That being said, we do have a very good understanding of how the MLS® works and would like to clarify a few things. First off, MLS.ca has just been replaced by REALTOR.ca! The old URL will still work but it will redirect you to the new site. There are some significant improvements on the new site, including interactive, searchable maps - yes, you can now search by map! You can also search by address and MLS® number and more.
But just how does your listing in Vancouver, British Columbia get to REALTOR.ca? It starts with a listing input form - your Realtor® will fill out a very thorough 8 page listing input form and may ask you to check it for accuracy and sign the form. Some Realtors ® will then fax this form to the MLS® department at the Realtors® Association, who will then enter the listing into the Vancouver database within 1 business day. Other Realtors ® will "broker load" the listing directly to the MLS® database in Vancouver, which allows the Realtor® to control exactly when the listing goes into the database (more on that in a minute).
Listings are uploaded from the Vancouver database to the national database daily. In other words, there is a delay between your home appearing in the Vancouver database and the national database.
When it comes to photos.... if the listing has been faxed in, the Realtor® needs to wait for notification that the listing is in the system, then they can go in and upload the photos for the listing. If the Realtor® has "broker loaded" the listing they can add the photos to the Vancouver database immediately.
In our opinion, it's very important that the photos are uploaded right away. Why? Because as soon as the listing is in the Vancouver database it is emailed out to all the buyers looking for a home like yours. If it goes out without photos you've missed your first (and very important) chance to make a good first impression.
Anyway...if all is working properly, once the photos are in the Vancouver database they should be uploaded to the national database as part of the daily upload but sometimes there are delays.
And just to be clear, the Multiple Listing Service® is a co-operative marketing program among members of the REALTORS® Association which ensures maximum exposure of properties to the greatest number of potential buyers. It is available only to REALTORS®.