What is a multiple listing service?

Definition of Multiple Listing Service

A multiple listing service (MLS) is an online database that’s made up of several private online databases that hold, store and update in real-time all current real estate listings. The MLS is used as an IDX service to allow Realtors and brokerages to display property currently for sale and to help real estate agents to prepare market analysis for clients. The MLS is also used to publicly advertise homes are for sale or lease.

Why is this term important?

One of the most efficient ways to sell a home is to have a real estate agent post your home on the multiple listing service. This online database is where the vast majority of home buyers start their real estate search, which means that inclusion in the MLS gives your property greater exposure to more potential buyers.

If there was now MLS available in your area, then a real estate agent or broker could only show properties known to that particular agency and this could mean that potential buyers may not find a seller's home.

As someone looking to purchase a home, multiple listing services are there to help you seek distinct criteria regarding price range, location, and nearby facilities. Most websites that display information from the MSL also provide information on mortgage payments, property taxes and estimated utilities based on each specific property.

Examples of term

If you are looking to purchase a home in North Vancouver, close to the water, a particular school district and within your budget, the MLS can narrow down your home search using these criteria.