Multiple Listing Service (MLS) Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Multiple Listing Service (MLS), written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Multiple Listing Service (MLS)?

Service that provides detailed information about real estate listings to its members.

History and Meaning of Multiple Listing Service (MLS)

Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is a database of property listings used by real estate brokers and agents across the United States and Canada. It helps agents to provide accurate and up-to-date information about available properties to their clients. The term first appeared in the early 1900s when real estate brokers would gather and share information about their property listings with one another. The MLS as we know it today became widespread in the 1980s with the advancement of technology and the creation of online databases.

Nowadays, the MLS operates as a comprehensive tool to manage and share property listings, allowing real estate professionals to connect with other agents, advertise properties to a wider audience, and offer clients a better level of service. It allows real estate professionals to search for specific types of property listings and filter results based on property features, location, price range, and other criteria.

Examples of Multiple Listing Service (MLS)

  1. John, a real estate agent, logs into the MLS to check for new property listings that he can show to his clients.

  2. Mary, a homeowner, wants to sell her property and contacts a real estate agent who lists it on the MLS.

  3. Bob, a real estate investor, uses the MLS to find properties that fit his investment criteria and make offers on them.

Legal Terms Similar to Multiple Listing Service (MLS)

  1. Real Estate Brokerage: A company that provides real estate services, including property buying, selling, leasing, and management.

  2. Real Estate Agent: A licensed professional who works under a real estate brokerage to provide real estate services to clients.

  3. Property Listing Agreement: A legal contract between a property owner and a real estate agent or broker that sets out the terms of the sale or rental of the property.

  4. Multiple Listing Agreement: A contract between a real estate broker and a property owner that allows the property to be listed on the MLS.