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Multiple Listing Service

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A Multiple Listing Service, or MLS, is a regional database of properties for sale in a market. Full access is generally limited to Multiple Listing Service members. A given Multiple Listing Service sets its own membership requirements. Multiple Listing Service members are typically restricted to Realtors that are part of the local Realtor association. Today, limited Multiple Listing Service database information is available to the public in man markets via the Internet. For the seller, one of the main advantages of hiring a listing agent is to get the property on the Multiple Listing Service, where other agents will find it any time they do a search for a potential qualified buyer. Typically, every listed property will be found in the Multiple Listing Service. Manhattan is a notable exception, where some firms refuse to participate in the Multiple Listing Service to the detriment of buyers and sellers alike. Critics of the Multiple Listing Service do not dispute its utility, but believe that practices of full service brokerages that restrict access to the Multiple Listing Service are anticompetitive.

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