Created in the late 1800s, the MLS or multiple listing service is a system of organized real estate that shares information on properties listed by real estate agents. It serves as a link that enables agents to establish among themselves a contracting system of compensation offers. MLS also facilitates agent cooperation and organized listing information dissemination for better service to clients and the public. 

The main function of an MLS is to offer a facility to publish the unilateral compensation offer by a listing broker to other participating MLS agents. By making a compensation offer, there exists a contractual obligation, subject to negotiation between listing agent and the buyer's agent. The rate of commission offered by the listing broker to participating brokers is published in the MLS system.

The first ever MLS was created based on the fundamental principle of brokers' reciprocity in selling their respective inventory. The same principle holds true in the modern MLS system which makes use of software and database by real estate brokers, representing sellers under a listing contract. The data and information stored in the MLS database is the property of the broker who has a listing agreement with the seller of the property.

MLS also has a search system that allows a subscriber to retrieve information on all properties for sale by MLS participating agents/realtors. The system contains hundreds of information on the features of a home for sale. These information are determined by knowledgeable real estate practitioners who are experienced in the local real estate market.

MLS has definitely helped advance the real estate industry's listing system. However, a person who directly sells his own property, as FSBO (For sale by Owner) seller, generally cannot place the property directly into the MLS system. But, some real estate brokers and online services offer options to the FSBO sellers, like allowing them to list their property in the MLS database for a fee or other non-traditional means of compensation.

Availing the benefits of an MLS listing can be done better by dealing with a real estate agent to represent the sale.

Posted by Ross PAVL on
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