MRIS now requires that a listing agent disclose private and harmful information (to other agents) about a home that is Under Contract (as in NOT closed yet). That info? The buyer agent’s name.
Throughout this blog you will see examples of how Frankly agents advocate for and with their client, like no other firm does. What you might not see is some back end efforts that we fight for to help out our clients.
MRIS has a policy that I have been fighting for 6 months. I maintain that their policy is a direct violation of our fiduciary duty (blog post JUST on that!) to our client. Previously a listing agent would disclose who the buyer agent was AFTER a deal closes. No big deal. Agent use it to track stats, etc. But now MRIS requires listing agents enter buyer agent info (only visible by other agents) BEFORE the deal closes! No big deal? Yeah right!
That info can be used in a manner that HURTS the seller. So why require it? MRIS said that some broker’s of the buyer agent wanted to know when their agents had a deal under contract, because sometimes they don’t turn in paperwork.
How has it been abused? Here are some examples from an agent forum:
– I got a call yesterday from an agent wanting me to disclose how i won the deal. She got my name from mris. We have been under contract 4 days. Inspection yesterday. She was competing offer and backup. Go figure. I told her nothing and wanted to know how she got my name. Said Mris. I was shocked. And angry they disclosed my info to a competing agent on an offer in progress. D.C.
– “Picture this scenario: Buyer A contracts Seller B’s home. Seller C’s agent calls up buyer A’s agent and says, we have a very similar home one street over for $10k cheaper. If you void your contract via HOA docs, we can cut a great deal. While not real classy, seller C’s agent didn’t break any laws, but rather acted in his client’s best interest. Fully agree with you Frank. MRIS needs to remove that asap.” B.W.
– “that [buyer] agent showed my listing but wrote on this one, maybe we can get that buyer back by offering a lower price”. It’s a privacy issue for me and I would be willing to bet, it is for many buyers agents… Anyone else want to join in righting this wrong? EMAIL MRIS! K.D.
– Buyer loves a home. They demand the buyer agent contact the buyer agent that is listed on a home under contract. That buyer then puts in an offer to buy the contract off of the current buyer. (Frank)
Proposed solution #1: My solution is EASY. Add a new code called 888888 and make the agent name “Will disclose at closing”. Poof! Easy as that. Takes 10 minutes. Instead we have this mess.
Proposed solution #2: Hide the buyer agent info until the software is fixed. The client is more important than the broker.
Love to get your comments. If you were selling a home, would you care if the buyer agent’s info was shared before closing? Write to MRIS if you think this is an important issue.
Will your agent fight for you? With respect to this issue, 30,000 agents in the DC area apparently are not.
MRIS is waiving the $300 in fines levied on us, and better training their staff to know the new rules.
MRIS has decided to modify their system to only show this information to the relevant buyer agent’s broker by mid-July. But WILL still publish 1,000s of buyer agents that are under contract now. They could simply turn off this data display, but they feel it is more important that the broker’s get alerts about their agents, then the seller’s private information being disclosed.
Principal Broker Frankly Real Estate Inc
The MLS. It’s harmless… or is it? There are lots of things to legitimately be afraid of. Let’s talk about adding, or seeing, “as-is” on a listing. Should you be afraid? Some people are.
Afraid of “AS-IS” Home for Sale?
When buyers see the words “as is” it sometimes freaks them out. They think that there could be major issues with the property and that they won’t have a right to inspect it. Well that’s not entirely true. Even though it says “as is,” you can request in your offer to do a home inspection and leave in the right to opt out if substantial repairs are needed (yes, the seller might say “no inspections” and that IS scary! But sometimes still manageable). Although the sellers may not be willing to fix any issues, they could still do a seller credit or even reduce the price by $5K or $10K. And since “As Is” scares away so many buyers, it will potentially have less competition when making an offer, and thus a lower purchase price.
Scary or Not Scary?
