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What is an MLS® Number?

An MLS® number (often written as MLS#) is a number assigned to a real estate listing on the MLS® system. Every time a house is listed for sale on the MLS® system, it gets an MLS® number. If the listing ends, the MLS® number is ‘used up’.

Real Estate Agent Explains MLS® Numbers

In Edmonton, real estate listing on MLS® have numbers starting with an ‘E’ and are followed by 7 digits (giving a total 10 million possible listing numbers). At time of writing, the MLS® numbers in Edmonton have only reached about 33xxxxx, But it should be noted that the numbers have already wrapped around (reaching the last E9999999 sometime in the mid-1990s).

If a listing is sold, terminated, withdrawn, expired or cancelled, the MLS® number is used up. If a property is re-listed, a new MLS® number is generated. If a listing goes pending however, and doesn’t sell, (becomes active again) there is no change in the number and the listing resumes.

Because MLS® numbers are sequential, it is possible to tell whether one listing is older than another just by the number.

Different real estate boards have different prefixes. In Calgary, MLS® listings start with a ‘C’, and Central Alberta real estate listings start with a “CA”. The listing prefix depends on who posts the listing, and not where the listing is – therefore you may see listings in Edmonton that start with a “C” if the brokerage who has the listing is from Calgary and not from Edmonton.

Why Does It Matter?

MLS® numbers are used to identify properties and organize listings. Because street addresses can easily be mixed up, or mis-stated, MLS® numbers are a definitive way of referring to a listing.

by +Alan F Macdonald REALTOR® | Copyright © –


Alan F Macdonald

Author Alan F Macdonald

Alan F Macdonald is a real estate agent with Maxwell Challenge Realty in Edmonton, Alberta.

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