About three years ago I decided that I wanted to start pursuing bank owned properties that were listed on the MLS. My first thought was to find a buyer’s agent to get listings and submit offers for me, but after talking to a handful of agents who had no interest in submitting multiple low offers, I decided that it would be much easier to just make the offers directly to the listing agents. While this seemed like the perfect solution to me, there was one big problem: I wasn’t licensed (and had no desire to go through the licensing class), so I did not have access to the MLS!
If you find yourself in a similar position- not to worry! There are ways to gain access to MLS properties without having to go through the hassle of getting your real estate license. Following are two websites that can be used in conjunction with one another to give you all the information you need to start making offers on MLS listed properties.
Realtor.com is a free service that allows you to search for listed properties in your area. While the listing information provided on Realtor.com is fairly basic, they do provide you with the contact information for the broker’s office of each property, so if you’d like to get more detailed information, it’s just a phone call away. Following is an example of a current listing on Realtor.com:
ZipRealty.com is similar to Realtor.com, except that the listing information they provide is much more detailed. Aside from the basic property information, they also include a description of the property, which often gives important information such as whether or not it is a short sale or an REO. In addition, they include the property pricing information, which let’s you know how many price drops have been made, and when those price drops occurred.
Here is an example of the Zip Realty listing for the same property shown above:
As you can see, this listing is much more detailed than the one given on Realtor.com. Zip Realty also allows you to see the recent sold properties in the neighborhood by simply clicking the “Sold Homes” tab at the top of the page (circled in red).
The one drawback to using ZipRealty.com is that it does not provide you with the listing broker’s information. You can easily find this out, though, by simply taking the MLS number (circled in red at the top right of the listing), and then heading back to Realtor.com, and doing an MLS number search!
While the information provided on these two websites is nowhere near as detailed as what is available on the MLS, it will still provide you with the necessary information to research properties, contact the listing agents on the properties that you are interested in, and start making offers!