MLS stands for "multiple listing service" — a database owned and operated by real estate agents and their local trade associations. The nation's MLS systems (there are more than 800 of them in the U.S.) are the primary channel for publicizing listings among agents and brokerages. Every day, new listings enter MLS databases and flow to the subscribing agents and services.
Many people think that the MLS is the exclusive domain of real estate agents. The reality is that this essential marketing tool is available to homeowners who want to list their homes for sale by owner (FSBO) through an array of MLS-affiliated websites and brokers. Instead of calling up an agent and promising to pay 6 percent of your property's sale price to put your home on your area's MLS, you can market your property to millions of buyers and real estate agents while pocketing the savings.
Now that you know the meaning behind the letters, let's talk numbers: More than 80 percent of homes are sold on an MLS, according to the National Association of Realtors. Our MLS Enhanced Listing Package reaches more than 40 million buyers through syndication to multiple websites, maximizing your home's online presence. Considering 90 percent of buyers search for a home online, your listing will be right where they're looking.
Think of using the MLS as a by-owner seller as the best of both worlds — you get the same exposure as working with an agent without the added cost and constraints. Marketing your home with MLS means you agree to pay a buyer's agent 2-3 percent commission if you accept their client's offer, but you'll also get more control over the sale. Check out ForSaleByOwner.com's MLS Enhanced Listing Package to advertise your home on your local MLS now.
Tell us in the comments: Do you plan on using the MLS as part of your home-selling strategy?