Real Estate Terms Decoded, MLS

Over the next few weeks I’m going to decode several common real estate terms including; GFE (Good Faith Estimate), Pre-Approval, CMA’s, MLS, and agent. Today I’m starting with the MLS. Realtors throw those three letters around and assume that everyone knows what we’re talking about.
MLSMLS is an acronym for Multiple Listing Service which is basically a system for brokerages to publish listings and offer compensation (commission) to other cooperating Realtors that are members of the local board of Realtors. In other words, it’s how we shout out to the real estate community, “Hey you guys, I have a new listing! Bring your buyers! My company promises you’ll get paid if your client buys it!” The MLS database contains the proprietary listing information that is used by Realtors and made available to the public via the internet as a courtesy.
When you are touring homes with a Realtor, they may provide you a MLS detail sheet on listings you are interested in. This sheet contains a lot of information about the property from the database that had been inputed by the listing Realtor. Many of the headings on the sheet are abbreviated or are real estate terms that you might not be familiar with. This glossary of MLS terms should make it a little easier to navigate. 
  • MLS (Multiple Listing Service) number: this is the identifying number we as Realtors use to quickly access specific listing information. Pro Tip, MLS numbers are 6 digits and in numerical order. At this time we are quickly approaching 600000. So if you see an MLS number on a different site (like Zillow) that’s really low, it’s a clue that it’s likely out of date information.
  • Status: this is the listing status.  It may say active (available), pending (under contract), closed (sold), expired (the listing has expired), or temporarily off market
  • LP: current list price
  • Assess Account #: County assessor’s account number for the property
  • CP: closed (sold) price
  • Address
  • Addition: the subdivision name according to tax assessor records
  • Community: some areas in the metro are known by names that are not the actual name of the subdivision or extend beyond the actual subdivision. For example, Bricktown, Crown Heights, Mesta Park, Edgemere, and Heritage Hills.
  • LP/SF: list price per square foot
  • CP/SF: closed price per square foot
  • Quad #: a way MLS maps properties
  • Block: block number, part of the property’s legal description
  • Lot: lot number part of the property’s legal description
  • Area: the MLS is divided into areas.  Prior to geo-mapping this was a number was frequently used by Realtors creating a specific search.
  • Type: type of property (single family home, condo, duplex, tri-plex, vacant land, commercial)
  • Acres: how many acres are the home attached to.  Unfortunatley, homes with less than an acre do not always have this field entered which makes searching for a home with half an acre challenging
  • Map: a field that aids Realtors with searching the system
  • Land SqFt/Dim: the dimensions of the lot the house sits on according to tax assessor records or appraisal
  • Sect: Section, part of the legal description for the property
  • Twnshp: Township, part of the legal description for the property
  • Range: Range, part of the legal description for the property
  • Directions: driving directions to the property provided by the listing Realtor
  • Beds: number of bedrooms
  • SF MOL: square footage of the home, more or less
  • Heat: source of heat for home
  • Res Items: If the seller has reserved any items considered a fixture like curtains or light fixtures you will see a Y
  • Baths: number of bathrooms, the first number is how many full bathrooms there are the second number is how many half bathrooms there are.
  • Year built: the year the home was built followed by a description (existing, new construction)
  • Cool: source of home’s cooling
  • Disclosure: Y or N if the seller has completed a Residentail Property Disclosure Statement.  May say exempt in the case of new construction or bank owned properties.
  • Style: the architectural style of the home
  • Builder Name: the name of the builder if known. Often blank on re-sale homes.
  • FP: the number and type of fire places in the home
  • Inlaw Plan: Y or N if the floor plan is an inlaw plan (a 4th bedroom with a 3rd full bathroom seperate from the other bedrooms, often off the kitchen)
  • Living: the number of living areas the home has, this may include an office
  • Level: the number of levels the house has (one and one half, means the upstairs is just a bonus room)
  • Foundation: the type of foundation the home has, usually slab or conventional (it has a crawl space)
  • Handicap: Y or N if the home is considered handicap accessable
  • Dining: the number of dining areas the home has
  • Const: Construction, the materials used for the home; brick, brick and frame, manufactured
  • Fence: the materials used for the fence; wood, chain link
  • Flood Ins: Y or N if the home requires flood insurance
  • Lot Desc: Lot Description, describes the lot; wooded, interior, cul-de-sac, waterfront
  • Pool: Y or N if there is a pool followed by a description of pool type; concrete, above ground, vinyl lined, fiberglass
  • Tot Rms: Total Rooms, the number of rooms in the home
  • Roof Ty/Yr: Roof Type/Roof Year, the type of shingle material used on the roof; composition, wood shake and the year it was installed. Roof year may be blank if the seller does not know.
  • Livestock: Y or N if livestock is permitted on the property
  • Poss: Possesion, when the seller will relinquish possesion of the house. Usually at funding of the mortgage.
  • Warranty: Y or N followed by type if the seller has a home warranty in place
  • Garage: the number of spaces in the garage followed by the garage type; attached, detached, carport, converted
  • HOA/Inc: Y or N if there is a mandatory home owners association followed by what is included
  • HOA fee/period: The amount of HOA dues followed by how often that is paid
  • Qualify: Special loan qualifications exist (often D for does not apply)
  • HSE: Homestead Exemption, indicates if the seller has filed the property as their Homestead
  • Tax: Annual property tax at last assessment
  • Property Faces: direction the home faces
  • Remarks: Remarks and description provided by the listing Realtor
  • School Information (to be verified by buyer)
  • Additional room and appliance information. If dimensions are provided they are to be verified by buyer.

I hope this list helps demystify some of the information included on a MLS property detail sheet.

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