MLS in Canada

Canada has been privy to organized real estate since the country itself has been established. The first real estate board in Canada was created in 1888 in Vancouver. The body was active until the beginning of World War I but was eventually suspended. The Board resumed its operations in 1919 and has been active ever since.

At organizational level, real estate in Canada is grouped at three tiers which include the local, provincial, and national levels. The Canadian Real Estate Association is the governing body at the national level. One of the offshoots of having a real estate establishment in Canada is the creation of a Multiple Listing System (MLS). Today, the Canadian Real Estate Association, a cooperative of real estate professionals, is tasked with compiling statistics on properties sold through the MLS each month. The aim is to provide an overview of the housing market in Canada as well as the pricing trends.

Aside from providing data for the purposes of market analysis, the MLS also acts as a property marketplace for buyers and sellers. It can be thought of as a warehouse that contains items for sale. However, since real estate cannot be physically brought to a particular place, the MLS lists down the available information. In essence, the system is a database that shows what properties are available for purchase at a particular point of time.

In order to take advantage of the MLS, one should become a member of the Canadian Real Estate Association. Annual dues and other fees may be charged in order to maintain the operations of the MLS.

Before the advent of the Internet, agents were required to submit listings to their local associations which compiled them. The members would then receive a book that contained all the current listings. With the wide availability of internet, this method has become obsolete. Today, all information can be accessed at website such as Realtors Know Real Estate and other relevant sites. They aggregate active listings and provide detailed information to the public. In general, the consumer is encouraged to get in touch with the member realtors as to receive more information.

Listed properties at the MLS have an added advantage because the data placed there is accessible to members of the association. Upon exposure to this sales force, the pool of possible buyers grows bigger. Higher demand for real estate not only translates into greater chance of making a sale at the desired price. On the other hand, buyers can also benefit from using the MLS in Canada by making the purchasing processes easier. Realtors involved in the project can be contacted to give their opinion of the market conditions as well as to provide assistance with the paperwork involved.

Since Canada’s MLS system is restricted to members only, a person selling his or her property cannot place a listing directly. A licensed real estate broker or an agent must be contacted first. But despite this limitation, the public is still serviced by brokers who have access to the properties available for purchase in the desired area.