Right now, there are a number of mutually-exclusive multiple listing services in the state: the Connecticut MLS, the Greater Fairfield County MLS and separate MLS series in Darien, New Canaan and Greenwich. I heard today that the Greater Fairfield MLS is merging with the Connecticut, and that Darien and New Canaan are going with it. That leaves Greenwich as a stand-alone.
We Greenwich real estate agents have always enjoyed the protection our exclusive MLS affords us: out-of-town or "foreign", as they're labelled brokers and agents can't list or show Greenwich properties unless they join us and pay ur outrageous dues, and most don't, leaving the field to us. I'm not convinced this monopoly costs home sellers a lot of money, in this era, because the Internet: Zillow, Realtor.com, and all the rest, ensures that their property receives full exposure to buyers. But you can't measure a negative, and how many buyers working with, say, a Stamford agent are never shown Greenwich properties because their agent is barred from coming here or, at the least, denied access to our MLS, which would allow her to learn what's available.
So I think from a consumer's perspective, there should probably be one state-wide (okay, national) MLS, and my guess is that one will be coming, if only because there are practically no independent firms left in Greenwich. When Berkshire Hathaway owns five different brands in town and Realogy owns (almost) all the rest, why would they want to deal with the inconvenience and expense of having a separate MLS for Greenwich?
Will home owners benefit from an influx of agents coming in from out of town? Probably, because those agents tend to overestimate values here, and can convince their clients to overpay for a house. I'm hopeful that smarter buyers will understand that the only thing a buyer's agent brings to the table is a better knowledge of streets, neighborhoods and individual houses than is available from a Zillow search, and I'll continue to find employment.
But I think Greenwich agents and homeowners a decade from now are going to find themselves working in a decidedly different environment. Let me know how that works out.