BrokerageIndustry News

Ohio agents sound alarm over pocket listings

Critics say brokers looking to collect both sides of commission in off-market deals

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Some real estate leaders in Northeast Ohio say a rising trend of listings sold outside of the MLS is hurting homebuyers and sellers, though the president of the largest brokerage company in the area disagrees, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. Members of the Realtor-owned Northern Ohio Regional Multiple Listing Service (NORMLS) must add their listings to the MLS within 72 hours or face penalties and fines -- unless the seller signs off on selling the property as an "off-market" or "pocket" listing. NORMLS is considering whether it needs to change its rules to encourage fewer off-market deals, the Plain Dealer said. Critics say such listings receive less visibility, harming sellers who want to fetch the highest possible price for their home, and buyers, who don't get a complete picture of the market. Listings not in the MLS also cannot be used as comparable properties for appraisals and other mortgage financing purposes.MLSs evolved as a way for brokers to coope...