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Home Buyers Frequently Asked Questions. How to Read an MLS Listing

Posted by janepeters on May 31, 2013
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Buying a home in Los Angeles can be a daunting task.  Where do you start?  Well, ideally you should use the services of a Los Angeles real estate agent, but often buyers like to look for listings themselves.

Most of the listings you will see online derive from the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) the bible of the real estate industry.  The layout will look different on different sites, but this should help explain some of the general terminology.
Understanding MLS terminology when buying a Los Angeles home

LP – list price
Status – this will show whether the listings is A – Active; B – in backup status, generally meaning in escrow waiting for all the contingencies to be removed, so the seller may be accepting backup offers in case the current escrow falls through; P – pending, generally meaning that all the contingencies have been removed and all that remains is for escrow to close. And, of course, S will mean sold.
Zone – R1, R2, etc. meaning the zoning of the property.  R1 is usually single family only.
VU – View (yes or no)
GH – Guest house
LSE – Will show if the property is also for lease
HOD – Homeowners dues, for condos, gated communities, etc.
PL – Pool (yes or no)
FP – Fireplace
YB – Year built
STO – Number of stories
FUR – Furnished (yes or no)
PETS:  This will say yes, no or call
BR – Number of bedrooms
BA  – Number of bathrooms
APX SF  – Approximate sq. ft. of property.
APX LSZ  – Approximate sq. ft. of lot
PKGT:   How many gated parking spaces there are
PKGC:   How many covered parking spaces there are.  This and the one above are sometimes confused.  It is best to look at PARK below the description which should go into more detail.
REMARKS – You will see a description of the home and other relevant comments.  There is a “Private Remarks” section for your real estate agent which may add some housekeeping notes, qualifying needs, or other matters that may add light to the property and avoid wasted time in some instances.

Other terms worth noting:

AMENIT – This is usually on a condo listing, gated community, etc.  It will describe the amenities in the complex – pool, gym, concierge, etc.
AIR – This is where you will see whether the air conditioning is central, wall, none, etc.
FLOOR – The type of flooring will be listed here – hardwood, carpet, tile, mixed, etc.
OCC/SHOW  – These are the showing instructions – lockbox, agent accompanies, 24 hour notice, etc.
HEAT – central, forced, etc.
LAUNDRY  – Here you will see if the laundry is inside or a community laundry.
FIN – Financing.  You can generally ignore this.

Next you will see:

LP  – List price
OLP – Old list price.  If prices has been changed this will reflect the original list price
DOM – Days on the market.  The number of days the property has been on the market
CDOM  –  Combined days on the market.  The listing could have expired, been withdrawn, etc.  This shows you the total number of days it has been on the market.
LD  –  List date.  The date the property was put on the market.
CD  –  Contract date.  The date a purchase offer was accepted.
SP  –   Sales price.  The final sales price.
SD –   Sales date.  The date the sale closed.
LP/SF – List price per sq. ft.
SP/SF – Sales price per sq. ft.

More Frequently Asked Questions:

What Can I Afford?
What are the Closing Costs?
How to Read an MLS Listing
What are the Different Listing Statuses?
Understanding the Purchase Agreement
What is Title Insurance?
How to Take Title
Should I Buy a House or a Condo?
What is Escrow?

Need Help? Have questions? Fill out the CONTACT FORM or call Jane at 310-351-9208

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