Listing Information

New Active Listing Status Added to RealTracs.net

To better reflect the showing status of an active listing, the following changes have been made:

  • Active status will now display as Active – Showing.
  • A new status of Active – Not Showing has been added to add/edit, search, and reports.

How Active – Not Showing works:

  • A new listing can be added as, and an existing listing can be changed to, Active – Not Showing if:
    • The required Available for Showing Date is within fifteen (15) days of entry into the MLS system or the status change toActive – Not Showing
    • The Available for Showing Date is before the expiration date of the listing
  • Active – Not Showing listings are not syndicated until the status goes to Active – Showing
  • Active – Not Showing listings are not available on the hot sheets or sent via auto notification until the status goes to Active –Showing

 If you have questions about the new statuses, a help page has been created and is available at help.realtracs.net.

Additionally, the RealTracs Help Desk is available Monday – Friday from 8:00 am until 5:00 pm via email at helpdesk@realtracs.com or by phone at 615-385-0777.

Guidelines for Non-MLS (Comp Only) Properties

Responsibilities of the MLS Participant:

  • The participant is responsible for entering the information in the RealTracs database, once the permission form has been received from the current buyer.
  • The property must be listed, pended and closed in the MLS database.
  • A copy of the Non-MLS permission form and the H.U.D. must be faxed to 615-385-7872.

RealTracs will correct the list, pend, and closed dates, as well as the listing agent field.

Please Note:

  • The statement “For Comp Purposes Only” must be entered in the Remarks section of the property listing.
  • The Purchase Agreement must be made available to RealTracs upon request.
  • If requested, the participant must produce the documents within 24 hours.
  • Failure to provide requested documentation will result in a $100 fine and removal of the listing from the MLS.

Timeline for Adding a Non-MLS Property to the System

When a request to add a Non-MLS listing is received, the schedule below will be followed:

Date                                                                                                       Charge

Closed Date – Sixty (60) Days After Closing                                  Free
Sixty One (61) Days – One Year After Closing                             $30.00
Listings Over One Year From Closing Date                                      *

Closed Listings over a year old will not be accepted as Non-MLS

The Future of Listing Syndication is Now

We have all heard stories and read the various articles regarding listing syndication – both good and bad.  After hearing those stories it’s easy to see how brokers can sometimes be left wondering what listing data gets displayed and by whom, how it is being displayed, and what they get in return for sending that all important listing data to public websites.

Make no mistake; the “Big 3” of REALTOR.com, Zillow.com, and Trulia.com are fighting for the hearts and minds of consumers, brokers, and/or agents everywhere.  So, it makes sense to require these and other public websites to adhere to display standards of how data should be displayed that is most advantageous to the broker’s business.  The brokers do own the data, after all.  Sounds simple, right?

It’s not.

All public real estate websites have to make money, we all understand that.  It’s not a bad thing.  However, should a broker be providing what is basically the source of a public portal’s revenue (the listing data) for free just so the portal can make a profit and throw a lead their way every so often?  RealTracs does not think so, and it’s a safe bet that most brokers don’t either.

This was the catalyst for changes made in September 2014 of how data was sent to public portals, whether it was received directly from the MLS as is the case of REALTOR.com, or via a syndication company such as Zillow from ListHub .  This is the reason photos were reduced from twenty to four.  This was the reason we added a data field to redirect an online shopper to the brokerage website.

This was the reason RealTracs took action.

The concept is simple.  Require public portals (e.g. REALTOR.com, Zillow, and Trulia), and the syndication companies that send those portals listing data on the broker’s behalf (ListHub et al.), to display only the information needed to give the consumer a good experience on the public website, while “leaving some meat on the bone”.  In other words, don’t display all of the data on a public website.  Display enough so the consumer will want to visit the broker’s website for more information.  Remember, your potential client should come to the local professional, not to the highest ZIP code bidder.

This redirect to the broker website is made possible by redirect URLs, or links, that are now a part of all public website data feeds.  If RealTracs has been provided the information from the broker or the broker’s website adviser, then the link is in the data feed.  If RealTracs has not been sent the information, or if the broker does not have an active website, the listing will link back to the details page of that particular listing on RealTracs.com.  To date, almost 80% of listings have a redirect URL attached to them.

To see an example from Homefinder.com of what a quality online listing with ample information and a broker redirect URL looks like, click the image below.

