A lot of Miami Beach Realtors do regular market reports of the areas they work in order to inform their customers and consumers of pricing, amount of inventory and current market trends. I can speak for myself when I say that I get this information directly from my area’s Multiple Listing Service (MLS).
It has been common knowledge that some of the information on the MLS is not properly updated by listing agents, but what I have found lately is pretty frustrating. In South Florida, it is the responsibility of each listing agent to keep this information updated, but Brokers should be monitoring this activity and making sure their agents comply with the rules.
Because of the difficult buyers’ market that we are currently experiencing, it seems that a lot of real estate agents are avoiding pulling their listings from the MLS and keep them there as “Active”. In the last week alone, when making appointments to show properties, I have encountered that more than 30% of the listings my customer’s have been interested in have been under contract and still appear as Active. When I asked each agent why they had not changed the status of their listing, here were some of their responses.
- “the contract is not too strong and wanted to keep doors open”
- “it’s a new contract and I am waiting for inspections until I change it to pending”
- “oh….really……I wasn’t aware, I will make the change”
- “the contract has a contingency and wanted to keep it active until the contingency is met”
- “you know how the market is….better safe than sorry”
- “I wasn’t willing to pull it off the market yet knowing how difficult it was to sell it in the first place”
- “that house is about to close, I’ll pull it out when it does”
Does this mean that we don’t have as much inventory as it appears? We are doing our own industry a disservice by not pulling these listings! If an agent wants a back-up offer, most MLS systems will allow for them to place it on “back-up contract” and this keeps the property on the market but the consumer and other agents know that there is a contract.
When I call an agent about their listing I don’t want to hear, “there’s a contract on that property, but you can show it anyway“, because I DON’T….I don’t want to show properties under contract. I don’t want my customers to fall in love with a property that they may not be able to purchase, I’d rather concentrate on properties that are available and they can buy. And for those buyers who are willing to work with backup contracts, I will go to those listings requesting back-up contracts, and in some cases, will call about listings that are “pending” to ask how strong the contract is.
It would be great if we would keep the MLS system updated, it would be great if Brokers would enforce the MLS rules, It would be better if we could all cooperate and work with the system.