How to List Your Home on the NYC MLS

You can easily list your home on the NYC MLS through a Hauseit Assisted FSBO Listing.

The topic of how to list your home on the NYC MLS (Multiple Listing Service) is a source of much confusion for New York City home sellers.

The confusion stems from the fact that New York City’s primary broker database isn’t called the ‘MLS’ as is the case in other parts of the country. Instead, NYC’s most prominent broker database is called RLS, which is stands for the REBNY Listing Service.

Therefore, the question of ‘how to list your home on the NYC MLS’ should really be stated as ‘how to list your home on the RLS.’ Fortunately, you can list your home on the RLS via Hauseit Assisted FSBO.

We’ll explain why the RLS exists, whether or not NYC has a traditional MLS and how to list on the REBNY RLS Broker Database in this article.

Table of Contents:

What Is the Multiple Listing Service?

Let’s first define what a MLS, or Multiple Listing Service, really is before we go into whether NYC technically has one or not.

A MLS is basically a database of shared listings (typically only “exclusive right to sell” listings) accessible only by member brokerages.

Typically there is only one MLS per region which the vast majority of brokers are a part of.

The MLS is affiliated with the local Realtor Association (also known as a Realtor Board). Member brokerages share their exclusive listings with other members in the MLS so that brokers representing buyer clients can cooperate and split commission.

You can easily list your home on the NYC MLS through a Hauseit Assisted FSBO Listing. The de facto MLS in NYC is actually called the RLS.

Listing brokers typically have secured 6% in commission in an Exclusive Right to Sell arrangement; therefore, they usually offer to split half the commission with any broker who brings in a ready, willing and able buyer.

As we’ll explain in the next section, New York City does have a primary inter-brokerage database. However, it’s not technically called MLS since the trade group which runs it no longer has any affiliation with NAR (National Association of Realtors).

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Does New York City Have Its Own MLS?

Prior to 1/1/2017, there was a Manhattan MLS which was operated by the Manhattan Association of Realtors (MANAR). It was not very popular, and most of the larger brokerages instead opted to be members of REBNY (Real Estate Board of New York).

However, MANAR was absorbed by HGAR (Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors) in 2016. As a result, any former MANAR members now use the OneKey MLS (which is co-owned by HGAR and the Long Island Board of Realtors).

Historical backdrop aside, the primary inter-brokerage database in NYC is actually operated by a non-Realtor entity called the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) that seceded from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) in 1994.

The database itself is called the RLS instead of the MLS because the latter may only be used by trade groups which are affiliated with NAR.

REBNY member firms access and feed listing data to RLS via approved software vendors including Brokers NYC, OnLine Residential (OLR), Perchwell, RealtyMX, RealPlus Online and RESoft.

Some brokerage houses have built their own internal systems to access and feed data to the RLS, such as Taxi and Limo.

Therefore, be very careful when searching for a way to list your home in the NYC MLS.

Many of the large, national Flat Fee MLS companies will promise to list your home in your local MLS. But this could potentially mean the New York State MLS, which is effectively useless in NYC.


Is There a Flat Fee MLS Listing Service in NYC?

Yes, a Flat Fee MLS Listing is possible in NYC through a Hauseit Assisted FSBO Listing.

As we’ve explained, the de facto MLS in NYC is actually called RLS (REBNY Listing Service).

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Why Are Flat Fee MLS Listings Uncommon in NYC?

We discuss this issue thoroughly in another article on why the typical agent won’t do a flat fee MLS listing in NYC.  The simple answer is that it’s simply too time consuming and not lucrative enough!

Think about it. Operating costs are quite high (just imagine the office rent costs for a brokerage in Manhattan) and taxation in New York is stratospheric. A flat fee of a few hundred dollars might as well be zero compared to the average NYC real estate commission check of over $100,000.

Moreover, most NYC home owners are relatively demanding, “Type A” personality people.

Therefore, a “flat fee” client who is extremely demanding and requires a lot of service is typically not only demeaning to the agent, but also highly uneconomical.

Flat fee MLS listings are simply not worth it in terms of time and money for most brokers in NYC.

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Disclosure: Hauseit® and its affiliates do not provide tax, legal, financial or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal, financial or accounting advice. No representation, guarantee or warranty of any kind is made regarding the completeness or accuracy of information provided.

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