Real Estate Round-Up: Coming soon, take two
Last updated 2/6/2020 at 7:30pm
Last week I reported on a change of policy for all Realtors that will require them to input listing information within 24 hours of them posting any kind of public facing marketing on a property, as “Coming Soon.”
This policy requires all Realtors to make the listing data on the property available to, in the case of Southern California, the more than 100,000 Realtors who access the California Regional MLS, and to the various syndicated real estate websites, so the property is exposed beyond the listing broker, sales associate and their personal or company websites.
The local MLS’ need to update their software to accommodate the “Coming Soon” status by May 1, 2020. Sounds great, right? Well, as things seem to go, there are some brokers and Realtors that are not happy with this requirement.
They apparently want to be able to protect their listings from other competing brokers and agents and from potential buyers that are not within their company’s or their personal database.
When changes like this type are made, it takes a broad consensus to reach the point that policy is changed. Generally, an issue comes to the forefront of the local Realtors.
In this case, Realtors reported to their local association representatives that more and more of the inventory of homes available for sale were not showing up on the MLS for days or weeks after public marketing was occurring on the property.
The issue was discussed at the state level, and it was discovered that the issue existed throughout the state. San Francisco is a major player in the “Coming Soon” status. One San Francisco broker owns 40% of the listings in the greater Bay Area and had a stranglehold on the other brokerages by not releasing their inventory to competing brokers but rather keeping their listings in-house.
It turns out that the problem exists across the U.S., especially in high demand areas. Inventory has been historically low, since 2016, so the desire by brokerages to not only represent listings was combined with an equal desire to represent the buyer, in order to protect their sales volume.
Starting at the local level, working up to the state level, the issue finally came to the forefront of discussion at the national level. It was at the fall National Association of Realtors meetings that a discussion was had, and the result of that discussion is the new policy.
Another major component of this action is that it only applies to Realtors. NAR cannot impose any rules on real estate brokers or real estate licensees who are not members of NAR. This fact brings us to where we are today.
Apparently, there are some brokers who are considering discontinuing their affiliation with NAR, CAR and their respective local associations. As a consumer, you might be thinking, so who cares? I’m writing to tell you that you should.
Realtors have a “Code of Ethics” that they are accountable to. There are 17 articles to the “Code of Ethics” which begins with this:
“Under all is the land. Upon its wise utilization and widely allocated ownership depend the survival and growth of free institutions and of our civilization. Realtor should recognize that the interests of the nation and its citizens require the highest and best use of the land and the widest distribution of land ownership. They require the creation of adequate housing, the building of functioning cities, the development of productive industries and farms, and the preservation of a healthful environment.
“Such interests impose obligations beyond those of ordinary commerce. They impose grave social responsibility and a patriotic duty to which Realtors should dedicate themselves, and for which they should be diligent in preparing themselves. Realtors, therefore, are zealous to maintain and improve the standards of their calling and share with their fellow Realtors a common responsibility for its integrity and honor.”
There are nine articles that pertain to duties to clients and customers, five articles that pertain to duties to the public and three articles that pertain to the duties to other Realtors.
I don’t know about you, but I would not be feeling particularly good about any broker that would choose to protect their own interests over the interests of the people they serve. If brokers choose to discontinue their association with NAR, CAR and their local associations, they will not be bound by these “Code of Ethics,” which is not good for you or for Realtors who choose to honor it.
I am currently in Anaheim for CAR meetings and will update you on the discussion that we have regarding this change. In the meantime, remember, hire a Realtor. Their passion and duty to serve is at their very core.
Kim Murphy can be reached at [email protected] or (760) 415-9292 or at 130 N. Main Ave., in Fallbrook. Her broker license is #01229921, and she is on the board of directors for the California Association of Realtors.