Multiple Listing Service (MLS): What is it?

Multiple Listing Service (MLS): What is it?

Information is key in every industry, and Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is arguably the most important source of accurate information for real estate agents in the GTA. The Multiple listing service is a database that is set up by a group of cooperating real estate brokers. 

The sole aim of this database is to facilitate the provision of accurate and structured data on properties that are put up for sale. 

This platform also has a compensation plan for brokers on every listed property. There is so much to know about MLS, and how it can be of use to you if you are looking to buy or sell your home. We will also explain how the multiple listing service in Toronto helps real estate agents.

Related article: Tips For Selling Real Estate In Toronto And The Greater Toronto Area (GTA)


What is The Origin of The Multiple Listing Service?

This platform was birthed thanks to a need — the need to share real-time information in the real estate industry. As far back as can be remembered, people have sold and bought real estate.

The MLS all started in the late 1800s when real estate agents realized that there was a need to share information. At the early stages, the major players of the real estate industry fixed a time to gather with their local organizations. At these meetings, they got to exchange information as well as work out compensation deals, whenever there was a new buyer. 

This was the start of the MLS initiative. Just as every other industry evolved with the advent and development of technology, this initiative also evolved. Years after the initiative evolve to printed listings. Today, the internet has made the whole process of using MLS an easy one. 


Multiple Listing Services and The Internet 

As we saw above, real estate agents provide all the information available on the listing, and they are kept private. On inception, this information was not public. Back then, if any buyer or seller needed the information, they had to hire a broker with access to the information on the MLS. 

When the internet became mainstream in the 1990s, it became very easy to access the listing. Now, if you are interested in real estate and would love to get acquainted with the properties available and other details, just about any site can offer such information. 

With this radical change, the power sort of left the brokers and got handed to the real estate investors. Today, a multiple listing service can easily help you find ideal properties for sale in the GTA.

You don’t have to go through the stress of asking people by word of mouth. All you have to do is find a multiple listing service in the GTA and you can highlight properties for sale. It’s also a great way to find real estate agents in the GTA.


All You Need To Know About the MLS

The multiple listing service is simply a collection of private databases that real estate agents in the GTA use. Each broker brings information and shares it with other brokers. The information, in this case, includes every detail regarding properties. This way, brokers, agents, and investors save time while trying to find the next property for sale. 

Whenever a broker posts a listing on the MLS, and a sale is made on such property, a commission is an allocation to such broker. This platform is mainly open to real estate agents and brokers. As a statement of fact, a person must be an accredited member of the national association designated for realtors before gaining access to a multiple listing service.

Including a property on the listing will also require a 5 – 6% sales in commission on the property. This is a standard fee. In recent years, some people get to sell their listed property for a flat-fee for FSBO (For Sale by Owner), which includes other services.

There are so many advantages to the use of this listing platform. Before having this listing on the internet, investors or potential buyers had to go around the streets in search of houses with a “for sale” sign on the wall. That has become a thing of the past now. 

Advantages of using a multiple listing service in the GTA include:

  • It helps you as an investor or owner to buy or sell properties easily and quickly. 
  • The listing provides users and sellers with a large audience, readily and at their fingertips. 
  • It bridges the gap that used to exist between buyers and sellers. 
  • It prevents brokers from taking advantage of investors and real estate agents.

Related article: Tips For Buying Real Estate In Toronto And GTA

In today’s world, efficiency is key, and the Multiple Listing Service ensures the ease of real estate transactions.

Though just about any person can make use of this platform, there are some rules and regulations. There are several listings available with each having its own rules. Although there is little difference, all are premised on the regulations that have been set by the national association for realtors. 

The platforms remain rigid to date thanks to the strict rules that the association established several years ago. This is why the listing is a major driver of the transactions that transpire in the real estate world. 

According to the rules, each broker must make sure to specify the percentage of the listing commission that will be paid by the seller. It is this specific amount that they will share with the broker that brings the purchasing client. 

There is no one network for this listing. Different localities have peculiar listings. There are several networks all over Canada, just as it is all over other countries. It is impossible to determine the total number of listings there are in Canada. This is because different groups merge from time to time making it hard to keep track of the numbers. 


How Accurate Is the Information on the MLS?

When it comes to properties and related information, the multiple listing service is deemed the most accurate one can ever find on the internet. There is a deadline for the entry of any listing. When a member defaults this, there is a penalty. This listing needs to be entered about 24 to 48 hours after signing a listing agreement. Hence, it is very up to date.

The accuracy on the listing ranges from price to measurements and down to the direction and location of the property. A high level of accuracy has to be maintained. Also, for pictures entered, there is a stipulated quality and number that must be met.  There are several sites on the internet with information as regards properties, hence, you need to compare and contrast to know which is more updated and accurate. 

In the GTA, the MLS is the first port of call for users with complaints and disputes. Provided on the listing platform is a way to solve complaints and disputes as amicably as possible. Every Multiple Listing service out there has its ethics committee, which listens to such matters. They hear both sides of the dispute and give judgment accordingly. 



Every real estate investor or agent knows about MLS and how it stands to benefit them. It is not just about knowing what the service is about. It is about understanding how to maximize it for maximum benefits.

As a buyer or a prospective seller, using the MLS with the help of a real estate agent in the GTA is always a plus. Are you looking to buy or sell condos in the GTA? Contact us today!

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