What is the Realtor MLS?

What is the Realtor MLS?

If you’re thinking of selling your home, or just interested in learning more about the local housing market, chances are you did a real estate search online. The vast majority of those searches will return listings listed on Realtor MLS, the Multiple Listing Service. But what is the MLS, and how does it work?

First, it’s important to understand that while the MLS may look like one large national database, it actually consists of more than 580 regional databases. These MLSs are mostly owned and operated by real estate associations or broker cooperatives. Brokers must pay dues to be members of an MLS, and they agree to abide by rules when working with each other’s clients to share property listing information.

Maximizing Exposure with a Realtor MLS Listing

The MLS system has its roots in the late 1800s, well before computer technology was available. In that era, agents shared information about properties at local gatherings or via index cards or books. By working together, brokers level the playing field with their larger franchised counterparts by allowing buyers to see all available properties in a given area.

While some smaller, independent brokerages have chosen to forgo the MLS system altogether in favor of private listings that don’t appear on public search websites, most large brokerages use the MLS to list their clients’ homes. The MLS is the most popular option for buyers because it provides the widest pool of properties to choose from. It’s also the most common way for sellers to connect with potential buyers.

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