One of the terms you will certainly hear if you want to sell your home or buy one is multiple listing service (MLS). This is usually referred to as the life of the real estate business and that is not different in Toronto as MLS listing also has a big role to play in the Toronto real estate market. However, sometimes, the concept of MLS if not explained accurately and may be difficult to grasp for a first timer.
What Is MLS?
A multiple listing service (MLS) can simply be explained as a marketing database that is developed by a group of real estate brokers to give accurate and well-organized data about properties that are up for sale. Within the database is a mechanism for listing brokers that offer compensation to buyer brokers who get buyers for their listed properties.
MLS may seem like a new concept, but that is actually not the case. It is a known fact that people have been buying and selling real estate even before the 1800s in the United States and its environs. So, because of this, real estate experts deemed it fit to create a way to share information. In 1907, the concept of MLS was formed. Back then, the process was as follows:
Real estate agents would meet regularly at organized conferences to exchange information about homes they were trying to sell. This sharing of information, they believed, would help them to connect to buyers faster. In 1908, the National Association of Realtors, which at that time was known as the National Association of Real Estate Exchanges, endorsed the use of the MLS system by all real estate agents. The concept was accepted readily by all involved and has evolved over the years to what is available now.
The MLS is built in such a way that each region has its own listing. For instance, Toronto has its own MLS listing that helps you to have access to homes available in Toronto for sale. Due to the fact that the MLS system is regional, real estate agents that seek to cover a wider area would have to become members at more than one MLS. It is important to note that only real estate agents are allowed to be members of an MLS.
How Does MLS work?
As stated earlier, only real estate agents and licensed brokers can be members of an MLS and have direct access to the database. So, as a homeowner you will not be able to post your home directly to the database. For instance, if you have a home in Toronto, you will not be able to post it to the Toronto MLS Listing by yourself. So, what happens is this: if you want to take advantage of the MLS system, you have to meet an agent. This agent gets every necessary information about your home, like the number of rooms and other characteristics. Also, the agent will have to take pictures of the home. They will take this information and post in on the MLS listing on behalf of the homeowner. When the agent gets logged on to the MLS, he or she will get access to lots of data that he can share with the client to help make better decisions as to how much to sell and also when to sell.
How Can You Use MLS To Buy A Property?
So, maybe you are not looking to sell real estate but you want to buy one: you may already be wondering how you can take advantage of the MLS listings. Actually, as a buyer, you can take full advantage of the listing as well. The truth is that as a home buyer you do not have access to MLS, only real estate agents have that access. If you want to get a house in Toronto, all you have to do is get to a real estate agent. The agent will explore the MLS listings for Toronto and show you the options available. From the options available you will be able to make your choice.
Using MLS helps to reduce the stress of driving around town to look out for a new home. Rather, with your agent, you can simply see available homes and contact the agent handling that home if you want to buy the house. MLS has many benefits, but many believe that its restriction to real estate agents only is a bad thing. In reality, it is not necessarily a limitation, but a way to maintain order and structure within the database. This way, information shared would be verifiable and authentic.