If you are looking for a home and want to see every home that is on the market, you need to know that the national real estate listing sites do not have every available home listing. Not only are the sites missing active home listings, but some of the sites also include listings that have already sold or have outdated prices.

I just ran an experiment to see how many properties would come up if I ran a search for 3 bedroom properties in Creve Coeur, MO. Here are the results:

National Real Estate Sites:

Trulia – 88
Oodle – 71
Yahoo Real Estate – 55
AOL Real Estate – 24
Cyberhomes – 3
Homescape – 25
Point 2 Homes – 1
HomeGain – 6
CLR Search – 20
Zillow – unknown (impossible to just pull up Creve Coeur)
Realtor.com – unknown (impossible to just pull up Creve Coeur)

The MLS has 135 homes in the same search.

With the exception of Realtor.com, the rest of the national sites rely on agents, brokers and owners to submit ads for their home listings. Clearly everyone is not submitting ads to these national sites. Realtor.com, brokers and agent websites are the only sites that are allowed to use a direct MLS feed to show all MLS listed properties on their site.

Even though the MLS doesn’t include any of the homes that aren’t listed by an agent (FSBO properties), it does include all of the homes that are listed with an agent in which the listing broker agrees to compensate other brokers if they bring the buyer (the real purpose of the MLS). Since the vast majority of homes are listed with agents, the MLS has the most comprehensive list of available properties.

And, it doesn’t include ANY homes with outdated prices.

Check out my new MLS map based search. You’ll find every active St. Louis area home that is listed on the MLS.