Home Selling in New York>Question Details

Logan, Other/Just Looking in New York, NY

Unauthorized listings

Asked by Logan, New York, NY Wed Jun 11, 2008

We came off MLS recently. Our intentions is to complete some upgrades and mild repairs due to incidents of visitors. We have no intention of returning to the old agent or agency. However, two different agents from different agencies are lisiing our home as a new MLS offering. We have no intention of honoring the old conditions including the price. We have been trying to get Trulia, Yahoo, and a few other websites to take us off, ditch the old photos and write-ups. Our intention is to complete our work, get required Cof Os and sell with a new agent recommended by our lawyer. We would like a clean slate. Why all this hassle and shananigans now?

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Well, that action would be aviolation of the MLS rules and certainly the statute that governs real esatate transactions in your state. At least that is how it is in my area.

Technically these agents have no listing and I believe you could bring some kind of action against them or file a complaint to their Board of Realtors and/or the Deptment of Real Estate.

They could be slapped with a fine or have suspension of their license.

Good luck with selling your home.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 11, 2008
I am sorry to hear that this happened to you. No agents should make entries to MLS without having signed agreements with you. A call to the MLS should get the listings removed immediately. Actually, I am a little surprised that MLS allowed duplicate listings for the same house. Trulia, Yahoo, etc., may take a little longer, but I would contact each to have your listing removed. Best luck to you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 6, 2008
On each listing, there is a flag for removal button - simply fill that out, request the listing to be removed, it will be reviewed and generally resolved in a few days.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 6, 2008
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 5, 2008
It takes some time for certain sites to have the old info removed. You should be able to ask the broker of your last agent to have all info removed in a timely fashion..
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 3, 2008
The only way they can put in on MLS is with your agreement. I think you are talking about the internet listings like zillow or trulia correct? These would be a little harder to police. Have you contacted the agents about removing them?
Web Reference: http://GetPrequalified.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 12, 2008
Complaints are handled by the MLS Board. You should complain to them.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 12, 2008
I agree with Gail that many of these so called MLS sites are simply aggregators, lifting information from other sites. I also have a constant problem with misinformation for vacation rentals, where ads appear with outdated rates on wannabe sites that are trying to appear as if they have legitimate advertisers to give themselves credibility. This can be quite harmful to a carefully crafted ad campaign, but as a practical matter, it would be a full time job for someone keep up with it.

That is not to excuse everyone in the real estate profession. There are some agencies taking advantage. In the example I described below, the information source turned out to be an automated daily bulk loading system from an Agency database direct to the Zillow database, hence Zillow itself was unable to remove it manually as you might expect. The complaint had to go from Zillow back to the agency for them to remove it manually from their upload. This is what took two weeks. I even sent an inquiry through the listing contact, and did not receive a response. At best, somebody in that agency made a mistake on an MLS listing number and claimed one that was not theirs, then there was nobody to field the inquiry at the other end. Not receiving any response is also damaging, because that person is then discouraged from inquiring about the same property again from a genuine listing ad, since there was no response from the attempt. This is as much of a concern as inaccurate information.

This is why, if you can identify who uploaded the information in the first place - whether your former listing agent, bulk upload load, or aggregator, then you can contact them directly and ask them to remove it. However, since often it is not possible to identify who did the upload, and since responsibility lies with the site that is hosting the information, you can only hold their feet to the fire. This is why I suggested it might be worth sending a bulk mailing of Cease and Desist letters, although it is only a suggestion, I do not know if this would actually work.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 12, 2008
A lot of the websites are called aggregate sites; some voluntary and some automated. Unfortunately, with or without permission, they are gleaming listings to become a source for consumers. If their visitor numbers go up, they can charge more for advertising on the site.

The unfortune part; because they are not a true MLS with all the bells and whistles, they are not maintaining up to the minute information. I have found properties of mine that are sold and closed and new owners living in, still listed as an old number. I did not put them on and have no way of taking them off.

These websites sometimes give the impression that other Realtors are the listing agents. I have had consumers call me very angry that I am "listing" their property and it is not with a Realtor.
Web Reference: http://GailGladstone.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 12, 2008
Nightmare, I couldn't agree more. If you can identify the agents, a quick call to their broker will fix that, because as Franklin says, it's a violation.

So far as offenders such as Trulia, Yahoo, etc. it's not so easy in my experience, unless the ads were loaded by your former listing agent. If so, you need to instruct the agent to remove them and they would be legally obligated to do that for you.

Our problem was that we found another (big brand) agency had claimed one of our listings on Zillow, but no agent name attached, only the company branding. It took us weeks to get them to replace the agency link, and for almost a week of that they had our agency name next to their agency logo. If it wasn't so frustrating, it would have been funny.

You are absolutely correct to want the clean slate, and as soon as possible. You have to persevere, but I could not recommend our methods when it comes to the Zillows of this world, which was basically to follow their instructions. It proved extremely time consuming and I think if I ever found multiple offenders of the kind you describe, I might be tempted to tackle it with a shotgun blast of "Cease and Desist" letters, sent by registered mail to the physical contact addresses for each of the offenders. If you're not sure how to write one of those kinds of business letters, ask your attorney for a sample, or to write it for you.

Some of these sites think that "real world" rules don't apply in cyberspace and I think it needs something like that from the "real world" to get their attention. I can't say I have tried it, but it has to be quicker and less stressful that tackling them one by one, which could take weeks, and in the meantime others may be replicating the ads.

I would also make sure that your former listing agent has removed it from their site as it would not be uncommon for it to be left there for a while after a listing has expired if it is not re-listed with another agent.

Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 12, 2008
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