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MLS News & Updates

One of the most important lessons learned during the challenging Covid-19 pandemic is that teamwork is essential. At Florida Gulf Coast MLS we value our partnership with our Brokers and we’re always looking for ways to serve you to make your job easier and your business successful.

You’ve Got Class is a convenient new MLS training program designed to bring you and your agents the MLS education and tech guidance you need, when you need, and where you need it. Work directly with our Manager of MLS Training and Course Development, Sharon Crawford, to design your own MLS classes based on topic and/or skill set.

Whether your goal is to educate and inform or inspire and motivate,  You’ve Got Class put’s you in control to provide proactive, high-quality MLS education to your agents to help them succeed.

“Brokers want to help their agents generate business opportunities. Every broker wants to help every one of their agents succeed. That’s why we put this program together. That’s why we offer an impressive suite of tools to help generate those opportunities.” says Sharon. “That’s where I come in. Every broker has the opportunity to be actively engaged in shaping their own MLS education that meets their unique needs.”

For more information or to schedule a class, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



Multiple Offers – from Multiple Perspectives

By Joel Maxson

Perspective matters. How does the collection of laws and rules related to multiple offers look to a buyer’s representative? How does that collection look to a seller’s representative?

ORLANDO, Fla. – As we continue to navigate an aggressive seller’s market, frustrations are on the rise. We continue to hear all sorts of stories on the Florida Realtors Legal Hotline about angry buyers, picky sellers, and members struggling to navigate this market.

We previously looked at several rules in play in a multiple offer situation: “How Should I Field Multiple Offers?”  That article was written from the perspective of a listing Realtor, but since this market has grown more intense since then, it’s worth revisiting from both perspectives.

To recap, here are the rules we touched on, from a listing perspective:

  • Real estate licensees must always be honest and can generally be held liable at multiple levels if they are deceptive (criminal or civil court, FREC, or local board).
  • Confidentiality. There is typically some level of confidentiality owed to a seller, although the scope of confidentiality will depend on the nature of the listing broker’s relationship to the seller and specific conversations they have.
  • Withdrawal deadline. This is more of a legal issue for the buyer and seller, but they should be aware that the Florida Realtors/Florida Bar contracts provide an option for offers to expire and be withdrawn if not signed and returned by a deadline.
  • Standard of Practice 1-7. NAR’s Code of Ethics requires a listing broker to write back if the buyer’s agent asks them to verify that an offer was presented (or that they had written instruction to not present an offer).
  • Courtesy. While not required, courtesy and professionalism are at the heart of many of these conversations. So many complaints and legal disputes can be resolved with a little common courtesy.

 

What can we add to this if we look at it from the perspective of someone representing a buyer?

Statute of Frauds

It doesn’t matter how promising negotiations seem or how close parties get to a fully executed contract. Until they cross the finish line, a buyer doesn’t have an enforceable agreement. This centuries-old rule only applies to certain types of contracts, including contracts for the sale and purchase of real property. It requires both a written document and signature before enforceable contract rights are created.

That means even if a buyer and seller verbally agree to every single term of a contract, beyond any reasonable doubt, the buyer doesn’t yet have an agreement.

Looking at this rule from the perspective of a buyer’s representative, it would be extremely helpful to avoid phrases like “we have a deal,” or “seller accepted our offer” until you have a fully executed contract in hand. It’s also helpful to encourage guarded optimism, even if negotiations seem to be going well.

Multiple methods to field multiple offers

The law allows sellers to use a wide variety of tactics when it comes to fielding multiple offers. A mantra we often repeat on the Legal Hotline is that a seller is welcome to accept, reject, counter, or ignore any offer(s) that come their way. Within that framework, you need to be prepared for anything. Remember, the seller ultimately controls the decision about how to handle multiple offers.

