You have probably heard of CarFax, the historical report you can get on a car?
Now there is HouseFax:
Warning – if you sign up for the free report, they will pepper your cell phone with solicitations.
The last bastion of protected real estate information is the tax rolls. They are included on the MLS, but only realtors or appraisers can join that club.
Now for only $19, the public can see everything realtors see, and more – property descriptions, building permits, mortgage history, insurance claims, natural hazards – even cell-phone reception!
The $19 cost is probably the right amount – the public will only spend the money on homes that really interest them, without it being exorbitant. But it does break down the only remaining barrier of protected information.
If a company like Housefax can devise a realtor-access package for a reasonable amount, it would just about make the MLS extinct.
Kayla has already found that using Zillow is much more effective than the MLS. The Zillow mobile app is far superior; it shows recent sales nearby, the assigned schools, and an estimate of value – the MLS doesn’t include any of those.
With more agents uploading their listings to Zillow a few days before MLS input, it has become the go-to source. Zillow is also making portals like Realtor.com and Redfin extinct too, because those rely on MLS data only.
With the tax rolls out in the open, we don’t need the MLS – at least not the old clunky MLS we have now. But you sure don’t hear about any upgrading being planned to bring the MLS into the modern era!