Real Estate Terminology May 19, 2020

What are Multiple Listing Services (MLS)?

Odds are you’ve spent a little time online searching for homes. After all, most home searches begin online or on your phone. You may have even used a broker’s website or a site like, Trulia, or Zillow to help you browse listings.

But where does listing information come from?

Way back in the day, prior to the Information Age revolution, brokers use to gather and exchange information about their properties. The idea was fairly straightforward: I’ll help you sell your properties if you help me sell mine. It’s a “private offer of cooperation and compensation.” Cooperation meant the real estate industry could thrive and buyers and sellers could enjoy smoother transactions.

This spirit of cooperation gave rise to Multiple Listing Service(s) (MLS). By consolidating information about housing inventory in an MLS, listing brokers and buyers’ brokers can easily share up-to-date information about homes on the market. Though an MLS is typically a private database available to brokers, much of the information is syndicated to outside sites, in the interest of casting a wider net for buyers and sellers.

Since the MLS is the primary source of information about a property, it tends to be the most accurate. In addition to the information the public views online, the MLS may also contain private information for use by brokers only, such as times the home is available for showings and seller contact information.

There are upwards of 850 MLS databases in the U.S.  As you can imagine, just as technology and the market changes, the structure of the MLS is continuously being analyzed to make it as user friendly for the industry as possible.  In fact, there is market pressure to centralize these into a national MLS database. We’re sure to see changes in how Multiple Listing Services are used in the future, but the core benefits to home sellers and buyers will remain.

MLS Databases in Arizona

What MLS databases are in Arizona? Better Homes and Gardens Bloomtree Realty uses PAAR and ARMLS for their MLS Database.  We have recently changed our website platform to make searching easier for our clients.  Now, although I am a real estate agent in Prescott, Arizona, you can search the entire state of Arizona from my website.  The website now taps into both the PAAR and ARMLS databases to give you more options when searching for homes for sale.

The listing feed that you can use on our website is by far one of the most user friendly and most accurate feeds in the industry.  Search Homes for Sale Here using our MLS feed. If you have questions on one of the properties you view, contact us, and we can help answer your questions.