Recently I received an email from a potential Lake Hartwell property buyer stating that they received a listing that wasn't quite what they were looking for and didn't understand what "auto notification" was. Here's my response:

Auto Notification is a Multiple Listing Service (MLS) term for providing new listings automatically when they’re entered into the MLS program from members (Real Estate Agents) of the MLS system. When you get a new or changed listing from this service, you’re getting it directly from MLS and receiving it the same time as your Agent.  Some customers/clients feel that their Agent is selecting and sending these listings. That’s not correct. Your Agent lists your search criteria in the MLS system, and the system sends the new listing usually within hours that it’s entered. For new buyers, this is a wonderful service, and most Agents will be more than happy to provide it to you.


Usually I set up the Auto Notification criteria fairly broad so that my customers and clients can get a better feel of the lake and what’s out there. Once we visit a few properties, and they get more familiar with the lake, then I narrow the search and specifically pick out select properties according to what they prefer.

For example, most lake properties are less then ½ acre, but some Lake property buyers want an acre or more. By putting this into the MLS system, the Buyer may not see great properties that normally they’d fall in love with and would give them the privacy that they’re looking for.

Another example:  Some buyers want 4 bedrooms only. In this case, I usually explain that many homes around the lake are listed as 3 bedrooms, but have bonus rooms that also serve as bedrooms. Limiting the search field to 4 bedrooms will eliminate those homes from the search.

Because Auto Notification comes directly from the MLS Service, I ask my customers and clients to have a little patience with what they see, knowing that I may not have previewed the property yet. I’ll be happy to follow up and look at the ones that appear interesting. Those that aren’t what you’re looking for… please forgive me and disregard.

I'd be interested to know your thoughts on this service. Please comment below.

By: Jay Hufnagel ...Just "Say Jay" for Real Estate 770-757-2799