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John Kavaller's Blog

By John Kavaller | Broker in Jeffersonville, NY

IDX stands for Internet Data Exhange-Broker Reciprocity-And Wider Listing Exposure

IDX allows non-listing brokers and agents to freely engage in cooperative brokering whereby listing agents and brokers agree to the sharing of proprietary information with other MLS members belonging to a specific MLS Board.


The IDX system allows an agent or broker to show you the entire database of properties listed in a specific MLS Service region even though the broker or agent dispensing the information is neither listing agent or broker.  This is a critical point to digest.


The real estate community has determined that the IDX system is a legal way of profiling listings that are not specifically owned or controlled by an individual broker.  This widens the playing field so that a seller's property gets broader exposure to all MLS members.


In practical terms, this means for example:


You, the real estate consumer, are researching the Bay Cove area of Anywhere New York State.  You've found a super website that lists every property in Bay Cove.  You hit the link for a parcel you have interest in.


Immediately, you are taken to 2345 Wavecrest Avenue, Bay Cove, Anywhere, NY.  A detail sheet appears profiling 2345 Wavecrest Avenue.  Taxes, the school system, bed and bath numbers, square footage, and more enrich your understanding.  You are a happy consumer because you've found out a lot about the property you wanted to research.


After reading the information, viewing static photos and perhaps a slide show or video, you scroll down to the bottom of the information sheet. The IDX mandatory disclaimer reads something like this:


© 2010 Multiple Listing Service of The ABC County Board of Realtors. All rights reserved. Information deemed to be reliable but not guaranteed. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes from Multiple Listing Service of The ABC Board of Realtors and the Broker Reciprocity Program. Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than XYZ real estate firm are marked with the BR logo and detailed information about them includes the name of the listing brokers. Listing broker has attempted to offer accurate data, but buyers are advised to confirm all items. Information last updated on 2010-11-19.


The disclaimer actually announces that you, the consumer, are reviewing a listing presented by a cooperating MLS member and NOT NECESSARILY the listing broker.  Although there are many instances where the information will be offered by the listing broker, more often than not, the information sheet will originate from a different source.


Those sources are somewhat contentious from the broker and agent view.  Let's suppose you have found some real estate of interest on Zillow, Trulia, or a similar site and, I am a member in good standing of my MLS board.


Furthermore, I also advertise on Zillow.  Due to my status as a paid advertiser, my name and contact information show up on every listing in a specific zip code. In other words, no matter what broker owns the listing, my contact information is presented.


You may wrongfully assume I am the listing agent, where in reality, I am simply an MLS member who advertised well.  My ad campaign successfully engaged your business.


Now extend this main principle to just about every conceivable on-line real estate information aggregator. My name and contact information is appearing AS IF I am the owning broker/agent.  I am receiving your lead based on the IDX principle of Broker Reciprocity because I have employed a clever marketing strategy.


Since this marketing technique works with and against individual listing agents and brokers, I suppose you may surmise the IDX System a zero sum game. The seller benefits greatly, the buyers are exposed to the widest content for research purposes, and the broker/agents get the opportunity to slice the pie in half instead of eating it whole.


You may have other ideas about the Internet Data Exchange (IDX platform).  When you call-you may want to ask if I am the listing agent or broker—or, you may not care.  I know as an agent, I care a lot.


John Kavaller


By Phil Rotondo,  Sun Nov 21 2010, 05:50
Great article. Thanks!
By John Kavaller,  Sun Nov 21 2010, 06:05
Thanks Phil--

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