Last week I reported to you that the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) was considering a ban on pocket listings. (A “pocket listing” is where an agent lists a home for sale but doesn’t list it in the Multiple Listing Service and markets it through other channels instead.) The number of pocket listings in hot housing markets has risen nearly 70% over the last decade. The main argument in favor of the ban is that Realtors® have a fiduciary duty to their clients to provide maximum exposure for their properties for sale and keeping it off the MLS is eliminating a huge exposure tool. And buyers and agents have been complaining that they are being shut out of knowing about properties for sale. The main argument against the ban is that the client should be able to market their home however they see fit. However, this only goes so far as they still have to follow all fair housing laws, and there have been some claims that pocket listings do violate these laws by only sharing listing information with some select group of buyers and agents.

 

It seemed like NAR was just looking into it and collecting feedback from their members. But it didn’t take long for them to hash out the details and they voted overwhelmingly (729 to 70) to ban the practice.

 

Here is the text of the new policy, “Within one (1) business day of marketing a property to the public, the listing broker must submit the listing to the MLS for cooperation with other MLS participants. Public marketing includes, but is not limited to, flyers displayed in windows, yard signs, digital marketing on public facing websites, brokerage website displays (including IDX and VOW), digital communications marketing (email blasts), multi-brokerage listing sharing networks, and applications available to the general public.”

 

The ban is effective January 1, 2020, but there is a deadline of May 1, 2020 for implementation.

 

If you have questions about real estate, call me at (925) 240-MOVE (6683). Voted “Best of Brentwood” multiple times. To search the MLS for free, go to: www.SharpHomesOnline.com. Sharp Realty. #01245186

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