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If You Are Relying on MLS Data, You Are Not Seeing All Property Sales

By July 23, 2019No Comments

When you are researching property and land opportunities, the data that you look at is critical — and, of course, the data source.

There is one data source that is commonly referenced – MLS data. This data reflects what has been recorded by real estate professionals and brokers.

MLS data has its uses, however, if you are using it as your sole data source, there may be an issue — it only tells part of the story.

MLS data does not include:

  • Private sales;
  • Exclusive sales;
  • Or first-time buyer from builder-to-homeowner sales.

If you are using the MLS data for estimating a property value, excluding this information from your search may change the valuation.

Particularly in today’s real estate market, private and exclusive sales should be taken into account with the rise of for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) transactions.

Additionally, in recent years, extremely hot markets have led to supply and demand issues where people are now prospecting opportunities for home purchases that are not on the market. This in turn has led to an increase in private deals.

While MLS data can still be valuable, if you are using it for valuation purposes, it is a good idea to compare with a second data source.

In Ontario, there is only one data source that includes all sold home data — including private and exclusive deals: the Province of Ontario Land Registration Information System (POLARIS). All sales are recorded on POLARIS at the time of the transaction.

To ensure that the property data you are looking at is the most complete, accurate, and up-to-date, this provincial land data should at the very least be used as a comparison.

Teranet is the exclusive provider of Ontario’s online property search and so would be the go-to for provincial land data. Our property data at GeoWarehouse comes from Teranet and the Provincial Land Registry. When you access a GeoWarehouse report, you can trust that it is taking all sold home data into account.

For property sales data to be most complete, it must be current and factor in the most relevant comparable sales related to the subject property.

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