The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is undeniably the most successful marketing platform for real estate that has ever existed. Fortunately for those of us in the greater Houston area, we also have, which displays those listings that are in the MLS and shows them to the millions of consumers who visit the site each month. The MLS is the backbone of our industry, as you can see from the prominent brokers’ quotes on the cover the magazine.

That is not to say that there are not legitimate cases for leaving a listing out of the MLS, but you need to make sure your client is informed of the major risks involved in not exposing the listing to as many people as possible.  Additionally, you need to know the risks that exist for you as the agent in this situation. You may read the HAR legal counsel’s article about the topic here.

HAR, always looking out for our members, developed and approved a new form titled “Seller Authorization to Exclude Listing from MLS.” This form needs to be used in all situations where the listing is not entered into the MLS. You may read more about it here.

You will also note here that the HAR Board approved a new rule requiring all new listings to be entered into the MLS within three days after the date the listing begins and to report all sold listings within three days of closing/funding.

Harnessing the reach of to help connect buyer, seller and renters with REALTORS® has always been a priority for HAR. In another step to provide more value, will not have a feature called AgentSpot that will display a randomly selected agent who works within that zip code. The AgentSpot feature will not appear on any detailed listing pages where only the listing agent’s information would appear. It would appear on a home value finder page where the property is not currently listed for sale by any agent, on a multi-unit property when looking at the high rise information and not an individual unit for sale and other area such as the neighborhood finder when no individual property has been selected. You may read more about this great new benefit here.

Lastly, we had great success in last month’s primary elections, but the work is not over. There are several runoffs with HAR-supported candidates still in the running. According to Texas election law, you must be registered to vote 30 days prior to the election. Since the runoff has been scheduled for May 27, 2014, you may still register to vote if you have not previously done so. Just remember that if you did vote in the primary, you may only vote in that party’s runoff elections. You cannot switch and vote in the other party’s runoff races. You may read more about the results and runoffs here.

Until next month,

Chaille Ralph
HAR Chair of the Board