Why You Should Always List your Home on Multiple MLS Systems.

sell home on multiple mls

The magician behind the curtain in the real estate industry has a name, and it is the MLS. There are hundreds of multiple listing services, MLS systems, spread throughout all fifty states.

When you speak with a Realtor (or some other home selling company) you expect them to perform this magic, list your home for sale with photos, 3D, appropriate data, written description, and put it on thousands of real estate websites all at once. Then the Realtor or other company typically does this by inputting all the data, pictures, 3D, and more into one MLS system within your State that they have a paid membership to. Then the home’s information will go out to the many thousands of real estate search sites like magic.

However, we list all of our client’s homes in Oregon and Washington in multiple MLS systems at the same time, and maintain multiple paid MLS memberships to do so. But this doesn’t mean it is going to send the same home to Zillow twice (like you would get double exposure or something). So why would we list on multiple MLS systems? Stick with me to understand the significant advantage for our clients.

If there was only one MLS system for the U.S.

It would be nice. However, there are hundreds, with multiples in most states and a few MLS systems that cover an adjoining state (usually if a greater metro area straddles a State border).

The MLS is used for a Lot More than sending your home to Zillow

Okay, Realtors are licensed to a specific State (at least one). Only Realtors properly licensed with that State can earn commission on a sale. Nearly 100% of Realtors are required to have a membership to a local MLS (the Realty company they are under typically requires it), because:

  1. The MLS system tells the Realtors what commission they will earn if they bring a buyer.
  2. The MLS system tells the Realtor all-important showing instructions on how they can bring buyers into that home. Often the MLS system is connected with a local set of smart lockboxes that give Realtors access to all homes listed on the MLS.
  3. The MLS system tells the buying agent how to submit an offer and provides direct contact information for the listing agent.

In other words, the MLS is the significant, essential, everyday workhorse for local Realtors. Therefore, this also means Realtors typically never use Zillow or other such sites to search for their clients’ homes. Realtors use the MLS to search for their clients’ homes because the MLS provides them with showing instructions, access, gives them direct listing agent contact information, tells them how to submit an offer, and what they will earn if they do so.

MLS Systems get Homes Sold.

Yes, they send the home to Zillow. But that home buyer on Zillow or related website (most of the time) is working with a buyers agent that then uses the MLS to get the information they need to do their job. Also, that Realtor is heads down, using the MLS everyday to search for homes for their clients.

What happens if the Home is Not on the MLS the Realtor is a member of?

It gets tough. That Realtor doesn’t know what the showing instructions are, what the offer instructions are, and may not have ready access to contact the listing agent (not in their MLS roster). Also the home is missing out on its most important audience, a State licensed Realtor who would earn a commission if they brought a buyer.

MLS Systems do an incredible job notifying Realtors (members only) of new homes for sale.

Oregon example, the largest MLS system in Oregon is RMLS based in Portland. It reaches roughly 8,000 licensed Realtors. Whenever a new listing is inputted in RMLS, thousands of Realtors receive instant notifications and obtain all the information they might want about that property. However, RMLS only covers about half the licensed Realtors in the State of Oregon who could legitimately earn a commission if they brought a buyer. There are roughly 16,000 Realtors in Oregon. There are three major MLS systems in Oregon, including WVMLS (Willamette Valley MLS in Salem) and MLSCO (MLS Central Oregon in Bend). Between these three one can reach nearly every licensed Realtor in the State with a new home for sale, notifying them where they live and breathe and do their daily work.

Washington example, the largest MLS system is the powerful NWMLS based in Seattle and its system covers close to the entire state. However, because RMLS (based in Portland with a metro area that bleeds into SW Washington) serves the southern portion of Washington, it is essential to list homes in both MLS systems. If you do so, you’ll have Realtors driving south with clients and dual-licensed (OR and WA) Realtors in Portland driving north, bringing clients. In either case the Realtor must be licensed in WA to bring the buyer and earn a commission, but the sheer number of dual-licensed Realtors in Portland makes the double MLS coverage crucial.

Homes Listed on Multiple MLS Systems Sell Faster and For More.

It’s true. If you’re in Oregon or Washington check out our home selling program here. We charge a max. of 4% commission to sell a home in SW Washington and in the greater Portland metro area. We always include pro. photos, 3D tours, and take care to advertise the details of each home carefully. We care about the details, and strive to obtain every advantage for our clients (including listing every home on multiple MLS systems). Our team has completed over 2,000 home sales and we’d love to talk with you today. Please call us today or chat with our bot on this site.

June 10, 2022

Stephen FitzMaurice

Stephen FitzMaurice, Realtor is a top 5% real estate agent in the U.S. A Principal Broker in Oregon, Managing Broker in Washington, he has been licensed since 2003 for residential real estate sales. Call his team in Oregon at 503-714-1111 or in Washington at 360-345-3833.

4% max to sell a home in Portland and SW Washington.
4.5% max to sell a home in Salem and Bend.
Over 2,000 homes sold.