The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) has been around for decades.
There are around 900 MLSs in the U.S., and they serve a valuable purpose: to provide an organized place for REALTORS® to list their properties for sale.
In order to be listed in the MLS, the listing broker, on behalf of the Seller, agrees to cooperate with and compensate all other real estate brokers that belong to the same MLS — there’s just one MLS covering Tulsa County, and it covers over 20 surrounding counties in Northeast Oklahoma.
Each MLS is individually managed and customized to serve their members (REALTORS®, their brokers, and affiliated service providers.
MLSs have the most valuable inventory of homes listed for sale, pending, and sold because of the accuracy of the information. County records have information about every property in the county, which the MLS does not, but they don’t have as much information about each property.
REALTORS® and their sellers provide many details about each property for sale so that other REALTORS® and their buyers can search and find exactly what they’re looking for, like 4+ bedrooms with an in-ground pool in a certain school district or neighborhood.
Public-facing real estate websites like Realtor.com®, Zillow, Trulia, and real estate brokers’ websites receive information daily, hourly, or even more frequently from the MLS, except when a property owner indicates on the MLS listing that it should not be syndicated to third-party websites.
The Greater Tulsa Association of REALTORS® (GTAR) is the membership entity, and the Northeast Oklahoma Real Estate Services (NORES) organization is the MLS, enforcing rules, providing guidance to brokers, REALTORS®, and their assistants, and storing, backing up, and making available all the data.