What is the MLS
As a real estate agent, I sometimes get asked how you can get your home on the MLS, Multiple Listing Service. TheMultiple Listing Servic is the way brokers and agents work together. When a broker gets a listing (unless requested specifically not to), they put it on the multilist service. The MLS is only for professionals in the real estate business and is designed specifically to help a seller sell their home or a buyer to buy a home.
Who has the MLS information
Although the MLS is specifically for real estate professionals, much of the information is available to the public online now. Twenty years ago, you only could get the information by going to a real estate office and looking through the MLS book. Today there are a few ways the public can access the information.
Some agents(like me) and most real estate companies in the area will get a feed from the MLS and you can search on their website. There are also companies like Realtor.com, Zillow or Trulia which will get feeds.
One thing to note is although buyers have access to these feeds, they are sometimes inaccurate or outdated. I have had buyers contact me regarding homes that have already sold or been withdrawn from the market. Most of the time, they have come across the listing information on one of the large national aggregators
How can I get my Home Listed on the MLS
As a buyer you can get access in a lot of places to the MLS information. If you want your home on the market as a seller, you need to speak with a real estate agent.