MLS & Associations

Why the MLS is still a tough dragon to slay

Commentary: In a world without co-brokerage, listing data might be harder to come by

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Editor's note: Inman Contributor Creed Smith recently asked us to consider whether "The sun is setting on the era of the MLS." This piece is adapted from my comments in the Facebook discussion of Smith's article. The Internet has been around for a long time, and multiple listing services don't seem to be going away. Instead of "disrupting" MLSs, all of the top real estate search sites, including Zillow, Trulia and realtor.com, are built on top of them. If a home "does not need to be in the MLS to sell, it only needs to be on the Internet," why do websites and business models that revolve around selling homes outside of the MLS still account for only a fraction of residential real estate transactions? One reason is that MLSs do more than just publicize that a home is for sale. The primary role of the MLS is to facilitate cooperation between brokers representing sellers and brokers representing buyers. Without co-brokerage -- the mandatory offer of compensation that listing...