There are two major MLS systems in our coverage area and we subscribe to both. Many companies only subscribe to one system as a cost-saving measure to the detriment of their clients.
If you are looking for a home along the US 36 or I 25 corridors between Boulder and Denver, and your broker only has access to one of the two systems that cover the area, she cannot do a first-rate job of covering that market for you. Neither agency relationship, experience, office structure, nor eagerness and attitude matter. She simply can't do it. If your broker can't pull up listings from each of these systems while you are sitting in her office, you need to find a broker who can.
What Areas are Covered?
We’ll begin with brief descriptions of the areas covered by the MLS systems we’ve listed here. We’ll then move on to tell you why you can’t rely on these “areas covered” descriptions and why we generally run our home searches and daily updates in multiple systems to ensure that we are providing truly comprehensive information for our clients.
Information and Real Estate Services, LLC (IRES)
IRES covers Boulder & NE Colorado. This system covers real estate listings in Boulder County and the areas to the north and to the east of Boulder County, including Boulder, Louisville, Superior, Lafayette, Erie, Longmont, Lyons, and Nederland. It also covers real estate in all the communities in Larimer County to the north, including Ft. Collins, Loveland and Estes Park. Finally, it covers real estate listings in the counties to the east of Boulder County, including the communities in Broomfield County and Weld County (e.g., Broomfield, Brighton, Firestone, Frederick, and Greeley). The mountains and plains areas outside these towns are also covered, from the continental divide to the Wyoming border.
REcolorado covers the Denver Metro Area. This system covers real estate listings in the Denver metro area between those covered by the IRES MLS to the north and the PPAR MLS that serves Colorado Springs to the south. To the north of Denver and Denver County this includes real estate in Adams County, Broomfield County and Jefferson County, including communities such as Golden, Arvada, Westminster, Broomfield, Northglenn and Thornton. In the east and south this includes real estate in Denver County, Arapahoe County, Douglas County, and Elbert County (e.g., Lakewood, Highlands Ranch, and Aurora).
Because these MLS databases have poorly defined boundaries with respect to the areas they cover, your agent will probably have to search both systems on a daily basis if you’re going to stay on top of what’s for sale in a particular target area. Some key points:
Areas are Limited: Each system tends to cover a certain region, defined primarily by the communities in which the member Realtors work.
Coverage Areas are Overlapping: Communities in some areas may have 30% of their listings in one system and 70% in another. If you only search one system, you may miss 30% or 70% of the available homes.
Coverage Areas are Undefined: As indicated above, what defines the coverage area of an MLS system is not a map but the areas in which the member Realtors list homes. Longmont Realtors will generally enter all of their listings in the system we’ve referred to as Boulder & NE Colorado. But if a Longmont Realtor lists a home located in Denver, that home may still get listed in the Boulder & NE Colorado system rather than in the one that covers the Denver Metro Area because that agent hasn’t paid the membership fees that allow him to enter data in both systems.