Some say the MLS enables U.S. real estate agents to have higher commission rates than in other countries. There is some truth to this position. What it leaves out is the value that MLSs bring to the participants in the market, both real estate professionals and consumers. Those who point to this conclusion fail to mention the role the MLS plays in the U.S. (and Canadian market) in assuring a high level of accuracy in data about the homes that are for sale, the sales prices of homes that are sold, and the comparable data for price comparisons. Among other benefits are regulations and processes to make the market efficient and fair that are promulgated and enforced by the MLS.
Take the MLS out of the picture and you have the portals, none of which are geared to police the accuracy of the data provided by sellers. None of which are geared to police agent conduct in the market. Without the MLS, real estate professionals and consumers would be at the mercy of three to four large, national portals whose business models aren’t geared to do any of the messy oversight of the market — nor would they want the liability to do so.