Whether relisting is an acceptable practice that exemplifies creative marketing in a down market — or whether it is a misleading and potentially illegal practice — is a topic of heated debate in the industry. The National Association of Realtors trade group, which has about 1.3 million members working in the real estate industry, has not taken a formal stance on the issue and looks to local MLSs to set their own policies for relisting practices.
The National Association of Realtors Code of Ethics provides that “Realtors shall be careful at all times to present a true picture in their advertising and representations to the public,” though Lucien Salvant, a spokesman for NAR, said that MLSs are not considered advertising vehicles. “It’s a local MLS issue on how they address (relisting),” he said. “There is no NAR requirement on that particular point.”
We begrudgingly accept the practice, but to justify it by taking the position that “MLSs [and by extension their listings] are not considered advertising vehicles?” Sorry folks, but that’s an utterly asinine argument. And it’s disappointing to say the least.
At the risk of pointing out the obvious, consider any marketing materials, websites, or press releases that reference an MLS derived statistic such as average days on the market (DOM), or selling price to list price ratio (SP/LP). If any of the underlying data has been “refreshed,” do these statistics really “present a true picture” and representation of the market?
UPDATE: As “realtor” notes below, direct public access to the MLS will be pulled
sometime soon on January 1, 2007.
∙ You Can Relist, But You Can’t Hide [SocketSite]
∙ MLSs attack for-sale home ‘relisting’ practices [Inman]