Finding your unicorn- using MLS filters to discover your dream home
The Multiple listing services (MLS) gives homebuyers access to thousands of available properties. But how do you find that mythical unicorn – the perfect dream home amidst the vast options? Getting granular with MLS filters helps surface ideal needles in the real estate haystack.
Define Your Unicorn Traits
First, detail your ideal home wishlist. Dream home traits may include:
- Hardwood floors
- Stainless steel appliances
- Fenced backyard
- Open layout
- Large deck or patio
- Master suite
- Flex space like a loft
Outline every desirable feature, from amenities to architecture. This unicorn description focuses your search.
Scan photos strategically
When reviewing listings, go straight to the photos before even reading details scan for your unicorn traits visually:
- Do room layouts match your preferences?
- Is exterior style on point – siding, windows, etc?
- Does landscaping show covet fenced yard?
- Do finishes reflect wanted colors and materials?
Photo analysis quickly reveals if a listing merits deeper inspection or gets discarded for missing unicorn elements.
Widen your search radius
Most buyers focus on searches within 10 miles or less. But flexible geography uncovers more unicorns, especially in dense areas. Expand your radius to 20-50 miles to discover formerly overlooked neighborhoods with ideal options. For a true unicorn, additional commute time may merit the extra effort. Cast a wide net.
Save unicorn listings
As you find possibilities, save them in a curated shortlist or folder. Top listing sites let you bookmark homes. Stay organized to revisit unicorns easily. Saving strong matches in one place simplifies re-evaluating top contenders. You can analyze options side-by-side.
Judge Listing Remarks
Read the listing agent’s remarks for extra clues your dream home description matches. Watch for key phrases that flag unicorn features:
- “Chef’s kitchen with commercial appliances”
- “Access to walking trails across the street”
- “Custom built with designer finishes”
- “Oversized corner lot”
Remarks provide insider intel not visible in standard fields. Uncover hidden gems through careful remark review.
Enlist your agent’s help
Your experienced agent likely knows local unicorn homes before they even hit real estate MLS. They can keep an eye out for off-market opportunities that check your boxes. Agents may also see mispriced unicorns hit the market that are oddly still available. Leverage your agent’s insider neighborhood knowledge. Temper expectations. Even in hot markets, the perfect unicorn home takes time to surface. Utilize alerts for new listings so you’re among the first to know if a unicorn hits the MLS.
Persistence and creative searching pay off when the right home appears. Stay vigilant. For excited homebuyers, the quest to find a mythical dream home can feel daunting. But hunt unicorns systematically using the MLS as your guide. Get specific with defined filters and search tools. Before you know it, you’ll discover the magical listing you’ve been dreaming of. With strategic searching, find your unicorn!