What is the MLS?
The MLS, short for Multiple Listing Service, is a subscriber service for real estate agents that allow agents to share their property listings online in one centralized system. There are hundreds of regional MLS across the US and 1 of these MLS is the Oahu MLS, which we display here on Hawaii Living’s website.
The MLS is centered around a principal of real estate agents helping sell each other’s inventory. A listing agent will compensate a cooperating agent – the agent who brings a buyer – for helping facilitate a sale.
(Listing agent will have a contract with seller, outlining compensation terms, which is typically a percentage of the sales price).
Buyer & Seller Benefits
The MLS system has numerous benefits, the greatest being it allows a buyer to work with just 1 agent who, as a member of an MLS, will has access to all MLS listings. As an example, an agent working independently, who is a member of the Oahu MLS will have access to the exact same Oahu MLS listings as an agent working at a real estate agency with hundreds of agents.
The Oahu MLS allows a seller to get significant exposure online, by having their property displayed on hundreds of real estate websites, including large nationwide websites with millions of monthly website visitors.
More than 100 years ago real estate agents would frequently gather at their local real estate associations presenting properties they were looking to sell, agreeing to compensate the broker who helped sell their properties. This system was accepted by the National Association of Real Estate Exchanges in the early 1900’s, which became the National Association of Realtors in year 1972. Over the years, the way in which real estate agents share property listings, have evolved into today’s online MLS system, typically readily available for consumers to access online.
Structure of Oahu MLS Data
HBR, Honolulu Board of Realtors, has divided the Oahu MLS into 12 regions and several neighborhoods within each of these 12 regions. Here on Hawaii Living’s website we have tailored how we display the MLS data, such as lumping certain neighborhoods together in an effort to create a better experience for our site users. For instance, HBR has more than 10 Kapolei neighborhoods – we have lumped all those Kapolei neighborhoods together as 1, HBR has 4 separate Manoa neighborhoods – we have lumped all 4 Manoa neighborhoods together as 1 etc. We have also created a “Honolulu” search filter, which is a combination of all properties in the 3 Honolulu regions – Metro, Diamond Head and Hawaii Kai – allowing users to see all Honolulu MLS listings on one page, which isn’t a default search filter based on how HBR has structured the data.
Hope this brief overview of the Oahu MLS has been helpful. Feel free to leave comment or questions below – thank you.