Misc Musings from Your San Francisco Realtor, San Francisco Local Resources, San Francisco Real Estate Info for Buyers, San Francisco Real Estate Info for Sellers, San Francisco Real Estate Market Conditions

What’s the MLS Got to Hide?

5 Comments 21 July 2008

Many of you know I have a San Francisco real estate newsletter.  In fact, it’s the best San Francisco real estate newsletter ever!  One of the features people love most about this newsletter is the New Listings and Recently Sold reports. 
But, while I was relaxing on vacation in Lake County, I got an email from my sales manager telling me the MLS board had contacted him about The City Update™.  I was told that I needed to take down the New Listings and Recently Sold reports or face fines or even worse, suspension! 
Someone filed a complaint with the MLS.  grrr.
Apparently, sharing this information with the public is against the MLS rules.  Even though you can get information about sold properties all over the internet AND sales prices are public record (anyone can get them by visiting City Hall) – the MLS rules state that REALTORS aren’t allowed to post this information on a public web site. 
This leave me with the question – why the hell is the MLS so afraid of sharing information with the public?
I think that the various REALTOR boards across the country have this erroneous belief that if consumers are armed with information, they won’t need REALTORS.  But I think that’s absolute BS.  One thing I really believe we need more of in this industry is transparency.  In fact, I believe that arming people with knowledge will only help our industry.  The public has a bad enough image of slimy REALTORS (and ok – maybe I’ve even met a few stereotypes in my day) and I believe that hiding information only exacerbates the problem. 
And frankly, just because Joe Public knows what things are selling for doesn’t give Joe the education, experience, negotiating power and expertise that can make the difference between a successful transaction and a nightmare experience.
So, unfortunately, in last week’s newsletter- the links to the reports will get you nowhere.  They’ve been temporarily disabled.  I’ve been working with my tech crew to create a secure way for  readers to view the data on The City Updateâ„¢ while making sure that strangers can’t get it.  We’ve also been working on a way to make sure the information is less “scrapable.”  By this week’s edition, the reports will be back, and will be 100% in compliance with the MLS rules.
And if you’re not getting The City Updateâ„¢, you should be.  Your can get your own free subscribtion here. 

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About the Blog

Luba’s San Francisco Real Estate Blog was created to share insights about San Francisco Real Estate and about San Francisco living. Written by Luba Muzichenko, an "almost-native" San Franciscan and a local Realtor® with Zephyr Real Estate, Luba’s San Francisco Real Estate Blog is meant to inform you about a variety of good things and happenings around SF and its unique neighborhoods, about buying and selling homes in the City and about the real estate market in general. If you like what you see, please tell a friend.

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Luba Muzichenko
Top Producer
Certified Residential Specialist®
Zephyr Real Estate
415-307-1392 (cell)
DRE License #01768716
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