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2012-08-12 07:51:01
History and advantages of an MLS
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A multiple listing service is a service provided by a group of real estate brokers. The real estate brokers’ band together to create a Multiple Listing Service that allows each of them to list the other broker’s homes. Under this arrangement, the listing broker and the selling broker split the commission for each sale.

A multiple listing service, which is also known as an MLS, or multiple listing system is a suite of services that allows real estate brokers to establish contractual offers of compensation (among brokers), facilitates cooperation with other broker participants, accumulates and provides information to enable appraisals. An MLS provides for the orderly correlation and dissemination of listing information that better serves a broker's clients, customers and the public.  A multiple listing service's database and software are used by brokers in real estate and represents sellers under a listing contract to widely share information about properties with other brokers who may represent potential buyers or wish to cooperate with a seller's broker in finding a buyer for the property. The data stored in a multiple listing service's database is the proprietary information of the broker who has obtained a listing agreement with a property's seller.

The origin of MLS services began in the late 1800’s where real estate brokers gathered in the offices of their local associations to share information about properties they were trying to sell. They agreed to compensate other brokers who helped sell those properties, and the first MLS was born, based on a fundamental principle that is unique to organized real estate: “I will help you sell your properties in exchange for you helping me to sell my properties.



MLS services in Utah.

There is no universal data format, and no single authoritative MLS. However, there is a developing data standard called the “Real Estate Transaction Standard” that is beginning to be deployed by some real estate agents.  Many different local and private databases cooperate to list agents and brokers offerings. Single associations of realtors control some of these databases. Others databases are controlled by groups of associations that represent all real estate brokers in Utah or some other regional or local area.  These associations are collectively referred to as the Utah MLS because of their data sharing or reciprocal access agreements.



Purpose and benefits:

The purpose of the Utah MLS is to provide a method to publish the Utah homes for a listing broker and other broker’s that are participating in MLS Utah. In other words, the commission rate offered by the listing broker for selling Utah homes is published in the MLS Utah to other cooperating brokers. This offer of compensation is a contractual obligation; however, the terms are negotiable between the listing broker and the broker representing the buyer. Because the terms of a transaction, as well as the properties features are contained in the MLS system, it is in the best interests of the broker participants, and the public, to maintain accurate and up to date information.

The additional benefit of MLS Utah systems is that a Utah MLS subscriber may search the MLS Utah and retrieve information about all Utah homes for sale listed by all participating brokers. Utah MLS systems contain hundreds of fields of information about the features of a property. Real estate professionals who are knowledgeable and experienced in that local Utah real estate market determine the data fields. Public real estate websites contain only a small subset of property data, such as for only the Salt Lake City market.



Limitations on access and criticisms:

Most MLS Utah systems restrict membership and access to real estate brokers and their agents who are licensed by the state to sell homes in Utah, are members of a local board or association of realtors, and are members of the applicable national trade association.  Access is becoming more open as Internet sites offer the public the ability to view portions of Utah MLS listings. There are some limitations on the access to information within Utah MLS; generally, only agents who are compensated proportional to the value of the sale have restricted access to the Utah MLS database. Many public Web forums have a limited ability in terms of reviewing comparable properties, past sales prices or monthly supply statistics. This represents the cornerstone of several ongoing debates about the current health of the Utah real estate market, which centers on free and open information being necessary for both the buying and selling parties to ensure fair prices are negotiated during closing, ultimately allowing a stable and less volatile market.



For Sale By Owner

A person selling his/her own property - acting as a “For sale by owner” (or FSBO) seller - cannot generally put a listing for the home directly into an MLS. An example of an exception to this general practice is the national MLS for Spain, AMLA Spain, in which FSBO listings are allowed. Similarly, a licensed broker who chooses to neither join the trade association nor operate a business within the association's rules cannot join most MLS’s. However, there are brokers and many online services that offer FSBO sellers the option of listing their property in their local MLS database by paying a fee or another non-traditional compensation method.



Last updated:
August 13, 2012

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2012-08-12 07:51:01
History and advantages of an MLS

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