The Evolution of MLS: From Books to Online Listings

The Evolution of MLS: From Books to Online 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, online and fully searchable by price, neighborhood and home features.

How many MLS is are there? As of 2024, there are about 600 MLS is throughout the United States. However, that number is trending down year to year due to regional consolidation or when neighboring databases come together to form a larger regional one. There are also rare markets that don't have an MLS, such as New York City.

When a homeowner decides to sell their home, they typically enlist the help of a local, experienced real estate agent. That agent will gather some information about their property.

They'll use real estate comps to compare homes to other similar properties that have sold recently. Once they have all this information, they'll upload it into the MLS as a listing.

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