What’s the MLS in Bakersfield Real Estate?

A multiple listing service, or MLS, is a database of properties for sale that is maintained by real estate professionals. The Bakersfield MLS is an essential tool for the local real estate industry, providing access all residential properties and comprehensive information about the sale of those properties.

By definition, the MLS helps facilitate the buying and selling process by allowing Realtors® to share information and track the progress of property sales.

The data in Bakersfield’s Golden Empire MLS is maintained by the Bakersfield Association of Realtors® but the platform is owned by the Rappatoni Corporation, a family owned MLS software company.

Let’s take a closer look at how the Bakersfield MLS works and the benefits it provides for both buyers and sellers.

A Brief History of the MLS

The multiple listing service, or MLS, has a long history dating back to the early 20th century. The first MLS was created in the United States in the late 1800s by a group of real estate professionals in the Chicago area. The goal of this early MLS was to share information about properties for sale among agents so that they could better serve their clients.

The concept of the MLS quickly spread to other parts of the country and by the 1920s, most major cities in the United States had an MLS. The use of the MLS was not widespread until the 1960s when computer technology made it possible to create a centralized database of property listings.

In the 1970s, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) began to standardize the MLS, creating a set of rules and guidelines that all MLSs had to follow. This helped to ensure that all MLSs provided accurate and consistent information to agents.

In the 1980s, the use of the MLS began to expand beyond the real estate industry. Banks and mortgage companies began to use the MLS to help them make loan decisions. Appraisers also began to use the MLS to help them determine the value of properties.

How the Bakersfield MLS Works

Properties are listed on the MLS by Bakersfield real estate agents, who provide detailed information about each property, including the asking price, photos, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, square footage, lot size, HOA fees, and any special features or amenities. The MLS also includes information about the property’s location, including the neighborhood, school district, and nearby amenities.

Real estate agents use the MLS to list properties for sale or rent on behalf of their clients. When an agent lists a property on the MLS, it becomes visible to all other agents who are members of the service in that particular area. Any agent who has access to the MLS will be able to search for all listings that meet their client’s criteria. 

Using an MLS helps protect both buyers and sellers from fraud or misrepresentation since all transactions must go through licensed real estate professionals who are familiar with local laws and regulations regarding buying and selling property. This ensures that the process is conducted in a safe, secure, and transparent manner.

Agents also use the MLS for valuation and pricing purposes. They may look up sales prices from comparable homes to determine how much a particular house should be worth given its features and condition. This ensures that buyers don’t offer too much and sellers don’t overprice their homes.

Who Can Access The Bakersfield MLS?

To access the Bakersfield MLS, agents and other real estate professionals must be a member of the Bakersfield Association of Realtors®. The association provides Realtors with access to the MLS and also enforces the rules and guidelines that govern the use of the MLS. This helps to ensure that the MLS provides accurate and consistent information to all real estate agents.

Although home buyers and sellers do not have direct access to the MLS, they are accessing the system in a second-hand fashion when using any online website to search for homes for sale. Most Realtor websites are linked directly to the local MLS. Other websites like Redfin, Zillow, and Trulia use MLS data and public records to display property information, although the data can be delayed.

Generally speaking, there are no hard rules governing the usage of an MLS but rather guidelines set forth by each individual service provider. These guidelines outline acceptable practices such as respecting copyrights associated with images posted within listings. Additionally, some services require membership fees. 

Are All Homes For Sale Listed on the MLS?

No, not all homes are listed on an Bakersfield MLS. There are properties that are sold by real estate agents without making the information publicly available. Those properties are called “pocket listings” and are typically marketed discretely through an agent’s network of buyers and other agents.

Also, homes that are “for sale by owner” (FSBO) will not typically be listed on your local MLS, since an agent must list a home to gain access. However, there are listing services that will list a home on the MLS for a fee.

Search the Bakersfield MLS

Benefits of an MLS to Buyers

Information is power!  For buyers, real estate agents can easily compare prices among comparable homes and among different neighborhoods to ensure that they’re getting the best deal possible for their clients. 

