MLS Finds That Listed Homes Sell for 17% More

Three houses covering piles of coins

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In a two-year analysis, homes on a mid-Atlantic MLS sold for more money than similar homes that sold off of it. Bright MLS, a multiple listing service that supports more than 95,000 real estate professionals from Pennsylvania to Virginia, conducted the study of 442,829 records for home sales transactions completed between January 2019 and December 2020.

The median sold on the MLS was about 17% higher than homes sold off of the MLS, the study found.

“We have always known the power of the MLS network, and past studies have shown that homes shared cooperatively on the MLS sold for more,” said Brian Donnelley, Bright MLS president and CEO. “We’re proud to be able to confirm with our extensive data that promoting homes through our MLS delivers significant value over other methods.”

The study also analyzed properties that were labeled as “office exclusive” listings and marketed solely within one brokerage. The majority of those listings were ultimately marketed through the MLS before they were sold. Homes that Bright MLS promoted from the beginning were under contract faster than properties that started as office exclusives. Also, comparable homes that were marketed through the MLS sold for more than those marketed otherwise through exclusive arrangements, the study found.

“There is a perception that selling outside the multiple listing service, either with an agent or as a For Sale By Owner, can save time and money for the consumer,” said Elliot Eisenberg, a real estate economist and a former senior economist for the National Association of Home Builders and also an author on the study. But Eisenberg said the study shows otherwise and that the fastest sales for the most money use the MLS to market the homes for sale.