Multiple Listing Service (MLS): What Is It?

For so many years, the Multiple Listing Services (MLS) becomes the brain of the Washington D.C. real estate industry. The MLS is responsible for making the agent bring the properties on his list to the consciousness of the buyers. It is possible for the buyer to select the property that suits his needs. The MLS also helps the seller make a better decision based the comps that he sees on the internet.

How did the MLS came to be? In the late 1800s, real estate brokers realized that they needed to organize their listings. This happened after they noticed that each broker finds it hard to sell his own listing. Because of this, they agreed to share their listings with one another and when the property is sold, they will compensate the broker that helped them sell it. The MLS was born out of the unique understanding from the brokers themselves which is to help each other sell properties.

The same cooperation is still being observed up to this day. Even if the listing is not their own, they can offer it to their clients who are looking for properties that meet the criteria of the house on sale. Sellers benefit from increased exposure to their property. On the hand, the buyers can benefit in MLS because they are being given the chance to compare different properties while working with only one broker.

The MLS serves as an equalizer in the competitiveness of the real estate market. Because of the cooperation of each broker in selling other seller’s listing, they develop camaraderie which is good for the industry. If no centralized listing is made, the brokers might still be working on separate systems without cooperation and with separate interests rather than consolidating property information.  

The MLS is a powerful tool for competition. It levels the playing fields so that pros and novice realtors can compete on an equal opportunity. Big and small real estate firms can get the same type of properties to negotiate. At the same time, buyers and sellers will have many options to choose who they are going to hire as their realtor. They will also be more informed about what are the properties for sale in the marketplace.

Today, most Washington D.C. real estate agent information is currently available on the internet. Consumers are given the opportunity to view all publicly available lusting on the website depending on the broker of choice.