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Archive for the ‘MLS News’ Category

Making sense of the Baton Rouge and GSREIN Data Exchange

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
Monday, January 18th, 2016

In the 4th quarter of 2015, GSREIN announced a data coop with Baton Rouge coming in late Feb 2016. What does this really mean and how does it affect Realtors(R) and homeowners?

For Realtors(R) – Lockbox keys now work for both Baton Rouge based MLS listings and New Orleans based listings. A Realtor(R) does not have to subscribe and pay for 2 different keys. (as they would have before in order to work both markets) In addition to this, All Baton Rouge listings are visible to all NOMAR members through the Data Co-op feature. (and vice versa for Baton Rouge members)


For Homeowners – We need to wait and see how effective the coop tool really is from a search stand point. I am curious to see if the Baton Rouge listings only show up in the coop based search… or if the generic search feature will bring back all of the Baton Rouge listings. If it does, it means that homeowners may be able to list Baton Rouge properties directly into the NOMAR system. (allowing Baton Rouge Realtors(R) to have access to these listings)

More to come in late Feb when this is rolled out by the Associations.

Imperial County MLS

Donald L. Plunkett, Jr. Donald L. Plunkett, Jr.
Friday, January 15th, 2010

We are now members of the Imperial County MLS.  This MLS covers California cities such as El Centro, Calexico, Brawley, Heber, Calipatria and Holtville.  For those not familiar with the Imperial Valley, it is the winter training home of the Blue Angels and a key agricultural area bordering Mexico and Arizona.

Blue Angels

Blue Angels

Leveraging the MLS monopoly – NW Arizona edition

Donald L. Plunkett, Jr. Donald L. Plunkett, Jr.
Monday, August 17th, 2009

We recently received a letter from the Bullhead City/ Mohave Valley Association of REALTORS® informing us that a new rule had been put into place.  ALL listings MUST have an ASSOCIATION lockbox installed.*  I put the asterisk there to indicate that if a seller refuses to have a lockbox on their property, they can a.) state in writing that they do not want one and b.) not have any other lockbox on their property (e.g. contractors lockbox), and still avoid incurring fines.  The lockbox vendor (GE) has been aggressively pushing this policy among many MLS’s.  It not only will cause more lockboxes to be purchased by agents, it will stifle any threat of competing lockboxes in those MLS areas, be it mechancial lockboxes or other electronic systems.  For instance, if one brokerage wanted to use a safe, competing electronic lockbox that only their agents could utilize, or if a group of luxury agents wanted to utilize their own private lockbox system, they would face fines.

We will comply with this and other rules.  We don’t really flinch when new rules like these are passed, we just adapt and continue to sell properties.  It is interesting, however, to see how companies like GE are able to tap into the local MLS monopoly and generate tons of money.  An agent in Bullhead City, Kingman, or Lake Havasu City, cannot say, “This rule is unfair,” and then quit the MLS.  They would be out-of-business, completely unable to sell residential real estate in Mohave County.  The MLS is so powerful that it has a degree of control over many aspects of the agent’s business (in this case, property access and lockboxes).

As a seller, this is just a demonstration of the MLS’s power in selling homes.  A seller should tap into this medium and take advantage of it, rather than fight it.  Just as you may not have liked the power Microsoft exhibited over the PC business when they were exhibiting what some would argue were monopoly-like forces, it still would have been wise to learn its products since most employers were utilizing them.  Over time, there may emerge competitors like Linux that provide an alternative, however, in residential real estate, this is many, many years away in my opinion.

