Real Estate MLS


A real estate MLS is a database which allows real estate brokers representing sellers under a listing contract to widely share information about properties with real estate brokers who may represent potential buyers or wish to cooperate with a seller's broker in finding a buyer for the property. The MLS combines the listings of all available properties that are represented by brokers who are both members of that MLS system. In most cases, the MLS is closed to outsiders. However, there have been recent attempts to open up real estate MLS systems to buyers and tenants. At BuildingSearch.com, you will find that we offer a commercial MLS available to everybody.

The purpose of a real estate MLS is to enable the efficient distribution of information. On BuildingSearch.com, you will find that we take this effort very seriously so that if you are looking for a commercial MLS to find a particular real estate MLS listing, you will hopefully find it on BuildingSearch.com. You may search our office space MLS and industrial MLS at will, and we hope that you find BuildingSearch.com the best of breed in commercial MLS Internet portals.

The MLS systems are governed by private entities, and the rules are set by those entities with no state or federal oversight, beyond any individual state rules regarding real estate. real estate MLS systems set their own rules for membership, access, and sharing of information, but are subject to nationwide rules laid down by NAR or CREA. An MLS may be owned and operated by a real estate company, a county or regional real estate Board of REALTORS or Association of REALTORS, or by a trade association. Membership of the MLS is generally considered to be essential to the practice of real estate brokerage.

For most regions of the United States, there is no true real estate multiple listing service or real estate MLS for commercial real estate. Unlike many multiple listing services (MLS) designed predominately for residential real estate agent use, the commercial real estate industry operates nearly in a vacuum in most regions. There are some boutique commercial MLS websites that special in creating an office space MLS exchange, while other commercial MLS websites may specialize in an industrial MLS exchange. BuildingSearch.com is attempting to change the way in which commercial MLS data is exchanged.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) has set policies that permit brokers to show limited MLS information on their websites under a system known as IDX or Internet Data Exchange. NAR has an ownership interest in Homestore, the company which operates a website that has been given exclusive rights to display significant MLS information. The site is Realtor.com, but you will not find many listings for commercial real estate compared to residential real estate listings.

The U.S. Department of Justice filed an antitrust lawsuit in September 2005 against the National Association of Realtors over NAR's policy which would have allowed brokers to restrict access to their MLS information from appearing on the websites of certain brokers which operate solely on the web. This policy would also have applied to commercial entities which are also licensed brokerages, such as HomeGain, which solicit clients by internet advertising and then provide referrals to local agents in return for a fee of 25% to 35% of the commission.

The DOJ's antitrust claims also include NAR rules that exclude certain kinds of brokers from membership in MLSs. NAR has revised its policies on allowing access on web sites operated by member brokers and others to what might be considered as propriety data.

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