Tip of the Week – Auction Listings in the MLS
A certain question has come up a few times in the past weeks. Is this listing being sold through an auction process? Is that allowed in the MLS? The answers? Maybe and maybe. ?
A few years ago, ECAR’s MLS committee, with the help of local real estate auction experts, developed an auction category. Before this category was created, an auction listing was indicated using the Sale Type field. There were additional fields that were required when Auction was selected. It was soon determined that this process wasn’t adequately depicting the auction process. So the separate category was developed.
The Auction category does not include required compensation fields, so it is actually an Information Exchange listing rather than an MLS listing. That doesn’t mean that compensation is not available, it just means that it’s not an automatic guarantee. Compensation for Information Exchange listings should be negotiated broker to broker.
If you are listing a property being sold through an auction process, you must put the listing in the auction category. Once the property is sold through the auction process, the auction listing should be withdrawn, and the property recorded in the proper sale category.
There are many websites that collect offers or bids. If you find an MLS listing, in a regular sale category, on these websites, does that mean the property is being sold through an auction process? Is there a difference between the term “offer” and the term “bid”. If there’s a limited time period to submit an offer, does that make it an auction? Is the highest offer or bid automatically accepted?
These are the questions that we’re still working on. There’s a lot of ins and outs, and details that can determine the answers, and it won’t be easy to come up with a definition for an auction listing. And as with many other questions, the answer may change as time goes along.
As in years past, the MLS rules will adjust as different ways of selling real estate comes around: short sales, REOs, etc. While real estate auctions aren’t new, there are new ways of selling real estate that blur the fine line between an auction sale and a traditional sale. And the MLS rules will adjust for that as well.
If you have any questions, please call us at 850-244-2411, or email email@example.com.
Susan Beck, MLS Director
Emerald Coast Association of REALTORS
Fort Walton Beach, FL