Who You Going to Call? Performance of Realtors
and Non-realtors in a MLS Setting
Published online: 12 April 2007
Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2007
Abstract This study attempts to shed some light on the extent of non-realtor broker
listings on the MLS and their resulting price and time-on-the markets effects. Using
duration, probit and selling price models, this study empirically examines whether
the REALTOR designation provides a signal of quality that is reflected in the price
and time on the market for sellers. Results indicate that properties listed by non-
realtors on the MLS setting sell at lower prices, take slightly longer to sell, and are
less likely to sell than properties listed by REALTORs in a MLS setting. Working
with a REALTOR in a MLS setting appears to be advantageous to the seller.
Keywords Residential brokerage
Yinger (1981) presented a search model for real estate brokerage with an extension
to a market with a multiple listing service (MLS). He advocated for legislation to
mandate broker membership in the multiple listing service. While no legislation has
been forthcoming, most residential brokers and agents have elected to join a MLS.
Yinger makes a compelling case that search costs could be reduced and efficiency
increased in the market for brokerage services, however there is scant empirical
research that examines whether brokers operating in a MLS setting provide better
services to sellers.
Comparing across MLS and non-MLS sales, Yavas and Colwell (1995) found that
properties sold through a MLS had a lower price than similar properties sold directly
by the owner (FSBO) or through a non-MLS participant broker. Johnson et al.
J Real Estate Finan Econ (2007) 35:77–93
B. Huang (*)
Department of Finance, University of Texas—San Antonio, San Antonio, TX 78249-0637, USA