The Steamboat Springs Multiple Listing Service is a group of REALTOR members who have agreed to not only cooperate and share the information about their listings, but also the compensation they have negotiated with the seller.

 

In the late 1800's, real estate brokers regularly gathered at the offices of their local associations to share information about properties they were trying to sell. They agreed to compensate other brokers who helped sell those properties, and the first MLS was born, based on a fundamental principal that's unique to organized real estate: Help me sell my inventory and I'll help you sell yours.

 

Today, through more than 800 MLSs, brokers share information on properties they have listed and invite other brokers to cooperate in their sale in exchange for compensation if they produce the buyer.  Sellers benefit by increased exposure to their property.  Buyers benefit because they can obtain information about all MLS-listed properties while working with only one broker.

 

The real estate market is competitive, and the business is unique in that competitors must also cooperate with each other to ensure a successful transaction.  MLS systems facilitate that cooperation.

 

The MLS is a tool to help listing brokers find cooperative brokers working with buyers to help sell their clients' homes.  Without the collaborative incentive of the existing MLS, brokers would create their own separate systems of cooperation, fragmenting rather than consolidating property information.

 

MLS's are a powerful force for competition.  They level the playing field so that the smallest brokerage in town can compete with the biggest multi-state firm.  Buyers and sellers can work with the professional of their choice, confident that they have access to the largest pool of properties for sale in the marketplace.

 

Real estate information on the Internet is readily available.  Consumers can access and view all publicly available listing information on the Web site of their broker of choice.

 

MLS's are private databases that are created, maintained and paid for by real estate professionals to help their clients buy and sell property.  In most cases, access to information from MLS listings is provided to the public free-of-charge by participating brokers.  Data that is not publicly accessible includes information that would endanger sellers' privacy or safety, such as seller contact information and times the home is vacant for showings.

 

The National Association of REALTORS encourages innovation and competition in real estate brokerage, including different business models.  NAR members are affiliated with real estate brokerage firms that operate using various business models, including full service, limited service, fee-for-service, and discount (regardless of the level of service).

 

Buyer’s Resource Real Estate of Steamboat is one of those different models.  We are full members of the Steamboat Springs MLS.  I have served on the Steamboat Springs MLS Committee, and also served as its Chairperson.  I also served twice as the Steamboat Springs Board of REALTORS President, and was named the 2005 Steamboat Springs REALTOR of the Year.

 

Although I do not list property, I certainly help people buy, and a majority of our purchases are from our access to the MLS.  Further, although I negotiate hard for my clients, other brokers are happy to work with me for they know my straightforward and honest approach.  They would not have elected me to the positions I have held if this were not the case.

 

The Steamboat Springs MLS has over 300 members.  A majority of the members reside in Steamboat Springs, yet some are from as far away as the Denver area.  Properties are mostly in Routt County, but we also see listings in neighboring Moffatt, Rio Blanco, Jackson, Eagle and Grand Counties, as well as southern Wyoming.