What to Know About Off-MLS Listings

California Association of Realtors has issued information regarding both pros and cons to buying and selling homes without utilizing MLS, which Linda Moore discusses here.

The Multiple Listing Service, commonly known as MLS, is used by brokers and Realtors in order to provide accurate listing information on homes for sale and to facilitate unilateral knowledge to all agents of homes currently for sale in an area.

Roughly 85% to 90% of homes on the market today are listed through the MLS, but the rest are often “off-MLS” or “pocket” listings. With this knowledge, the California Association of Realtors has issued pros and cons of “off-MLS” listings for real estate agents to share with clients and the general public, so that those looking to sell their home know what they can expect when not listing through MLS and utilizing a Realtor in their area.

Cons to Off-MLS Listings

One of the biggest issues of not utilizing MLS for a listing is the lack of broad market exposure. As a result of the home information not being disseminated and available to all agents, the number of offers that are received can be significantly lower, as well as the amount of the offers being lower as well.

Benefits of an MLS listing include active marketing through open houses, broker tours, and the inclusion of the property across major real estate websites such as Zillow and Trulia among others.

If not properly handled, off-MLS listings do not follow the proper guidelines they can also be illegal.

Pros of Off-MLS Listings

For higher profile individuals such as celebrities, judges, or prosecutors it may be necessary to utilize an off-MLS listing to maintain privacy and limit viewing to those who have the financial means to purchase a property.

As long as a Realtor receives documentation from the seller regarding their desire to keep their listing off-MLS, then this type of listing can be performed within the laws of California without issue.

Consult a California Realtor

When considering the pros and cons of an off-MLS listing, make sure that you are consulting with your California Realtor. He or she will be able to advise you on whether you will be helping or hurting the sale of your home by keeping it off the MLS.

By Linda Moore

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