Frequently Asked Questions
  1. 1. What is certified MLS?

    Certified MLS (CMLS) is an Electronic Multiple Listing Search Engine for homes available for sale, particularly the certified homes and the homes that can be certified quickly. The use of the CMLS search engine is free. Unlike other search engines, CMLS has complete contact information of the original listing Realtor (and or Owner, if applicable and where made available), so the users can contact / transact directly. Most other search engines provide the information of their website advertising agent on every listing which adds another layer. CMLS is truly a full and free information transaction platform for the homes for sale in North America. CMLS is an end to end seamless solution for a speedier sale / purchase of homes.

    CMLS is not a realtor and is not trying to sell any property. CMLS is an electronic medium for the exchange of information only. All information contained herein is "As received, believed to be accurate however is not guaranteed by CMLS". CMLS does not have any agency or representation relationship with any player named on this portal web site.

    CMLS is in Beta state, however it s open to public for testing in select markets.

  2. 2. What is an ABCertified Home?

    ABCertified home is a pre–owned home for sale that has been pre–certified by the American Bureau of Certification standards. The certification process is akin to a brand new home that comes with a Home Owners Warranty. Pre–Owned Homes are also inspected by a State licensed home inspector as per American Bureau of Certification and are warranted by a warranty company before certification is placed on it. The transferable and expendable warranty is given to the buyer at the time of purchase. The buyer does not have to pay for the home inspection report or the warranty.

  3. 3. Who is American Bureau of Certification?

    American Bureau of Certification is a public service, consumer–centric entity that formulates uniform protocols for pre–owned cars, pre–owned boats, pre–owned homes and many other pre–owned valuables.

  4. 4. Who is COPCHI?

    COPCHI is an acronym for Cooperative of Professional Certifying Home Inspectors, a body of state licensed or accredited (if that state does not license) home inspectors in North–America. They are the same people who would call Buyer and the Seller for completing the certification. CMLS is adding more inspectors to keep the market competitive for certification inspections.

  5. 5. What is a Home Owners Warranty (HOW)?

    HOW is an acronym for "Home Owners Warranty". Most states in USA require that the new homes be warranted for a period of time, usually for 10 years. There are several warranty companies in the market that provide home warranties for up to 10 years.

  6. 6. Why do I have to register at the CMLS website?

    Your registration at this site would allow you to navigate unrestricted on our site, much more than a visitor who is not a member, would be able to access the information. For instance you could save your searches, email them and or ask for a property to be to be certified. Unfortunately this is the only way we can be sure that only human are able to access the information and we can keep the robots and web crawlers away from our site, who sometimes aim to inflict malicious viruses. Signing up at CMLS website is real fast and free and no credit card is required.

    CMLS respects your privacy. We do not sell mailing lists or other personal information.

  7. 7. What is a traditional home inspection process?

    In a traditional home purchase scenario, the seller and buyer contract to transfer property, subject to home inspection contingency. Buyer hires a home inspector who inspects a home and gives the buyer a list of the defects that should be remediated before buying. The buyer sends that list to the seller who is under pressure to repair within short time, otherwise to reduce the sale price. Survey finds that home owners loose about 3% of the original negotiated sale price, or loose that money in fixing the defects, very quickly.

  8. 8. What is the ABCertification process?

    ABCertification process is a premium certification of the pre–owned homes just like the standards used for new homes. The protocols are provided by unbiased American Bureau of Certification. The ABCertification inspectors are independent and sworn to be unbiased. The ABCertification is party neutral.

    The inspector inspects the home as per ABC standards and gives the report to the seller for the opportunity to remedy issues, if any. Upon remediation, if any, and as appropriate, a secondary inspection may be necessary and the report may have to be amended. The final report is sealed and delivered to sellers, who can give it to any potential buyer on permission basis or make it public for any potential buyer to review it.

  9. 9. What differentiates ABCertification from other home inspection?

    In a typical home inspection scenario, the buyer hires the home inspector after placing a bid on the home and pays for it. Then buyer re–negotiates the price with the seller, based on the defects found by the home inspector. If the renegotiation's fail to reduce price, then the buyers loose the home inspection fee (Typically home inspection fees are between $ 400.00 and $ 1,200.00). Otherwise, the seller looses out on the original price.

