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What is MLS in real estate?

Updated: Jun 5

A multi-listing service is a database of all houses currently on sale in a particular area.

As the name suggests, this database is filled with house advertisements, which provide agents and their customers with useful information about every home in the marketplace.

At the end of the 1800s, real estate brokers met regularly at the offices of their local associations to exchange information on the properties they were trying to sell. They agreed to indemnify other brokers who assisted in selling these properties, and the first MLS was born, based on a fundamental principle that is unique to organized real estate: Help me sell my stock so I can help you sell yours.

Now, with over 800 LMS, brokers share property information, they have registered and invited other dealers to co-operate in their sale in exchange for compensation if they produce the buyer. Sellers enjoy greater exposure to their property. Purchasers take advantage of this because they can obtain information on all MLS-rated properties while working with a single broker.

The real estate market is competitive, and the company is unique in that competitors also have to co-operate with one another to ensure a successful transaction. This is facilitated through MLS systems.

The MLS is a tool to help brokers find co-op brokers that work with buyers to help sell their customers' homes. Without the collaborative encouragement of the existing MLS, brokers would create their own separate cooperative systems, fragmenting instead of consolidating property information.

On the whole, an MLS is a private offer of cooperation and remuneration by registered brokers to other real estate brokers.

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