You could encounter any of the following, and possibly even a few more:

  • The seller requests the highest and best offers from all buyers by a deadline.
  • The seller deals with just one buyer.
  • The seller engages multiple (but not all) buyers to see if they are willing to improve their offers.
  • The seller holds an auction.
  • The seller decides to wait a while before making a decision.

Confidentiality

One aspect of confidentiality is that you may not know the precise scope sellers have with their listing broker. If they are a single agent, you may not know much at all about what the seller thinks of your buyer’s offer. If they are a transaction broker, they could still be limited by anything the seller has requested they keep confidential. Therefore, don’t count on getting a detailed description of what happened after you submit an offer.

On the other hand, the terms of a buyer’s offer are generally not considered confidential. A seller could possibly use terms of your buyer’s offer as bargaining tools with other buyers. If you encounter a buyer who doesn’t like this, they can always speak with an attorney about obtaining a confidentiality agreement. While these agreements aren’t as common in residential transactions as they are in commercial, they are a tool buyers could employ if they feel strongly enough about it.

Article 16

The National Association of Realtors®’ (NAR) Code of Ethics includes an article that provides Realtors shall not engage in any practice inconsistent with exclusive representation or exclusive brokerage relationship agreements that other Realtors have with clients. If you drill down, the more specific Standard of Practice 16-13 provides that, “All dealings concerning property exclusively listed … shall be carried on with the client’s representative or broker … except with the consent of the client’s representative or broker or except where such dealings are initiated by the client.”

Therefore, while it may be tempting to call the seller just to see if your buyer’s offer was presented, it would likely be a violation of the Code of Ethics.

Remember, you can send a written request to the listing Realtor to have them confirm whether they submitted the offer or had written instructions to withhold it (Standard of Practice 1-7 above). You will likely just receive a short message along the lines of “yes, I submitted the offer,” but it does force them to go on record with a response.

Presentation of offers

There is a rule in NAR’s Handbook on Multiple Listing Policy that enables cooperating brokers to be present when the buyer’s offer is presented. However, it’s worth noting that the seller can override this request by informing the listing broker (in writing) that they don’t want the cooperating broker present. One fine-tuned difference between this rule and Standard of Practice 1-7 is that, in this case, the cooperating broker is entitled to see a copy of a seller’s written denial of the request.

 If you look closely at Standard of Practice 1-7, the buyer’s broker is not entitled to anything from the seller. A brief written response from the listing broker confirming they submitted the offer (or had written instructions from seller to not present it) is enough.

 Joel Maxson is Associate General Counsel for Florida Realtors

© 2021 Florida Realtors®




Florida Gulf Coast MLS is excited to announce that we are participating in the statewide reciprocal listings program.  RPCRA members can place a listing in any of the MLS systems on this list. FGCMLS will accept listings from non-member REALTORS® in good standing with other Florida MLSs that participate in the FAR Statewide Reciprocal Agreement. Contact the local Association for fee information.

Forms Required for Reciprocal

Reciprocal Information

The following documents are needed in order to process your reciprocal listing.

  • Listing agreement
  • Up to 35 images of the property (at least one is required) (JPG format – Resolution 1024x76)
  • Payment in the amount of $100 (Mail your check to RPCRA, 2840 Winkler Ave, Fort Myers, FL 33916 or phone (239) 936-3537 to provide payment by debit or credit card)

 

Email  all documents, including a copy of the listing agreement to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Input forms for FGCMLS listings can be found at:

https://rpcra.org/media/attachments/2021/03/17/residential-profile-sheet.pdf

https://rpcra.org/media/attachments/2021/03/17/residential-income-profile-sheet-11.7.18.pdf

https://rpcra.org/media/attachments/2021/03/17/lot-and-land-profile-sheet-11.7.18.pdf



Florida Gulf Coast MLS and Royal Palm Coast of Realtors is excited to announce the launch of a new rental screen application, start using it today!   RentSpree’s integration helps deploy technology to agents up to 3x faster than others by offering an array of simple integration options to collect a rental application and screen for future tenants.

