It may come as a surprise to you, but there are over 100 real estate boards in Canada and they all have their own MLS Systems.
What won't surprise you is that the vast majority of home sales are completed with 2 agents involved through our local MLS Systems – somewhere near 98%. So how do real estate agents see listings for sale? They look at their own MLS System. As a Calgary real esate broker, I only have access to see the listing details of the homes listed for sale on the CALGARY MLS System. I don't have access to see the details on the listings from the other 10 MLS Systems in Alberta (let alone other systems from other provinces). Yes, I can sell homes and represent buyers and sellers of homes anywhere within Alberta, but at the moment we only see local listings.
So, how does that affect you?
Well – here is an example: I used my website to look for listings in Calgary and there are over 7,000 listings for sale (yep, no surprise there). Then, I looked for listings in Edmonton, Red Deer and Medicine Hat. The results: 6 in Edmonton, 8 in Red Deer and 2 in Medicine Hat. Okay, so what this means is that a few Calgary real estate agents have taken listings for sale and are advertising them to other CALGARY real estate agents on the CALGARY MLS System. Not a problem. However, what I expect to see is that there will be duplicate listings on the real estate aggregator website: Realtor.ca. I.E. I expect to see TWO listings for each of those properties there: One being the Calgary listing, and a second one being for their LOCAL real estate board. That way, the Medicine Hat agents will market the two additional Medicine Hat listings and the Edmonton agents will be able to market the 6 additional Edmonton listings.
You guessed it – nope, nadda, zilch, zippo duplicate listings. So the home listings are not being exposed to agents within their own town/city. So, with the VAST MAJORITY of real estate being completed through our MLS Systems, how on earth are these local agents expecting to find buyers for these home sellers? Perhaps they are doing what is expected of them, but I dont' think they are exposing the homes to the widest market possible. They may have a sign in the lawn, and a listing on Realtor.ca, but only one agent is really marketing the home for sale and not many more than one agent that even knows it is for sale.
So, if you wish to actually SELL your home (instead of just listing it for sale), make sure it is listed for sale on your LOCAL MLS System. Yes, you can still list it with an agent from a different area of the province, they just need to get it on YOUR local System and not necessarily theirs!
Of course, I expect that there are an equal number of Calgary area homes for sale that don't appear on our local Calgary MLS System. I have shown a handful of these forgotten homes over the years.
Where this situation is of significant importance is in the fringe areas like Innisfail, Didsbury or Gleniffer Lake areas. For those, you probably always want to be listed for sale on the TWO adjacent real estate boards.
Any questions, don't hesitate to give me a call, text or email.