Home    How to read an Ottawa MLS Listing




When my clients are ready to buy a home, we look beyond the pretty pictures and start paying attention to all those words and acronyms found in MLS listings. They tend to give all the details on what we really want want – and need – to know. Not fun? Perhaps. Necessary? Absolutely!

Digging into the Details

If condo maintenance fees seem high, we must look at the field which tells us WHAT exactly those condo fees include. If it includes hydro, water, heat, A/C, cable and/or parking….perhaps what seems like a lot at first might be a steal.

Crack the code

I always tell my clients, when I send you an MLS listing and you do not understand a term, “please ask me!”. One of my goals as an agent is to help my clients understand how the real estate transaction works and even though I’m in every step of the way to help them with everything, many appreciate it and become PROs at reading between the lines. Key information is often hidden in acronyms. DOM, for example, means Days on Market —-this is very important and in many cases, sellers might be more inclined to make a deal on older listings. Other common ones include OLP (“original listing price”, this is different than the listing price if the price has changed) and S/LEVY (which is an UH OH big deal, we want this one to be NO…if “yes”, this usually means that the condominium does not have a healthy reserve fund and needs its owners to put money out of their pockets to pay for expenses that cannot be covered by the monies in the reserve).

The Numbers add up?

It is important to understand these forms, especially when dealing with investment properties. I probably see over 100 investment property listings every year, and many times….the numbers do NOT make sense. Many times I’m shocked to see that agents do not include expenses such as insurance, garbage collection, water. I know many of the owners manage it themselves, but it cannot be assumed that everything is done by the owner for free. And when you’re dealing with a triplex or 8-plex, I don’t think tenants split the water bill. This is why I believe its important for my clients too, to know how to read an MLS listing.

Confused? Want more help understanding Ottawa MLS listings? That’s what I’m here for. When you’re ready to chat, give me a call us 613.369.8022 or e-mail me us info@jentheagent.com




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