I’m getting calls and emails on a regular basis from past clients, friends and the general public about what’s changed for Realtors and the MLS system. When I say nothing has really changed I’m met with looks of incredulity.
Here’s a recent sample:
Do you have to be a licensed Realtor to post listings on the MLS?
Yes, you must be a licensed Realtor to post a listing on the MLS system. As a Realtor, this seems pretty simple. It’s our system. We built it. We maintain it. We use it to help connect buyers with sellers. We can’t have the general public mucking about, ruining the trust we’ve built up in our system.
Can listings be posted by a Realtor without a service contract?
Yes, listings can be posted by a licensed Realtor without any contract for service. A listing salesperson cannot contract outside of the law, and may be liable, should there be a legal issue in the transaction. Given the value of our product, Realtors pay high insurance premiums. Realtors posting listings without providing service may find themselves liable for the validity of information that they were given by the home seller.
How will the change affect how buyers and sellers use the services of Realtors?
85% to 90% of sellers and buyers use a Realtor to buy or sell their most valuable asset. There is true value in the services we provide. A few years ago, when this MLS issue changed similarly in the US, things changed a bit for those buying and selling privately, but those percentages of private sellers did not change.
What about Prudential? Will you list my house on MLS for a small fee but provide no other service.
No. Prudential Grand Valley Realty is a full service brokerage. There are flat fee brokerages out there and home selling franchise operations. For the 10-15% of the population who want to sell their home themselves, they still can and now with potentially more options.
**UPDATED Further Reading**
Why are realtors’ commissions so high? How to negotiate your realtor’s commission.
Can I put my house on MLS without a realtor? No. You want to be listed on your local board.
Can I list my house for a flat fee using an agent? Yes. Be prepared to do some on the work.