BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — Anyone who reads BocaNewsNow.com knows that we believe Realtors are, for the most part, pointless. They are a group of individuals who collect money for saying “this house is pretty, you should buy it.” Read the pages of BocaNewsNow.com and you’ll find DUI arrest after DUI arrest of Realtor after Realtor. It’s always comforting to know that the second-career professional driving you around in a Lexus SUV is two sheets to the wind.
BocaNewsNow.com recently had dealings with Realtors and continues to ponder just how it is that these people — and their local organization, the Realtor Association of the Palm Beaches — survive. We experienced problem after problem, incompetent action after incompetent action. Lawyers had to straighten it all out because the Realtors were by and large incompetent. And when the transaction was finally complete, the property in question remained in the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) as “for sale.” When we contacted Chelsea Mulvey — the Director of “BeachesMLS Policy,” we received great emails like this:
As a wholly owned subsidiary of The Realtors® Association of the Palm Beaches (RAPB), BeachesMLS (BMLS) cannot remove a Participant’s listing from the MLS database. RAPB and BMLS are members of the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) and therefore are bound by their rules and policies. NAR dictates that the MLS must obtain written permission to make any changes to a Participant’s listing. As part of BMLS policies, adopted by the RAPB Board of Directors and approved by NAR, Participants and Subscribers will receive a written courtesy notification giving them a deadline to correct a potential violation before receiving a penalty. Continued violations of the BMLS rules result in compounded fines and additional penalties. In order to maintain the integrity of the database we must adhere to the policies and procedures as outlined in the BMLS Rules and Regulations, Compliance Guidelines, Bylaws and the NAR 2017 Policy handbook.
The problem is that the agent who was supposed to update the MLS just didn’t do it. And even when Beaches MLS was provided a copy of a warranty deed, the response was emails like the one above, and this priceless gem:
I see that you are frustrated and feel that things should take place at a certain pace however this past Friday, Saturday and Sunday consisted of a Holiday weekend. Therefore the two required business days have not been exceeded and the agent is not in violation of the BeachesMLS Rules. Bearing that in mind, the agent was notified to update the status of the listing at the time of your email. If the change is not made within the required time a fine will be assessed to the agent.
Here’s why it matters: you don’t want your property being advertised as “for sale” when it’s not.
Realtors aren’t taken seriously because their governing body — in this case, the Realtor Association of the Palm Beaches — assesses a measly fine when they break the rules. Do Realtors care? Of course not. Consider this: let’s say you’re an agent and you’re selling a local home worth a million dollars — not unreasonable around Boca. As the agent, you’re likely receiving $30,000 at closing. If you don’t update the MLS after closing, your listing remains all over the internet for the world to see. When someone calls to ask about the listing, you report “that house sold but I have another great home for you.” If that house is worth a million dollars, you’re on your way to another $30,000 commission while only paying a fine of a few hundred dollars. That’s a small price to pay for what amounts to free advertising.
Bottom line: there are a few good Realtors out there. But from DUI arrests to a governing body that has a bite as forceful as your great grandmother’s, Realtors are rarely true professionals and should never be relied upon for legitimate, binding advice. BocaNewsNow.com always advises retaining an attorney for real estate transactions. Attorneys are educated and must answer to the Florida Bar. Realtors are Realtors, and must answer to Chelsea Mulvey.