Since you're on this page, you probably already know what MLS means or have already dealt with this. Even if you're familiar with this already, this post may have some extra information you haven't heard about yet. If you're a newbie, we'll do our best to explain these complicated things in a simple and effective way.
So what is MLS?
It's not a tool or application. We can't call it a platform either. MLS (Multiple Listing Service) is a database of accurate listing information created and maintained by real estate professionals in order to help their clients to buy or sell their properties. MLS database contains the most accurate property details and this is considered to be its most valuable feature. Besides, once a property is listed on any local MLS, it is automatically promoted among thousands of other realtors
1. How many MLSs are there in USA?
It's difficult to sound an accurate number of MLSs as they keep merging or splitting. However an approximate number is about 580 MLSs as of 2020. You can find your local MLS at Listhub website.
2. Who can access MLS data?
You need to be a licensed real estate agent or a broker to sign up and log into MLS database. Buyers are not allowed to enter MLS database and they can get full information about properties from the agent only.
3. Are all properties listed on MLS?
No, and it is not required. Moreover, there are two types of listings that you will never find on MLS list. They are FSBO (For sale by owner) and pocket listings. If a home buyer decides to sell their homes on their own, they list them on FSBO websites or such real estate portals like Zillow, Trulia, etc.
Pocket listings involve those cases where home buyers do work with real estate agents but they deliberately do not publish their listings on MLS. It's a common practice among famous celebrities or political figures.
4. Is it free to join MLS?
In most cases MLS memberships are paid by realtors. However, every MLS has its own rules and procedures. Pick your local MLS and request complete instructions how you can become its member. We covered some procedural questions about how to join MLS here.
5. How many MLSs can I join?
If you're a licensed real estate agent, you can become a member of more than one MLS. However, some MLSs require to indicate which other MLSs you might be singed up with.
6. Are there any fines for realtors?
MLS members who doesn't meet MLS rules and policies can be fined. Before you become an MLS member, you will be obliged to sign Agreement with defined rules and policies. Most MLSs impose fines for violation of the rules.
7. How can I create a real estate website with MLS listings?
Fortunately, there are numerous MLS import solutions on the Internet. Estatik WordPress Real Estate Solutions offer smooth MLS organic integration via Estatik Premium plugin. You don't need to be a tech guy to use it. Our support team will do a complete setup and configuration. But before you need to become a member of MLS and get feed access.
8. Do I get feed access instantly after I become an MLS member?
No, you don't. MLS membership doesn't mean instant feed access that is required for MLS import. Today many MLSs work with additional platforms like MLS Grid, Trestle, Bridge which simplify licensing and distribution process. You can figure out how to obtain MLS feed access here.
9. What are main types of MLS import?
We single out organic and non-organic MLS import. Organic import gives you all SEO benefits as all listings data is imported and stored on your real estate website. Non-organic means you don't have anything stored on your website server. The information with images are just displayed in a pre-set layout. The fist option is more efficient as you can customize the way how listings are displayed. It is also much better for SEO. At estatik.net we offer solutions for organic MLS integration only via RESO Web API or RETS. Estatik Premium also supports CREA DDF feeds.
10. Is WordPress a good platform for MLS import?
You can build a great real estate website with MLS listings on WordPress if your website hosting meets basic requirements laid out here. There are some important notes and recommendations on our Frequently Asked Questions page. Any questions? We are here for you.
1. MLS is a database with accurate listings information set up by real estate professionals.
2. You must be a licensed real estate agent to become an MLS member.
3. Once a listing is on MLS, it is automatically advertised to thousands of other realtors.
4. You can join more than one MLS.
5. FSBO and pocket listings are properties types which can't be found on any MLS.
6. MLS membership is usually paid by realtors.
7. MLS doesn't mean MLS import. You need extra solutions or service provider for this.