Can You Live Without the MLS?

by Amber Statler-Matthews

Is The MLS Worth It?

Some proponents of the MLS are urging a statewide or national MLS be created to better police the industry as a whole. As expected, there are mixed feelings about this idea. Ebersole says, “We’re kind of already there in some ways. MRED reaches into Wisconsin and Indiana, and if the rest of the state would join us it would bring down the cost.”

Ebersole says California and Washington, D.C. also have similar MLS services. Since current laws prohibit most agents from selling in other states unless they have a license in that state, there really isn’t a need for a statewide MLS for agents – but it could be helpful for buyers, since this is where Trulia, Zillow and realtor.com are strong. Anyone can look and see information about the homes.

The MLS is also more than just a listing site, Bergeron explains. “We also offer CMAs, prospecting, reporting, statistics, analyses, trending, down payment assistance programs and any number of deliverables that can be extracted from the MLS database,” he asserts. “The MLS is still the source of the most accurate and timely information because we are real time, and no one can compete with that.”

One of the top complaints about the MLS from agents is its cost, and many don’t like that it has increased significantly over the years. However, “it is probably the most important tool for real estate agents to be able to provide correct, accurate and up-to-date information,” Spaniak says. It seems her sentiment is echoed throughout the agent community. CA

RussRuss Bergeron
Midwest Real Estate Data
[email protected]


leslieLeslie Ebersole
Broker Associate
Baird & Warner
Fox Valley
[email protected]


katiKati Spaniak
[email protected]


KathleenMalone HiResKathleen Malone
Related Realty
[email protected]

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  • Nancy Taylor says:

    The mls puts the rest of the sites to shame. It has correct current data and that is what we need to determine pricing in today’s market. None of the ancillary sites compaire.

  • Jay Thompson says:

    Hi Amber, Jay T from Zillow here. I wanted to point out that the Zestimate is Zillow’s estimated market value, computed using a proprietary formula. It is not an appraisal. It is a starting point in determining a home’s value. Your readers can find more information here as well as view the accuracy for their area: http://www.zillow.com/wikipages/What-is-a-Zestimate/.


    Agents and appraisal work need the M L S it is a major barometer for the Real Estate market .A key tool with off the press current data.
    like Market Stats, sold comps, active etc…..

  • Jim Lee says:

    The MLS is a tool created by Realtors to help us do business. Another question to consider is: “Can the MLS live without Realtors?”. The obvious answer is “No”.
    Happily, neither could Zillow, Trulia, and the other ton of online folks that make a living repackaging our listing to sell back to us in the form of leads and ads to others.
    I can certainly practice real estate without the MLS but the MLS is pretty worthless without me and my listing to populate it.

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