This month in history: Boston’s first MLS was founded

Affordable Existing Home For Sale / Reverse Mortgage, Finance Concept : Model house with for sale sign on wooden background.  The image is of selling property or converting property to cash for personal use.

what Boston’s first MLS was founded
When: August 1955
Where: Boston

If you wanted to buy or sell a home in Greater Boston before the summer of 1955, you were in for a fight. The real estate editor of the Boston Globe described buyers at the time as being “bounced from one broker to another” and sellers faced “a monotonous task” by calling one broker to have their property exposed in each area.

A small group of members of the Greater Boston Real Estate Board banded together in August 1955 to form a listing service among the great suburban buildings of the post-World War II era. Instead of today’s computerized databases, listings were made to real estate offices in catalogs – filing was sometimes the job of the office’s subordinate agent.

First launched in Canton and Malden, properties worth more than $500,000 were listed on the service in December. Globe Real Estate Editor Paul F. Keeneland calculated the average sales price for the first 157 homes listed at $13,764.


“Both buyers and sellers across the country are finding that modern, improved multi-listing services save time, effort and money in the process of buying and selling real estate.”
– From a full-page Massachusetts Real Estate Association advertisement in the April 8, 1956 edition of the Boston Sunday Globe The New MLS


To celebrate its 150th anniversary, the banker and businessman is highlighting significant moments in the history of the Massachusetts real estate and banking industry. Email to suggest a topic editorial@thewarrengroup.com.

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