Making Sense of MLS

Most member of Lakes Area REALTORS® Association (LARA) choose to utilize the services of Metro MLS, ( a Wisconsin corporation held completely separate from our Association.

Let’s review some MLS terminology to clarify common questions:


• A facility for the orderly correlation and dissemination of listing information so Participants may better serve their clients, customers and the public.

• A means by which authorized Participants make blanket unilateral offers of compensation to other Participants.

• A means of enhancing cooperation among Participants.

• A means by which information is accumulated an disseminated to enable authorized Participants to prepare appraisals, analyses and other valuations of real property for bonafide clients and customers.

• A means by which Participants engaging in real estate appraisal contribute to common databases.

A PARTICIPANT (MLS Member) is:  A REALTOR® (member of the National Association of REALTORS®) Principal or Principals (Broker/s) with a valid real estate Broker’s license who ‘offers or accepts cooperation and compensation.’

A SUBSCRIBER (User) is:  Non-principal brokers, sales licensees, and licensed and certified real estate appraisers affiliated with an MLS PARTICIPANT.

Source: National Association of REALTORS® Handbook on Multiple Listing Policy, 2015 Learn more online at:

MLS FEES:  Participants (Principal Brokers) are billed directly by Metro MLS. This is again, completely separate from anything to do with LARA. Payment of fees between Subscribers (users) and Participants (Principal Brokers) are handled according to individual office policy.

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Association MEMBERSHIP DUES: Annual membership dues, payable on or before November 30 are paid to the three levels of membership in the National (NAR), State (WRA) and Local (LARA) associations to cover other non-MLS related benefits of membership from education and development opportunities to professional standards and Code of Ethics administration, government affairs and legislative advocacy and more.

Timely payment of MEMBERSHIP DUES is required to be a REALTOR(R). Being a REALTOR(R) in good standing is required to participate in MLS, at any level. 

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We hope this brief explanation helps to clarify some of the questions we commonly hear. Contact Denise Schultz, our Chief Executive Officer ( or any of our volunteer Board of Directors for further clarification.

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