Listing inventory has declined sharply. Where there were 33,743 active single family residential listings in the Atlanta metro area at the end of February 2011, there were only 22,726 at the end of February 2012 –approximately a 33% drop.
Buyer interest is up sharply, evidenced by a 26% increase in contracts pending for 2011 over 2010. More buyers trying to buy fewer listings means fiercer competition for the “good” properties. Sellers are receiving multiple offers, holding “highest and best” bidding contests and instructing their listing agents to keep the property “active” right up until the date of closing. This last item is dirty pool, unethical, illegal and unprofessional.
Of course, the sellers may not be aware that License Law (43-40-25-(b)(2)) and the Code of Ethics (Articles 1, 2 and 12) require that agents not misrepresent the availability of property and to disclose the existence of any accepted offer, but licensees are very aware of these legal requirements. Licensees may not break the law, even if their client requests that they do.
The most strident complaints against listing agents today center on listing agents failing to correctly display the true status of their listings in the MLS’s. If an offer has been accepted, the listing should be displayed as “Pending Sale”, “Under Contract”, “Pending Lender Approval”, “Contingency – Due Diligence”, “Contingency – Other”, “Contingency with Kickout” or whatever the appropriate status for the relevant MLS is. The MLS’s actually REQUIRE their member brokers to display the correct listing status within 1-3 days of the Binding Agreement Date.
Are you aware that both FMLS and GaMLS have online, anonymous reporting links to let them know about listing violations? The MLS then contacts the broker and requires that the listing in question be updated properly. Too many infractions, and a broker endangers their membership in the MLS. This is a stick brokers respond to.
How to Report Incorrect Listing Status
FMLS – Login, select “Support” on the left side of the screen, then select “Report a Violation”.
GaMLS – Login, select “Listing Issues” from the links in the top right corner of the homepage.
Each agent needs to step up and actively report listings which are not displaying the correct status. If they don’t, this will only get worse, driving up the blood pressure of more and more agents and brokers. Agents often complain, but “don’t want to get anyone in trouble”. Sorry, but it can’t be both ways. If the MLS’s are not made aware of the situations, nothing can be done. Please report these incidents when you encounter them. The integrity of the data is only as good as the integrity of the source.
Tags: ann bone, atlanta, atlanta real estate, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers, code of ethics, fmls, GAMLS, georgia, inventory, license law, listing, Metro Brokers, pending, Real Estate, real estate agent, Realtor, seller, status, under contract