2014-12-09_1554

As is evident in the above mentioned screenshot, the experience for the consumer is neither diminished nor degraded.  It’s concise and directed to the listing brokerage. This is a step in the direction of brokers maintaining control of their own intellectual property, without being forced to hand over the keys to the castle.  It’s about giving the power back to the brokers.  It’s about brokers not being charged for leads to their own listings.

It’s way overdue.

It’s why the future of listing syndication is now.

Did You Verify the Square Footage?

The listed square footage of a particular property, contained in public records and listing data reports, is sometimes different to varying degrees for a number of reasons.  This could be because of faulty measuring,  or because rooms were finished or added on after the house was built without the owner pulling a permit.  This can also happen simply as a result of the different methods used to measure the square footage.For tax purposes, many municipalities estimate the square footage from a review of the exterior. Most properties are never measured inside by the assessor at all. In Knowing this, you should also make yourself familiar with how square footage is calculated by an appraiser or builder.  They only count livable, heated space.  Also, while closets and hallways are included, don’t forget that garages, attics, unfinished bonus rooms, and sun porches aren’t. Basements can be a little trickier.  Normally basements aren’t included unless they are finished to the standard of the rest of the house.So, remember – if you have an active listing, and discover the square footage amount is wrong, after a new measurement made by yourself or an appraiser or builder, don’t ignore it. Avoid the potential headache and edit the listing to reflect the updated, and correct value.This is one small way you can protect the integrity of the RealTracs data, and help make it as accurate and reliable as possible.

Keeping Your Listing Information “PERC’ED UP”

Problems can arise at times when, as an agent, you are determining the number of bedrooms for a home that is on a septic system.  Several laws come into play if you knowingly advertise a home as having more bedrooms than it is permitted to have.

In order to be in compliance with the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act, the Broker’s Act, the NAR Code of Ethics, Septic Requirements, and Common Law, the total number of bedrooms entered into RealTracs cannot total more than what is allowed by the septic permit.

Be sure to do plenty of thorough research if you have doubts.  Knowingly advertising a listing in this manner is a class B misdemeanor and can result in not only a violation of the NAR Code of ethics but also Treble damages, attorney’s fees and other costs.

Is Your Listing In the Correct Status?

To show or not to show.  That is the question…but it doesn’t stop there.

What listing status should be used once a contract has been accepted? Active-Contingency?  Maybe Pending?  Follow these simple guidelines to ensure your listing is displaying the right status, at the right time – for the right reasons.

Once an offer has been accepted, there are two options for listing status.  If your seller desires to continue showing the property for back-up offers, the listing must be updated to Active-Contingency, with the specific contingency selected – sale of home, financing, inspection, etc.

If, however, an offer had been accepted and the listing is not being shown for back-up offers, you are required to update your status to Pending. This is advantageous for you as the days on the market will not increment during a pended status.

It’s important to remember however, once a contract is in hand, it is no longer permitted to remain in an Active status – it must go to Active-Contingency or Pending.  Even the TAR standard of practice states, “REALTORS® shall disclose the existence of
accepted offers, including offers with unresolved contingencies, to any broker seeking cooperation.”  Not doing so is considered
misrepresentation.

The final step of the listing would be an update to a Closed status, and it’s equally important to remember that once a listing closes, you have seventy-two (72) hours to change the status of that listing to Closed in the MLS system.

The market is picking up and things are moving faster; however, to ensure all users of RealTracs are accessing updated, and
accurate information, make sure your listings have the correct status—whether that be Active, Active-Contingency, Pending, or Closed.

Because everyone loves a challenge (and really because it’s just that important) there will be a grace period through Friday March 15 to place your listings in the correct status.  Listings discovered with an incorrect status after this date will be subject to applicable fines as defined in the RealTracs rules and regulations.

So, double check your listings! Your fellow agents, and possibly your pocketbook, will thank you for it.

RealTracs rule references:

2.5(i) A status change must be made within 48 hours of acceptance by a seller of an offer to purchase. The status can be changed to 1) PENDING — which means that a contract has been accepted and the seller(s) requests that there be no more showings, or 2) ACTIVE CONTINGENCY — which means a contract has been accepted but the seller(s) requests that the property still be shown for a back-up contract.

10.1(e)   Failure to report listing “pending” or “active contingency” once a contract has been accepted by the seller to the MLS within forty-eight (48) hours, Fine $100.00.

2.5 (h)  …after authorized changes are received by the listing broker, they must be reported or input within forty-eight (48) hours of the change condition, with the exception of closed which must be reported or input within seventy-two (72) hours.

10.1(d) Failure to report listing closed to the MLS within seventy-two (72) hours, Fine $100.00