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Exempted Listing: What to Do When Your Client Does Not Want Listing Info Disseminated

Do you ever wonder if there are more homes on the market than what is reflected in the MLS or various popular real estate internet sites?  The answer is YES! An exempted listing is exempt from the MLS and other media.

What is your responsibility as a REALTOR®?

Within two (2) Business Days of submitting the listing information to the MLS, the REALTOR ® should provide a written statement to the MLS, signed by the seller indicating that he or she does not desire the
MLS Listing Information to be disseminated by the MLS. The MLSOK Exempt Listing form may be found in Matrix under the Forms Links section.

You can also search for it in TransactionDesk with the key word “Exempted”.

Why would anyone have their house on the market but not want it advertised?

It is important to have a house in showing ready condition as you only have one chance to attract a buyer.  However, it takes time to get a house in showing condition or staged. For this reason, a seller may decide to sign a listing agreement with their agent. The agent will now work on the seller’s behalf to not only help them get in “showing ready condition”, but also start working their network of contacts and prepare for marketing.

Agents will guide the homeowner on what needs to be done and provide recommendations for services such as painters, carpet cleaners, contractors, landscapers, plumbers, professional home stagers and handymen. Also, they will begin marketing to their internal network and fellow agents.

When agents are working with exempted listings, they create marketing flyers to be distributed to agents throughout the community and surrounding areas. You never know if there is an active buyer looking for your type of home; and even if you are not yet on the MLS, it is important to reach out to all the agents. Does this take time, effort and money? Absolutely. But remember that you have a listing agreement and even though the home is not on the MLS, agents are still working hard. There is so much behind-the-scenes work that gets done to get a house sold for top dollar. Rather than waiting to list a house that is not ready, consider a short-term exempt listing. Once you are ready for showings, it is easy to transition this to an active listing.

Are there other reasons why a listing may be exempt?

Absolutely.  Maybe an executive is making a job transfer; or a divorce is pending and the homeowners prefer not to draw attention to their situation by having a “For Sale” sign in their front yard.  In other words, they want to sell their home while keeping a low profile.  It is much harder to sell a home that we can’t advertise, but for those of us that are connected in the community and have a large network – it is doable.  Once again, all it takes is that right buyer.

How do I find out if a property is an exempted listing?

The exempted listing form is filed through the MLSOK Tech Support Helpdesk ticketing system.  When a call comes in about a listing that an agent can’t find in the system, Helpdesk techs search for any corresponding paperwork on file indicating it has been withheld.  If one cannot be located, then the listing office is contacted for additional information.

What if I’m waiting on something before I get the listing in the system?

The listing must be in the system within 2 business days of the commence date, or an exempt listing form should be submitted for the property within 2 business days of the executed contract.  This keeps listing agent and the listing broker protected from any question on compliance.  The listing is accounted for with the helpdesk and remains off the database until it’s ready.  Alternatively, the listing can be entered into the system and immediately changed to a “Temporarily Off Market” status for up to 60 days

Active=Ready to Show

Remember that a property can only be active in the system when it becomes available to show.  If you can’t schedule an appointment to see the property, then it should be in a Temporary Off Market status for up to 30 days.

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