What is the MLS? How does it work? Briefly what are the similarities/differences between your site and theirs?

Asked by TRK, 92707 Wed Nov 12, 2008

Some one suggested the MLS., and I am looking for a better understanding of what they are talking about. What are the pro's and cons of this service. Would I need one person to represent me? and if so what would their involvement be? what is the estimated cost? and how does it figure into the closing costs? This is all so new for me any insight will be appreciated

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:


Brett Matsuura’s answer
Brett Matsuu…, Agent, Laguna Hills, CA
Sun Nov 7, 2010
MLS stands for Multiple Listing Service. It is a system where Realtors share their properties for sale and is a broad agreement where commissions are shared. According to the National Association of Realtors 2009 profile of Buyers and Sellers 64% of first time home buyers used the MLS to find a home while 93% of Seller's utilized it as part of their marketing plan. Therefore, the main pro is exposure...and I don't see any con. MLS systems can only be access by Realtors, therefore you would need to have a Realtor represent you to get your property on you local system. Each Realtor will offer different services and will charge different a different commission rate. If you are new to buying/selling real estate you should consider only working with a full service agent, also you should interview a few agents and find one you like. If you are a Seller, the total commissions will be charged as a closing costs for both buyer and seller. Any amount of commissions paid to the Buyer Agent from the Seller will count as a credit to the commission agreement between the Buyer Agent and the Buyer. For example, if a Buyer Agent charges 3% to represent a Buyer and the Seller agrees to pay 2.5% of that...the .5% differerence would be the Buyer's responsibility to pay at closing. Hope this helps you out...good luck!
Web Reference:  http://www.brettmatsuura.com
0 votes
Keith Sorem, Agent, Glendale, CA
Wed Nov 12, 2008
When sellers want to sell they almost always want to net as much money as possible. There are number ways a seller can choose to sell:
1. Sell without professional representation (commonly referred to a For Sale By Owner, or FSBO..but truthfully all homes are sold by the owner...). This method works about 10% of the time. 85% of the time sellers eventually list with a Realtor. When they do sell, they sell on average 16% less compared to the average homes sold by Realtors.

There are at least three ways to list your home on the MLS (with a Realtor). However, they have varying costs and results:
2. And MLS Entry Only or Flat Fee broker. You pay them a fee, they put your home on the MLS, you do all the showing, negotiating, and pay the buyer's broker fee. In truth you are trying to save about 2-4% of the price in most cases. Unfortunately, these brokers (in my MLS anyway) have some problems

-the listings fail to sell almost three times as often as full service brokers
-they sell at a lower price, usually 2-4% less than full service brokers.
-when they do sell they take a lot longer

3. A discount broker -they charge more, but achieve about the same results, but usually a percentage of the listing price

4. Full service brokers, in my MLS surveys, consistently out perform all other methods.
In my MLS homes that sell average about 96% of asking price and take about 110 days to sell.
Full service brokers who sell within 30 days on the market (only about 20% of listings sell within 30 days) sell at 100.25% of asking price. So at 120 days they are selling at 93.7% of asking.

Big difference, right?

So my suggestion is to interview a couple of Realtors, compare their proposals, then decide what is best for you. If you like I would be happy to refer you to a top Realtor in your area.
Good luck
1 vote
Bill Godwin, Agent, Laguna Niguel, CA
Wed Nov 12, 2008
The Multiple Listing Service is a membership service for REALTORS. It contains all the listings in a geographic area. The SoCal MLS just merged the listings of 5 area MLSs making the largest MLS in the nation and containing listings from Ventura to San Clemente and throughout the Inland Empire.

In making a purchase you would want an agent to represent your interest which are necessarily different from those of the seller. A good buyer's agent will help you find a home that meets your needs and then assist in negotiating the terms and conditions of the transaction. Your agent will make sure that you meet all the contractual obligations of the transaction in a timely manner in order that you do not jeapordize your earnest money. The agents for both the seller and the buyer are paid out of the seller's proceeds from the sell.

I would be happy to interview for the job of being your representative. Contact me privately at


Web Reference:  http://www.BillMGodwin.com
1 vote
Jacqueline W…, Agent, Irvine, CA
Wed Nov 12, 2008
The mls is the database that real estate professionals use to advertise property for sale. There are a number of sites that feed from the mls...including http://www.realtor.com and http://www.homeseekers.com and, most real estate agents have their own sites that provide access to most of the information in the mls to homebuyers....check out mine at http://www.coastalhomeseekers.com. I also have a web-based service that I offer to my Clients that allows them to search the mls just like I do....plus they are able to set up specific searches and keep up-to-date on market activity themselves, if they prefer. You do need one person to represent you if you are planning on buying a property....find a full time, professional real estate agent who can help navigate you through the buying process and who is experienced working with distress sales (short sales and reos).
1 vote
John Sefton, Agent, Long Beach, CA
Tue Nov 18, 2008
MLS = Multiple Listing Service.

There are various MLS's for various areas.

The link below for the Alliance MLS combines several of them in Southern California.
0 votes
Scott Godzyk, Agent, Manchester, NH
Wed Nov 12, 2008
MLS is the Multiple Listing Service, it is what realtors ente rtheir listing into ofr other realtors to see and get the information to their buyers. You can go to http://www.realtor.com where realtors MLS iinformation is posted in their database. Some MLS allow the addresses to be listed and some do not, those who dont you have to email the listing agents. The main difference is all realtor belong to MLs where only some realtors belong to Trulia. Your best bet is to have a buyer agent who can scan the mls and get you up to date info on new listings and price changes as they occur. Good luck with your search.
Web Reference:  http://www.ScottSellsNH.com
0 votes
Search Advice
Ask our community a question

Email me when…

Learn more