MLS® - the most reliable source of real estate information |

Housing market information originating from the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) has long been recognized as the most reliable and comprehensive data available for those looking to buy or sell a home.

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Why is a great advertising vehicle for property sales
How does the MLS® work?

The strength of this more than 60-year-old system rests in the quality and accuracy of the information. Government, economists, financial institutions, appraisers and others all rely on MLS® data. This is because REALTORS® who submit the listing information, and MLS® staff at real estate boards who conduct quality control, are trained and educated in the complexities of real estate.

“Using the MLS® gives unmatched exposure to properties for sale,” says Jake Moldowan, former president of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. “If you’re selling your home, a listing on MLS® will be shared with other Realtors for the broadest distribution possible. If you’re buying a home, MLS® will have the largest pool of homes to choose from.

“The MLS® also serves as the foundation of our property taxation system by providing reliable information, backed by professional accountability, to government bodies responsible for assessments in our province,” Moldowan said.

Realtors know how to describe a property accurately and what information must be disclosed in an MLS® listing. For instance, if there is a restriction on the use of a property, something called an easement, this information must appear in the MLS® listing.

Many alternate systems and services exist to buy and sell homes and they all compete for customers. The MLS® is the Realtor option.


Why is a great advertising vehicle for property sales

The public website is not the MLS® system. Local MLS® systems are owned and operated by local real estate boards, for use by Realtors. Consumers have direct access to information about MLS® listings through, a real estate advertising vehicle.

Each month, more than six million unique visitors go to for over 20 million sessions. More than 700,000 people in BC log on to the website each month.

The home listing information on streams from the MLS® but does not contain the full collection of information on the system. The website is provided by Realtors across Canada to help market properties on behalf of their clients.


How does the MLS® work?

Realtors compete with each other for your business, but at the same time cooperate to help you buy or sell property. That unique concept of cooperating while competing led to the creation of the MLS® in 1950 by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.

The MLS® is fundamentally a cooperative marketing system that helps the public buy and sell real estate. It’s a system for sharing information between Realtors on homes for sale.

“Through the MLS® system, the Realtor who represents a seller is inviting all other Realtors to offer that home for sale to their buyers. Sellers therefore have all the Realtors in their community seeking buyers for their homes. For buyers, it’s a one-stop shopping experience,” Moldowan said.

“By having Realtors agree to share their inventory with one another, a more efficient marketplace is created,” Moldowan says.

If the MLS® system did not exist, sellers would have to choose an individual real estate brokerage to list their home and only that brokerage would have the information about it and the ability to show and sell it. If the MLS® system did not exist, buyers would have to go from Realtor to Realtor to view the listings of each individual brokerage.

“Sellers and buyers often decide to work with a Realtor because they want expert guidance through a complex process. For this important transaction, people want to select someone they are comfortable working with and who offers the services they are looking for at a price they can agree on. The MLS® system provides consumers a vast range of choices,” Moldowan says.