I actually love helping buyers with “as is” properties because there is usually less competition. Estate sales are great as well and most of the time they are listed “as is.” But consider it differently if you are selling. In this case I don’t think sellers should ever us “as is.” In the state of Virginia almost all homes for sale are “as is” already, so why even put that into the MLS remarks? If you are making a purchase more buyers will be scared away because it makes them think that there could be something substantially wrong with the home. Go figure.
Buying As Is Tips
Everything is as is. Virginia is existential like that.
You can still ask for a home inspection on “as is,” and you can still have the right to opt out. Some sellers say they don’t have cash so they won’t fix it-but they can do a 5K, 10K price reduction
Its not something to scared of, estates do it as well (aka “20 heirs waiting for their checks, we’re not going to have them pay to fix it but maybe drop price a little”).
Go after homes with as is, because it tends to scare off other buyers which is good for you
Selling As Is Tips
In VA almost all homes are “as is” anyways, so why put that in your advertising?
A buyer could view an “as-is” notation as nickel and diming, or “hey, were not going to fix anything.” It makes the buyer think that there are major issues and that they wont have a right to inspect it.
Like selling a Rolex at a flee market, fees might be lower but what it counts is the net takeaway. I find reality hits hard for FSBO’s that think they don’t always need a Realtor. Here’s a brief trip through my experience after helping only 300 FSBOs. Hint: Ur Doin’ It Wrong.
In most industrues, you understand “the competition.” Why should Real Estate be any different? An agent’s track record explains why you should bring your “A” game against a team you’ve never seen play before.
I would like to introduce our new logo! Yep, still the same signature purple, but with a sharper look. And yes I purposefully (is that a word) avoided the cliche roof, house or key images in the logo.
To celebrate I have 17 free Angie’s List 1 Year memberships ($10 value) left to give out. Start by making sure you are a Facebook FAN of FranklyRealty at www.facebook.com/FranklyMLS. The first dibs go to past clients, if you already have an account I can add a year. Then readers/site users that are local, non-Realtors and that follow and enjoy the Blog or are fans and avid users of FranklyMLS.
I also have 15, $5 Starbucks gift cards to give out. Same criteria as above, just reach out directly (even if you have another agent, but love the blog or FranklyMLS). Use the Contact Us” link on the right.
As for the July 2014 market? For newly listed homes we did get a couple offers for a few homes, but the word on the street is that homes over 14 days, it is dead out there. We call it crickets. Is it the typical summer slowdown or something more? I don’t know. But buyers, you have a little more power now, while it might be inconvenient for you, it is likely inconvenient for others too, and that can be in your favor.
And as I told somebody today on the phone, stop with the “Well I wasn’t sure if I was going to buy so I didn’t call because I didn’t want to bother you, and then we accidentally bought a house.” I hear it all the time. Don’t be shy. When in doubt, reach out. Even if it is 6 months before you are ready to buy and even if you aren’t sure. Just say hi, so if that perfect place hits, we’ve gotten the formalities out of the way. Oh and don’t find any inventory? We can find it for you (non-MLS), ask how.
Frank LLosa, Esq. Broker
Frankly Realtors MD, DC, VA
But this video is from the perspective of the SELLER who might find themselves selling in this Hot Market.
The first instinct is to think one’s house is “easy” to sell. It actually becomes kinda a joke because we hear it so frequently. Everyone thinks their home will be an easy one. Yet it never is.
Especially now that there are bidding wars and it is a seller’s market (meaning sellers have more power now). Heck, why not just throw it up on the MLS (see Throw Up Listings, from 2007, but still applies) since it “sells itself.”
I wish it was that easy. Or maybe I don’t because then I might be out of a job.
Our goal is to get you the highest NET possible. That includes being aware of what you are paying in commission and your alternative options (but heck why go anywhere else). We respect your (more…)
3 FranklyMLS tips and a major update that things are changingand how one user thought we were too busy for them!!
First, Just The Tips!
