One of the biggest hurdles in real estate investing is finding a property. Should Gulf Coast investors look at the Texas MLS listings for investment properties?
Table of Contents
- What Are MLS Listings?
- Is MLS the Same As Zillow?
- Does Texas Have an MLS?
- What Are the Alternatives for Texas MLS Listings?
- How Mashvisor Can Help Investors Find or Sell Investment Properties Without an Agent
In this article, we will look at how the MLS can be useful when locating investment properties in real estate investing. Then, we will look at alternative platforms that also can be beneficial for finding properties.
What Are MLS Listings?
Before we can determine if investors should use Texas MLS listings, we need to look at exactly what that is. The MLS, or Multiple Listing Service, is a comprehensive real estate database created by brokers and agents. The site aims to inform its users about properties for sale in a given area.
MLS is especially a useful tool for brokers as they can use the site to see available listings from other brokers. The platform makes it easy for them to connect their clients to other brokers’ homes with the goal of selling properties. Both parties then benefit from using the MLS.
Though it is an online database, the site is sometimes distributed in printed copies. It may be best, though, to stick with the online version, which includes the most up-to-date listing information. Brokers can update the MLS whenever they want to ensure it contains recent data.
How Does the MLS Work?
Though the MLS was originally created for agents, it has grown to be used by others throughout the years. The MLS was made so agents could find listings outside of their brokerages and discuss real estate opportunities with other agents. As the platform took off, agents from all states began using the site and uploading their available listings.
Overall, the site works from agents or brokers continuously updating the database with available listings. It makes accessing the platform easy for other agents looking to find properties for their clients. Together, the agents work to get the properties sold.
The MLS also works for rentals, which can include homes for rent or any style of property. Though rental locations are available, it may be hard for independent investors to get their properties on the site. It is because only real estate agents can access and edit the database. So, if you are not an agent or broker yourself, you will need to find someone who is to get your property uploaded.
In order to access the site, there are fees agents must pay. Though they need to pay a fee to use the site, it is with the intention of hopefully selling properties or finding available listings for their clients to purchase. There are certain rules regarding the information needed to complete listings on the site, as well as procedures on how to go about contacting other agents for listings.
Any type of property can be listed on the MLS. In terms of the Texas MLS listings, you can find properties for sale and for rent. There are available townhomes for rent and other property types, such as a duplex for sale. Across the state, Houston TX is one of the cities with the most available properties on the Texas MLS listings.
Related: Investing in a Duplex for Sale in Houston, TX: A Complete Guide
Is MLS the Same as Zillow?
Though the MLS and Zillow share the same goal, selling properties or finding people to rent out listings, the two platforms are actually quite different. The main difference is who can use the sites. As mentioned before, the MLS is only available to real estate agents and brokers. It means independent investors would need to know someone in the business to both access the database and get their listings posted.
While the MLS is more exclusive, Zillow is available to anyone. Both the public and real estate agents can access Zillow anytime. Accessing Zillow is free, while the MLS charges a fee just to use the database. Zillow does take a commission once a property is sold or rented from the site, though.
Another difference between the two, in terms of real estate agent access, is that it is a violation of the MLS to ask other agents to list with you. You cannot, under any circumstances, call other agents through the MLS to ask to join a listing. It would break the guidelines and would possibly merit a ban from using the website in the future. Users must strictly follow the said guidelines when accessing the MLS.
On Zillow, there are not really any rules for agents. It is a frequent occurrence for agents to call one another and ask to join their listing on Zillow. It makes Zillow a popular site for both the public and agents.
The last main difference between the two is the amount of information available about the properties. On average, the MLS includes about 250 fields of information available on each listing, while Zillow offers around 80 fields. It means you will know a property’s extensive history when found through the MLS compared to Zillow. The only downside is that only agents and brokers can access all of the information posted.
Does Texas Have an MLS?
Like most states in the US, Texas does has an MLS available for the state and the cities within. The Texas MLS listings have properties available for sale and rent. Just like in any state, though, it is important to remember that only real estate agents and brokers have access to MLS listings Texas.
The Texas MLS listings can be an excellent place to find an investment property. If you are a seasoned investor, it is likely you know someone with access to the MLS who can show you listings that might interest you. Though, if you are beginning your investment journey, you may not have anyone to ask to access the Texas MLS listings. For this reason, we will recommend some alternatives to finding profitable investment properties.
What Are the Alternatives for Texas MLS Listings?
