16 Reasons Fix and Flip Investors Need MLS Access
What if I told you that there was a database full of valuable real estate information that could earn you hundreds of thousands, and possibly millions of dollars?
How much would this be worth to you?
What would you be willing to do to have access to this precious data?
Your Local Multiple Listing Service (MLS)
Nearly every town and city in the United States has a local multiple listing service (MLS). In case you didn’t know, the MLS is where Realtors list their clients’ properties for sale so other Realtors with buyers can find them. Of course, the MLS contains A LOT more info than just for sale listings (more on that in a few paragraphs).
The general public does not have access to the info (yet). And the National Association of Realtors has one of the strongest lobbies in the country, so it’s unlikely the masses will ever be granted access.
I came up with 16 reasons why fix and flip investors must have MLS access. I’m sure there are many more. Most local multiple listing service databases will list (either in the MLS info sheet or tax record):
Current owner name
How many times the house has been sold
If the house has been listed before
If the property was listed before, how long it was listed before it sold or expired
How much the home sold for last
If the house is in foreclosure
Property tax history
Purchase price for all past sales
Whether the buyer paid full price or received a discount off list price for the home
If the buyer paid cash for the property
If the buyer obtained financing property
Current distressed listings (banks and homeowners in foreclosure)
Houses sold by other fix and flip investors
Can you see why this information is so valuable? I’d pay $10,000 or more for this type of data.
Houses Sold By Other Fix and Flip Investors
It’s worth spending the time, effort and money to get MLS access just for reason 16.
As a fix and flip investor, the very best place to list my properties (with photos) for sale is on the MLS. However, by doing so I let my competition see everything I do to our properties, including the paint colors, cabinet style, the finishes and the type of staging furniture I use inside the home.
My competition can also see how much I paid for the house (and sold it for). With this type of data it’s easy for anyone to reverse engineer the entire process I use to fix and flip our properties.
Check out this video I did to see how I used a paint scheme another fix and flip investor used at his house on one of my own projects:
My property, located in central Phoenix, sold after just three hours on the market for full price (click here to see the before and after video we did at the house). So needless to say, knowing what’s working for other fix and flip investors in your real estate market can be extremely profitable.
How to Get MLS Access
For a minimal amount of time (90 hours) and money (about $1,000) you can get exclusive rights to use this incredibly important database. It requires you take the real estate license test in your area, pass it and then sign up with a broker and local Realtor association.
If you don’t want to put in this effort you could always befriend someone that has his or her license, or marry a Realtor, and then borrow his or her MLS access.
I’m licensed in Arizona and Wisconsin because I fix and flip houses in both markets. And, I can think of few other investments I’ve made with my time and money that have been more valuable.