The MLS (multiple listing service) is one of the most valuable tools in the real estate industry. Having access to a local multiple listing service is an indispensable aid for real estate agents, appraisers, buyers, sellers, lenders, and others who have an interest in real estate.
Even before contacting a realtor, both buyers and sellers typically search MLS databases to see what is going on in their current housing market.
Reviewing an online home listing can save a buyer hours and hours of travel time with a real estate agent.
A commercial real estate developer can search the MLS for land that is zoned for the type of commercial properties they want to construct.
Appraisers use the MLS to help them in a lookup of comparable properties.
The MLS gives the independent realtor the same access to listings as has a large real estate agency with a national presence.
But since the online search results are full of various private companies advertising MLS listing services, it may be challenging to find among them the real MLS in your area. RealEstateBees.com has made your search easy by including in our national online directory the actual MLS formed by local brokers. Simply choose your city to find your local MLS by your address.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a multiple listing service (MLS) in real estate?
According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), an MLS (multiple listing system or multiple listing service) is a private offer of cooperation and compensation by listing brokers to other real estate brokers.
Today’s multiple listing service for realtors had its beginnings in the late 19th century. Local real estate professionals realized that it would be advantageous to get together and share information about each other’s listings in exchange for a share of the final commissions. These early gatherings were known as MLS initiatives. The early databases for storing this information consisted of paper copies of each agent’s listings (along with other pertinent information).
Today’s MLS each has a sophisticated digital database. Each member of the MLS has online access to information about any other member’s listings. Because of commission splits, property sold through an MLS doesn’t generate as much commission for the broker who is using the list. But in exchange for a shared commission, the broader market creates enough extra volume in sales to more than compensate for the reduced commissions.