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hometoday now offers Multiple Listing Services (MLS) in many metropolitan areas throughout the United States (view our service areas).  You can purchase this service just as you would any other of the services that we provide.  Before you buy we recommend reading the discussion below so that you understand what is involved in an MLS listing purchase.

What is the MLS?

The MLS is a local database of homes for sale by real estate professionals.  It is a local or regional database, not a national one, and is typically owned and operated by a local information systems vendor.  Sometimes the MLS service is maintained by a large real estate company or local real estate trade association.

The vendor charges real estate professionals a monthly fee for access.  Although it's not always the case, in general, one must be a licensed real estate agent or broker to be allowed access to the MLS.  Therefore, it is not available for use by the general public.  Most buyers will be able to see properties in the MLS only if they work with a real estate agent.

Why would a seller want access to the MLS?

Some homeowners like the idea of having their property listed where many agents can see it.  An agent may have access to many buyers who might be interested in that property, and that may lead to a quicker sale.

Are there costs to list a property in the MLS?

YES!  Fees are a very important consideration.  There is always an initial fee to list a home in the MLS for homeowners who are not licensed real estate agents (our fee for this service is included in our listing packages).  This fee is pretty reasonable.  However, once a property appears in the MLS, it is expected that the seller will pay a commission to the agent who produces the buyer who buys that property.

The commission to be paid is at the seller's discretion, and it is assumed that s/he will offer a discounted commission (less than the typical 6-7% required for the full services of a real estate professional).  However, bear in mind that an agent probably will not take a listing seriously if you offer a commission of less than 2% of the sales price.  In some areas, up to 3% will be expected.  We recommend including a statement in an MLS listing that specifically discusses the commission to be paid.  A typical sentence states, "Brokers welcome at 2%."

Typically, MLS listings have limits on the amount of data or the number of photos they can store.  Conversely, our services have no such limits.  Therefore, we also recommend that you include a reference to your hometoday listing in your MLS listing so that agents can get the "complete story" about your home for sale.

How long does it take to enter a listing in the MLS?

Once you purchase all the services you need on our site and your credit card is approved, we immediately contact our provider who, in turn, contacts a real estate professional in your area.  That professional will contact you within two business days (usually sooner) to arrange for your listing.  S/he will also deliver an MLS listing contract to you for signature.  Contracts differ throughout the country, but they generally ask you to assert that you understand the MLS system and what your obligations are.  Once you've signed, your MLS listing should be active within 24 hours.

Does our MLS service include a lockbox?

No.  Lockbox charges vary across the country, therefore, we leave it to real estate brokers to provide that service.  Many brokers offer it for an additional charge, usually anywhere in the range of $50-150.
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