Bright MLS New Off Market Property

29 Replies

Id like to hear everyone who is a member of Bright MLS (Maryland, Washington D.C., Virginia, Delewar, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Baltimore, Philadelphia,) what your thoughts on the new off market policy is? For those who are not familiar it will basically require that a property advertised anywhere, Facebook, Instagram, email, yard sign, needs to be entered into the MLS within 24 hours or be fined $5,000. This will essentially be a huge clamp down on off market sales.

@Russell Brazil This is only for agents that subscribe to Bright MLS services? I think every agent should cancel their subscription. Who do they think they are? Off market deals are done because they don't want to deal with all the red tape and to save money.

So you pay a fee for your account.  You pay fines to you GCAAR for violations and now possibly Bright.  They don't get a commission on the sale so why do they care?  Too bad RedFin or Zillow could not expand their functionality.

@Robert Freeborn

There is an impact for non members even if it is not apparent. All my clients looking for off market properties for instance just lost a huge pipeline of those properties. All my clients looking to sell properties off market through me or other agents have lost that option as well.

@Patrick Hill

Its a terrible decision and one in which we might see the 3rd largest brokerage in the country withdraw from the MLS and attempt to form a competing product.

Id also expect DOJ to come down on it, as the issue is both about punishing such brokerage in an anticompetitive manor and as they are already under investigation for collusion on fixing commissions, thos decision plays right into DOJs hand. It prevents the Ill try to sell it off MLS so there is no buyers agent commission business structure.

Originally posted by @Russell Brazil :

Id like to hear everyone who is a member of Bright MLS (Maryland, Washington D.C., Virginia, Delewar, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Baltimore, Philadelphia,) what your thoughts on the new off market policy is? For those who are not familiar it will basically require that a property advertised anywhere, Facebook, Instagram, email, yard sign, needs to be entered into the MLS within 24 hours or be fined $5,000. This will essentially be a huge clamp down on off market sales.

Fined by who? They are all different jurisdictions.

 

@Russell Brazil I was not familiar with this until I read your post. (Russel is a cutting edge guy on top of everything.)

The $5,000 fee seems quite excessive.

Based on your comments about the DOJ, I suspect this is another of the realtor organization accelerating the decline of agency as we know it. It is also another opportunity for a new player to come in a change the game. Think Amazon for retail, Apple for music, Uber for transportation, etc.

I don't understand your comments about "Your buyers looking for off market deals" If an agent is advertising on facebook, instagram etc. it is not OFF MARKET. Also if you are advertising in these places why wouldn't you want to put it on the MLS.

I an agent is wholesaling a deal (that is a another can of worms altogether) or selling their own property without listing it, I don't think they have the right to fine you.

I am not an agent but I am my partners assistant with MLS access. I wonder how that would affect me.

I believe this is already basically the rule, Listings need to be entered promptly.  I think it is only the fine that has changed.

@Ned Carey I advertise all my properties on social media prior to going to the MLS, and at times am successful in selling them that way. The value proposition many social media heavy agents make to their sellers is we will do a variable rate commission, so total commission will be a great deal lower, typically half, by selling it off market via social media....then if it doesnt sell that way for the price we want, we will then come to the MLS, where the commission will be closer to normal because then 2 agents are involved.

Prior to this rule, an agent was free to market a property however they chose and their client agreed with. Now entire business structures are essentially not allowed, like the one I mentioned and others, and we are all forced to sell on the MLS.

Even simple logistical issue, as the rules are written now would result in $5,000 fines. I get a sign in the yard too early, fine.  I cant get the sign company to work on an exact schedule....Ive been trying to get a sign removed for over a week now to no avail on one property.  I typically would order a sign installation 1 week early because I never know when its actually getting done....now thats a $5,000 fine.

Turns out getting exclusive access to off market deals was pretty important, wasn't it. 

Rest of the readers better pay attention to this thread and keep it in mind next time we read some crap about how there should be no problem for the rest of us finding good deals on the MLS.

@Russell Brazil Ah interesting. You have a fiduciary duty to your client. So are you saying if your client says to put it out on social media first you can be fined?  That is quite the catch 22.

How many $5,000 fines does it take to make it worth a class action suit against the MLS? LOL

@Ned Carey

Correct, Id have to tell the client sorry Im not allowed to market that way. Im barred from doing so, not by law, but by the monopoly of the MLS system, because they want your transaction.

Theres money being raised already to form a class. Theres talk of the brokerage this is largely targetted at withdrawing from the MLS system and NAR and starting a competing MLS system. They are heavily funded, so its not an idle threat.

@Russell Brazil  
Id have to tell the client sorry Im not allowed to market that way. Im
barred from doing so, not by law, but by the monopoly of the MLS system,

OK just talking theory here. You are not only allowed to tell your client that you are required by law to tell them that, that is what fiduciary means.

Furthermore in theory they cannot enforce the fine. The fine comes from a contractual agreement. A contract for something illegal is not a valid contract.

On the other hand your broker is your boss. He or she can say you are not allowed to do that kind of compensation plan. Do not accept any clients that require it. 

First, I HATE the MLS companies and frequently think to myself "Who do you think you are? We pay YOU to provide a service to US!"

That said, a marketed property isn't really "off market" in my opinion. $5,000 is certainly punitive but an off market deal for me happens with phone calls and relationships, not blasting it over the internet.

@Russell Brazil , does your MLS address a seller who DEMANDS this? Our Department of Real Estate allows for this action if the seller signs a document stating that they realize an off-market may not yield the highest offer.

@Mindy Jensen

What the seller wants will no longer be considered. Off MLS marketing will not be allowed to be marketed to front facing public means in anyways, nor allowed to market from agent to agent if the agents are in different brokerages.

So if a seller wishes to only have their property marketed on say Instagram, they would not be able able to hire an agent who is a member of the MLS, which is essentially all agents.

When would a seller only want to market on Instagram and not MLS? Explain why you couldn't still do a variable rate commission with the new rules. This really just sounds like agents who had business models of trying to only double-end deals regardless of client best interests being upset that MLS is finally enforcing the rules already agreed upon.

Originally posted by @Phillip Dwyer :

When would a seller only want to market on Instagram and not MLS? Explain why you couldn't still do a variable rate commission with the new rules. This really just sounds like agents who had business models of trying to only double-end deals regardless of client best interests being upset that MLS is finally enforcing the rules already agreed upon.

 Properties that dont show well may not be best served by the mls. Ulta luxury may not be best served by the mls. Overpriced properties are not served best by the mls. Properties with low equity, thus without enough room to pay a buyers agent may not be best served by the mls. 

Thats 4 categories right there without even having to blink an eye thinking. 

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