Written by Matthew Rathbun on May 21, 2011, read the original post here.
One of the advantages for our Sellers is that Brokers can distribute their listing information to over 90 websites. That distribution is a service provided to us from MRIS, our MLS.
ListHub helps distribute the listing information to a number of popular websites. These websites have many features, but not all features may be in the Seller’s best interest or even if they are, may not be what the Seller wants. This creates a level of liability on behalf of the Agent.
To make sure that we have necessary consent from the Seller to distribute the listings online, we use NVAR Form K1352 “Listing Agreement Addendum – Internet Marketing”. This form asks four basic questions:
1. “Seller does or does not authorize the Broker to submit and market the property by and thorough the display on any Internet websites.”
The NAR Profile of Buyers and Sellers tells us that 38% of the homes sold were first found by the buyer while searching online. Sellers should be strongly encouraged to allow listings to be displayed on the internet and in as many listing aggregators as can safely be used.
2. “Seller authorizes the display of the property address on any Internet Website”
Almost all listings displayed online show the listing address. This allows the buyers to know which subdivision and how far from their schools and work. Occasionally buyers will also drive by the property prior to letting their agent know that they want to see it. If the Seller does not allow the listing address to be displayed, most listing portals (including Realtor.com) will not allow the listing on their site.
3. “Seller authorizes the display of unedited comments or reviews of the property (or display a hyperlink to such comments 0r reviews) on MLS participant’s Internet websites.”
This is probably the most controversial of the options. If the Seller allows this option, than there are websites that will allow people to review or leave comments on their listing. This creates a concern, because the agents aren’t given notification of the comments or reviewed and the are often unedited. Neighbors or competitors could potentially disparage the home in an attempt to make theirs appear better. It’s important to note that not all the aggregations site’s listings obtain this information from the MLS. So, even when your client declines to permit listings on blogs or comment sites they may show up on other sites. Clients should be made aware of this. Agents are encouraged to enter their listings in Google Alerts to try and catch these distributions.
At the time of this writing, there are only two sites that ListHub distributes to, that allow blog comments:
4. “Seller authorizes the display of an automated estimate of the market value of the property (or a hyperlink to such estimate) on MLS participant’s Internet websites.”
AVM or Automated Valuation Models are far more common than most REALTORS® understand. Sites like Realtor.com and Zillow.com allow users to get estimates of the homes value on their sites. These valuation models are typically based on sold data from MLS’, tax records and data from other home listing sites. If the Seller declines to allow AVM, many sites will decline to show the property all together. Many of these sites have disclaimers as to the accuracy of the valuation.
At the time of this writing ListHub or MLS aggregates to the follow sites that allow AVMs:
Personal Entry and Distribution
When entering the listing into MRIS MLS, Keystone asks these four questions in another way:
Make sure that your selection of these items matches that which the Seller signed in the Addendum.
If you use other systems, like Postlets.com or your personal webpage which may distribute to other websites, it’s important to know where those listings go and if your client agrees to way the listings are handled.