Sign up for a training class:

During this webinar you will learn how to:
· Start screening your first tenant in 2 minutes
· Enable tenant screening directly within the MLS
· Invite prospective tenants to apply online using RentSpree
· Get results returned quickly and easily

Click here to register for RentSpree Training for September 23pm, online.

**Can't attend the live event? Register anyway to automatically receive a recording of the session!**


What is the benefit?

  • Efficient turn-around time for credit, criminal, and eviction reports (including identity verification) all from TransUnion.
  • 24/7 access - reports can be run any time any day.
  • Application fees are paid directly on the RentSpree site, which means no need to handle cash or credit card info.
  • You can use the same application for multiple properties as the property address does not appear on the application.
  • Soft-credit inquiry does not damage credit scores or leave a mark on reports.
  • No charge to FGCMLS agents who use Rent Spree.  A minimal fee of $30-30 is charged per applicant.

Includes:

  • Full Credit Report & Score - Most tenant screening applications use a hard credit inquiry to check credit score. While this is a valid way of screening prospective tenants, it harms their credit score. TransUnion SmartMove uses a soft credit inquiry, which has no effect on a user’s score
  • Criminal Background Check - Access to over 200 million criminal records provides agents and owners with the information necessary to make an informed leasing decision. In addition, this information is available 24/7 from any mobile device or computer
  • Eviction Report - Every TransUnion eviction report comes with tenant judgment for possession and money, unlawful detainers, tenant judgments for rent, failure to pay rent, and writs and warrants of eviction.

 RentSpree’s integration helps deploy technology to agents up to 3x faster than others by offering an array of simple integration options.

RentSpree has been serving agents and brokers in Florida as a Florida Realtors® Rewards Partner dating back to 2018. Currently, RentSpree powers more than 150 MLSs, REALTOR® Associations, brokerages, and real estate platforms across the country.

About RentSpree

Founded in 2016, RentSpree is an award-winning rental software known in all 50 states for its easy-to-use tenant screening process, renter management, partnership program, and rental screening API. In just five years, RentSpree has grown its database by partnering with some of the most trusted names in real estate and serves over half a million agents, owners, and renters across the country.



You’ve got your real estate license in hand, you’ve chosen a brokerage, you’ve joined the REALTOR® Association – now what?

There’s nothing more exciting and more terrifying than the start of a new career. In the heat of the moment, concepts like systems and procedures, prioritizing, and continuing education may seem trivial. You may think that getting the first deal is all that matters.

Mistake 1: Failing to learn how to properly use the MLS database.

This potential error is a big one. As a new agent, not mastering the fundamentals of searching, entering a new listing, pulling market stats, and more is another error that new agents might commit in their excitement and haste to sign a contract. Although each deal is different, there are routines and methods you should follow for every client.

FGCMLS offers classes for MLS Basic, MLS Pro, and Listing Input.  Don’t neglect to register for these classes until it’s time to enter your first listing.  Save time and possibly money by learning FIRST!

Mistake 2: Failing to take advantage of all the free business solutions offered by the MLS.

Forgetting that the MLS offers so much more than a database to view or add listings is another big mistake.  FGCMLS provides you with tools that assist you with everything from public records access to marketing yourself and your listings to staying in touch with buyers and sellers.

Many agents dismiss this as a tedious or busywork, but it’s essential to schedule time to learn what resources you have and how to use them.

In addition to weekly webinars, FGCMLS provides 24-7 online learning.  See what’s available by clicking on the MLS Training link on the FGCMLS dashboard.

Mistake 3: Not getting involved.

New agents may feel like they don’t have time for association activities, but the truth is it is indispensable in getting exposure for yourself and your new career.  Getting to know other agents, networking, and getting actively involved is one of the best ways to learn.



Agents that use Remine are some of the most productive and high yielding in the industry.”

