Editor's note: Long a crucial center of a healthy, functioning housing market, the MLS now finds itself having to adjust and reinvent to keep up with changing times. This three-part series examines new initiatives in data-sharing and consolidation, as well as debates over public-facing property search sites and the MLS's role in broker cooperation and offers of compensation. (Read Part 1, "Consolidation, collaboration breaking down MLS walls," and Part 2, "MLS public listing sites gain support.") There is more to a multiple listing service than warehousing data. MLSs are marketplaces for showcasing information about properties, including pricing and property amenities. They are cooperatives that provide neutral ground for industry competitors to work together, make offe...
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