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New Restrictions by MLS

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By : Andy Denton    99 or more times read
The San Francisco Chronicle posted an email by Tracy Taylor regarding a recent promotion of real estate listings in her area. She writes, “…When a friend of mine was putting her Tahoe vacation home on the market recently, she selected her real-estate broker partly based on the fact that the agent had a well-researched, informative blog. The site spoke of a professional who was on top of the local market and who was using online media to showcase both her expertise and promote her listings.

“However, the Northwest Multiple Listing Service recently instituted new rules which allow home sellers to prevent agents from blogging about their properties. The rules also block automated valuation models (AVMs) from appearing next to listings. AVMs, such as those produced by, are intended to reflect the market value of a property but do not always tally with listed prices.”

There would seem to be a freedom of speech issue on the blogging rule but, that aside, there is also a question mark over whether clamping down on the dissemination of information about a home listing won't, in the end, also be detrimental to the home seller. As Glenn Kelman, president and CEO of real-estate company Redfin, told writer Gerry Spratt on, which reported the story: "It's not in the home seller's interests to stick his head in the sand and opt out of social media. The best way to sell your house is to get online traffic to the listing when it debuts. And the best way to get that traffic -- we have measured this, over and over again -- is to have your listing discussed in blogs, forums and other social media."

So what’s next? They’ll ban YouTube? Then Yahoo? Have they elected Chinese politicians to regulate their online opportunities?

Here’s the point. While MLS sites earn from their listing contracts, the Northwest Multiple Listing Service should never be threatened by any of its agents showcasing houses in their own sites. As long as the post is done professionally and would not undermine the property’s marketability, then the agents should be left on their own.

However, they can also impose “friendly” rules to protect their interest like asking agents to provide a link to the MLS for every property that they post in their own websites. In this way, it still is a win-win solution.
Andy Denton is the COO of is a real estate search portal, dedicated to connecting home buyers and sellers to trusting real estate services. Follow the blog for up to date housing news and trends. And monitor local mortgage rates at

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