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Patti Anderson's Blog

By Patti (Anderson) Sampson | Broker in Phoenix, AZ
  • Search the Arizona Multiple Listing Service - Same site used by licensed Realtors!

    Posted Under: General Area in Phoenix, Home Buying in Phoenix, Home Selling in Phoenix  |  August 25, 2010 5:28 PM  |  218 views  |  No comments

    As a busy and productive buyer's agent, I can't tell you the number of times I have been told by my clients that they saw a home on this website that they did not see on that website when they were on the internet searching for homes.    Frustrating?  Of course!   Most of the problem lies with the differing available search criteria on all the websites they may visit.   When that happens, varying lists of homes will populate and then confusion and frustration kicks in.   Well...the bottom line is THAT ALL HOME SEARCH SITES ARE NOT EQUAL!

    Before I go on… let me explain a few things.   When you run a search for homes on anyone's website, a “parameter” is the choice, or choices, provided you to help you populate a list of homes that fit your needs.  For example, you may click a parameter box that says “Pool - Yes or No," "Fireplace - Yes or No" or “# of Bedrooms."  These are the search parameters provided you.  What parameters appear on any website is in part determined by local MLS rules. 

    Additionally, most Real Estate brokerages tap into the local Multiple Listing Service to pull listings to upload into their websites for your home searching pleasure.   The brokerage will filter out certain search parameters and allow you, the consumer, to see only those that THEY think you need or want.  THEY are determining what you should see and not see.  You don't really have a choice.

    You may have heard the term, IDX, which stands for Internet Data Exchange, also referred to as "Broker Reciprocity."   IDX gives MLS Participants the tool they need to display each other's listings on their Web sites. Under the IDX policy, brokers exchange consent to display each other's listings on the Internet. Thus, the consumer is limited to what the listing broker wants you to see.  Just know...not every bit of listing information is available to the general public.

    As a busy agent working for these brokerages, it can often be frustrating because I usually never have a say in what search parameters go into the search on my company website.   Quite often, it's the IT folks and non-selling agents in the brokerage's corporate office making the decisions about what should, and should not, be included in the search parameters that consumers see.

    So then you hire an agent to run a search for you on the MLS to send home listings to you via email, but you can only view the listing information - that's it.  You have no access to edit the list to get you what you REALLY want.   Nice of your agent to do that for you...but not that useful... really.

    Okay…so what is the answer for you, the consumer?  Well, it's finding  a search website that gives YOU the control to adjust your search parameters so you see EXACTLY the homes that you want to see... not what I (the agent) thinks you want to see.

    The FLEX MLS is the local website used by all licensed realtors in Maricopa County (who have paid their local Association dues).   Until recently, this site was not available for consumers use to edit, search and save homes.  Here's the fun part...Now it is!

    It's a little known fact that you have the ability to use the same site that licensed Realtors use to edit your search, save homes, view tax info, home photos and virtual tours, aerial photos, maps, driving directions, and schedule showings   Yes, it's the SAME EXACT SITE I use to search for my clients!    This site is like nothing else out there you have ever used.  Most real estate agents don't give their clients access like this either.   Why not?  Because they are afraid you won't need them?  Maybe it's because they have to pay for it?  

    I think it's an incredible tool, however, and I have found my clients respect my decision to provide this powerful tool to my clients.   Mostly because it gives my clients control over their search options because the search can be customized to fit exactly their needs so they can search at any time they like and get exactly the homes they want.  When they are ready to view homes... they call me and we are on our way!

    Let me give you some examples of the power of using the public version of the FLEX MLS.  Let's say you only want a list of fix up foreclosures in Scottsdale?  No problem… you got it!    Need a home with Handicap access?    That search parameter is available for you.  Looking for a lake front lot with mountain views in a golf course community, satellite dish, with a master bedroom downstairs and a guest casita?  It's a done deal... the search parameters are all available for you, among many others that are currently available only to realtors.   This search can be totally personalized for your needs. 

    In the link below, I have set up set of search parameters that meet most property search wants and needs throughout the entire Phoenix Metro area.   Test it out.  Click on the link and edit your search for your City, your price range and more.   Don't see what you are looking for?  No worries...the search can be personalized to fit your needs. 

    Oh... by the way...there is no obligation here and no fees involved for you, the consumer.   

    Here is the link to get your home search started.  Send it to your friends and family too: 


    Remember..your home search should be fun and without frustration.  Be sure to let me know if you need your search customized further.  Enjoy!

    Note: Patti Anderson is a top producing Real Estate Broker specializing in residential property sales.  She is a certified in Shortsale and Forclosure sales (SFR) by the National Association of Realtors, and has extensive experience training Realtors in residential sales and marketing.  For more information please contact Patti about this Blog or the FLEX MLS IDX at 602-818-1667 - azagent.anderson@gmail.com. 

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