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What is the MLS?

Joseph Brown

Joseph Brown

Joseph is a licensed residential real estate professional serving the Flathead Valley in Montana. Cutting his real estate "teeth" in commercial real estate with a Fortune 500 company coupled with serving as a police officer for nearly a decade, Joseph brings a unique and professional approach, perspective, and skill set to real estate and investments.

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What is the MLS? It definitely isn't Major League Soccer...

what is the mls
25% of participants believed that the MLS acronym stood for "Major League Soccer".

I’m always amazed at some of the content that is pushed out daily that I get to my inbox. Do not get me wrong, there are a lot of great resources that have some good nuggets of data in them, but for the most part it is a quick swipe to the right for me and a delete on my phone. So when I saw this one come across my phone I was not only shocked, but intrigued.

The headline read “Problem: Consumers don’t understand the MLS”. Being a Realtor this is day-to-day vernacular for me so I was intrigued and clicked on through the email. The email went on to state that independent research showed that a whopping 24% of users have only a vague idea of what the acronym MLS means and that an even scarier 25% of users think MLS means “Major League Soccer”

what is the mls
76% of consumers have "no idea" how the MLS benefits them.

I was shocked. Now I get it, you may not really care, but it is important for a few reasons. The study went on to show that only 76% of consumers have “no idea” how the MLS benefits them. Wait for it, okay there it is…jaw hits floor. In the technological day and age that we live in I get the fact that we are inundated with new products, services, technologies, and ways to go about finding information. But this research really blew my mind because it shows that we, Realtors, are doing a fair to horse crap job of actually taking the time to educate our customers and clients alike. 

The MLS or Multiple Listing Service, is essentially the main tool that helps listing brokers (agents) to find cooperating buyer brokers (agents) to help their clients sell homes. The MLS is a private database maintained and paid for by real estate professionals to help their clients buy and sell properties. It is essentially the number one resource that we as agents will use to market your home when it is time to sell, and the number one resource that we as agents will use to help buyers find homes.

All the great data that you can find on the internet that includes homes listed for sale, is pulled directly from the MLS through a specific technology (IDX – internet data exchange). But the long and short of it is, the MLS is a huge database that showcases homes for sale. This is the primary resource that a licensed Realtor will utilize to help you with the home buying or selling process. You want to reach out to an agent to get a customized search direct from the MLS so you can stay up to date.

what is the mls
Realtors, licensed real estate salespeople, are held to a higher standard than just licensed agents. Oh and they have direct access to the MLS.

So hopefully it is a little clearer to all of you out there what the MLS is, what it does, and how it benefits you. A lot of people will tell us, oh no thank you, I do not need that I have Zillow (or Trulia, etc.). The best part of getting a customized search set up by your agent, is that he or she will get you direct access to property updates on the MLS, they can set up your own portal access to log into and view homes (and collect favorites), and provide you with instant, daily, weekly, etc. updates about properties coming on market or back onto market. The MLS is a resource and tool that as a buyer (or seller) you will want to be plugged into by your agent so that you can better educate yourself on the market and know where things are at right away. 

If you have any questions about it or need anything further please do not hesitate to reach out. If you are interested in getting a custom home search set up as a buyer, click the link below!

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