What is an MLS Realtor?

What is an MLS Realtor?

It’s time to tackle another one of those frequently heard real estate questions: what is an MLS Realtor? MLS stands for Multiple Listing Services, and basically it’s technology that enables real estate brokers to share property information with other brokers locally and across the country. Sellers benefit from increased exposure, while buyers benefit because they can obtain information on multiple properties while working with just one broker. 

Interestingly, the MLS is not just one large database. In reality, it’s made up of hundreds of regional databases. It’s pretty high-tech.

And let’s face it, the days of just sticking a for sale sign into the front lawn and hoping for a potential buyer to drive by are long gone. A Realtor who uses Multiple Listing Services (also known as an MLS Realtor) is a Realtor who is comfortable using the latest technology to greatly improve the odds of completing a transaction for their client. Home sellers can’t post directly to the MLS as access is limited to licensed real estate agents and brokers who pay for MLS membership.

What is an MLS Realtor and what they can do for you 

How has technology such as MLS changed the real estate marketplace? While the following statistics date back to 2007, they still make an important point. 

  • According to the Realtor Technology Survey, two-thirds of all Realtors have websites.
  • Realtors report that their listings are displayed on multiple of websites, including Realtor.com, the Realtor’s own site, the local Realtor association’s website, the local newspaper’s real estate website and countless other sites such as Yahoo, Google, Craigslist, Zillow and Trulia.
  • More than half of recent buyers used MLS websites to aid their real estate search.

Despite the increase in real estate technology usage, there is still some data that is not publicly accessible, and for good reason. This would include information that could endanger the seller’s privacy or safety, such as personal contact information and times the home is vacant for showings.

Whether you’re looking to sell or buy a home, you will without a doubt benefit from Multiple Listing Services. But if you’re technology shy, don’t worry. Now that you know what an MLS Realtor is, you can find one that you’re comfortable working with and let them do the work for you!

At the Olear Team, our agents proudly use this kind of cutting-edge technology, while still offering personalized, old-fashioned customer service. Contact us at 716-880-4442 or [email protected] to find out how we can help you.  

How well do you know the role of executor?

While some of us have gone through it and understand the role of executor, those of us who have not may be wondering what the job entails. Here are some basic bullet points of information about the role of executor to help put things into perspective.

The role of executor

  • In a nutshell, an executor is the individual identified in a will to carry out the final wishes of a deceased friend or family member. The executor has no duties before a death has occurred.
  • The executor typically files the will in probate court; locates, inventories and protects the assets of the estate; notifies the beneficiaries and pays any debts left by the estate, including taxes.
  • The executor will also use funds from the estate to pay for funeral and burial expenses.
  • It is also up to the executor to distribute the deceased’s property to the beneficiaries, once all debts have been paid and with the approval of the court.
  • An executor will set up a bank account for the estate to deposit incoming funds and pay outstanding bills.
  • The role of executor will include multiple day-to-day details — such as terminating leases and credit cards and notifying banks and other agencies of the death — until the entire estate has been liquidated.

Assistance is available

As executor, it is your fiduciary duty to act in good faith and complete honesty on behalf of the deceased individual. While it’s a large and serious undertaking, there is help available to guide you through the entire process. Estate attorneys, estate liquidation experts and experienced Realtors can all be of assistance. Please don’t hesitate to ask for help if you’re feeling overwhelmed or encounter any questions or concerns along the way.

While the role of executor is a lot of work, you should wear the executor label like a badge of honor. After all, you are fulfilling the final wishes for an individual who is no longer with us.

If you find yourself in the role of executor and need help with preparing a house for sale, please reach out to us at 716-880-4442 or [email protected].

Searching for the best: The first time home buyer Realtor

Searching for the best: The first time home buyer Realtor

If you’re a first time home buyer, there are many things going through your head right now. Atop that list might be: how does a first time home buyer select a Realtor?

Good question! We’ve compiled a list of things to look for — and avoid — when searching for a Realtor or real estate agent to represent you. 

