2/02/2007

If More Information About Teeth Became Publicly Available, Would You Fire Your Dentist?


Something that a lot of internet users have a misconception about is that property listings that are available for public viewing on the internet are not in the public record, as some people actually have told me they believe, i.e., they won't be found at the court house as a recorded property deed is. Furthermore, they don't seem to realize that sellers have a choice as to whether or not to put their listing into internet sites or just keep it within the local MLS of their agent, as advantageous as wider internet exposure may be for them.

The proliferance of sites that supply listings, i.e., Trulia and Zillow, just to mention two out of what are probably hundreds if not thousands, are not necessarily a complete databsse of REALTOR-listed properties through an MLS system. Again, they can be a viable source of information for everyone, but they depend on property tax records, which ARE public records and therefore available to anyone, and manual entry of listings by owners or agents. MLS's cooperate with various sites to allow their listings to be shown on other internet sites, and brokers may have an opt-out capacity. Why? Because a listing agreement belongs to the listing broker and is a contract between a seller and his/her listing broker/agent, not a public document to be found in the public record. That is what is behind every REALTOR's representation of a property. With the spectacular rise in real estate values and internet use came many others who wished to be a part of the REALTORs' business of representing their clients like never before. This leads into the current debate going on about MLS's and control of them, as housing values and sales are currently a huge factor, if not a driving force, of the economy.

In the United States, but not necessarily in all other countries, we no longer live in a world where showing a property means driving over to a listing broker's office to get their list of properties, and then driving on to another broker's office to get theirs. That's why the multiple listing services came about as far back as the 1930's--before an internet was even conceived of by the average person. The merging of MLS's, even if there is one national MLS, will still not eliminate the need for professional assistance in viewing, buying and selling homes. Or I may as well start drilling my own teeth and fire my dentist.

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2 comments:

Lucy said...

No, I wouldn't fire my dentist or realtor in this case .. BUT, I would expect a realtor to be tech savvy and knowledgeable. Technology is moving at a really fast pace and realtors need to stay up with what’s happening. Read the very powerful Swanepoel Trends Report that just came out this month. Agents who haven't heeded the changes better watch out.

Julia Huntsman said...

Lucy, to be sure, Realtors need to keep up with market information and be tech savvy. Your name, as it happens, is connected to Stefan's report site.

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