Housing News

New Restrictions by MLS

Is this the next China?

The San Francisco Chronicle posted an email by Tracy Taylor regarding a recent promotion of real estate listings in her area. She writes, “… When a friend of mine was putting her Tahoe vacation home on the market recently, she selected her real-estate broker partly based on the fact that the agent had a well-researched, informative blog. The site spoke of a professional who was on top of the local market and who was using online media to showcase both her expertise and promote her listings.

“However, the Northwest Multiple Listing Service recently instituted new rules which allow home sellers to prevent agents from blogging about their properties. The rules also block automated valuation models (AVMs) from appearing next to listings. AVMs, such as those produced by Zillow.com, are intended to reflect the market value of a property but do not always tally with listed prices.”

So what’s next? They’ll ban YouTube? Then Yahoo? Have they elected Chinese politicians to regulate their online opportunities?

Here’s the point. While MLS sites earn from their listing contracts, the Northwest Multiple Listing Service should never be threatened by any of its agents showcasing houses in their own sites. As long as the post is done professionally and would not undermine the property’s marketability, then the agents should be left on their own.

However, they can also impose “friendly” rules to protect their interest like asking agents to provide a link to the MLS for every property that they post in their own websites. In this way, it still is a win-win solution.

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