    In the case of the certified home inspection, the buyer gets to see the home inspection report before placing the bid and the defects are known to the buyer hence there is no re–negotiation. Just like the Certified Pre–Owned Cars.

    For a certification home all inspections / repair issues would have to be resolved or declared as such, before Certification seal is placed on it. Because of the elimination of this step after the negotiation to buy, the parties go straight to closing. You negotiate on price only once.

    ABCertification report also contains attributes of the home. This feature is usually not available in traditional home inspection report. Attributes, if any, balance the perception with the limitations of the home, if any.

  10. 10. What are the benefits of ABCertified Home, to the Buyers?

    The buyer gets to see all issues before the buyer visits the home and or places any offer to buy. There is no wasted time, no home inspection fees to pay and the buyer does it, all from their computer without even going out of the home. The buyer gets a free expendable home warranty at the time of purchase just like any other new home for sale that comes with a 10 years Home Warranty.

  11. 11. What are the benefits of the ABCertified Home, to the Sellers?

    The seller gets to see the potential issues that sellers would be encountering at the time of post contract home inspection; however before they contract for sale. It saves time lost in renegotiations after buyers home inspection. There are no surprises associated with the traditional home inspection. There are no dead deals because of home inspection issues.

  12. 12. What are the benefits of ABCertified Home, to the Realtors?

    The Realtors fetch the listings from home owners, when the advantages of selling certified homes quicker and for more money, are explained, over other plain vanilla listing agent. The Realtors have no dead deals during the renegotiation process. The selling turn around time, is faster with less work on each listing.

  13. 13. What are the benefits of CMLS to the Realtors?

    Realtors / Owners list their homes for free. The listings uploaded by realtors contain entire information of the listing agents so the potential buyers can contact the listing agents directly. If needed, any information such as the email address can be encrypted, so the robots cannot mine this data.

  14. 14. Can any one list their homes for sale in CMLS search engine?

    Yes any listing Realtor or the owner can list their home for sale for free in the CMLS data base, provided it has been pre–certified or they agree to certify it quickly when a prospective buyer requests for the certification inspection report. To list a home Click here.

  15. 15. Can an agent represent ABCertified Home as "Sales Center"?

    Currently this opportunity is available to established and licensed brokers only. Realtor agents can work through their brokers. To apply for a protected territory to represent Certified Home, Apply here.

  16. 16. What if the home I want to buy, has not been ABCertified yet?

    You can request us, to see if the certification report on any home for sale that has not been certified as yet, can be made available to you. In most cases the seller would do so, because they have already agreed to it as a condition to be listed on this site. We wanted to bring you as vast a pool of properties as possible before opening up to public beta use test. We have teamed up with realtors and aggregators to bring you as many listings as possible. However it is not possible to regulate and reinforce numerous listings. On very rare occasion the seller may change his mind to not to certify. In that event we shall remove that listing immediately. However the buyer can still certify it for their own accord and get all the benefits as if it was certified by the sellers or the agent.

    You can also ask for a certification on a home that is not in our data base, provided you provide all information and the sellers agree to it.

  17. 17. What is the sellers guarantee to sell the ABCertified Home?

    In some areas, the Certification agencies are so sure of the process, that they offer a "No Sale – No fees" guarantees if the home did not sell within a specified time.

  18. 18. What are the marketing benefits of the ABCertified home?

    CMLS will project your home as a premium property and it will be included in our show case until sold. CMLS can provide you a single property web site of your home only that can be sent to any one to preview, instead of looking up through the maze of listings. Each certified home is listed by its Address, City & State and the buyers gets to see all contact information of the listing agents / owner etc, to contact you directly.

  19. 19. What are the SEO standards for the listings?

    Our data is produced in SEO friendly XHTML format and is populated / exported to World Wide Web for real time search. Any data that you do not want the robots to collect, such as email addresses can also be encrypted (and kept hidden from robots) automatically.

  20. 20. Can I advertise an un-certified home in "CMLS Home Show Case"?

    Yes, the cost is $ 9.95 per month. If you do certify it, at later date, we shall give you full credit for one months advertising fees.

  21. 21. What channels are available for marketing ABCertified homes?

    There are several other channels such as single property websites, videos etc being created by third party vendors for YOUTUBE etc.

  22. 22. Who are the traditional Home Inspectors?

