This regularly scheduled sponsored Q&A column is written by Eli Tucker, Arlington-based Realtor and Arlington resident. Please submit your questions to him via email for response in future columns. Video summaries of some articles can be found on YouTube on the Eli Residential channel. Enjoy!
Question: I often hear people reference the MLS or Bright when referring to properties for sale. Can you explain what these are?
Answer: If you’re buying or selling a home anywhere in the US, you may hear the term “MLS” and if you’re buying in the Mid-Atlantic “Bright” used a lot. The simplest way I describe it to people is that the MLS, short for Multiple Listing Service, is the real estate industry’s database(s) of record for property sales. There are hundreds of regional and local MLS’s across the country that act as the aggregator of properties for sale/rent.
Bright (MLS) is the name of our regional MLS and, with just over 110,000 participating agents, it is the second largest MLS in the country behind the California Regional MLS. Prior to 2017 it was called MRIS (Metropolitan Regional Information Systems), but in 2017 it was rebranded to Bright after a merger with 8 other regional MLS’s mostly from PA, NJ, and DE.
The map below shows the current Bright MLS footprint, meaning brokerages/agents in all of these areas input their listings into the same platform. It covers 40,000 square miles and 20M people.
What is the MLS (Multiple Listing Service)?
The MLS is a real estate information exchange platform and database created by cooperating residential real estate brokerages to improve the efficiency of their real estate market. As a privately created and managed organization, each MLS is primarily funded through the dues of the brokerages and agents within the market it serves. There are hundreds of MLS’s across the country and each operates under its own direction, and rules and regulations.
The information you find on consumer-facing websites like Zillow comes from various MLS’s and each MLS has the right to negotiate its own relationship (syndication agreements) with these sites and determine what information is made available.
Without the MLS concept, we would have an extremely fragmented industry that would make it difficult for buyers to ensure they are seeing most/all of what is for sale within their sub-market and it would be much more difficult for sellers to get top dollar because they would not have access to the entire buyer market.
What is Bright MLS?
Bright is the MLS that serves the mid-atlantic region including all of, or most major markets in, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, and Delaware.
The Executive Committee and Board of Directors is made up of representatives from the region’s major brokerages and directs the business of Bright, which has developed into a full-blown software, services, and technology company. Bright has adopted a strict set of rules and regulations to provide data uniformity and ensure fair play such as restrictions on marketing properties for sale that are not entered into the MLS, as discussed in this article.
MLS is a Net Benefit to Consumers and Agents
Your interaction with Bright MLS is likely to come from listings that your real estate agent sends you directly from the system, but you are also indirectly interacting with Bright whenever you search a 3rd party real estate site like Zillow because their data is pulled from Bright (and other MLS systems across the country).
While at time frustrating for brokerages, agents, and consumers (personally, I think there’s so much more they can do with data and their consumer-facing tech), the MLS structure is a tremendous net benefit for the industry and consumers by combining home sale data into one database with a common set of requirements and rules of engagement. This allows the entire industry to function more efficiently than it did prior to the MLS concept, which has led to lower commission fees.
The biggest example for consumers (and I’d also argue to Realtors) is that since Zillow and other consumer-facing sites began aggregating listing information for public use, real estate agents are no longer the “gate-keepers” of listing information and consumers have direct access to practically everything that is on the market (entered in an MLS) in nearly real-time.
If you’d like to discuss buying, selling, investing, or renting, don’t hesitate to reach out to me at [email protected].
If you’d like a question answered in my weekly column or to discuss buying, selling, renting, or investing, please send an email to [email protected]. To read any of my older posts, visit the blog section of my website at EliResidential.com. Call me directly at (703) 539-2529.
Video summaries of some articles can be found on YouTube on the Eli Residential channel.
Eli Tucker is a licensed Realtor in Virginia, Washington DC, and Maryland with RLAH Real Estate, 4040 N Fairfax Dr #10C A
After a several-month delay, 2910 Kitchen & Bar is gearing up to open next month on Columbia Pike pending final permit approvals, according to the restaurant owner.
More than 2,000 people have donated to the family who lost everything in the N. Burlington Street explosion, tripling initial fundraising goals.
More on House Explosion Suspect — “The Virginia man presumed to have been killed when his house exploded while cops tried to serve a search warrant had posted rambling conspiracy…
Good Wednesday evening, Arlington. Let’s take a look back at today’s stories and a look forward to tomorrow’s event calendar. 🕗 News recap The following articles were published earlier today…
About Latinas Leading Tomorrow (LLT): Latinas Leading Tomorrow is a dynamic 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering young Latina women through education, mentorship, and leadership development. We are committed to fostering a community of future leaders who will make a significant impact to the community.
Job Description: We are seeking a passionate and dedicated Part-time Executive Director to lead our organization into its next phase of growth and impact. The ideal candidate will be a visionary leader who can oversee day-to-day operations, drive fundraising efforts, and cultivate relationships with stakeholders. This is a 1099 position; Remote position with ability to attend DMV events; 8-10 hours a week; $35-40/per hour.
Oversee program operations, including educational and community initiatives.
Ensure compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, maintaining trust and accountability.
Develop and execute a strategic vision aligned with our mission and values.
Lead fundraising efforts in partnership with the Board Members.
Cultivate relationships with community partners, schools, educators, and donors.
Demonstrate strong leadership skills, fostering a positive organizational culture.
Communicate effectively with diverse stakeholders and make compelling public presentations.
Promote inclusivity and collaboration throughout the organization.
Children’s Weekday Program (CWP) is a non-profit preschool rooted in a play-based philosophy. We focus on developing a love of learning and exploration, cooperation, empathy, and independence.
Our caring and experienced educators create opportunities for children 16 months to 5 years old to play, learn, and grow in a nurturing environment of child-centered and developmentally appropriate experiences.
Initially established more than 50 years ago in South Arlington, CWP continues to be a lauded program in the Northern Virginia area. We are extremely proud to have been recognized as a Best Preschool in Northern Virginia Magazine for the last 4 years.
Located now in North Arlington at 2666 Military Road, CWP offers a part-time parents day out and preschool program with options to extend care both before and after school. We offer a supportive and inclusive school community for children and parents alike and welcome all families to join our school!
Holiday Art Show featuring artists: Peter Fitzgerald, Claire Plante, Alanna Rivera, and Suzy Scollon. At the Barcroft Community House, 800 South Buchanan St., Arlington, VA. Dec. 8 from, 2 PM to 8 PM and Dec. 9 from 10 AM to