What Is the MLS and How Does It Work?

By  //  December 20, 2022

The world of real estate is an exciting one but it is also incredibly competitive. The open market makes the business of selling and buying real estate, both commercial and private, extremely lucrative.

For many people, this career is one that carries them to retirement and can provide a substantial living. There are a lot of reasons why this field of business is not only so successful but so loved and pursued by passionate individuals. 

First off, real estate is lucrative. While the numbers absolutely change from state to state, region to region, county to county, and city to city – it’s fairly easy to see what the expected average real estate agent income is in any area.

In the state of Virginia, according to Indeed.com, the average salary of a real estate agent is over a hundred thousand a year. However, this isn’t the only reason that people enjoy this field of business. 

Real estate offers flexibility that is very appealing to a wide plethora of individuals. For the entrepreneur, real estate can be consuming and provide the platform to build an empire.

At the exact same time, this kind of work can be reduced to part-time as a viable source of income that also provides individuals with great opportunities to network in their local communities. 

Networking itself is a massive draw to those who are interested in the world of real estate. At the heart of this game is one centralized tool that is used across the entire country, and that’s the MLS.

To list on MLS is a basic tenant of the real estate market and something that every licensed real estate agent has access to and the ability to do. 

If you have been wanting to find out more about what MLS is and how you can get your home on it – here is everything you need to know. 

What is the MLS and Why is it Important?

Let’s first start with the basics – what is MLS? Whether you are a homeowner wanting to find out the best and most effective way of selling your home – or you are looking into becoming a real estate agent, this is something you need to know about.

MLS stands for Multiple Listing Services and is a conglomerate of data that is produced by a community of real estate agents.

The data is primarily all centered on listings and is exclusive to brokers who are looking to sell their client’s homes. 

The way MLS works is very simple, the platform is exclusively open to licensed real estate agents throughout the entire country looking to broker their client’s contracts.

This list is not only exclusive to real estate agents, but it can also hold listings that aren’t going to be listed publicly.

The benefit to listing MLS is that both brokers benefit. For the broker that lists their client’s property and the broker that provides the buyer, both get rewarded. 

For the broker that lists, there is a kickback if their listing on MLS is purchased through another broker. For the broker that manages the purchasing – the reward and incentive is simple, their client’s property was sold!

Overall, this tool is one of the most useful tools in the real estate game and something that should be taken advantage of when trying to list properties. 

How Can You Get Your Home Listed on the MLS?

So here is the real question, with so much benefit to having your home listed on MLS – what is the best way to do this? Well, there’s no way around one aspect of listing your home on the MLS and that is the exclusivity of access.

This means that in order to have your home listed on the MLS you have to partner with a licensed real estate agent.  


For those who want to sell their homes privately, there can be a lot of benefits. For example, the savings that can be garnered from not utilizing an agent may be substantial enough to handle the process without the aid of professionals.

This can be very appealing, especially if the buyer is easy to find or already lined up. 

There are certain legal benefits that come into the picture with utilizing an agent, as they are experts in the laws regarding the sale and purchase of real estate.

However, using a real estate agent or a licensed service to get your home on the MLS doesn’t have to be something that becomes financially inadvisable. 

Finding the right real estate agent, or service, that offers a low, flat fee, can post your home on the MLS, and get you the financial results you want is a reality.

It may take some shopping to find, but if you don’t have the capacity or desire to undergo the process on your own – it’s well worth the effort and investment.