What Is The Boston MLS And How Can It Help Improve My Home Search?

If you’re on the hunt for a new Boston Seaport condo to buy, you’ve likely heard the acronym MLS, which stands for Multiple Listing Service. Brokers in downtown Boston join MLS to share Boston condos for sale information with other brokers about the properties they represent. It’s the go-to way for brokers to alert other brokers about their Boston Beacon Hill condos for sale in the hopes of attracting potential buyers. In a nutshell: Help me sell your Boston condo and I’ll help you sell yours. While the MLS is a private database, accessible only by licensed real estate agents who belong to the National Association of REALTORS®, most of the information is available to browsing buyers, through “portals” we design for you. Keep reading to learn our top tips for using the Boston MLS.

Things To Consider When Searching For Your Next Home Online

One of the first things people do when they’re thinking about buying a Boston Seaport condo for sale is to start searching online. Many websites, such as Zillow showcase available properties that are listed on the MLS; however, they don’t provide the comprehensive up to date data found in the MLS. Unlike Zillow website, my website search for specific information such as all listed Boston condos that are vacant, master bedrooms on main floor, homeowner’s association fees, property tax rates, a search for “motivated” sellers and much more. They also allow agents to access real-time data about home listings.

How Can Working With A Broker Help Improve Your Search On The Boston MLS?

What better way to gain access to MLS information than working with a broker who has direct access? While MLS information is technically only available to participating brokers. There are many types of reports a Beacon Hill condo buyer can receive. An agent can set it up so that you receive automatic emails of new listings based on your search criteria, so you’ll receive up-to-the-minute information. This is a “must” in a competitive market like Austin, where properties are in high demand and selling fast due to the rapidly growing population.

The Boston MLS Benefits Sellers, Too

In addition to buyers, the MLS can provide sellers with a number of advantages that can make the process of selling their Boston downtown condos much easier and faster. MLS systems are used by every real estate sales agent in the region. That means your property will have greater exposure and you’ll have a much wider market as far as buyers. Agents who want a wider and broader reach for their clients can sometimes become members of more than one multiple listing service.

The Integrity Of The MLS

There’s a reason why the MLS has been the tool REALTORS®rely on the most: each MLS has its own rules and procedures, but they’re generally patterned on regulations published by the National Association of REALTORS®. That means using rigid data criteria, and providing rules for the offer of compensation to other brokers. Members who don’t adhere to the structure and content rules can be fined.

Did You Know?

  • Before the Internet and online resources became available, MLS listings were published in books that were put out monthly and updated weekly.
  • The practice of sharing listings with brokers dates as far back as the late 1800s. On certain appointed days, members of “Real Estate Exchanges” gathered and exchanged information about their listings. Shortly after the end of the nineteenth century, the term “multiple listing” was in use.

Whether you’re an interested Boston condo buyer or Boston condo seller, utilizing the Boston MLS is an effective tool. The best way to get the most out of this comprehensive database is to contact one of our agents who have access to the latest MLS real estate listings.

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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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