MLS Remarks

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
Thursday, December 4th, 2008

The MLS remarks are intended to be a paragraph concerning the physical property description. What this means is that the remarks should only desribe the actual property, not incentives or financing terms for owner will carry, etc… The MLS is very particular about what goes where in the listing. For example, they want all financing terms to only be placed in the financing section of the MLS. The reason they do this is because they want to make searching easier for agents. For example, if an agent is looking for a property in McDowell Mountain Ranch that is offering a lease option, they only need to search those two specific sections. (financing and subdivision) What the MLS wants to avoid is agents putting information in the remarks but not in the proper MLS field. This will basically render the MLS search feature useless. What our sellers need to keep in mind is that by using all of the MLS fields properly, they greatly increase the exposure of their property. If they have the information in the proper MLS sections, their property will be returned on more searches.

Longview, Texas added to our coverage.

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

We have added Longview, TX to our coverage area as of this afternoon. We will be updating our website to reflect this addition later today. We are very pleased to bring our Flat Fee MLS model to Longview property owners. We will continue to add various MLS’s throughout the western and southwestern United States in the upcoming months. If you do not see your area listed on our coverage map, give us a call and we will work to add it as soon as possible.

Las Cruces Association of Realtors(R)

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
Friday, October 10th, 2008

The Las Cruces Association of Realtors(R) presented a check this past week to the Ruidoso Board of Realtors(R) as their contribution to the disaster relief effort for the recent flooding within the county. The Ruidoso board has decided to place these funds towards shelter, food, and assistance to those residents who were displaced from their homes. All funds collected by the Las Cruces Assc came directly as the result of gifts from its members.

Sliding Scale Commissions

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
Thursday, October 2nd, 2008

More and more MLS’s are forbidding the use of sliding scale commissions. A few MLS’s have gone so far as to forbid any type of stipulation on an MLS listed co broke. A sliding scale commission is a commission that is based upon a certain offer price being received. The problem with this sytem is that it puts the buyer’s agent in a potentially bad position. The agent has a duty to protect their clients best interest, however, their fee depends upon bringing the seller the highest offer. Because of this conflict of interest, many MLS’s have just done away with the sliding scale system all together.

Many NM boards have gotten rid of the use of commission stipulations all together. An example would be, “1k bonus to buyer broker with full price offer”.. or something similar to this. Again, the goal of the MLS is to eliminate any possible confusion regarding an MLS listed commission. Subagency in many states outside of Texas is not an option, thus, if a buyer broker must have the buyer’s best interest at heart… conditional commissions are just asking for future problems.

Utah Flat Fee MLS Listing

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

Congress Realty is pleased to announce our entrance into the state of Utah. The Utah Dept of Real Estate has issued brokers license # 7081459-PB00 to Jared English. We will be updating our site shortly to reflect the addition of Utah. Over the next few weeks, we will be adding various Utah MLS’s to our list of service areas. We will post additional information as it becomes available.

Abilene, Texas added to our coverage area

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
Thursday, September 25th, 2008

Abilene, Texas has been added to Congress Realty’s coverage as of October 1st, 2008. Seller’s in the Abilene area can now list their home on the MLS for a fraction of the cost as compared to most traditional brokers. We are very excited about this expansion and our continued growth throughout the state of Texas.

Currently, we are in the process of adding Missoula, Montana to our coverage area and will update our site to reflect this change as soon as our application is processed by the association.

Jared English

MLS Merger coming in CA

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
Tuesday, September 16th, 2008

East Bay MLS
Bay Area MLS
Metro List
San Francisco

A handful of the largest MLS’s in the state of California are seriously considering a massive merger that would bring together over 70,000 real estate agents under one MLS system. The positive of this is that sellers will have massive exposure all throughout the north central area of California. Agents in Oakland will now have access to detailed MLS data for properties outside of their immediate area, for example, San Francisco, Sacramento, etc.. and vice versa…. I personally support this merger because of the benefit it will bring buyers and sellers in the immediate future. It will be interesting to see if and when this merger takes place. In the past, mergers like this are typically delayed because many “local brokerages” strongly protest. These local brokerages do not want the barriers that protect their high commissions to come down. By allowing outside brokerages to compete for local business, local traditional brokerages will face increasing competition for listings/business.