What is an MLS?

MLS sites are online databases that are accessed and updated with properties for sale. A multiple listing service is a cooperative effort between real estate professionals to provide a joint listing service that spans across brokerages and districts. MLS doesn’t refer to a specific site, application, or trademark. Each region typically has its own database, and there may be multiple MLS services for one city or province. MLS databases are only accessible to real estate agents, brokers, or REALTORS®, so they’re not directly accessible to the public. In Canada, MLS systems are operated by real estate boards and associations.


If you’re looking to buy a home, knowing all the facts about each potential property is imperative. How many bedrooms are there? What’s the square footage? What school district is it in? What are the countertops made of? Is there a yard? A multiple listing service (MLS) gives your real estate agent access to thousands of local verified property listings updated by other professionals. It also offers a verified, in-depth look at everything you need to know about each property.

What does an MLS do?

Think of an MLS system like an exclusive dating app for properties, where only certain people can access the network. There’s no catfishing here, since everyone is verified and certified. This is part of what makes an MLS so useful; each listing is updated by a verified professional, so the statistics for each property are accurate and detailed. If an MLS didn’t exist, each brokerage or agent would have to market their homes within their own brokerage. This makes it cooperative technology that benefits everyone in the network. While agents are competing for your business, they’re also working together and exchanging information in a mutually beneficial system. 

How does MLS benefit homebuyers and sellers?

A MLS offers unparalleled access to homes and properties, making it easier to find the kind of home you want. MLS lets real estate professionals access listings from brokerages outside their own network and offers their clients a broad range of properties that match their set criteria. 

Accuracy and accountability

A MLS database operates based on a set of rules and a code of ethics that require transparency. Each database offers information that’s trusted and can be confidently shared with clients. MLS systems have legal requirements for information that must be disclosed with each listing too. If there’s a limit on construction or a legal easement on the property, this has to be in the listing, leaving less room for surprises.

Options and information for buyers

Any home listed by a real estate agent will be in the MLS, ensuring you won’t miss a home that’s right for you. Agents will often send their clients MLS sheets of potential homes, pages directly from the MLS listing with comprehensive information, and photos of the property. This keeps the homebuyer informed about the property prior to viewing it so they can feel confident making decisions. 

Expanded reach

Once a selling agent uploads a new listing to a MLS, everyone in the system can view the home. If you’re selling your home, this casts a wide net so you can find the right buyer. If you’re buying a home, the MLS gives your agent exclusive access to thousands of homes that you couldn’t find on your own.

What information does an MLS post include?

Each MLS listing is slightly different, but most are comprehensively detailed to include every aspect of the home, including:

  • Listing price, cross streets, date of possession, and past contracts
  • Number of rooms, types of rooms, number of storeys, closets, dimensions, and square footage
  • Information on HVAC, electrical, and water systems
  • Garages, laundry details, accessibility, fireplaces, windows, skylights, water supply, and sewage
  • Materials used on the exterior, interior, flooring, and roof of the home
  • Neighbourhood notes, waterfront accessibility, zoning, parking, and construction allowances
  • Details like built-in speaker systems, moulding, lighting, closets, amenities, and appliances
  • Condos will include additional information like unit number, lockers, corporation numbers, shares (for cooperatives), special designations (ie., a heritage property), maintenance, and condo fees
  • Details pertinent to buying and selling agents, like seller property information statements (SPIS), and details on showing and offers

How is OJO similar to a MLS?

OJO is the top site for Canada’s newest property listings, and offers a comprehensive scope of information for each property in over 500 cities nationwide. The breadth of information found in OJO listings is similar to an MLS system but is readily available to the public. From school districts, points of interest in the neighbourhood, or thousands of searchable home features, you can find a home with verified listings in your area.


OJO offers:


  • A comprehensive, easy to use search filter built with human insight and AI technology and personalized listings sent straight to your inbox
  • Connection to experts you can trust: Highly rated real estate agents from the OJO Select Network and Mortgage specialists from RBC
  • Support from a personal OJO concierge to guide your homebuying journey 


If you want to do some research on your own, get a sense of local property values, understand your budget or if you don’t have an agent to help you buy a home,  OJO puts the world of real estate at your fingertips.

Let OJO help you navigate the homebuying process

Find a home that’s a great fit for you with a tailored search experience based on the features and details you care about most. Whether you’re looking for a great school district, marble countertops, public transit, hardwood floors, or cycling trails nearby, our search filters are built for easy navigation and lets you search for a home that matches your vision.

 Let’s find you a home!

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