The business of buying and selling real estate in Toronto has come a long way over the years. A lot of industry experts agree that the system known as MLS has been the biggest and best change to hit the market.
MLS stands for Multiple Listing Service; a well organized way of presenting properties for sale to a wide consumer market. Before MLS was established, people looking to purchase a home in Toronto often had to rely on sketchy information in their local newspapers.
Today, Toronto MLS
provides real estate
agents with direct access to detailed information on multiple properties. Agents can then pass the information on to their clients.
MLS was established in 1951 and was originally referred to as "Photo co-op Listing". It officially became M.L.S in 1962. The Multiple Listing Service is sponsored by the Canadian Real Estate Association
, but the Toronto Real Estate Board
runs MLS for the city and Greater Toronto Area
Every month the Canadian Real Estate Association or CREA puts together a report on properties sold through the Multiple Listing Service.
They include buying and selling information, tips on how to present your property, information on market trends and articles on market projections.
There are many benefits to using the MLS system. Because the information that goes along with each property is comprehensive, as a buyer you have the chance to learn a lot about the houses for sale in Toronto and the GTA.
For example, the Multiple Listing Service shows how long a home has been on the market, whether there have been previous offers that have fallen through, high quality photos and detailed descriptions of each room, as well as features on the outside of the house. Real estate agents say that MLS is great when you want to compare properties that are similar.
According to real estate studies, 90% of house sales are done through MLS. Accessing the system has become easier in recent years due to the internet.
Often times, Toronto real estate agents
make MLS listings available through their own websites. You can also request listings through the official website, www.realtor.ca
The best way to get the specific information you are looking for is to reach out to a real estate agent. The MLS is constantly being updated and they will know about the latest listings and about properties that are about to be entered into the system.
How to List
When you want your property listed on MLS you need to contact an agent. You will be required to pay a small fee for the posting. In the past a posting meant that you had to enter into a business relationship with an agent and pay him/her commission.
However, in the fall of 2010, CREA voted in favor of a deal with the Federal Competition Bureau
that would allow brokerages to charge a minimal posting fee to consumers without having to use any agent services. If you are selling your property on your own (for sale by owner
) you can still have your home listed on the MLS.
The Multiple Listing Service in Toronto comes with its own language. Agents to try to include as much information as possible on each property and that means they have to use what space they are allocated carefully.
Due to the high volume of information, abbreviations are used to help describe different facets of the houses up for sale. Below is a list of some popular MLS abbreviations you will come across.
- Apx (Approximate)
- Acc (Access)
- B/T (Built in)
- CAC (Central air conditioning)
- Comb (Combined)
- Dft (Deal fell through)
- Dom (Days on market)
- Feat (Feature)
- RSA (Room sizes Approximate)
- Upgr (Upgrade)
Understanding the abbreviations will help you decide if a property is worth viewing in person. There are many other buying and selling terms that you will come across. Your agent should be familiar with all of them.
The MLS system has come a long way since its inception. Today, real estate agents say they can't imagine working without it. It helps them respond quicker to clients' needs, provides sellers with an opportunity to reach a large number of real estate agents and potential buyers.
Find more on Toronto real estate through the Totally Toronto website!