When you're looking to buy or sell a home, you've probably come across the term "MLS". An acronym for multiple listing service or multiple listing system, it's a fundamental tool used by real estate professionals. It allows real estate agents and brokers to connect their clients with homes and buyers more easily. To learn more about what is MLS in real estate and the role that it plays, continue reading.
What is MLS in Real Estate?
The MLS isn't just a single system; it's a collection of systems and services that stores information about homes for sale. Some people assume that it's a relatively new tool, but this isn't necessarily true. The MLS has roots dating back more than 100 years, all the way to the late 1800s. During this time, real estate brokers often gathered to share information about property listings for sale. One real estate broker, for instance, would share a property he or she was selling with another broker in hopes of finding a buyer. This "networking" proved highly useful in finding buyers, so the brokers decided to create a system for sharing such information -- and that's how the MLS was born.
Benefits of Using the MLS
According to a survey conducted by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), more than half of homebuyers used MLS websites in their search for the perfect home. So, what benefits does MLS offer for homebuyers and sellers?
The most notable benefit of using the MLS is the ability to sell or buy a home in less time. Because it contains listings from multiple real estate brokers -- whom participate in the MLS -- brokers can find buyers and sellers more easily. For sellers, this means a shorter time on the market. For buyers, this means finding a home in less time.
MLS also benefits real estate brokers by giving them access to more properties, which in turn helps them generate commission through sales. The listing broker specifies the commission on the MLS listing, which then becomes available to all other cooperating brokers.
The Bottom Line
Whether you're buying or selling a home, you should choose a real estate broker who has access to the MLS. Traditional real estate listing websites aren't always sufficient. Even if they contain a decent number of listings, you can access significantly more listings through the MLS.
This article was brought to you by Premier Island Properties - A full service real estate firm serving Hilton Head Island and Bluffton, South Carolina. For more real estate news, information, and interesting facts about the Lowcountry, please visit our website.
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