Why the MLS works so well
All buyers use data from the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) on websites like Redfin, John L Scott, RE/MAX, and Windermere to see which homes for sale. In fact, 90% of US residential home sales start as listings in the MLS. The other 10% are transacted by transferring them to family or relatives, sold directly to instant buyer deals like Open Listing, listed on Craigslist or Zillow, or as a secret “pocket listings”. But those off-MLS options don’t give the seller any leverage to get good prices, since only a few buyers are aware of the deal. Instead the MLS puts your home in front of all the buyers at the same time, which benefits sellers, and provides the best opportunity and negotiating leverage to get a good price.
So as a seller, don’t consider any option that does not include access to one of these 861 regional US housing markets, especially if you are interested in getting the best price (or net proceeds). Using the MLS means getting in front of the most buyers which gets you the best price, and as a seller you want to be in on that.