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Dear Joey: Do I Really Have to Update my Listing?

An MLS fined an agent for not updating her listing in a timely manner – but she closed out the listing in less than a month. An update wouldn’t have made a difference, so why does it matter?

ORLANDO, Fla. – Dear Joey: When should status changes occur and why are timely status changes important?

I received a fine for not updating my listing status in a timely manner, even though I closed it out in the same month. So why did I receive a fine? It shouldn’t even matter.
Dear Untimely Status Changer: Although it may not matter to you, as a participant or subscriber in the MLS, it should matter – and it’s important to your fellow Realtors. My best advice would be to contact your MLS or review your local MLS rules and regulations. Each MLS has specific rules regarding timeframes when listing updates are required.

Below are just a few reasons why timely status changes are important:

  1. It helps your fellow Realtors: To ensure everyone has the most accurate and up to date information from their MLS, it’s important that the information reflect the property’s true status. As Article 12 of the Code of Ethics states “REALTORS® shall be honest and truthful in their real estate communications and shall present a true picture in their advertising, marketing, and other representations.”

    How would you feel if potential buyers fell in love with a property only to find out shortly thereafter that it’s pending? What do you say when they ask, “Why didn’t you know?”

    Knowing the answers to all your clients’ questions – which requires having access to accurate up-to-date listing information – helps establish you as the market expert and builds rapport with your clients and fellow Realtors.
  2. It makes the market work: When there is accurate data and status changes are done according to the MLS’ rules and regulations, it helps market statistics, CMAs and appraisals be more accurate and timelier. And that helps everyone’s business run more efficiently.
  3. It’s important to follow the rules: Yes, it may seem redundant, “just follow the rules,” but as a participant and subscriber in an MLS, you agree to abide by the rules and regulations, and that includes making timely status changes. To avoid unnecessary fines from your MLS for failing to abide by the rules, be sure to understand the rules and make all status changes in accordance with those rules.

At the end of the day, especially in crazy markets such as the current one, everyone needs to be consistent and abide by the MLS rules. In doing so, it not only benefits Realtors, but also the homebuyers and sellers of Florida.

It helps sellers determine an appropriate list price, and it helps potential buyers achieve the dream of homeownership. After all, nobody wants to be untimely.

Joey Sale is the Director of Local Association Services for Florida Realtors

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