Finding the ideal first time home buyer Realtor

  • Find someone who knows your neighborhood and is willing to work hard to earn your trust and your business. A good Realtor will respond quickly, offer suggestions and assist you through the entire process.
  • When we say the Realtor should know your neighborhood, this includes everything from market trends and comparable listing prices to the location of the nearest schools, restaurants, hospitals, etc.
  • Do your research. Ask family and friends about their experiences as first time home buyers. And, go online to read reviews left behind by clients — both satisfied and unsatisfied. We shop online for everything these days. Why should shopping for a Realtor be any different?
  • We love this quote that we came across in a recent article: “According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 52 percent of first time buyers found their Realtor through a friend — and two-thirds contacted only one agent before moving forward. That’s kind of like having your friends set you up on a blind date, then marrying that person by Date No. 2. After all, how can you be sure you made the right choice without looking around? Simple: You can’t.”
  • Don’t be afraid to do a little hard work. Doing your homework (research) will pay off in the long run as an experienced Realtor can not only offer assistance but also knows the secrets to saving you money.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions throughout the entire home-buying process. This is no time to act shy. Be a bulldog!
Questions to ask a Realtor
  • How long have you been in real estate? 
  • Do you live in this area?
  • Do you work alone or do you have a support team? 
  • When are you available during the day? 
  • Do you have any upcoming personal or business plans that will require your undivided attention?
  • How much home can I realistically afford while still being able to enjoy life?
It’s no secret that buying a home requires a lot of work, time and money. So make sure you select the right Realtor — one that you feel comfortable working with on a daily basis. The results of a good professional partnership are truly worth their weight in gold!

Real Estate Experts to Present Informational Seminar at the Fairways at Lancaster

Anne Kader and Sally Bally Conover, licensed real estate brokers and members of the Olear Team at MJ Peterson, will present an informational seminar at the Fairways at Lancaster on Thursday, August 17 from 6 pm – 7 pm. The Fairways is a luxury living community for active adults 55+, and is located at 5352 Genesee Street, Bowmansville.

The seminar will focus on the basics of right-sizing and simplifying a living situation, and will feature a Q&A and no-obligation tour of the Fairways community. Refreshments will be served. To register, please call Rae Ann at 716-393-3571. To learn more about the Olear Team, visit www.olear.wpengine.com.

What does it mean to be executor of an estate?

We’re often asked: What does it mean to be executor of an estate? Well, to be honest, it can be kind of complicated. For example, laws governing executors vary from state to state, and no two estates are ever the same. Some are very small and are settled with little trouble. Others contain multiple properties, many assets and, as a result, more complications.

Responsibilities of the executor

  • File the will in probate court. But before you do, be sure to read the will so that you understand the wishes of the deceased individual, such as specifics about who will receive what.
  • Set up a bank account for the estate. You’ll need to continue to pay bills such as the mortgage, utilities and taxes until the estate is settled.
  • Notify those who need to know. This list would include banks, government agencies, credit card companies, beneficiaries named in the will, etc.
  • Make an inventory of property and submit it to the surrogate court. Photograph or videotape as much as possible. Don’t forget smaller items such as jewelry and collectibles.
  • Find important papers. Locate up-to-date documents about the house’s mortgage and tax bills, and ensure that they are in good standing.
  • Secure the property. This includes the house or apartment and everything in it. Changing the locks, installing automatic light timers and notifying the local police department that the house is vacant are all recommended practices.
  • Pay off debts. Bills and taxes need to be paid until the estate is settled. 
  • Distribute the assets of the estate. Once all creditors have been satisfied, the assets of the estate can be distributed according to the instructions outlined in the will.
Here are some other important pieces of information to keep in mind:
  • As executor, you can use money from the estate to hire professionals — such as an experienced Realtor, a tax attorney or an estate liquidator — to help you settle the estate.
  • An executor has no personal liability for a decedent’s bills, meaning the executor cannot be sued by a creditor if the estate is short on funds to cover outstanding debts.
  • However, an executor can be sued by beneficiaries named in the will if he or she mismanages the estate or commits fraud. 
  • Remember that an executor is considered a fiduciary, meaning he or she is held to a high standard in regard to handling the estate’s financial matters.

So, what does it mean to be executor of an estate?

It means that you may have a long road ahead of you, but you should take pride in knowing that you are doing the very last special favor for a dear friend or loved one.