National Real Estate MLS Directory


The time has come . . .

Wouldn’t it be convenient to have a national system for selling and buying properties? While Realtors have the convenience of a local MLS (multiple listing service), they still cannot easily search properties outside of their region.

Real Estate Agents must join a local board of realtors in order to access the MLS. While neighboring Boards will often allow agents to search properties in their region, they can’t even search their entire state. Therefore, an agent licensed in the state of California who is a member of the WestSide MLS, can post and search properties in the West Side of Los Angeles, but cannot even look at properties in San Francisco. What’s the point? Shouldn’t an agent that the state deems qualified for a license be able to work in any part of the state without having to join board after board?

Through, common-folk can view properties listed on the MLS, but the details are vague to say the least. This is where, I believe, things should change.

There are now hundreds of websites that allow for the listing of properties. There are a few large ones, but most are small and useless. There are FSBO sites, the MLS, classified sites like Craigslist, and many others.

What if we could build a nationalized property listing service? I’m proposing an open-source website, akin to Wikipedia, where data from the large and small sites is brought together to represent an accurate picture of what is available locally, regionally, or nationally. This site should be accessible by everyone, and should provide any/all data that is public. Wouldn’t that be nice investors? I’m sure all the FSBO people would appreciate having to use one, instead of many sites to get a property noticed.

Properties represented by realtors and FSBOs (For Sale by Owner) can stand side by side. Having all of these properties in one place would just make things easier for everyone. People in Des Moines could easily and accurately search for a property in Boston or Portland and get the full picture without going through tons of different sites . . . I’m sure I’m not the first person that thinks this is a good idea.

This site should not exist to remove agents from the picture. Real estate agents serve a good purpose, and would likely continue to thrive with this new system. I’m sure that agents would also appreciate something like this.

If there is anyone who is interested or intrigued by this idea, please post a comment here. I’d certainly love to participate in this endeavor, and help to bring our information back to us. Either way, I’m very interested in all thoughts about this idea.

About Author

Joshua Dorkin

Joshua Dorkin (@jrdorkin, Google+) founded when he saw a need for free, trustworthy information about real estate investing online. Over the past 12 years, Josh has grown the site from self-funded hobby to full-time job and passion. Today, BiggerPockets brings together over 600,000 members, housing the world’s largest library of real estate content, iTunes’ #1 real estate podcast, and an array of analysis tools, all geared toward helping users succeed.


  1. Sounds like a great idea. Unfortunately, there are copyright and other legal issues, and each MLS is very protective of its data.

    We at Land.Net ( have tried to interest brokers in the idea. It’s a hard sell. We do allow both FSBO and broker listings.

    Eventually there will be enough pressure and someone come up with a solution to bring all of the parties together. It will happen.

  2. Also, too, this idea has already been somewhat hijacked by hybrids and mash-ups, like eBay, and HousingMaps, which combines national CraigsList listings with Google Maps. and Yahoo! Real Estate may be as close as it gets for the near future. Also, I did hear something about Re/MAX trying this idea… CN

  3. In Connecticut we are finally getting a consolidated MLS to cover the entire state. We had three different MLS systems and now one. It is a real problem if you want to help clients towards New York as Fairfield currently has their own board. This may be a sign of things to come.

  4. Pingback: Real Estate Investing For Real | A BiggerPockets Blog » Blog Archive » Birth of a National MLS? Meet Zillow . . .

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