While several online services provide real estate listings based on MLS data, the most accurate data is only obtainable through an MLS search done by a realtor, claims About.com. An agent enters an e-mail and home search preferences into an MLS search engine that sends automatic e-mails of new listings.
The MLS search report obtained through a real estate agent is customizable by ZIP Code, distance from a specified address and street or subdivision, according to About.com. The report can further be narrowed by price range from low to high, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, garages, pools and spas and square footage.
MLS stands for multiple listing service, explains About.com. Unless specifically exempted, every home for sale listed by a real estate agent, as well as certain homes for sale by owner, are on the MLS. Only real estate agents and other professional affiliates have direct access to MLS information.