Could MLS be used as a portal for offer negotiations?

Bear with me – I just had an idea and I have no idea whether it’s a good one, whether it’s logistically possible, and as my friend Jay Thompson says, I’m “just pondering”. Truthfully, I don’t even think it’s a “we should do this!” idea, but more just a “what if?”. Okay, enough with the quotation marks, Jeremy.

In the last 24 hours I’ve had three buyers ask me whether or not there have been any offers on a particularly property, and the truth is, I have no idea. As a buyer agent, I don’t know whether a property is receiving any offers unless I’m the one submitting them, and I certainly don’t know specifics. If I knew that a property was listed for $200000 but that the owner was negotiating an offer for $180000, I’d have direct knowledge that I could submit an offer and come reasonably close to getting it for $180000. No seller would want me to know that, an no seller’s agent should ever tell me that. It’s called fiduciary responsibility.

But what if offers were submitted on properties through MLS or a flat fee mls listing company? As a buyer agent, I could look in MLS and see something like “Negotiating” as a status, or “Offer Submitted“, or even “Offer Denied“. I wouldn’t need to know the details of it, but I could say with confidence to a buyer what’s happening on a property, and they could then decide whether they wanted to jump in the pool or not.

There are ALL sorts of issues, of course – what happens if an MLS goes out of business, or an association switches MLS’? What happens then?

Just pondering …

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8 thoughts on “Could MLS be used as a portal for offer negotiations?

  1. Danielle

    I have to say that when I was looking at houses, I would have loved to have as much information as possible on the properties I was interested in pursuing. There is nothing more disappointing than getting one’s hopes up on a property to find out it’s already gone (or in the works). Any more information would be highly appreciated!

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  3. Matt Cohen

    Michael, I think it’s easy too – the way I look at it is that clients need to EXPECT transparent offer & acceptance – unless the clients want it and everyone involved – buy and sell side – participates, it won’t work. We all know that changing the “people” side of things is hard – tech is always easier.

  4. Jeremy Post author

    Timing is always important – I’m interested in seeing whether or not there’s a value there, and if any MLS’ could implement it. I think it’s a helpful function.

  5. Matt Cohen

    My partner Gregg Larson was helping a company (Homebid) focusing on exactly this – providing more transparency around offer and acceptance – way back in ’99. But, perhaps it was just too early. I’ve always liked the idea.

  6. Jeremy Hart

    Thanks, Michael – I’m kind of interested, as well. I don’t know about the legal mumbo jumbo, or if there even is any, but it seems like this is something that would be helpful to buyers and their agents alike. Maybe it’s not something that’s part of a consumer-facing side, maybe there’s too much liability there – I don’t know. I know that as an agent, however, there seems to be some value there to being able to identify where in the life cycle a property might be.

  7. Michael Wurzer

    I’ll be interested to see what discussion develops on this topic. While at CMLS last week, a guy came by from a company called wanting to integrate with us, but I think it was more for private offer management.

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