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(Another) Great Listing Debate


MLS: The Holy Grail of the Listing World?

We can’t deny that MLS has become an integral part of listing and selling homes in most areas of the country.  Numbers show that the majority of home sales are with the help of cooperating agents/brokers which reinforces the need for a clearinghouse to share listing data.

Not all Listing Cards are Created Equal

Most of us have probably loot count of the number of listings we run across where the person entering it obviously didn’t want to take the time to fill out the fields or worse the required fields are filled with bogus information.  At best this is a annoyance to other agents and the consumer and at worst can be missed buyers especially if the incorrect information causes the listing to no show up in searches.

Are MLS Listing Pathways or Roadblocks to Showings/Sales?

A complete and correctly filed out listing card is the roadmap or blueprint to the widest net being cast to potential buyers which leads to showings and offers (assuming priced correctly).  Complete and coherent information/instruction also alleviate listing agent headaches avoiding the endless calls from coop agents and gives the them a more professional image in the face of the local real estate professional community.  A poorly done or incompletely card is an aggravation to everyone involved and the fact that many still sell reinforces the complacency that exists in this area.

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Written By

Matt is an Real Estate Broker and Consultant from Northern Virginia. He is always looking for new ways to make the industry more efficient and consumer-oriented. Matt is a social networking junkie who can be readily found on Twitter and Facebook.



  1. Matt Stigliano

    August 18, 2009 at 9:48 am

    Matt – For some strange reason, our here on the Northeast side of town (it happens elsewhere, but it seems rampant here), people don’t like to use decimals in acreage numbers. So a quarter of an acre shows up in the MLS as 25 acres. Big difference, no? It makes it pretty hard when searching for a property in larger acreages. I was looking for a 1 acre or larger site for someone and that was their main criteria – I had to wade through hundreds of listings, most of which were homes with a postage stamp sized yard that were incorrectly entered.

    We all make mistakes from time to time and I try and be understanding when it looks like it’s one little detail that I would have done differently or know better, but when a listing is rife with mistakes it really makes for a rough search.

  2. jf.sellsius.theclozing

    August 18, 2009 at 11:15 am

    I am convinced that the MLS system sells MANY more homes than any internet portal.

    It is the first place real estate agents look, (and, perhaps in many cases, the only place… unless it fails to deliver).

    Sites like TruZilla offer only incremental listing value. They survive on selling the perception that if the listing is more widely disseminated, it must bring many more buyers—an internet myth, in my opinion. Show me the stats. I’m of the belief that those portal buyers are miniscule in comparison to the MLS machine.

  3. Matt Wilkins

    August 18, 2009 at 11:42 am

    Natt – things like that do happen everywhere. Up here it seems more listings where the home style and type are incorrect. The bigger thing I see is the number of listings where no one feels needs to fill in the optional fields even if the answers are know. You can save a lot of precous comment space by just checking the boxes.

    Joe – I agree completely thus why I wanted to surface the point of taking the time to fill out complete and accurate listing cards. I kinda chuckle when I have to call a listing agent to get a question answered that should of been clearly communicated via the MLS listing.

  4. markbrian

    August 18, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    It is sad but many times I think this is a case of the agent fills out the paperwork and then hands it to an assistant or office person to enter into the MLS. The agent then never double checks the listing for accuracy. If more sellers did the same thing that the banks do and ask for a copy of the MLS listing then this problem, as well as the lack of pictures I often see, would not happen as much.

  5. Brian Larson

    August 19, 2009 at 7:49 pm

    Accurate data is one of the big strategic strengths of MLSs and should be a key strategic focus. It’s tricky though: several of our MLS clients that have adopted an aggressive stance toward enforcing data accuracy rules have felt push-back from brokers. Brokers claim they don’t want “rule Nazis” (always the reductio ad Hitlerum) in “jack boots,” etc.


  6. Jeff Allen

    August 19, 2009 at 7:55 pm

    Having accurate data in MLS is completely essential. From a selfish point of view, the more accurate the data the better our ability at 10K to provide detailed and reliable market trend analysis.

    From an industry point of view, it looks extremely unprofessional to consumers to see issues like the one Matt S. mentioned in his comment. That reflects poorly on EVERY realtor, not just the listing agent for that property.

  7. Paula Henry

    August 22, 2009 at 9:52 pm

    I came across this issue twice this week. One client wants a master bedroom on the main level; another wants a garden tub in the master. I know there were homes missing from the searches. As I did my search, I wondered how many listings were not properly represented by the agent.

    It is such a simple step and yet, often overlooked.

  8. Lisa Sanderson

    August 22, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    I am surprised by the number of sellers who never see how their home appears in the MLS. I always send them a link to get an extra couple sets of eyes on the listing to ensure accuracy.

  9. Real Estate System

    September 19, 2009 at 12:14 am

    nice post and its one of the innovative and informative one so keep up post cont,this useful tips really help s the readers like me,hope its must be a great for the next generation.Thanks for the cool post

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