John Doe

If you want to make your dreams come true, the first thing you have to do is wake up.

Mary Taylor

You can have anything you want if you are willing to give up everything you have.

How to use MLS filters to uncover hidden listing deals

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The Multiple listing services (MLS) gives homebuyers access to thousands of properties for sale. But with so many listings, how do you find underpriced gems or homes needing just a little TLC to unlock value? Savvy buyers use MLS filters strategically to reveal hidden deals overlooked by the masses. Homes freshly reduced in the MLS warrant attention. Sellers lower prices due to motivated circumstances – needing a quick sale, moving on a deadline, or overpricing at first. Regularly run a search filtered to “price decreased” and scan for appealing options.  When evaluating reduced listings:

  • Note the original list price and the new lower price
  • Research the area’s average days on the market (DOM)
  • Flag listings well below average DOM as potential deals

Multiple price drops show motivated sellers who may accept offers under the list. Just ensure the home doesn’t have any glaring issues causing the lack of interest before jumping in. 

Search high days on market

Listings exceeding the neighborhood’s average DOM could be hidden opportunities. High DOM can mean either:

             1. The home is overpriced for the area/condition 

             2. There is an undesirable issue turning away buyers

High DOM homes warrant closer inspection. Analyze the list price compared to the value of recently sold comps. Drive by to ascertain if any red flags are evident.  Often sellers with homes lingering past average DOM will entertain reasonable offers especially if they have a deadline like an upcoming move. Exercise due diligence, but don’t automatically dismiss high days on market listings.  

 Focus your search regionally

MLS real estate buyers hunt within a 10-mile radius or by school district. Widen your geographic filter to uncover potential deals nearby but outside your target zone. Searching a 20-mile radius reveals neighborhoods with lower demand. And markets bordering your ideal area may offer better affordability while still nearby.  Local market conditions can vary from street to street. Don’t limit yourself to arbitrary zones, because excellent deals exist just outside typical search boundaries. 

Search properties without virtual tours

Many buyers skip listings without virtual tours or enough photos. But homes without virtual staging could be excellent deals simply marketed poorly. Listings without 3D tours, enough photos, or video walkthroughs tend to generate less interest. Put in the work to visit promising homes without robust visuals online. The lack of eye candy could’ve caused other buyers to overlook a gem.

Analyze the remarks

Listing agent remarks contain details not visible in standard fields. Scan remarks for candid notes about the property’s issues, seller motivations, needed repairs, and previous showing feedback. Remarks like “seller replacing the roof before close” or “low appraisal on the previous contract” provide clues to negotiate a lower price. Remarks often reveal key reasons a listing appeals to deal-seekers.  

Contact listing agents 

Ask your agent to call the listing agents of homes that interest you, especially high-DOM properties. Inquire about the seller’s circumstances and willingness to negotiate. Listing agents won’t disclose private details but can provide color like how quickly the seller needs to move. Don’t rely solely on homes marketed to the masses. Dive deeper into the MLS to find true diamonds in the rough.