Can Agents Live Without the MLS?

by Stephanie Sims

Accurate Data?

In addition to ethical reasons to not use pocket listings, these sort of listings affect data – comps and appraisals, specifically. If even 20 percent of agents did not enter data in the MLS, it affects how accurate Houston’s comps are. Accurate data is yet another reason agents can’t live without the MLS in Houston.

Fama adds that HAR does not make its info public – agents are the gatekeepers of info, so to speak, and it’s important to keep this data as accurate as possible.

“You’d be a fool not to put information about your transaction on the MLS,” she says. “We have true market data, and when properties close, agents can edit comments to make it even more accurate – a seller paid for $10,000 in repairs, or 3 percent of the closing costs, etc., that might affect its appraised value. Data is incredibly powerful and our most valuable tool as agents.”

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  • Mark McNitt says:

    We need our local MLS and HAR.com. It feeds the listings to the other sites such as Zillow, Trulia, Homes and Realtor.com just to mention a few so we as Realtors get the best of both. And I can choose to pay a fee to enhance my listings on these sites if I feel it is important to me and my sellers. Smaller markets it might be better to do this, but not in Houston. You forgot to also consider research we do for our clients (buyers or sellers). Don’t think it would be possible on these other sites.

  • Charlotte Leach says:

    It is a necessary tool for any realtor, must have it!

  • Jake says:

    B.S. other comments. This is not such a bad article. If buyers had the ability to do the research they would do it a lot more often, but the Houston association of realtors is like the mafia over real estate. They have effectively kept information away from the public so that they can do all the “research” for them. In this day and age-this info should be available to everyone via the internet-but the har mafia’s job’s depend on it- this is why a seller has to shell out at least 30,000 for a 500 thousand dollar house when selling his own house via a realtor.

  • Eric says:

    Many times the content I find on this topic makes me feel sptiud. Thank you for making your material interesting and easy to understand. I feel smarter and more open-minded just from reading your article.

  • Bonnie says:

    I disagree, HAR is NOT the mafia over real estate. This is a service maintained by Realtors and, as in any other business, a service performed is due compensation. Realtors pay a mandatory, ongoing fee to belong to an MLS system. Realtors do all the data entry input in order to keep the database updated. Furthermore, Realtors are held to a stringent standard during this process and are charged with fines for any infraction that would compromise the accuracy of this database. Other entities depend on this database (i.e. appraisers & lenders). Without Realtors, acting as the workhorse, keeping the database updated &accurate, the housing industry would NOT function the way it does and property values would be in a state of flux

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