Did you miss it?  On July 14th Remine released an update to the Advanced Search feature! No other MLS search unlocks the insights and opportunities you have at your fingertips!

Whether you’re analyzing data in specific neighborhoods or studying market trends of listings and closings, these updates will make your life easier.

New Toggle Features for Listing Data/Property Data

From the Remine map you can select either Listing or Properties.

Select Listing if you want to review a listing or MLS specific information or select Properties if you’re looking for tax and property related information.

Keep in mind, you’ll automatically default to search by Listing data. Multiple property cards for the property are available if there are multiple listing records in the MLS.

Toggle to Properties to search by property data. One property card will be visible for each property.

These updates more clearly define the criteria that matters for the type of search you want to run.  For example, if you want to see all the properties in Fort Myers but don’t want to include a certain zip code, you can refine your search to exclude that area.

These updates will serve to elevate your search process making data more accessible than ever!  Log into Remine from your FGCMLS Dashboard to take advantage of this free subscriber benefit and keep an eye out for more enhancements in the future!



We are pleased to announce that you may now access realtor.com directly from the FGCMLS dashboard. 

ALL-NEW AGENT PROFILES –Make a stunning first impression with a beautiful, portable profile that works on desktop and on mobile!  Connect with more online buyers and sellers – More consumers find their agent on realtor.com than any other site – get your profile today and start connecting!

What do you want consumers to see about you?

Listing Agents

New agent profiles on realtor.com® ensure you are easily discoverable by consumers searching for your expertise online. Plus, you’ll increase visibility for your experience, certifications and local knowledge.

Buyers Agents

New agent profiles on realtor.com® ensure you are easily discoverable by consumers searching for your expertise online, and increasing the visibility for your experience, certifications and local knowledge. If you are an agent who mainly represents buyers, you now have the ability to showcase your specialties and activity.

Agents with a Mix

Because FGCMLS is providing realtor.com, the new agent profile now includes past transactional data. If you both buy and sell, this provides a comprehensive view of your recent activity.

Teams

Teams benefit from the profile’s inclusion of individual bios consumers can easily navigate to view team members.

New Agents

With a robust recommendation engine that is not tied to past clients, newer agents can showcase their professionalism with recommendations from business associates, friends, family and others.

Brokers

RealRating™ and review content on realtor.com® profiles also will be available for syndication to broker websites, creating consistency of consumer-viewed content as they view agent information on multiple websites.

Power up your profile now!



Have you ever received a warning or a fine from the MLS?  It’s not fun! However, issuing warnings and fines for rule violations is essential to maintain an accurate database.

Real Estate professionals succeed the most when we work together. And to do that, we need to agree on a set of reasonable ground rules.




The Florida Gulf Coast MLS works diligently each month to ensure that your MLS data is accurate and is being used in a professional, honest manner by all our Subscribers and Technology Companies.  This article discusses some ways to ensure that the listing agent and office receive any Data Checker notifications for their listings, and tips to avoid getting a fine.



RPR product integrations keep REALTORS® efficient and give them the ability to offer their clients valuable information. Collaborating with AARP is a textbook example of the latter.

The AARP Livability™ Index is now displayed on the RPR website and mobile app through its Property Details pages as well as within the Neighborhood page. It’s also featured in four RPR reports, including the: Property Report, Mini Property Report, Neighborhood Report and Seller’s Report.






Camera

Digital images are an important part of marketing a home and help to showcase the features of properties listed in the Florida Gulf Coast MLS.    Please take a moment to review the MLS policies on digital images to learn WHEN a photo is required and WHAT kinds of photos are not permitted.

The Florida Gulf Coast MLS photo policies can be found in the Rules and Regulations by clicking here.    These policies are written and approved by the FGCMLS Board of Directors based on input from our local REALTOR members, discussion and research by the MLS Committee, and following guidelines set forth by the National Association of REALTORS.  


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