Historical Roots of the MLS

Historical Roots of the MLS

Here in Wisconsin, most MLS's share data, so 90% of the state is a shared data feed. Now here's a brief history of the MLS.

According to the National Association of Realtors, the concept of a multiple listing service dates back to the late 1800s. In those times, real estate agents regularly met at their offices to share information about properties they were trying to sell. They agreed to compensate other brokers who had helped sell those properties.

The first MLS was born based on the fundamental concept of help me sell my inventory and I'll help you sell yours. Essentially the Multiple Listing Service was created to foster better cooperation among real estate agents when they realized each brokerage could sell their houses more effectively and serve their clients better by going outside of their own brokerages listings.

In 1908, the National Association of Real Estate Exchanges, now called NAR, endorsed the use of this system by all agents. This information sharing first took place via books, index cards and catalogs, but has quickly evolved into the modern system in use today.

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