The final blow is in: in a broad and bold move, Zillow Group—which owns both Zillow and Trulia—has decided to end manual uploads for real estate agents and brokerages. What does this all mean? Why should you (the seller) care?
These are all legitimate questions…and I shall breakdown the history and science behind the making of an MLS listing.
First, let’s tackle what the MLS is not? (Just for clarification, we’re not talking about soccer here ?
An MLS listing is not a pocket listing or what is more commonly referred to as a private listing. A private listing is when an agent has decided not to add your listing on the multiple listing system (MLS), instead opting to list your property exclusively on their own agency website or other less-trafficked real estate listing sites.
An MLS is also not a drop-in, free-for-all to use service. All agents and brokers are required to pay an annual fee to belong to their local MLS, giving both agents and brokerages direct access to list their client’s homes for sale.
So what is the MLS?
MLS stands for Multiple Listing Service. Here’s a quick fact; 80% of homes sold are listed on a local Multiple Listing Service (MLS). In a nutshell, it’s a service that real estate agents and brokerages use to publish their client’s property listings for sale, offering more exposure to sellers & potential buyers. By exposure, I do not mean just a little more. I mean a lot more exposure.
What is the history of the MLS?
According to the National Association of Realtors, in the late 1800s, real estate brokers regularly gathered at the offices of their local associations to share information about properties they were trying to sell. They agreed to compensate other brokers who helped sell those properties, and the first MLS was born, based on a fundamental principle that’s unique to the organized real estate: Help me sell my inventory and I’ll help you sell yours. You can read the full NAR article here: Multiple Listing Service (MLS): What Is It.
While technology has changed things from those early days in the late 1800’s, the underlying core (and original intent) behind MLS has not. In fact, it’s proven to be so popular and useful that it has been developed and modeled as “the real estate companion tool” in many other countries, helping millions of homebuyers and home sellers with their real estate needs.
The truth is Zillow ending manual uploads for Real Estate agents and brokerages is no big deal for those who have been doing the right thing.
Let me unpack this further.
As an agent, I have been helping countless buyers find homes and owners sell homes. Uploading my MLS listings to Zillow has been one of the ways I ensure my clients’ listings are getting the broadest exposure in a timely fashion.
For me, it’s about satisfying my client and by focusing all my efforts and attention on finding that “win-win” deal using tools like Zillow, Trulia, and other leading-edge platforms. At the end of the day, my success lies in my client’s success. Generating exposure and marketing is what brings the most buyers to a property, and the most buyers are what brings the best price. Period.
So it comes as no surprise that this recent move by Zillow is designed to stop real estate agents and brokerages who manually upload listings while circumventing the entire MLS process to get buyers to call them first and to hopefully “double end” the deal. In other words, getting the commission on both ends – buyer and seller. In general, real estate agents can “double end” in any state, but must disclose this conflict of interest to the seller to avoid any potential legal liabilities – see Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.
In my professional opinion, as a seller, you should never allow any real estate agent or brokerage to avoid listing your home on the MLS. Be sure to ask potential Realtors© if they belong to a local MLS before signing a listing agreement. There are only a few reasons why one would consider not listing. However, the following 3 points can easily be addressed with a competent and very driven agent while receiving the full benefits of listing on the MLS.
- You are famous (think: Tom Cruise) or a well-known public figure. (For the record, Oprah Winfrey and many other celebrities have used and currently list their homes for sale on the MLS. If it’s worked for Oprah, I can’t see why it wouldn’t work for you).
- You simply don’t want to put your house on the market because you relish your privacy and just don’t want to deal with the sometimes “intrusive” process of selling a home. (A qualified and competent agent can maximize your property’s exposure while ensuring that your privacy is protected and respected).
- You have tenants and you fear that they will move out once they know that the property is on the market. (In this case, I recommend a few strategies to encourage the tenant to stay longer. For example, you may want to lower the tenant’s rent for a month or more, or maybe you offer to provide them enough time to find another place (once the property has been sold), as well as contribute towards their moving costs). Not to mention that even when selling a property the new owners must fulfill the current lease agreement.
Now, because of this recent move by Zillow, buyers and sellers will have an even greater range of options than before. Plus, homes listed on Zillow / Trulia will also be more effectively represented by member agents and brokerages who have committed to working collaboratively with one another by fully participating in their local Multiple Listing Services and providing the very best service for all their client’s real estate needs.
So if you’re looking for a real estate agent that is honest and knowledgeable about the entire home-buying and home-selling process, and works on the client’s behalf 100% of the time, then I would be glad to help you in your real estate needs within and outside the Durant, OK area. Give me a call give me a call at 580-980-4226 or send me an email today.
Brian A. Allen is a energetic Realtor© and is full of attention to detail, excitement and zeal for every sale. He spent most of his career in marketing and now applies that skill set to the homes his clients want to sell. Click here to learn more about Brian A. Allen