Bill Sill - Austin Real Estate

What is the Multiple Listing Service (MLS)?

The Multiple Listing Service, commonly referred to as the "MLS," may not be what you think it is. When asked, most people say, "a database" or "a list of homes for sale." In fact, the MLS Austin is much more than that. (You can view the contents of the MLS right now by using our Austin Home Search).

Defining MLS

At its core, the MLS is an agreement among REALTORS to cooperate and share information for the benefit of clients. They do this through a database of information about homes listed in a standard format. The accuracy of information in the database is managed by local REALTOR organizations and the funds to maintain that information come from REALTORS in the form of dues paid throughout the year.

How the MLS Works

REALTORS representing home sellers list their clients' homes on the MLS, including all types of information that a buyer would need to evaluate a property. Then, REALTORS representing buyers search the MLS for properties that meet the needs of their clients.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How can I list my home on the MLS?

    Talk to a REALTOR. The MLS is a tool that REALTORS use and maintain to help them assist their clients. It is also the most complete and accurate source of information on your local housing market.

  2. I've searched lots of home listings online. Am I searching the MLS?

    No. Real estate professionals and home sellers use many outlets to publicize their properties, including Web sites. However, home listings you view online are not the MLS. MLS listings are only available to members of your local REALTOR organization.

  3. Will my home achieve a higher valuation if its listed on the MLS?

    Research says yes. Sellers that work with a REALTOR, thus have the ability to list their home on the MLS, typically achieve a 20 percent higher valuation than those that do not.

  4. I want to sell my home on my own, but want it listed on the MLS, too. Can I do that?

    Yes and no. In Texas, real estate agents are required to provide a minimum level of service to clients. If a REALTOR lists your home on the MLS, at a minimum they must also help you evaluate and negotiate offers you receive from buyers. However, when you use a REALTOR, their time and experience are working for you as well. In addition to selling your home for a higher price than you'll likely achieve on your own, REALTORS save you time and will protect your interests.

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