Last Updated on March 30, 2024

What is an MLS Number? | Edmonton Real Estate Definition

By Alan F Macdonald

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 a unique MLS number. If the listing ends, the MLS number is “used up.”

Real Estate Agent Explains MLS Numbers

In Edmonton, real estate listings on MLS have numbers starting with an ‘E’ and are followed by seven digits (giving a total 10 million possible listing numbers). At time of writing, the MLS numbers in Edmonton have only reached about 43xxxxx, 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If a listing is sold, terminated, withdrawn, expired or cancelled, the MLS number is used up.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. When expressing properties of interest to your agent from MLS, it’s often easier to send MLS numbers than addresses.

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