It is important you be familiar with the MLS User Guides, search tools and that you learn how to use them. Why? They enhance your enjoyment of a process which is very important in ultimately finding that dream home you deserve. Purchasing a home is a major endeavor and will be one of the important and most expensive decisions you will make in your lifetime. That's why it is important to use the right tools to help you every step of the way.
It is most important you learn about this MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE (MLS) system. The three main areas to learn about are: (1) Full Search, (2) Quick Search and (3) Map Search tools. None of these programs are difficult to learn or to understand. (Help available at: 435-680-6275.)
Full Search (Traditional Version)
The Full Search is an in-depth search for listings which gives you access to every searchable field within the MLS database. To use the Full Search, click on the Full Search like from the Searches pane of the dashboard, or click on Full Search under the Search header in the menu.
To begin, select the property types and statuses you'd like to search, and click Next.
The Current Search Parameters screen appears. In the center of the screen you will see the number of listings currently matching your search. To view these listings, click directly on that number, or click on the See Matching Listings button. This will bring you to the Search Results page.
On the left-hand side of the page under Refine Search, you may narrow down the search using Main List Fields, Details...The Main List fields are the basic information fields for a property; fields such as List Price, Bedrooms, and Bathrooms will be found here. Detail fields are MLS-speciific data fields where you will find more detailed information.
Quick Searches are the fastest way to do a search using few search criteria. To access the Quick Searches function, click on the Quick Searches link from Searches pane on the dashboard or click on Quick Searches under the Search header of the menu. This brings up the Available Quick Searches menu. Choose any of the search templates to perform your search. A search template is a short list of selected fields that you enter criteria in to search for listings.
All users have the capability to customize their own Quick Searches under Preferences on the menu. See the Preferences section for information on customizing your own Quick Searches.
Choose the quick search template you would like to use and click the USEbutton. On the right hand side of the screen, the Description section displays the property types and fields used in the selected quick search.
Once you have chosen a template, it appears on the search screen results as a list of fields to be filled out. Your search fields will appear in the left panel with the right panel displaying a large count of the matching listings. The search fields are collapsed initially---click on any field to expand it and view its options. If you prefer to have the fields open by default, set that preference on the General Preferences page under Preferences on the menu.
Enter your search criteria by clicking and typing in the search fields. At the bottom of the search panel, you have additional search options. Search by number of pictures, documents and more.
Add a Field to a Search
To add a field to any search, click Add a field to the search. The full list of available fields will display in a box to the right of your search criteria. You may narrow the list of fields by typing part of the word you are searching for. The list will automatically adjust to display only those fields whose name include the characters you have typed. Click to select a field to add it to your search. Click Done or click the red X to close the field window.
The Map Search combines a Quick Search template with mapping shapes to narrow listings to a specific geographic area. To begin, click on Map Search on the flexmls menu, select a Quick Search template from the list, and click Use.
At the bottom of the map are three shape tools that you can use to define map areas you'd like to search. You can draw a rectangle, circle, or polygon. If the map is already showing the general area you'd like to search, you can begin drawing your shapes immediately. If you need to move the map before you begin, use the pan tool and zoom tools to find the area you'd like to search. To zoom in on the map, you can use the scroll wheel on your mouse, if you have one, or you can use the zoom bar at the left edge of the map.
To draw a rectangular search area, click on the rectangle tool to select it. Click once on the map to begin your shape. There's no need to hold down the mouse button while you move - just move the mouse to create a rectangle. The first spot we clicked stays set while the rectangle moves with us. To complete the shape, click one more time.
Search shapes that are drawn on the map appear in the list of search criteria. When you hove your mouse over a shape name in the search criteria panel, the shape will be highlighted on the map for your reference. If you'd like to remove a shape from the map, click on the X next to the shape name - it will delete that shape from your search.
Using the circle tool, you can create a search in a radius around a point on the map. To begin, click on the circle shape on the map toolbar. Next, find the point you'd like to use as the center of your circle. Click one time on that center point, release the mouse button, and move your mouse outward to draw your circle. As you draw, a distance legend will let you know your shape's radius. Click on the map to complete the shape.
For irregular search shapes, use the polygon map tool. The polygon tool creates a search shape with an unlimited number of sides, so you can be as precise as you would like when creating your search area. To begin, click on the polygon tool in the map toolbar. Click once to define the first corner of your shape. Each time you click when using the polygon tool, you'll set another corner of your shape. Use as many points as you need to define a curve, neighborhood boundary, or other edge. When you are satisfied with your shape, double-click to finish.
Once a shape has been created, you have the option to edit it. To bring up the editing options, you can click on the name of the shape in the search criteria panel, or you can click on the map within the boundaries of the shape. An information bubble will appear with the name of the shape, and the current color. To make changes to these settings, click edit.
On the edit shape bubble, you can customize the name of the shape, or click to select a color for the shape if you'd like to change the color from the default blue. From this edit shape bubble, you also have the option to exit the boundaries of the shape or remove it completely. Click Edit Shape to make changes to the placement or boundaries of the shape of the map.
In the Edit Shape Mode, points will appear on the boundaries of the shape - click, hold, and drag a point on the shape to change its boundaries. Shapes will have points at the corners or outer edge, as well as a center point. For example, a polygon has points at each position that was clicked on the map when creating it. Click and drag on any of these points to change the edge of the shape, or click and drag on the center point to move the shape on the map.
When working with a polygon, you also have the opportunity to save the shape as a Map Overlay. his enable you to give the shape a name, use it multiple times, and access it when performing a search.
With these tools you should do well in searching for your desired home!