Just So We’re Clear

By Staci Caplan
2020 President
Santa Barbara Association of REALTORS®

Have you ever seen a for sale sign on a property, called your local REALTOR® and had them tell you that they cannot find information about that property in the MLS?  Well, even if you haven’t, many other buyers have had that experience.  

To help make sure that all REALTORS®, and all buyers, know about the properties that are for sale, the Board of Directors of the National Association of REALTORS® modified their existing MLS Model Rules.  As of May 1st, members of the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) are required to submit their listings to the service within one day of marketing the property to the public.

Who cares if properties are submitted to an MLS or not?

“REALTORS® care, and consumers care,” said NAR General Counsel Katie Johnson. “Any trend or business practice that results in less complete and less accurate property information should be a concern for REALTORS®.”

Sellers can still list their home and then take the necessary time to “fix things up” to get ready for marketing without being required to submit their listing to the MLS.  However, once marketing to the public begins, submission to the MLS is now required to be a part of that marketing plan.

If the seller wants to submit their listing before the paint has dried, the Santa Barbara MLS has created a “Coming Soon” listing status to let other members know that the home will soon be marketed.

What about a celebrity or other high-profile seller who does not want the public to know that it is their house for sale?  The SBMLS has just initiated a new “Privacy” property type to address these concerns. Privacy listings will not require a full address and will not be displayed on third party sites like Realtor.com and Zillow.

The new policy that begins May 1st, known as “Clear Cooperation”, restores the initial intent of the Multiple Listing Service: that brokers cooperate with each other to benefit their clients, even though they are competitors.  It equally protects sellers’ and buyers’ best interests. It is flexible to meet the many different circumstances that sellers may have.  It adds transparency to the home buying process by ensuring that sellers are fully informed about market exposure and buyers have equal, fair opportunity to buy.

For the vast majority of the members of the Santa Barbara Multiple Listing Service, there is no change. They already knew that it was in their client’s best interest to submit all listings to the MLS. After all, doesn’t it make sense that sellers should have 1700 members working together to get their home sold?

Call your REALTOR® today to find out how cooperation with other REALTOR® members benefits sellers and buyers. Contact the Santa Barbara Association of REALTORS® at sbaor.com for access to properties in the Multiple Listing Service.

Staci Caplan is a California Real Estate Broker and the owner of Pacific Crest Realty. She was born and raised in Santa Barbara and her passion for this special region translates into successful real estate transactions and thrilled clients. At our local Santa Barbara Associations of REALTORS ®  , Staci has served on the Board of Directors, the Government Relations Committee, the Budget and Finance Committee, the Multiple Listing Committee, and the REALTOR ®   Action Fund Committee. She can be reached at (805) 886-3970 or stacicaplan@gmail.com.  

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