A Multiple Listing Service system, also known as the MLS, centralizes listings in various areas of Canada, giving licensed real estate agents and salespersons across the country access to thousands of properties on the market.

The system has its advantages for buyers and sellers alike. Here’s why an MLS system will work for you on your next real estate adventure:

As a seller, there’s no better tool than the MLS. Everything that’s pertinent about your home that a buyer wants and needs to know can be found on an MLS listing through his or her real estate agent. The system allows salespeople to search for homes in a certain price range with features that they believe would appeal to their purchasers. So, essentially, the wide range of the MLS system works to marry your home with its new family in less time.

Zone In
As a buyer, your salesperson has access to many homes at various price points, of varying styles and situations. The MLS helps your salesperson to narrow down those properties which he or she thinks would meet your needs. Why waste your time looking at two-bedroom homes when you need four? Need a property that generates potential income? All that information would be included in an MLS listing.

Exclusive vs. MLS
One of the cornerstones of the MLS system is getting vendors the most exposure for their homes, which may be instrumental in getting more potential buyers. The demand generated is great for you if you’re selling. It’s also really fair when you’re on the buying end of things.

When a real estate agent wants you to list your home exclusively, it means he or she won’t be listing it on the MLS, but going it alone in terms of marketing it. All possible buyers will go through his or her agency. So, for whatever time you and your agent have agreed to for an exclusive listing, no one else will bring potential purchasers through your home since the only agent who is entitled to commission is the agent with whom you have the exclusive agreement.

In certain circumstances, an exclusive listing may be right for you as a seller. If the agent with whom you’re thinking of working with brings it up, ask him or her the rationale behind an exclusive listing—and what kind of success he or she has had with them.