updated as the MLS. Also, a TON of research I see people talking on these forums is at my fingertips with the MLS. This is why brokers pay a premium for access.

The main problem with aggregators is that they don't update once the property is under contract or sold. They are great at pushing the data out there and it ends there. So, you could very well be researching a property that was sold a few weeks ago. I get inquiries all the time about a property someone saw online that accepted an offer last month.   

Loopnet is fine for commercial but at least in my market 1/2 the brokers don't use it and everything (just like Manhattan) is who you know. 

If you want the most up to date information then get MLS access yourself or work with a broker.

I am right there with Sarah.

Do it the easy way - work with a broker. If you don't like the info you get then work with a different one. Though why try to re-invent the wheel?

Or makes friends with an agent, let them know that you will let them negotiate and broker the deal even set up the meetings, and all you ask in return is access MLS using their details. Cherry deal for agent because you do all the research, selecting only what works for you, and agent isn't spinning wheels wasting time. A win win.

@Julie Marquez ,

From that: "Have you looked at It looks like it is just Washington and California right now, but definitely something of interest."

Just tried it but looks like most are "unclaimed by seller" and have to send an offer or a mailer?? did you tried that and got some answers and accurate FSBO? I just sent a couple of mailers and will see.

EX: I tried many sites for rent-to-own or lease-option, but all deals were innacurate, sold or not lease-option at all!!! pretty annoying...

thanks and let me know if you got any success.

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