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

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Updated 04/2024

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.

Many believe that the upcoming commission changes in 2024 (and beyond) will lessen the importance of the MLS. The NAR settlement and other lawsuits are mostly focused on decoupling sellers and buyers agent commission. The MLS has historically put those two commissions together. But that is not the only function the MLS serves, not by a long shot. In the near future many homeowners may be tempted to bypass the MLS altogether and attempt to list their home by themselves or with a Realty company that doesn’t have an MLS membership. Perhaps thinking that listing on only a handful of sites, like Zillow or Redfin would be sufficient for their home sale. And they would be mistaken. There are multiple reasons to use multiple MLS systems in every home sale.

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

All Realtors and real estate agents are licensed to a specific State (at least one). Only Realtors and real estate agents properly licensed within that State can earn commission on a sale. The vast majority of these agents have a membership with at least one local MLS system because:

  1. SHOWINGS – 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.
  2. OFFER SUBMISSION – The MLS system tells the buying agent how to submit an offer and provides direct contact information for the listing agent.
  3. SYNDICATION – The MLS broadcasts out the agents created advertisement for the home to many thousands of websites across the country and sometimes across the globe.
  4. COMMISSION – The MLS system tells the Realtors what commission they will earn if they bring a buyer (this is likely going away and soon).

In other words, the MLS is the significant, essential, everyday workhorse for local Realtors and real estate agents. Therefore, this also means real estate agents and Realtors typically never use Zillow or other such sites to search for their clients’ homes. They use the MLS because they want to be sure to see all of the available homes for sale, and because the MLS provides them with showing instructions and home access, offer instructions, and gives them the listing agent’s direct contact information, and more.

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, the local Realtors and real estate agents have their heads down, searching the MLS every day to find homes for their clients. The MLS is one tool you wouldn’t want to skip when trying to sell your home.

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).

Listing Your Home on Multiple MLS Systems is Even Better

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 tours, appropriate data, a written description, and put it on thousands of real estate websites all on the same day. 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 the various MLS systems are 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.

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

It gets tough. That Realtor or real estate agent 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).

MLS Systems do an incredible job notifying Realtors and Agents (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 and agents in the State of Oregon.

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 and real estate agent in the State with a new home for sale, on the same day that home hits the market, 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 and agents driving south with clients and dual-licensed (OR and WA) Realtors in Portland driving north, bringing their clients. In either case the Realtor or agent must be licensed in WA to bring the buyer, 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 less than the average rates 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. Please call us today at 503-714-1111 or chat with our bot on this site. We’d love to connect today!

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What My Clients Are Saying

Stephen uses his broad knowledge of the market and his well-polished marketing skills to list houses at the maximum they can and will sell for. He is extremely adept at orchestrating all of the selling details and I look forward to doing business with him again.