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Tips for Search Creation with Your Agent

Updated: Apr 14

Image Courtesy REIN MLS

In this article, I wanted to share some tips on initial search creation with your agent on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Keep in mind that in the majority of cases (w/ exclusions like FSBO only searches), I think it's a bad idea for your primary search to be created DIY without the assistance of an agent. Related:

Search Creation Basic Tips:

  • Get Pre-Approved Prior to Search Creation

  • Meet with Your Agent in Person or Have them Do Screen-Share to Show You the Search They're Creating (Ideally with a Remote Desktop Option if Needed)

  • If Not Meeting In Person, View on a Large Screen Close to Your Face

  • Create a Search w/ 20-50 Property Search Results (Typically), Gradually Narrowing in Order of Highest Priorities

  • The More Search Criteria You Add That Aren't Required for Listing Agents to Input Criterion, The Higher the Likelihood That You'll Weed Out Properties that Fit Your Criteria Where the Listing Agent was Lazy or Didn't Deem it Worth Their Time

  • With Preferences, Prioritize Those Most Important That Wouldn't Be Possible to Cost Effectively Add

  • Honest & Good Agents Won't Be "Yes Man" Agents

  • I Don't Advise "Concierge Mode"

  • Multiple Searches & Multiple MLS

  • The Importance of Agent Search Templates & Research

Common Search Elements




Price - Max OR Max & Min

Square Feet

Weed Out "Fixer Uppers"

Detached or Attached

Garage Required?

Many More Possibilities

Less Common Search Elements I Like to Use for Home Searches if Applicable:

Pet Restrictions

Style Type(s)

Max HOA/Condo Fees

See Vocabulary Section

USDA Search (Template Based)

Hurricane Evacuation Zones (Template Based)

Words of Caution on Common Requests:

  • Introduction to Words of Caution on Common Requests

  • Narrow by Stories #

  • Narrowing by Neighborhoods

  • Acreage with a House or Commercial Property Search

  • Acreage with a Land Search w/ a Workaround in MLS

  • Year Built Minimum

  • 1st Floor Bedroom & Full Bath: Viable in Hampton Roads; Not Recommended In Some Other Locations

  • Fence

Search Vocabulary to Know for Further Revisions:

If you've never purchased before, but even if you've purchased 5 or 10 times, it's a good idea to be sure that you are familiar with some vocabulary going into a search session with Adam. If not, Adam can explain verbally, but you'll have a more efficient session with Adam if you've gotten this information in advance.


"Agency Approved"

Short Sales

Local MLS: REIN, CBRAR, CVR, Northern Neck, WBG

Search Navigation Important Features:

Flood Zones in Matrix MLS (Hampton Roads & Richmond)

Picture Captions

What Else May Be Discussed In Initial Consultation with an Agent?


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