    Traditional Home Inspectors are state licensed or accredited (where states do not have any licensing yet) inspectors who inspect homes for buyer; and their loyalties are to the party hiring them. Home inspectors render opinions which may not be uniform. Two home inspectors on a same property may have different opinions.

  23. 23. Who are the ABCertifying Home Inspectors?

    American Bureau of Certification has an approved list of the Certification inspectors. Certification inspectors are third party unbiased, state licensed or accredited inspectors, who have met minimum standards of qualifications, experience and warrant their work to the buyer as well as to the seller that should any other state licensed home inspector find any other unlisted defect Certifying inspector company shall repair or pay for the defect after the deductibles have been paid up. One such group is Cooperative of Professional Certifying Home Inspectors (Copchi.Org). Certification inspection is not limited to COPCHI inspectors only. More inspectors are being added.

  24. 24. Are the ABCertification inspectors neutral and unbiased?

    Yes, all ABCertifying inspectors are sworn to neutrality. The inspectors are party–neutral and responsible to both parties. In a typical home inspection for the buyers or the sellers the home inspector works for the hiring party. Further the ABC Home buyer is being guaranteed that should any other state licensed home inspector find any unlisted major visual defect, the certification company shall make good beyond the major visual defects threshold.

  25. 25. Do I have to use an ABCertifying inspector from COPCHI only?

    No. You can use any ABC certification inspector, who is duly licensed by American Bureau of Certification. Currently we have agreement with COPCHI members, who have the most members. Other members are being signed upon very rapidly. All Certification inspectors are sworn to be party neutral and to remain unbiased. We are still in Beta.

  26. 26. Can I have a Home Inspector recheck an ABCertified Home?

    It is perfectly alright for you to bring your own state licensed or accredited (if that state does not license) home inspector to recheck an ABC Home certified report. The certification company warrants that should your state licensed or accredited (if that state does not license) home inspector find any Major visual defect (costing more than $ 999.99) that was not listed in the ABC Home certification report of the covered items, then the certification company shall repair it on their expense, after the certification company has received the threshold amount from the claim seeker.

  27. 27. Can any inspector certify an ABCHome?

    No, only the home inspectors, duly authorized by the American Bureau of Certification can do so. To qualify, please contact – www.Copchi.org or www.AmericanBureauOfCertification.Org.

  28. 28. What are the inspections standards of ABCertification?

    Inspection standards contain major systems and are grouped in categories such as grounds and decks, garages and out buildings, foundations, structures, roofs, exterior cladding, windows and doors, Interiors and staircases, Kitchens and baths, Attic, insulation and ventilation, Electrical systems, Plumbing systems, heating air conditioning and ventilation systems, fireplaces and stoves etc. Essentially all the work that can be transferred to the buyer is included in the ABCertification.

    Most states do not allow transferring environmental reports. Processes that can not be transferred are not included in ABCertification such as environmental inspections for Termite, Radon etc. Besides these reports are time sensitive. Typically these environmental inspections have to be undertaken for the buyers only. The same ABCertification inspectors can undertake these inspections for the buyers.

  29. 29. Who sees the ABCertification Inspection report?

    Any prospective buyer can see the Certification Inspection report, subject to permission granted by the seller.

  30. 30. Can a home be ABCertified that is already under contract?

    This program is primarily designed for the seller / buyer who wants to negotiate based on the report. After the contract, the seller may not have any incentive to pay for the certification. If the seller would agree and or the buyer is willing top pay for the ABCertification, it can be tried.

  31. 31. What is a major visual defect?

    A major visual defect is any issue that immobilizes the operation of any ABC covered component and or the system of the home and its cost to repair shall exceed $ 999.99, now or within 90 days of the inspection. Major components or systems that may yet be operational but have exhausted their projected / designed economic life are listed under budgetary items.

  32. 32. How defect, if any, found by ABCertification inspector, is handled?

    Certification inspector provides a list of all major visual defects / issues to the seller, so these can be addressed and the home be re–inspected after remediation. The seller may or may not address these issues and have the sealed certification report be issued. If any issue has been repaired / replaced, the seller may have a re–certification for the property for new conditions. Only the latest report shall be deemed valid.

  33. 33. Is ABCertification better than Sellers Disclosure / Inspection?

