I received a call this week from a Peachtree Corners homeowner who purchased one of my listings three years ago. This homeowner stated that a couple of neighbors had called and asked if she was selling her home. They had recently seen it on the Internet listed for sale.
I’ll try to explain here as I explained to her what is happening in the real estate industry today that caused her home to be shown as an active listing. Once a home is listed in the MLS (Multiple Listing Service), a chain of events occur that are out of the hands of the real estate agent who listed the home.
Yes, I have control up to a point. However, when I enter a new listing into the MLS, I or my broker may select to have that listing distributed to third party Internet companies such as Realtor.com, Trulia and Zillow.com. The alternative is to have the information about that listing remain with the MLS for the exclusive use of the real estate members who are members of that MLS.
The on-going debate in the industry is whether to entrust our listing data with third party companies who spread the word about a home for sale to thousands of people or to keep it in the hands for the local MLS.
The business plan for most of these third party companies is to advertise related products or services on their website and also to solicit real estate agents to purchase buyer leads generated by the site.
Real estate brokers such as ARG Abbott Realty Group in San Diego who wish to eliminate this third party control, claim that we are giving valuable data to these companies for free and then are expected to pay for any leads generated by these companies. They go on to say that in most cases the agent who gets the lead is often one who knows little about the area and even less about the home.
The third party companies counter that they bring tremendous exposure to homes for sale and therefore provide a valuable service.
This distribution of listings to third party companies has brought about another problem. There is little control over removing a listing once a home is off the market. This contributes to a massive amount of inaccurate data. Test have shown that as much a 30 percent of one third party company’s data may not be accurate.
Brokers against the use of third party companies claim some of these companies have little incentive to remove bad data since more listings regardless of quality bring more eyes to their website.
Third party companies will tell you they will be happy to remove a listing if requested by the homeowner or the real estate agent. Unfortunately this listing may be shown as active on dozens if not hundreds of websites.
Did I get this woman’s home listing removed from the Internet? I’m still working on it. The site she mentioned stated it had received the data just two weeks ago from another website that has also distributed it to many others.
Curious about what you may find about your home on the Internet, do a Google search of your address. You might be surprised.
New on the market this week in Peachtree Corners.
4306 Jones Bridge Circle
3909 River Walk