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Real Estate Tips

Understanding What You Read in an MLS Listing

Posted on Thursday, July 20, 2017
What can you learn about a home by reading the MLS listing?

Do you really want that house in the MLS listing? While the photos might look promising, there's a lot more to reading a listing than drooling over those photos. Get to know the specifications of the home before you really start to dream about it. This list of MLS abbreviations and specifications will help you understand the listings for homes that you see online.

MLS Number

Every property has one of these numbers. This is the unique number assigned to the property and is a good reference when communicating with your realtor.

Listing Status

What is the listing status of the home? Before you decide to hitch your dreams to a property, make sure that it is not sold or pending. That means that it is likely unavailable for you to purchase unless it comes up on the market again or the sale falls through at the last minute.

Sale Type

What kind of sale is this? Is it regular, a foreclosure, or a re-zoning? This can impact how you purchase the property and what legal methods you need to go through to complete the purchase. The code Special Sale lets you know if the property is a bank-owned or short sale.


What is the zoning of the property? Look at the zoning codes in your area. This will help you determine what can be built on the property. This is especially important if you are planning to subdivide, build a guest house, or add a business to the property.

LP and OLP

You need to look at these to make sure the property fits your budget. These are the listing price and the original listing price. This tells you whether the property's price has decreased over time.


If you are living in a community with a Homeowners' Association, the HOA fee tells you how much you will pay monthly. The MO. MAINT $ lets you know if there are additional fees that allow you to enjoy a maintenance free community, such as fees for lawn mowing or snow shoveling.


If you live in a condo, this line tells you how much you will pay the condo association every month. Make sure that you add this into your budget.


This stands for Days on Market. If a property has been on the market for a long time, you may have extra room to negotiate. CDOM includes any previous listing periods.


This stands for "year built." You will not always know exactly when the property was built, but this area can usually give you an indication of its age. This will help you assess the types of repairs you may face if you choose to purchase the property.


STO stands for the number of stories. This is especially important if you are looking for an accessible home or one where you can age in place.

The listing tells you about the interior square footage and the square footage of the property.


These two codes relate to the square footage of the property. APX SF is the square footage of the actual building, while APX LSZ is the square footage of the lot, or land area.

Community Features

If you are buying a property in a condominium or a gated community, this tells you about the extra features you will be able to access, such as a swimming pool or golf course.

At Open For Homes, we're here to help you find the right home with all of the details you desire. Take a look at the blog at Open For Homes and see how our experience can help you make the right choice for your family.