My New Outside Blog: The Subliminal Messages In Our MLS Comments!

The Subliminal Messages In Our MLS Comments!

Patricia Kennedy has written a blog with details almost too out in left field as to defy comprehension. This had to be the most outlandish list of rules ever written on an MLS sheet about showing a property, and, heaven forbid, actually writing an offer on such a house.

Read the specifics. You'd think it was from a fiction writer. Or one of the writers from The Tonight Show.

This week, I've been showing a lot of houses.  That means sorting through our MRIS information, because I haven't had that much time to preview.  And it's meant reading a bunch of comments that should be meant to get me and my buyer to the front door.

I always use my comments as an opportunity to describe my listing in a way that gets the attention of both colleagues and their clients.  I want to play up the new kitchen with granite and state-of-the-art appliances, the wood-burning fireplace, the large whirlpool tub in the marble bath, the hardwoods, the large rooms, the picturesque tree-lined street - the good stuff! 

But I was so surprised to find things that could only make me wonder whether it was the agent or her clients who are major control freaks or perhaps just total idiots:

  • Earnest money check to be held by listing broker.  (I don't think so, honey!)
  • Seller requires buyer to use Fly-By-Night Title for settlement.  (Oh, sure!)
  • No contracts will be considered until 7 days after commencement of listing.  (Um, this listing has been on the market for 154 days - you might want to edit you comments now!)
  • We need proof of funds to settle prior to showing this property.  (Huh?  You don't think I qualify my buyers before I put them into the Lexus?)
  • Don't let Fang, the friendly Rottweiler, run out the door when you open it.  (Don't worry, I won't even open that particular door.)

Maybe on a good day in 2005 this strategy could work.  There was little inventory, and agents would check it out as it came on the market, and unless it was really awful and smelled like kitty litter, people would be lined up with contracts with absurd escalator clauses.  Getting eaten by Fang was just one of those little risks of the job that we happily put up with.

But those days are gone, at least for a while.

Now we have to go back to serious marketing efforts that make it easy for agents and their clients to love our listings.

I've always felt that the MRIS comments were a wonderful, free advertising opportunity.  And I wouldn't dream of wasting them on obsequious stuff!

Today my buyers wrote an offer on a cute house that lived up to the description in the MRIS comments - the comments that got my attention and theirs.  And the agents were really nice when I spoke to them.  I think we are going to play Let's Make a Deal, and I think we are going to have fun doing it!

As it should be.

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Jon Quist, ABR, CRS, ePRO, GRI


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Comment balloon 4 commentsJon Quist • January 24 2011 02:38AM


Jon, you'd be surprised at how regularly I see this EXACT LIST (not always with the dog) I see on our MLS.

Posted by MichelleCherie Carr Crowe Just Call...408-252-8900, Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years (Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty) about 9 years ago

Hi Jon, excellent reading for a Monday morning, the post came with a smile.

Posted by Dan Edward Phillips, Realtor and Broker/Owner (Dan Edward Phillips) about 9 years ago

While the MLS is a great place to put key information for Buyers and Buyer Agents who are considering writing an offer - in the Phoenix market that information is best placed as an attachment in the Private Realtor Docs section, and the public remarks used to highlight the features of the property.

Posted by Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers, Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty (Serving the Greater Phoenix and Scottsdale Metropolitan Area) about 9 years ago

What a crazy thing to see on an MLS listing write-up.  I mean, talk about chasing away just about ANY Realtor who might have thought about showing the house.  Maybe these agents who write this silliness are having a contest among themselves to see who can collect the greatest number of expired listings.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) about 9 years ago

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