When you start the process of buying or selling a property, you come across a lot of acronyms – MLS® being one of them.

MLS® stands for Multiple Listing System. It’s a system established by Canadian real estate boards and associations to make the buying and selling process a little easier on everyone. This cooperative system provides a sort of one-stop-shop, where a multitude of property listings are located in one place.


Let’s look at an analogy involving buying a new car:

Let’s say you have a general idea of the size of vehicle you want, but you’re not sure which make or model is best for your needs. You’ll have to visit multiple dealerships in order to get an idea on pricing and other features for various types of cars. For instance, the Volkswagen dealer isn’t going to give you information on a Ford vehicle – you’ll have to go to a Ford dealership for that. This makes it difficult to compare among cars, and you’re constantly wondering whether you’re missing something or forgetting a make of car. As many of us have experienced, buying a car can be time consuming, confusing, and straight up exhausting.

In some countries, the process of buying a property isn’t all that different from buying a car:

For example, Brokerage A will tell you about the properties its agents have listed – but they won’t have information about a home listed by Brokerage B; you’ll have to visit Brokerage B for those details. With each brokerage having its own set of listings, you have to do a lot of shopping around to make sure you’re finding the most suitable property for you. Sounds like a lot of work, doesn’t it?

Luckily, here in BC, the MLS® simplifies things

REALTORs® share their listing details on the MLS®. Let’s say that you’re looking for a 3-bedroom condo, but in my brokerage, we only have studios, 1-bedroom, and 2-bedroom condos current listed for sale. No problem – a quick search on the MLS® will lead us to some 3-bedroom condos listed by other agents in other brokerages. The listing will contain some valuable information (including photos), and if you like what you see, I can arrange to show you the property.

Not only does it make it easier to find the right property for you without having to do a ton of shopping around, but the MLS® makes it possible for you to choose the best REALTOR® for you. In another country, you may have to work with Brokerage B if you want to buy a property they have listed for sale – even if you’d rather work with an agent from Brokerage A with whom you have established a strong relationship. In BC, you can choose your own representative, regardless of whether or not their brokerage has the listing of the property you’d like to buy.

REALTORs® have full access to the MLS;

We are able to submit our own listings and get full details about other listings in the system. Members of the public are able to get partial information – usually key details and photos – by accessing realtor.ca.

Here’s where it gets unique to the Whistler market:

In Whistler, we have our very own multiple listing service called the WLS®. It contains a great amount of detailed information about Whistler and Pemberton properties. You can check it out at WhistlerListings.com.

Remember: only local REALTORs® have access to the WLS®. It’s always a good idea to work with a Whistler-based REALTOR® when buying a Whistler property, because in addition to the WLS®, there are a host of other peculiarities with the Whistler real estate market. It pays to have local intel!

If you’re looking for a Whistler representative to help you through the home buying or selling process, please do not hesitate to contact me!

Posted by Denise Brown on
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