Multiple Listing Service (MLS) Explained
In the United States, Multiple Listing Services originated in the 1950’s to allow real estate brokers to work together without having to negotiate separate commission agreements before showing each other’s listings. The MLS is to Realtors® what the New Stock Exchange is to Stock Brokers and allows people looking to purchase a home to work with a single real estate agent and still have access to properties represented by all real estate brokers in the area. In North America, there are over 900 Multiple Listing Services, most of which are operated by local real estate broker boards and generally governed by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) which is the major real estate professionals trade organization representing over 1,000,000 realtors in the United States and Canada. Most MLSs provide the public with ability to search for properties; however access is usually limited to properties currently for sale.