What Is This MLS Thing?
A multiple listing service is a local or regional network of real estate brokers that share information about listings that creates a larger marketplace and allows member to have more information on which to judge the price at which to buy or sell a particular property. There is no real controversy about the value of having access to MLSs. The question here is: What does it mean to you?
The Value That Comes From A Multiple Listing Service
The MLS for real estate sales is a concept that has evolved over many years to help create some liquidity in local real estate markets. This is a natural extension of market principles into an area of business where the product (property) has a natural anti-marketplace quality.
For an efficient market in the economic sense you need to have products or services that are reasonably alike. You need to have an ability to exchange assets and turn them into cash by sale. This is definitely not the nature of real estate. Real properties are unique; they have no natural comparison with any other property because the location is different for each and there is a high variance in characteristics for each.
Shining A Bright Light Into The Local Market
Multiple listing services or MLSs overcome these difficulties by creating transparency in a very foggy marketplace. When brokers and realtors began to exchange information and collaborate across agencies they have been able to compare prices more effectively and facilitate transactions that would have been difficult to complete within the limits of a single brokerage.
So, for the homebuyer and seller, it means you have a much bigger marketplace from which to select and offer your property. It means that there will be less variation in price because the comparative market price of the property of interest will be clear from the examples of recently sold homes in the market.
On The Seller’s End
This will assist your realtor in correctly pricing your home on the market and speed the sale along. Rest assured that if there is MLS information available or not the property has a market value; it doesn’t matter if you can find it or not.
What will happen is that the further the price you put on a property is from the true market value the longer it will take to dispose of it by sale. Having accurate market information will take the element of gambling out of setting the price and give you more certainty in the time to sell.
Buyer Side Peace Of Mind
For buyers an MLS is evaluable to find the property that you want and to not pay too high a price for it. Your realtor will be able to offer a wider selection of potential properties which means that you are much more likely to get the one that best suits your needs and desires.
Ultimate Searchability For Everyone
All of this adds up to elimination of fear in the marketplace. Where there is darkness there is hesitation and fear, where there is light (in the form of information) there is confidence and decisiveness. The modern MLS is a valuable tool for realtors, which means that it is a good thing for homeowners and buyers.