Brett Stomps | Windermere

How to Use the RMLS Listing Reports

The RMLS is the #1 real estate tool among REALTORS® in the Columbia Gorge. It is also the most comprehensive tool that agents have to deliver property information to prospective buyers.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents

How to not miss a listing

I believe in automation instead of human error. When you begin working with me, I will ask if you want to be setup for automated new listing emails on the RMLS. Now, you might say, “Brett, aren’t you supposed to be finding me properties?” Well, I do! I will be looking for properties that fit your criteria, before they hit the market. My argument is, why not use technology intended to prevent you from missing a listing.

RMLS vs. Zillow.com, Realtor.com, etc.

Often, buyers start off using websites like Zillow.com to begin their search. When they see a property they like, then they start making inquiries about the property. That’s when they meet agents like me. It isn’t until a bit further down the line once we’re a bit more acquainted that they learn there’s a better method (The RMLS).

They don’t show all the details.

Websites like Zillow and Realtor.com don’t give you all the data. Why is this? I’m not sure, it probably has something to do with keeping the interface from being cluttered. When you are making one of the the biggest purchases of your life, you want to know all of the details advertised, right?

RMLS is the source of the data Zillow.com uses.

That’s right, the data I (or other REALTORS®) input in the local MLS is what is displayed on Zillow.com and similar platforms. The RMLS is the first place to distribute any price reductions and data updates. This do this through RMLS automated emails first, then to websites like Zillow.com. It can take a few hours for Zillow.com to update the data from the MLS, assuming it ever does.

The Zestimate is a lie anyways.

Forgive me, but I roll my eyes just a bit when anyone tells me they looked at the Zestimate and think the price is, “X, Y, or Z”. CMAs in the Columbia Gorge are difficult because the home in this area are all so different. Besides, do you really think Zillow can see through the walls and see the new electrical and plumbing you put in?

To hopefully put this to rest, let me tell you a quick story. I once had some clients who wanted to price their home at X because Zillow said that was the price. I said, we’re probably at Y (100K less), but since it wasn’t my house, I agreed to give it a go, with the expectation that we’d reduce after Z days.

We priced the home as Zillow recommended. The house sat in 2022, one of the hotter markets we’ve seen in a long time. As we made price reductions, the Zestimate decreased to follow our list price. The house eventually sold for about 100K less and the Zestimate followed us the entire way.

Zestimates work in cookie cutter neighborhoods, not in small towns or rural neighbors. Places like The Dalles, or large sub-divisions in Hood River like behind Rosauers are better places to trust Zestimates.

The Most Common Overlooked RMLS Feature

This is the boundary line & satellite mapping on the RMLS, which I show on the attached video. This eliminates a lot of questions that I receive from clients on a regular basis. Do you want to know why that new listing is so cheap? Well, it’s because when you view the satellite map, you see a major BPA (Bonneville Power Administration) grid in the back yard crackling like popcorn.

Looking at the RMLS map will prevent you from wasting your time touring the property ;).

Understanding the Zoning of the Property

Most times, if an agent has done their “complete” job for their seller, they will have researched the property’s zoning and entered it into the RMLS listing. If supplied by the listing agent, use the links below to look up the zoning.

If the zoning is not there. You can use the local GIS (geographic information system) to locate what the zoning is. You can find these GIS pages using a search engine by searching “Location + GIS”. From there, use the links below to learn more about that zone.

Learn the Report Layout

Trust me when I say this, it took a bit for me to figure out where everything was too, but it is well worth getting used to the RMLS formatting vs. websites like Zillow.com.

Still want more information?

Contact me. I am quite the detective.

If this all seems overwhelming, that’s okay. When you hire me, I help you through this process. Otherwise, I’m always a call away.

Disclaimer

The information provided on brettstomps.com is intended to be educational and accurate. However, information on brettstomps.com does not substitute as buyer and seller due diligence when transacting real estate. Buyers and sellers are advised to work directly with a licensed real estate professional, seek additional professional services when applicable, and to inquire at the state, county, and city offices for their due diligence.