Curbing private listings could increase inventory for homebuyers

Low housing inventory readily available for sale in this region has driven the median home sales price up in some areas.

A new rule established recently by the National Association of Realtors and put in place earlier this year by the Dayton Realtors cracks down on private real estate listings by agents and should increase the number of homes available to everyone.

The policy requires its agents to submit a real estate listing to the Multiple Listing Service within one business day of releasing any marketing information. This includes yard signs, fliers, listings on the firm’s website or emails to agent groups.

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Austin Castro, a real estate agent with Irongate Realtors who sells many homes in southern Montgomery and Warren counties, said this move is in the best interest of the consumer.

“The only person that benefits from a private listing is the Realtor,” Castro said.

MORE: Dayton, treasurer plan to end Lot Links program due to economy upswingIn the region, Castro said private listings have gone down after the policy was changed.

Home sellers may choose to list their home privately because they feel that it is less commitment, Castro said. Often an will coach a seller into letting them list their home privately, he said.

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The reason an agent would want to list a home privately, like on their Facebook page or their own private website, is because they don’t have to split fees with a buyer’s Realtor, Castro said.

“It’s self-serving,” Leverett said. “It is what gives Realtors as a profession a bad name.”

Privately listing a property is in conflict with the Realtor’s code of ethics and code of conduct, according to Dayton Realtors President Jan Leverett.

“It takes away from the spirit of cooperation,” she said.

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In addition to those things, privately listing a home can in ways, Castro said, be discriminatory because the real estate agent is only allowing a small group of people to see it.

It also doesn’t get the seller the best possible price for their property.

“If you’re trying to sell your bicycle and you only show it to five people,” Castro said, “you’re only going to get the highest price out of those five people. The sixth person may have offered you a better deal.”

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Castro said he recently had a client who happened to see a house on Facebook and wanted to walk through it. Castro couldn’t find the house on the MLS or other sites because it was privately listed.

“It is in our client’s best interest to let as many people know about their property as possible,” Castro said.

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The new rule handed down from the national association requires real estate agents to post a listing on the MLS within 24 hours of advertising it publicly, like posting flyers or putting a sign in the yard of the available property. Castro said, like Dayton, a lot of local boards have made similar rules.

“It is a hot real estate market right now everywhere, so some agents are bypassing conventional methods of selling a property,” Castro said. “It’s kind of a wild west mentality.”

Both Castro and Leverett said this is a “pro-consumer” policy.

“I think this is a good thing for our industry,” Castro said.

The new rule does not completely take away private listings. It does ensure that private listings, which may be necessary for a high profile seller with a recognizable name who needs to maintain the privacy of their residence, stay private within a single brokerage firm.

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Median Dayton-area home sales price

January: $122K

May: $155K

October: $150K

Source: Dayton Realtors

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