Properties available at the Multiple Listing Services portal, or MLS portal, include acreages, newly constructed homes, properties for commercial usage and foreclosed homes on sale, notes MLS.com. The system allows for refined searches, providing virtual forms where users can specify the state, county, city or zip code of interest.
Generally, the system allows users to access information about properties throughout the United States without charge, explains the National Association of Realtors, or NAR. However, the public is blocked from viewing certain sensitive details such as seller contact information or dates and times when properties are available for viewing.
Apart from properties, the MLS portal also allows users to search for top-rated contractors such as architects, engineers, locksmiths, painters and landscapers, explains MLS.com. The system even enables users to obtain free credit scores and search for educational institutions offering web-based real estate courses such as appraisal and home inspection.
The MLS system consists of a large number of interlinked private databases. Individual databases are developed and maintained by realty professionals and firms that seek to ease the process of purchasing and selling property for their clients. The system allows brokers to share information, easing the process of finding buyers and sellers. Without MLS, information on property would be scattered across varying, mutually exclusive databases, making it harder to find, notes the NAR.