Multiple Listing Service

Definition

MLS. A group of brokers joined together in a marketing organization for the purpose of pooling their respective listings. In exchange for a potentially larger audience of buyers, the brokers agree to share commissions. A MLS allows brokers to show a wider variety of homes to prospective buyers, though the broker will make a lower commission because of the shared arrangement. There can be multiple MLS systems within a country, and are often based on location; for instance, the largest MLS in the United States focuses on the Washington D.C. metropolitan area, and has over 55,000 members. For a broker to list on an MLS, they must typically be properly licensed and belong to the appropriate organization such as the National Association of Realtors. The first MLS was created in Michigan in 1968.

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