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The nice thing about making the rules is … you get to break them!

Kevin Boer, Broker Owner, 3 Oceans Real Estate, Inc. ()

October 20th, 2006 · 3 Comments

I rarely have a need to go to Realtor.com, but when I did so last night I had quite the surprise — there were not just active listings, but recently solds as well!  Their source for that data?  Not the MLS, but a 3rd party data aggregator called OnBoard.  I’m getting a headache.


It’s taken as a given in this industry that by withholding information from consumers, you encourage them to call a Realtor, which has been the rationale behind the archaic prohibitions on showing data on sold properties.  Alas, this thing called the Internet came around and set a whole bunch of data free, much of which is gleefully basking in the sun at Zillow.com.  So now consumers who want sold data can simply ignore Realtors completely.  Bad move on our part.

As a competitive response, Realtor.com, the “official site of the National Association of Realtors,” now displays sold data…in violation of the recommended rules of…you guessed it, the National Association of Realtors.

From the NAR site:


Our local MLS, which provides the data feed for this area to hundreds of web sites, including Realtor.com, is pretty explicit on this issue:  [I assume the first line is supposed to say, "No one may publish the following kinds of information..."]
So let me see if I have this straight…REIL, our local MLS, operating under guidelines from NAR, explicitly prohibits the display of sold listings.  REIL licenses its data for this area to Realtor.com, NAR’s official site, which then breaks REIL’s own rules by displaying sold data?

Perhaps they’re able to get around the prohibition simply by using sold data from a 3rd party aggregator, instead of from the MLS.  Ingenious, and disingenuous, at the same time.

Real time update…I just called REIL’s compliance department and spoke to a very friendly and helpful person.  She promised to look into it and get back to me.  I explained to her that while I think it’s a silly rule, if other people have found a way around it, I’d like to be able to do the same.

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