Posted on: January 30, 2023 Posted by: Sarah Giavedoni Comments: 0

Last Updated on June 1, 2023

Today, we're going to go over the basics of the Multiple Listing Service.

Imagine a group of dapper gentlemen sitting around a conference table, discussing the newest properties for sale in the city. Their three-button vests were freshly pressed just this morning, and their mustaches are expertly waxed. By sharing information about their client’s available properties, the brokers are engaging in an open quid pro quo: If you help me sell my inventory, I’ll help you sell yours.

No, this isn’t a scene spotted at the hippest new real estate agency in West Asheville. According to the National Association of REALTORSⓇ, this was how real estate business was widely conducted in the late 1800s. Then in 1907, the modern concept of “multiple listings” began.

Today, we’re going to go over the basics of the Multiple Listing Service in the 21st century and why it’s important to your home search. Are you ready to begin?

What is the MLS?

The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is a tool that allows real estate agents to work with other agents in their region, even if they work for competing agencies or brokerages. There are currently more than 800 regional MLS databases that are created and funded by local real estate professionals to facilitate property sales. Allen Tate/Beverly-Hanks is a member of Canopy MLS, based in Charlotte.

In most cases, MLS content is provided free of charge to the public by participating brokerages. For instance, homes listed on our website feature photos and property descriptions that feed directly from our MLS. These properties represent homes for sale across the region, even if they’re listed by other firms. 

However, some MLS data is not made public in order to ensure seller privacy or safety. This includes data such as seller contact information and home vacancy status. When you work with a real estate professional, they can help you navigate all the information available on the MLS in order to successfully buy a home.

Your ability to search for the right home is arguably the most obviously important step of the 12-step home buying process. Thanks to the MLS, both home buyers and sellers are able to work closely with a trusted real estate professional of their choice while achieving the best outcomes of their real estate transactions.

Without the MLS, many agencies would only be able to showcase properties listed by their agents. As you can imagine, this would severely limit a home buyer’s ability to search for all homes available in an area—at least, not without a lot of work! The MLS, then, is a helpful tool for both home buyers and sellers: It allows sellers the widest exposure in advertising their home for sale, while allowing buyers to search listings across many agencies or brokerages with ease.

Agents and brokers pay membership to their local MLS. For this reason, home sellers must work with an agent in order to have their property listed through the service. For Sale by Owner (FSBO) homes are not listed in the MLS. In addition to including standard information like square footage and photos, agents are also able to upload and download documents to the MLS, including seller disclosures and HOA regulations. It’s good to ask your REALTORⓇ to check for any such documents on a home before making an offer.

Ready to start your home search? Use our enhanced MLS feed to discover your dream home!

We provide you with the most complete and accurate real estate information possible. We enhance the available MLS information of specific properties to include custom community, school, and market information that you need to make the best purchasing decision. With only a verified email, you have access to the same tools our agents use to price homes, examine trends, and research every property available.

Begin your search today!

All real estate is local. In order to make confident real estate decisions, it’s important to have timely and neighborhood-specific information. Contact us today to speak with an Allen Tate/Beverly-Hanks real estate agent about buying homes and land in Western North Carolina.

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