Real Estate

How to List Your Home on the MLS

If you've ever participated in a real estate transaction, you've no doubt heard its all-powerful acronym - The MLS.  Though real estate is full of many players - buyers, sellers, agents, investors - everything starts and stops with the Multiple Listing Service.


What is It?

Simply put, the MLS is a database owned by real estate agents and their regional trade associations, serving as the primary channel for publicizing listings among agents and brokerages.  Updated daily, new homes for sale, recent sales and even expired or withdrawn listings enter the database and alert subscribing agents and services. 

With the most up to date information about housing currently on the market a real estate agent has the ability to narrow down a search to very accurate specifications.  For example, zip code, bedrooms and bathrooms, age of home, square footage and price can all be selected to set up a search for a client.  When houses matching all criteria appear on the MLS, both agent and client are immediately notified.


How to Get Access 

In the past, this was the key piece of information real estate agents used as their edge up.  They had exclusive access to the data in the database that they or their parent company owned.  This also meant that certain agents even had access to listing information others did not.  

With the arrival of internet sites like Zillow and Redfin not only can anyone see the most recent MLS listings, but they also have access to additional information such as previous sale price, school rankings, market data for the neighborhood and estimated home values. 


Listing Your Home

A member of your local MLS must enter your listing into the database.  Your choices are either:

  1. Hire a licensed real estate agent. Any licensed real estate agent is qualified to list your home.  Do your due dilligence in finding one that will not only successfully list your home, but that you are comfortable representing you during the sale process. **Remember, you will most likely be signing a contract to pay 6% commission (3% to each agent).
    1. How is their communication with you? With others?
    2. What are their standards of practice?
    3. How successful have they been in the past year? Month?
    4. How dilligent are they in their market research?  
  2. Pay a flat fee to an MLS Listing Broker. Most flat fee listings brokers can be located online.  Some offer additional services for an extra fee. 

  3. Use Faira and get a free MLS listing. Faira will get your home listed on the MLS free. In fact we provide all of our real estate services free to sellers. 

A Few Things to Know

The MLS is an extremely useful tool for market research when you are deciding how to price your home.  With a detailed analysis of similar homes in your neighborhood and region, you can get a good sense of what to expect for the sale of your home. There are a few things to remember when looking at that data:

  • MLS results don’t add up to the national sales figures reported by the National Association of Realtors. The NAR uses a formula that projects sales based on a sampling of regional sales.
  • MLS sales reports are a good estimate of market activity, but are not the final word. Participating agents often postpone paperwork such as entering ‘sold’ listings into the MLS. County property and tax records are the most authoritative source for actual sales, though it takes time for the latest sales to show up in those systems.
  • Be honest in your comparison to other homes. The data on the MLS can be very specific and complete, but depending on the listing sometimes key information might be overlooked.  For instance, you might have the same square footage as another home in your area, but is the property the same? Did they do a recent remodel that increased their value? All of these things must be taken into consideration. Just be sure to dig a little deeper in your research, and not take everything at face value.
  • Make sure your home is ready. Once your home is listed, especially in a hot market, the traffic will be constant.  Be sure you and your home are ready.  Check out a few tips here on what to expect at a Home Inspection

Remember, Faira will list your home on the MLS free. See all of our services here:


Lauren Haule

Written by Lauren Haule

Lauren is a Faira blog contributor.