A Multiple Listing Service, commonly referred to as a MLS, is used by real estate brokers to market their listings to other real estate brokers. A real estate broker who belongs to a MLS submits their listings to the MLS and offers a commission to any MLS member agent that submits an acceptable offer that results in a closed sale.
Sellers benefit from having their home listed on the MLS by having it marketed by thousands of real estate agents. Buyers benefit by being able to have one buyer agent show them any home listing on the market. Real estate brokers and agents benefit by having a level playing field where the smallest brokerage can compete with the largest multi-state franchise.
MLS systems are owned and controlled by local and state associations of Realtors. The National Association of Realtors estimates that hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent by Realtor associations on setting up and maintaining the regional MLS systems. In the greater Houston area, the Houston Association of Realtors, Bryan – College Association of Realtors, Galveston Association of Realtors, and Brazoria Association of Realtors all maintain separate Multiple Listing Services.
Houston real estate buyers can search all Houston MLS listings at Houston Real Estate.