The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) concept dates back to the late 1800s. It evolved as a way for agents in different companies to be able to cooperate with each other in getting greater exposure for their listings.
The benefits of using an MLS have continued to grow, especially since they went online in the late 1990s.
The value of the MLS systems has been proven for more than a century, and there are numerous reasons for their use by more than 95 percent of agents in the United States.
The MLS benefits sellers by giving them maximum exposure across the broadest area in the shortest period of time. This assures the seller of having the greatest possible demand for their home, and therefore the best chance for success.
It may be asked, “Who stands the most to lose by having a home listing withheld from the MLS?”
Obviously, any potential buyer for that property would have a slim chance of even knowing it was available for purchase, thus disadvantaging both seller and potential buyer.
For example, I had a client who was very disappointed when learning of a home that had sold for $3.4 million without ever having been in the MLS, and which he gladly would have paid over $3.6 million to purchase.
Clearly, the real estate agent(s) involved in that transaction did benefit from keeping the listing within their firm, sharing the listing with their clients only. They had no marketing costs whatsoever, and severely limited the home’s exposure to many other potential buyers.
In the current market period, with so many well-qualified buyers eagerly bidding on so many properties that are listed, it is extremely likely that the seller will be getting a lower sale price through the limited exposure.
The most excitement and attention gained by a “just listed” home occurs when it is new and fresh on the market.
We have found that a home that is “show ready,” priced right, and realizes maximum exposure to the most qualified buyers and real estate agents has the best chance of a successful sale.
An agent has an ethical, fiduciary responsibility to put their client’s interests above their own.
The greater number of potential buyers equals a greater number of interested buyers who, in turn, may be likely to make an offer. Whatever can be done to create the greatest energy and exposure will almost assure a quicker sale and at a higher sales price.
In general, it all comes down to supply and demand.
A property owner is best served by an agent who is willing to provide a high level of advertising in print and online, as well as timely MLS exposure. Such agents are far more likely to reach more qualified buyers through their comprehensive marketing program, thus assuring that the maximum “demand” is generated for the benefit of their client.
Ultimately, the property owners will determine what they feel is best for them.
Occasionally there may be some family, health or other issue that would lead to a preference for lower-key marketing. However, the right choice in almost every instance would be to choose maximum exposure rather than having the risks of a private exclusive listing approach with its minimal exposure.
It is important for property owners to be mindful of the potentially huge disadvantage of the lower demand that comes along with a “quiet sale” or “pocket listing.”
Michael Edlen has helped over 1,000 clients achieve their real estate goals since 1986. More tips and information are available on MichaelEdlen.com. He can be reached at 310.230.7373 or via email at Michael@MichaelEdlen.com.