How do I know if I'm seeing all the available homes for sale where I am looking?

Talk to your agent. If they are part of a Multiple Listing Service that covers the geographic area you’re looking to buy in, then you can be sure you’re seeing every home for sale. If your agent is not a member of the Multiple Listing Service that covers the region you’re looking in, you need to find an agent who is. Your agent may be able to help with that referral.

What's the difference between the listings I see on real estate search apps and websites and the listings my agent sends me?

Properties that your agent shares with you are most likely coming from a Multiple Listing Service, which means their details and status are usually much more accurate than other search sites, which often pull data from all sorts of sources across the internet.

How do I know that the prices I'm seeing are accurate?

If the price is coming from a Multiple Listing Service, the price is accurate. The rules are that any data displayed online needs to be attributed to the source (aka the Multiple Listing Service) that it is coming from. If you don’t see a data source attribution on a listing, it might not be accurate.

How do I know if the amenities listed are accurate?

Again, look for the Multiple Listing Service attribution on the data you’re getting. If it’s not attributed, it may not have come from a Multiple Listing Service. You can count on Multiple Listing Service data to be the most accurate out there because it’s regulated by a set of industry-accepted standards, controlled by the Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO).

How do I get access to the Multiple Listing Service?

Only real estate agents can get direct access to the Multiple Listing Service — so that sensitive and private information (things like front door codes, lock box combinations, and times of day when the home is vacant) stays in the hands of professionals. In some markets, a Multiple Listing Service may maintain a website buyers can access too.

But I really, really want to get In The KnowTMtoo...

Talk to your local or state Board of REALTORS® to find out how to take the real estate exam in your state.