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Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service

Mar 13, 2008
The Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service is the multiple listing service for the Phoenix area in Arizona. This includes all of Maricopa County, most of Pinal County, and a small part of Yavapai County. An MLS is a database of homes for sale, including listings from all the residential real estate brokers in the area. It is also an offer of compensation and cooperation between listing brokers that are trying to attract other brokers to bring them their buyers. The vast majority of homes in the Phoenix area, including all types of resale homes, short sales, foreclosures, entry level homes, luxury homes, and some newly built homes are sold through the ARMLS. As such, no other marketing mechanism comes close to the MLS when selling or searching for homes in the Phoenix area.

The ARMLS was incorporated in 1982 and now has around 40,000 participants. This includes brokers and their salespersons. The most sales ever occurred in 2005 when over 104,000 sales took place on the MLS. Due to decreasing prices and the credit crunch, the number dropped to around 55,000 in 2007. Historically the March through September period tends to have the most activity. The Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service is made up of several Realtor organizations: Phoenix Association of Realtors, Scottsdale Area Association of Realtors, Southeast Valley Regional Association of Realtors, West Maricopa Regional Association of Realtors, and Western Pinal Association of Realtors. The coverage area of the ARMLS reaches as far south as Casa Grande and Arizona City, as far north as Anthem and Black Canyon City, as far west as Tonopah and even Gila Bend, and as far east as Queen Valley and Superior. The service covers high dollar cities like Paradise Valley and Scottsdale, while also catering to areas that are considered more affordable such as Casa Grande or El Mirage. Some people mistakenly believe that ARMLS covers markets outside of the Phoenix metro area such as Prescott, Payson, Kingman, and others. This is not the case. While you can input an out-of-area property into ARMLS, it is not the database that agents in that area will browse or that websites pulling listing data in that area will utilize.

As the real estate market changes, so too will ARMLS. The number of participants in the MLS is expected to drop, while the number of transactions per participant should increase. There are several reasons for this. Obviously an average of one to two transactions per year per participant is not sustainable financially. Residential real estate is no longer seen as a way for agents to make easy money by selling a few properties per year. Even after the market stabilizes, the euphoria of the mid 2000's will not return quickly due to more sound underwriting requirements on mortgages and higher consumer expectations being placed on the industry. Additionally, many homeowners are now aware that they do not necessarily need a license to save money when buying and selling homes since there are agents that either offer flat fee MLS listings or buyer rebate programs. Many avoid the time and recurring fees involved with joining ARMLS but turn to discount brokers instead.
About the Author
Donald Plunkett is the President of Congress Realty, a company which allows homeowners including For Sale By Owner sellers to list their property on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) for a $299 flat fee. More info: http://www.congressrealty.com
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