The MLS stands for the Multiple Listing Service. It has almost all the homes for sale in a specific area. It also contains other very important information. Many people think that when you search on your broker's website you are actually searching the MLS. You are actually only searching a website that has is retrieving information for the MLS. There is much more information out there on the MLS that only your broker is able to access. For this reason they don't want us to use the term "search the MLS" or "Evergreen MLS". The real estate commission does not want the public to think they are actually searching the MLS.
The MLS search on a broker's website tells you a great deal of information but it is only a partial amount of information from the MLS. More than enough to get an idea if a home is worth taking a look at. Their are many different fields you can use in your search. Some broker's websites only have a few fields. Mine has hundreds of fields to choose from. The fields are anything as simple as number of bedrooms to what elementary school you child will be going to. For this reason it is important to know those options of a very detailed search of the MLS are available to you.
The MLS is a great tool for many brokers as well as home buyers and sellers. It is important to understand some brokers choose the MLS system they will be part of. I am lucky enough to be in the Denver MLS (Denver Metrolist). This in a huge MLS with a big geographic area and a ton of brokers.
If you go west towards summit county, they have their own MLS. Many of the brokers are in the Denver Metrolist as well so their properties will be listed in the Denver and Denver Foothills also. If you are going to be in an MLS then Denver Metrolist is the one to be in.
This is not real estate or legal advise. Just the views of an Evergreen Realtor.