What is an MLS?

So, what exactly is the Multiple Listing Service? Of what importance is the MLS to Boston condo agents? Who can access the MLS? The Boston condo market is very competitive. Thanks to the increase in the number of Boston condo real estate agents, there are more options than ever for those looking to sell or purchase a condominium. Unless you are working with an established agency or real estate agent in Boston, you may find it hard to effectively market and sell a property. For a very long time, the relatively new and inexperienced Boston real estate agents found it very difficult to stamp their authority in the market and get their fair share of clients to enable their business to go forward. Thanks to the revolutionary MLS (Multiple Listing Service) though, everything has changed.

Multiple Listing Service

The MLS is a very large database used by real estate brokers and agents to market their listings to other real estate agents. Instead of a real estate agent struggling to sell a Boston condo or a certain property on his/her own, he/she can list it on the MLS and give other real estate agents a chance to market and possibly sell the same property and give them compensation in exchange. The MLS is not just a service offered in Boston-instead there are many different regional, national and local databases that list all the properties for sale at a particular time. All of these MLS systems are privately owned by a group of leading real estate agencies and for one to join the MLS, he/she needs to register with the service providers and will be required to pay an annual membership fee which varies from one MLS system to another depending on the scope of the MLS system and its proficiency in the market.

Who Can Access MLS?

Ideally, all Boston condo real estate agents are eligible to sign up to the available MLS systems in the region and the country at large. So long as the business is registered and the required certifications are available, one can sign up to any MLS system and pay the annual membership fee to start accessing the services.

How The MLS Will Help You Sell Your Boston Luxury Condo

  • By joining an MLS system in Boston or working with an agent who has MLS access, you will be increasing the visibility of your property to the buyers and agents and will reach a larger audience as a result. Hundreds of other Boston real estate agents who are in the MLS system will be able to see your property and if it matches the description of one of their own clients, they will not hesitate to sell it on your behalf and receive some compensation. This reduces the amount of time taken to sell property which makes selling a property in Boston quick and painless.
  • Your listing will appear on all Boston luxury condo websites of subscribing agents who have MLS feeds and also sites like Redfin, Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com. Through feed plugins, all the listings made to the MLS will appear on the websites of the agents who are part of the system and this will make marketing the property very easy. People scouring the internet for a new Boston condo are therefore more likely to see your property and inquire about it.
  • You will have a level playground with the big boys. All the listings made on Boston MLS systems receive the same treatment irrespective of their source. If you are a Boston real estate agent with a limited marketing budget therefore, you will have a chance to reach a large audience without worrying about the big boys grabbing the lion’s share.
  • You can list as many properties as you want- With the Boston MLS, you have the ability to list and possibly sell more than one property in a single day. This is not common if you decide to go the traditional  route and market the properties on your business website or newspaper. With the MLS however, this is possible because multiple brokers will be able to sell on your behalf.
The Multiple Listing Service has revolutionized the way we sell Boston luxury condos and made for a smoother real estate business all around. With increased visibility and marketing opportunities, condominiums are selling faster than ever, and customers are better able to find the homes of their dreams no matter where they start their search. If you’re interested in working with an agent in the Boston area that has access to the MLS, the team at Ford Realty can help you find your perfect home for sale. Whether you’re looking for a Boston high rise condo in downtown or a starter home in Brighton, MA, we can help you. To learn more about the Boston condo buying process, please visit us at our Beacon Hill office at 137 Charles Street.

Author Profile

John Ford
John Ford

Over the course of 20 years in the Boston downtown real estate market, John represented and sold numerous, condominiums, investment and development properties in Greater Boston and in the surrounding suburbs

In addition to representing Boston condo buyers and sellers, John is currently one of the most recognized Boston condo blog writers regarding Boston condominiums and residential real estate markets. John's insights and observations about the Boston condo market have been seen in a wide variety of the most established local & national media outlets including; Banker and Tradesman, Boston Magazine The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald and NewsWeek and Fortune magazine, among others.


For over 24 years, John Ford, of Ford Realty Inc., has been actively involved in the real estate industry. He started his career in commercial real estate with a national firm Spaulding & Slye and quickly realized that he had a passion for residential properties. In 1999, John entered the residential real estate market, and in 2000 John Started his own firm Ford Realty Inc. As a broker, his clients have come to love his fun, vivacious, and friendly attitude. He prides himself on bringing honesty and integrity to the entire home buying and selling process. In addition to helping buyers and sellers, he also works with rental clients. Whether you’re looking to purchase a new Boston condo or rent an apartment, you’ll quickly learn why John has a 97% closing rate.


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John Ford and his staff can be reached at 617-595-3712 or 617-720-5454. Please feel free to stop by John's Boston Beacon Hill office located at 137 Charles Street.

John Ford
Ford Realty Inc
137 Charles Street
Boston, Ma 02114



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