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The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is the Seller’s Frenemy

The multiple listing service (MLS) has been with us so long we can’t even remember when it started. Actually, after a quick peek at Wikipedia (which is always right and never wrong – snicker), we discovered that some version of the MLS has existed within the old-fashioned real estate industry for more than 100 years. Watching this balky, cranky, recalcitrant piece of foolishness in traditional action makes it seem out-of-date by a good number of those years.

Open Door Auctions founder, Jason Hartman, has always said that the MLS is the “stock exchange for real estate.” That’s a good thing, right? Every industry needs a centralized location for buyers and sellers to congregate and decide on a price? It would be nice if the reality were so rosy. Unfortunately, the MLS has proven itself over time to be terribly inefficient at the process of true market price discovery.

While we can’t deny that it does discover the true market price eventually, the process might best be described as an unending series of disappointments characterized by offers and counter-offers, with a healthy dose of hurt feelings and anger dispensed along the way. Worse, it can take months for the end game to arrive. The reality is that the MLS does not have to be your enemy. It could be your friend, or at least frenemy when you approach it with an innovative breath of fresh air, like we do at Open Door Auctions.

How does two weeks sound? Probably like a bald-faced lie if you’re used to the arthritic snail’s pace that negotiations normally proceed in traditional real estate, even when they’re using the multiple listing service. The problem is – well, we’re not sure what the problem is. Maybe old-fashioned agents having worked in a dysfunctional industry so long they can’t see any way out. With Open Door Auctions, we use the multiple listing service because it’s an incredible tool. The difference is that we throw the offer/counter-offer process out the window, let you, the seller, set the price, then we reduce it as needed to arrive at the true market price in fourteen short days.

All that’s left is to accept the best offer and get on with your life.

The Open Door Auctions Team




Flickr / Fredo Alvarez

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