The Multiple Listing Service, or MLS, has been active in one form or other since the 1800s. Back in those days, real estate professionals came together to create a network by which all regional inventory could be available within a single market. Before this, there was no right way for a realtor to know which homes were available in the broader market, except for those that were represented by realtor himself or herself. Using a Multiple Listing Service, all regional real estate professionals can know about the inventory in the market and can make the knowledge available to their clients. Here are some important details about how it works.
The MLS Is Good for Competition
There are more than 800 active MLSs, each representing a different region and network of realtors. Using these resources, any realtor, even those from tiny real estate agencies, can see all of the same information that large multi-state agencies use to make their sales. In this way, the MLS is a democratizing force within the industry. Without it, large agencies would be able to hoard information, but by making all info accessible to all, the system gives everyone a chance at success.
The MLS Is Good for Collaboration
A realtor who finds a house that is a good fit for his or her clients can help these clients buy it, even if this realtor does not formally represent the property. The real estate agent who does represent the property will share the commission with the realtor who found the property on the MLS.
The MLS Is Maintained and Financed by Real Estate Professionals
All real estate professionals who use the Multiple Listing Service also contribute to its financial maintenance. This system further ensures that the information contained in the MLS is accessible to all. Everyone depends on the MLS equally and thus gives of their time and money to make sure that it is the best network that it can be.
Once a suitable property is found in the MLS, it can be sold using high-quality third-party applications such as Propy. Until then, the MLS is the primary resource that all real estate professionals should use to locate properties that fit the unique needs of their clients.