The Off-Market Property Beatdown

If you are newer to the real estate world, you may not yet know about the National Association of Realtor’s (NAR) ruling in November of 2019 and the requirement to adopt the changes by May of 2020. We’ll give you some insight.

Off-market properties advertised to the public without being listed on the Public Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is no longer allowed for NAR affiliated MLS systems. This goes for off-market listings by any name such as, Coming Soon, Pocket Listing, Private Exclusive or Office Excusive which are publicly advertised.

You have one business day to list your property on the MLS after marketing to the public.

The one exception to this new rule is Office Exclusive listings held within a brokerage, only marketed to agents within that office privately. That means no public advertising of any kind like signs, email blasts, social media or websites. This exception has been made to fill the need of private deals for high-profile sellers. Sellers must be aware and agree to this in writing with the knowledge their property will not be publicly marketed.

It’s the “shadow market” NAR and supporters of the ruling aimed to eliminate. The one big benefit to you as an agent is that your buyers won’t miss out on potential homes. If just a sign was in a yard or if a property was marketed on a third-party website you didn’t see, excluded from the MLS, your buyers who may have seen said property, could come to you asking why you didn’t share that property with them. Another benefit is the idea that it will lessen discrimination, by keeping agents accountable for advertising to all.

MLS services have changed a lot since this ruling by making it easier for you to still market your listing as Coming Soon. You can do so on most services by listing it in the MLS with the status Coming Soon and choosing an Active date that you are comfortable with. Still, associations can have even stricter rules than NAR for their particular MLS so it is important you understand your specific service’s rules.

Bottom line: If you are publicly marketing a property, it should be in the MLS.