    States do not regulate Sellers disclosure process and these documents are generally not enforceable. Sellers inspection is for the benefit of the seller and has no warranty for the buyer. Certification is backed by a warranty and former documents are not.

  34. 34. What is buyers obligation requesting for a report?

    For a home that has already been certified, a qualified buyer gets to see it for free and without any escrow, with the permission of the seller. For a home that has not yet been certified, the buyer has to furnish a small refundable security deposit of $ 49.95 per certification. Should the seller agree to have it certified at the request of a potential qualified buyer, the buyer must bid with in 15 days of seeing the report as per the terms, otherwise may forfeit its good faith security deposit.

  35. 35. What if a buyer places frivolous request for ABCertification?

    We wish that it does not happen. CMLS is a trading platform for serious people. To reduce frivolous requests for certifications, the buyer has to put up $ 49.95 in as escrow account to have your property certified, and agrees to make an offer on your property that is within 2% of the appraised value (if the home has been appraised) or with in 10% of the listed value. If the buyer holds their end of the bargain, they are refunded the escrow amount, and both parties proceed with the transaction. Happy certification and closing!

    If for some reason, the buyer does not bid with in 15 days of receiving the certification report as per the agreement, the certification owner receives 100% of the escrow amount. The prospective buyers stand to loose their escrow funds. To show our appreciation to the certifying owner, we shall bump up the listing to the highest scale, to give you maximum exposure to sell it quickly. We shall maintain the level of marketing on our part until your property sells, without any time limits to display.

  36. 36. What is the cost of listing a property at CMLS?

    It is Free, zero, nada, zilch, provided you agree to certify it when a buyer has an interest in it. Click here to list a home.

  37. 37. What is the cost of listing an Open House at CMLS?

    Nothing, it is free, provided the seller agrees to certify the home should a prospective buyer request for it. Click here to list a home for Open house.

  38. 38. What if buyer contacts seller directly to transact without CMLS?

    CMLS provides this service free to any user just like any search engine like Google etc. We are happy to bring you the most comprehensive details of homes on the market for sale.

  39. 39. What is the cost of ABCertification?

    Certification costs vary by region, and are based on several factors like the size of the home, type, age etc. Each certification agency is locally owned and operated, yet is priced competitively. Certification costs are on par with the comparable home inspection fees. Generally these are about 1% of the value of the home, minimum $ 295.00. Some marketing tangents may cost extra.

  40. 40. Why should a Seller pay for the ABCertification of the home?

    Studies have shown that sellers save thousands of dollars because:

    1. More than 23% of the homes do not close because of the home inspection issues. Certification eliminates home inspection issues after the contract is drawn up.
    2. Certified homes sell 40% faster than the plain vanilla variety because more people preview the certified properties before the other kind. You get priority lane treatment.
    3. Certified homes fetch 3% more money than the uncertified ones because the buyer does not know how to budget for the repair and hence invariably will seek higher limit for reduction, where as when the issue has been addressed and there is a warranty on it, the buyer is more apt to pay for that satisfaction.
    4. Besides repairing the defects within a small time frame usually means higher repair costs.
    5. The mortgage interest saved in the time to sell, outweighs the cost of certification.
    6. The cost of the certification is much less than the reduction, one would have to undertake after the typical home inspection. The benefit to all parties is in the efficiency of the system that eliminates waste in hasty repairs.
    7. Unlike a typical home inspection report, the Certification report is usable by all potential buyers and is reusable.
  41. 41. Can any one pay for ABCertification to receive its benefits?

    Yes, other interested parties, such as a Realtor or a buyer may pay for certification report provided home owner agrees to it.

  42. 42. Can the sellers ABCertification fee be financed?

    Some third party finance companies are looking into it. More details on it shall be available soon.

  43. 43. Is ABCertified Home available through the Web service only?

    Currently we are in the process of enlisting Realtors (Brokers) in North America who will display Certified Homes to the public. In the meantime, please do enjoy services through the web service.

  44. 44. Does CMLS have any exclusivity to display ABC Certified Homes?

    No. CMLS is a restricted use licensee of ABC and does not have exclusive rights to display ABCertified homes.

CMLS listings are viewed by scores of serious Sellers, Buyers, Realtors and Home Inspectors every day. If you still have any questions, please contact us.


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