The MLS is in crisis, say many large brokers, agents and industry observers. The cooperative organization plays an essential role in the U.S. housing market, matching buyers and sellers through the assistance of a Realtor. But cooperation has been replaced by acrimony, litigation and an uneasy migration to the Internet. Plus, it is expensive to administer, is inefficient to operate, and is being politicized by the brokers and agents who depend on it to run smoothly. Three factors are contributing to the crisis of the MLS: Real estate is becoming less local and more regional for many brokerage operations; the Internet has unleashed home listings data to the public; and the debate over who owns the listings data continues to create conflict within MLS organizations. Real estate has always ...
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