What is an MLS?

MLS stands for Multiple Listing Service. MLS’s were formed as a way for brokers to share information about property listings to the benefit of their buyer and seller clients. Individual real estate agents and brokers become members or subscribers of the MLS. They pay an annual fee to the MLS in exchange for the services the MLS provides. The MLS is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of members who are brokers, owners, and/or agents.

Believe it or not, there have not always been multiple listing services in the United States. Before the advent of the MLS a buyer would have to visit individual brokerage offices in the area to discover what each had for sale. If a real estate agent wanted to show a property that was listed by another broker, his broker would have to call and arrange a cooperative agreement before a showing could take place. In the 1950’s local MLS’s began to be created. Some of you may remember books of listings that were published regularly and used by real estate agents to assist consumers in the sale and purchase of real estate. Thankfully, the books have been replaced by computer systems.

Each region has its own MLS. In the Greater Phoenix area, it is the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service (ARMLS). ARMLS provides several services including: an internet based multiple listing system, a lockbox system, management of the forms used to collect listing information, and enforcement of rules and regulations.

Each broker determines whether or not he wants information for his listings to be available to share with the public through broker and agent websites. Most but not all brokers choose to do this. The MLS then determines which information will be available to the public in this way. This limited property information is then available through sites such as REALTOR.com, broker sites, or agent sites. Real estate agents participating in the MLS have access to more detailed information than is available to the general public. So, if you would like a more detailed search of property done for you, just give us a call at 480-917-1922.

Browse properties from the MLS at our websites: http://www.townhomesonly.com/ and http://www.realtysecrets.net/.

Sources of additional information about MLS’s:
Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service
National Association of REALTORS®