As discussed above, the MLS can be quite difficult to access. If you are not a real estate agent yourself or do not have many contacts in the real estate industry, it is likely you will not get to use the Texas MLS listings. If you are looking for a different way to find available properties, we suggest checking out Mashvisor.
Mashvisor is a real estate investing platform created for all kinds of investors. Whether you are an experienced investor looking to expand your portfolio or someone looking to begin your journey, Mashvisor offers services for everyone.
Mashvisor’s data comes from trustworthy platforms like Airbnb and the MLS itself. The data’s reliability makes Mashvisor an excellent alternative for people who want to access the MLS data but are not agents or brokers. The data is run through our algorithms to show our users the most up-to-date and accurate real estate information. It helps to find the most profitable investment properties.
We offer many tools and services for all stages of real estate investing. Whether it’s finding investment houses for rent or calculating investment data, Mashvisor has the tools for you.
Related: The #1 Real Estate Investment Calculator in 2022
How Mashvisor Can Help Investors Find or Sell Investment Properties Without an Agent
You do not need a real estate agent when using the Mashvisor platform. We make it easy for all kinds of investors to access our tools and services. We offer plenty of ways to find the best investment properties in Texas without using the MLS. Below are our most popular tools:
The best place to buy rental property without an agent is our Property Finder tool. If you are looking to purchase any kind of investment property in Texas, our property search engine will make it easy to find listings that fit your wants and needs.
Rather than spending hours searching through newspapers or different websites for available listings, we use data from the most popular platforms like Airbnb and the MLS to show you the most profitable locations all in one place.
To find properties that fit all of your wants and needs, we offer search engines to filter through these listings. This makes it quick and easy to your perfect location. Below are some of the filters we offer:
- Rental strategy (Airbnb vs Traditional)
- Location (You can search multiple locations at once)
- Type of property
- Number of bedrooms
- Number of bathrooms
Real Estate Heatmap
If you are searching for a location for an investment property, we recommend using our Real Estate Heatmap. The heatmap tool is great for both finding profitable states, as well as successful neighborhoods in every state. If you are looking in Texas for a profitable neighborhood, use our heatmap tool.
To determine what locations will be profitable, we focus on real estate metrics. The best way to see how successful any location or property can be in investing is to look at the data. Our neighborhood analysis takes into consideration median property price, rental income, cash on cash return, as well as occupancy rate to conclude how successful a location can be.
The real estate heatmap is the best way for investors to find profitable up-and-coming neighborhoods.
Investment Property Calculator
After finding a profitable location and property, we recommend using our Investment Property Calculator to check how your property will perform. It is always a smart idea to evaluate your specific property and how it is expected to perform before purchasing it. It is because there are several factors that can change how successful it can be.
For example, even if all of the data looks good for a certain location, certain types of properties may not perform well in the said location. It can mean an Airbnb rental may be successful somewhere, but a traditional rental may make you lose money in the same place.
Our rental property calculator lets you use your own numbers to run our data calculations. First, we show you pre-calculated real estate data costs that will help finetune your budget. We offer interest rates, property tax, and maintenance costs.
Next, we provide a comprehensive rental strategy comparison. It means we show you how your property would perform as an Airbnb vs a traditional rental. We rely on metrics to compare the two to show you how each would perform. Below are some data that we offer:
- Cap rate
- Cash on cash return
- Rental income
- Cash flow
- Occupancy rate
They all help to ensure you generate a high return on investment.
Related: What Is a Good Cash on Cash Return?
If you are looking for even more available listings for investment opportunities, visit Mashvisor’s Property Marketplace. The tool offers off-market properties not listed in the MLS, such as foreclosures or Tennent-occupied listings.
You do not need an agent to use our marketplace. Anyone can access Mashvisor’s wide range of available listings by themselves. You can search through properties by location to find ones near you. Mashvisor is an excellent alternative to the MLS because it offers more types of properties than are available in the latter.
The MLS, also referred to as the Multiple Listing Service, is a database that offers available properties in any area of the US. The said platform is only accessible to real estate agents or brokers, so if you are an investor without an agent license, the site is basically useless to you. Only if you have a connection with a real estate agent will you be able to access the available Texas MLS listings.
The MLS differs from Zillow in that the latter is available to the public. Zillow also does not take fees until a property is sold from the platform.
An excellent alternative to the MLS is Mashvisor, as we make our services available to anyone, not just real estate agents. We offer all different kinds of tools and services for any stage of your investment journey. We make it easy to find properties without the Texas MLS listings.
To get access to our real estate investment tools, click here to sign up for a 7-day free trial of Mashvisor today, followed by 15% off for life.