Just as important, agents can quickly search through listings to find homes that match their clients’ criteria, saving enormous time and effort. The MLS further provides comprehensive information about each prospective property.  See an example list of information below:  

  • Listing Price
  • Status
  • Address
  • Bedrooms
  • Bathrooms
  • Square Feet
  • Lot Size
  • Lot Depth
  • Year Built
  • Agent
  • Co-Agent
  • Broker Office
  • Property Type
  • Plan
  • Space Fee
  • Status
  • Agreement Type
  • Area
  • Commission
  • Zoning
  • County
  • Cross Street
  • Census Tract
  • Listing Date
  • On Market Date
  • Original Price
  • Occupant Type
  • Phone To Show
  • Showing Instructions
  • Stories
  • Agent Remarks
  • Elementary School
  • Jr. High School
  • Sr. High School
  • City Limits
  • Fireplace
  • RV Parking
  • RV Size
  • Solar Setup
  • Pool Type
  • Salt Water Pool
  • Parking
  • Deposit Required
  • Interior Features
  • Equipment
  • Heat & Cool
  • Utilities
  • Exterior
  • Roof
  • Foundation
  • Patio
  • Site Amenities
  • New Construction
  • Financing
  • Occupancy
  • Disclosures
  • HOA Fee
  • Sprinklers
  • Total Tax Assessment
  • Assessment Year
  • Land Assessment
  • Improved Assessment

Benefits of an MLS to Sellers

Simply put, the MLS increases competition among buyers. Via the MLS, sellers increase the exposure of their properties to the largest possible pool of potential buyers. This can lead to more offers and faster sales.

MLSs promulgate property information to online property search websites, so all the common real estate websites gather that data and further promote available listings. This is a massive improvement over individually posting each listing online and submitting information to newspapers or magazines. Just one click, and your listing is live to the world!

What Areas Does The Bakersfield MLS Cover?

The Bakersfield MLS covers the incorporated and unincorporated parts of Bakersfield, as well as all Kern County cities in the San Joaquin Valley. Kern County cities in the mountains and desert are covered by other MLSs, although there is some overlap.

The geographical area covered by an MLS is typically defined by the local real estate board or association that maintains the database. The area can be as small as a single city or county, or as large as multiple states or even a region of the country.

The area covered by an MLS is usually determined by the size of the real estate market and the number of agents in the area. Smaller markets may only have one MLS, while larger markets may have multiple MLSs that cover different areas. For example, in a smaller market, one MLS might cover the entire city, while in a larger market, there might be an MLS for different areas within a city.

Some MLSs also have reciprocal agreements with other MLSs in different areas, allowing agents to access properties listed in other areas through their own MLS. This helps expand the MLS’s reach and enables agents to better serve clients looking to buy or sell properties in multiple locations.

What Are the Rules for Using an MLS?

When it comes to using an MLS, there are certain rules that must be followed. Real estate agents must be members of a local board or association in order to access the system. This ensures that only licensed professionals have access to the information contained within the MLS. Additionally, listings should include all relevant information about a property and should be presented accurately and honestly.

In terms of presentation, photos should clearly show what is being offered for sale and descriptions should provide accurate details about each listing. Furthermore, any changes made to a listing after it has been posted on the MLS must also be reported promptly.

It’s also worth paraphrasing that according to the California Civil Code, a listing may not be placed in an MLS unless authorized by the owner of the property. Agents shall be responsible for the veracity of all information in their MLS listings, of which the agents had knowledge or reasonably should have had knowledge. A real estate agent who places false information in the MLS about a listed property can be held liable for resulting damages to a buyer. See the California Civil Code for more information.

Quick Statistics

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), there are consistently over 1 million active real estate professionals in the United States and over 99% of all home sales are handled by members of the National Association of Realtors. The NAR also reports that more than 90% of home buyers search for their homes online. This highlights the importance of the MLS in the real estate industry as it serves as a primary source of data for online property search platforms and real estate agents. Additionally, according to the NAR, homes sold by real estate agents sell for a median of 16% more than those sold by individuals. This is another indicator of the benefit of using an agent with access to the MLS.

Wrap It Up

The Bakersfield multiple listing service (MLS) is a vital tool for the Bakersfield real estate industry. It provides access to a wide range of properties and detailed information about those properties, making it an essential resource for both buyers and sellers. The MLS also facilitates the buying and selling process by allowing Realtors to share information and track the progress of property sales. In today’s digital age, the MLS is more accessible than ever, making it a valuable asset for anyone involved in the real estate industry.

Are you looking to buy or sell a home but don’t know where to start? Are you trying to find the best deal on your dream property, or determine what your current home is worth? 

Property Wonk can help! 

Search home listings coming directly from the Bakersfield MLS.