Dan Green

Dan Green

Since 2003, Dan Green has been a leading mortgage lender and respected industry authority. His unwavering commitment to first-time home buyers and home buyer education has established him as a trusted voice among his colleagues, his peers, and the media. Dan founded Homebuyer.com to expand the American Dream of Homeownership to all who want it. .

Front-Range Home - Multiple Listing Service

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What is Multiple Listing Service?

The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is a comprehensive database of homes for sale, often managed by groups of real estate professionals. The MLS is used primarily by real estate agents to share information about properties for sale with other agents and active home buyers.

A Longer Definition: Multiple Listing Service

The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is a collective agreement among real estate companies to share listing information with one another to match home buyers and home sellers more efficiently.

An MLS provides accurate and up-to-date information on every home for sale in a specific area, including a home’s listing price, exact location, size in square footage, and features and amenities.

The MLS contains historical data on property sales and ensures standardization of real estate listings, requiring specific data and criteria to be met before a property is listed.

While direct access to an MLS is often limited to real estate professionals, its information is available to first-time home buyers and homeowners via popular real estate websites, offering a broad view of the market and ensuring transparency and a wide range of options.

Multiple Listing Service: A Real World Example

First-Time Home Buyer Stories: Multiple Listing Service

Imagine a Gen Z home buyer looking to buy a home out of state. They live too far away to drive neighborhoods and see homes listed for sale, so the buyer uses an app to browse what’s available in the farway city.

Through the MLS and its data, the home buyer can filter for properties that meet their criteria regarding budget, number of bedrooms, proximity to schools, and other preferences. The MLS publishes a comprehensive list of homes for sale with detailed information on each, such as square footage, age of the home, and recent renovations. The Multiple Listing Service increases the efficiency of a home search and helps home buyers make better housing decisions.

Common Questions About Multiple Listing Service (MLS)

What are the benefits of using an MLS for real estate transactions?

The MLS provides a centralized, standardized platform for listing properties, which makes it easier for real estate agents to find suitable properties for buyers. The MLS increases property exposure, facilitates information sharing, and helps market analysis and price setting.

Can the general public access MLS listings?

While the MLS is primarily intended for real estate professionals, the general public can access MLS listings indirectly through real estate websites and agents. These platforms often pull data from the MLS, providing a comprehensive view of the market to potential buyers.

Does the MLS contain information about a home’s mortgage?

No, Multiple Listing Service data is typically independent of mortgage-related data, including whether a home is owned free-and-clear or mortgaged by an FHA loan or other loan type.

How does the MLS help in setting property prices?

The MLS contains detailed historical data on property sales, which agents use to accurately analyze market trends and price properties. This data helps understand the local real estate market, ensuring that properties are priced in line with current market conditions.

Are there any costs associated with using MLS data as a first-time home buyer?

Typically, there are no direct costs for a first-time home buyer to access MLS data, as this is a service provided by real estate agents and brokers who pay to access and list properties on the MLS. Additionally, many real estate websites and apps that first-time home buyers use for property searches get their listings from the MLS, and these platforms are usually free to use.


       The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is a comprehensive database of homes for sale, often managed by groups of real estate professionals.

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