Tip 1) Add a Favorite
When you click on the in either the spreadsheet mode of the single page featuring a property, you will get hyper updated alerts on changes to this home. Including any price drop, remarks change, more photos, added 3rd party comment, agent sneezing, under contract or even the final SOLD price. An awesome tool that so few utilize.The default is daily email change alerts, but in this market you might want to opt for the alerts as fast as 15 minutes after the change is made (ask us how).
Tip 2) Save a Search!
Again, seems obvious (at least to me) but 80% of the users don’t have a saved search set up properly. Assuming you are logged in, after you conduct a search, press the Save Current Search button in the middle of the screen. This will send you all new listings, price drops and sold prices for everything in your search area and criteria. NO need to obsess and check the site several times a day. Sit back and relax. Also the emails are VERY cell phone friendly with a direct link to the mobile version of the listing.
Ok. You hear about all of these bidding wars and low inventory. Yet your home still sits after 90 or 120 days. Is it the agent’s poor marketing? Is it the lack of follow up?
Did your agent agree to your “hurry up” and get the listing up and thus result in a “Throw Up Listing” that takes longer to sell? (we recently refused/lost a listing because we refused to put up garbage that would hurt the client)
Or did they win you by telling you your house will be on 600 websites! (as if that isn’t the default nowadays, but sounds great!!)
Or you just never hit this blog to get non-boilerplate Listing Advice.
Or maybe it is partly your fault for the home being overpriced? You demanded a price that in your gut felt right? Or they gave you no guidance and said yes to every command. (President’s shouldn’t have “yes men” around them, and you shouldn’t hire a “yes man” agent, hum that sounds like a solo blog post, make sure you subscribe today!)
Perhaps, but has the agent done their part and shown you EACH home that has gone under contract or sold nearby since the day you listed? And have they contacted EACH buyers agent and asked them “I see you bought, xyz, would you mind telling me why you passed on our house?”
My guess, very unlikely. Why? Because that stuff takes time.
So you want to fire them once the listing agreement expires.
Man o’ man do I have a pet peeve when I see a contract with “Home Inspection for Informational Purposes Only.” A wolf in sheep’s clothing?
What does “Info Only” mean? So if you find information about a $2,000 rotting deck… at least you have the information? Kinda “nice to know?”
Inman News is the #1 organization tracking real estates practices and technologies (outside of the official Realtor association). In San Francisco last month they held their annual five “Innovation Awards” with five finalist in each category. I was shocked to be honored with two finalist positions. One was “Most Innovative Blog,” the other was “Most Innovative Web Service” for my wiki MLS FranklyMLS.com.
I “lost” both categories. I really wasn’t too bumbed. I was thrilled to be a finalist and I love the winner’s blog phoenixrealestateguy.com.
But then the overall “Innovator of the Year” award was announced. This category did not disclose the finalist and previously did not include finalists from the other categories.
“Drum Roll” (no really they said that)… Shit! I won. I know it ain’t the Oscars but it felt like it for a moment. Wow, they really like me.
So, I ran up. Didn’t say a word. Was in shock. Thinking “Do I say something witty or innovative?” Nah.
(side-note: Being so “innovative” and “green” oriented I refused the registration gift bag and 20 page glossy schedule and I stuck with the online schedule to save trees. Anyhow, the online schedule slatted the awards for 11am. The print version apparently said 9:15. For once in my life, (more…)
Are you better off buying in Virginia DC and MD AFTER the tax credit expires? Maybe.
Everywhere you turn (even CNN.com) you read about the $8,000 1st time homebuyer tax credit and how you need to “Buy Now” (anybody remember that NAR ad from 2006?). Gotta hurry up before the Dec 1st Expiration!
(Sidenote: that expiration means you need to CLOSE by then. If you are looking for a short sale gamble, and you want the credit, you better get it under contract NOW. And everyone else, don’t be an idiot and schedule your closing on the 1st. At least close a week early. There will be a backlog, and hiccups, and you might miss your tax credit.)
So Warren Buffet says whenever you see a herd running in one direction, you are supposed to walk the other way. (more…)