Buying a Home December 15, 2022

What is the MLS?

Are you looking to buy or sell a home? You may have heard about the multiple listing service, also known as the MLS. It’s an invaluable tool for prospective buyers and sellers that can make the real estate market much easier to navigate. But what exactly is this mysterious resource? If you’re wondering how it works, read on. Below will be discussing what MLS is, its benefits, and differentiating it from other methods of buying and selling homes.


The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is a real estate listing database used by real estate agents to market their listings and help buyers find the home of their dreams. It is a powerful tool that lets agents list and search for properties in an organized way, allowing them to compare prices, amenities, features, and locations quickly and easily. It also serves as a platform for agents to collaborate and coordinate sales while providing buyers access to detailed information about properties. In short, the MLS is an invaluable resource for real estate agents and buyers. 


What is an MLS?

You may have spent time online searching for homes. You may have even used a broker’s website or a site like, Trulia, or Zillow to help you browse listings. These websites pull information from the MLS.   


But where does listing information come from?


Back in the day, before the Information Age revolution, brokers gathered and exchanged 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 data is syndicated to outside sites to cast a wider net for buyers and sellers.


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


As you can imagine, just as technology and the real estate market change, the structure of the MLS is continuously analyzed and revised to make it as user-friendly for the industry as possible. There are upwards of 850 MLS databases in the U.S. Undoubtedly, we are sure to see changes in the future use of Multiple Listing Services, but the core benefits to home sellers and buyers are sure to 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. The great news, we have recently changed our platform to make searching easier for our clients. Even though I am a real estate agent in Prescott, Arizona, you can search the entire state of Arizona from my website. The website directly taps into the PAAR and ARMLS databases to give you more options when searching for homes for sale.


The listing feed you can use on our website is one of the industry’s most user-friendly and accurate feeds—search Homes For Sale Here using our MLS feed.  If you have questions about one of the properties you view, contact me, and I can help answer your questions.