Late Friday afternoon, I heard back from our local MLS about realtor.com’s displaying of sold data on their web site. Their interpretation is that Realtor.com is not breaking any rules after all because…their sold data comes from a 3rd party aggregator, not the MLS.
So let’s follow a home’s journey on realtor.com from when it’s first listed to after it’s sold. The following simple diagram will help:
- The listing agent uploads the property into the local MLS, which in turn feeds the property into Realtor.com.
- The property sells. Poof! The listing disappears (temporarily) from Realtor.com because it’s not allowed to display sold listings if the source is the MLS.
- When the property closes escrow, the escrow officer submits the paperwork to the county.
- A county employee enters the data into its system.
- Onboard, a real estate services provider, sucks the data in from the county records.
- Realtor.com sucks the data in from Onboard. Voila! The property appears again.
Hmm…let’s look at the rules again. Our local MLS has the following regulation [sic]:
[I assume the first line is supposed to say, "No one may display the following...]
So if the data on a sold listing comes from some place other than the MLS, then it’s no longer considered a sold listing? Seems kind of shady to me…
Again, don’t get me wrong. I think the prohibition on displaying sold data is a silly anachronism, and I certainly don’t begrudge Realtor.com a little bit of enterpreneurialism. I just think it should be a level playing field for everyone. Based on my past experience, if I were to bend the rules like that, I suspect I’d be called to task pretty quickly.
Tags: MLS, Real estate, Real estate data, Realtor.com
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