Friday, January 20, 2012

Group Aims to Standardize Terminology on MLSs

With more than 900 multiple listing services across the country, data and terminology used to describe homes for sale can differ considerably. The most common differences center around how the number of bathrooms is counted, number of bedrooms, square footage, and even days on the market.

As such, one group is aiming to make the terminology on MLSs more consistent nationwide by introducing a Data Dictionary, which would create common vocabulary for fields used in the MLS that describe properties, Inman News reports. The Real Estate Standards Organization is to meet in April to consider the adoption of a Data Dictionary. However, the group acknowledges it will be a challenge to unify all of the data fields that are directly related to MLS rules and among 900 MLSs.

Yet, the Data Dictionary aims to provide definitions for fields in MLS entries to help create more consistency in reporting.

"We have (more than) 900 MLSs (and they) all describe the data in a little bit different way," Rebecca Jensen, chairperson for the RESO board and CEO for the MLS, told Inman News. "We just need a common way to describe it."

For example, the Data Dictionary proposes breaking down the number of bathrooms into separate fields to bring about more consistency and clarity in reporting, such as with baths total; baths full; baths half; baths three-quarter; and baths one-quarter.

Source: “Data Dictionary will Bring Common Vocabulary to for-sale Real Estate,” Inman News (Jan. 17, 2012)

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