Skip To Content

What The Heck Is The MLS?

Why should you care about knowing how the MLS works?

What the heck is an MLS? And why is it important to you, the homeowner? Well, frankly, it’s probably the most important, most powerful tool that a homeowner can receive access to. And the only way you can get access to the MLS is through a real estate agent. And honestly, without it, there would be no real estate agents. Here’s something you probably don’t know. That locally, in North Central Washington, there’s more than one MLS. You probably didn’t even know that there are two multiple listing services locally.

MLS stands for multiple listing services. Here’s how it works. Real estate agents join this software. Think of it as a club. They enter this club where they agree to cooperate. When an agent lists your home, they put it on the multiple listing service for other agents to look at. And when that other agent logs on and looks to see what’s available, they see your home, and they know the price and all of the details. They also see the photos, and they get to decide whether or not that home’s a good fit for buyers they’re working with.

94% of all buyers use a real estate agent to buy a home. So, if you want to get your home in front of 94% of all the buyers, you’re going to want to get your home in front of all of the brokers and agents, and you do that through the multiple listing service.

When the agent logs on, they’re going to look at your photos, they’re going to look at your description, and they’re going to look at your details and decide whether or not it’s a good fit for the buyer. They’re also going to look at how much they get paid. See, this is where cooperation comes into play. It says how much the agent will get paid if they sell your home. It’s called the cooperating commission. And that is the power of the MLS. I list your home on the MLS. All of these other brokers and agents get to look at the house and decide whether or not they want to sell it.

Now, here’s the catch. Not all agents are members of both MLS. So if you list your home in one but not the other, you’re missing out on agents; that’s important if you want to get top dollar for your home.

The MLS is where the data is stored, and that’s where we go to find out what things have sold for so we can tell you what your home is likely to sell for in the future based on what other people sold for in the past.

The MLS is also the source from which all new online real estate websites pull their data. If your home never makes the MLS, it’s not going to make all those different websites, including Zillow and Trulia and That’s the power of MLS. It’s a place where other brokers and agents can find your home and sell it to buyers and know that they will get paid. And it is also where the information comes from that goes to all these websites that you like to search on, all these different agent websites, including Zillow, Trulia, and That’s the power of the MLS, and that’s something you need to know. You also need to know that there’s more than one, and you probably should ask your agent that you’re interviewing to sell your home how many MLS they’re utilizing. The key to getting the best terms on a home sale is ensuring that everyone, the entire marketplace, sees your home. As always, reach out to us if you have any questions about the MLS’s available in your area or any other real estate questions.

Nick McLean
Nick McLean Real Estate Group

Call for advice at 509.670.5532

E-mail us real estate questions at

Trackback from your site.

Leave a Reply