We have been hearing from members who are concerned about how the hot market is impacting showing times and the handling of offers.

We understand the frustration and difficulties that can occur during a busy market like this. So, we believe that now is a good time to review the MLS® rules that address these matters.

Rule 3.22 Member Access to Listed Properties

  1. Showings for new listings can be restricted for a defined period of up to five (5) calendar days from the effective date of listing, but only if the Listing Brokerage notes the details in the REALTOR® remarks and on the Schedule “A.”
  2. Showings for existing listings can be restricted for a defined period of up to five (5) calendar days, but only if the Listing Brokerage notes the details in the REALTOR® remarks.
  3. If an offer is received during the ‘no show’ period, prior to presenting the offer, the Listing Agent must notify all Realtors who requested a showing and/or requested, in writing, to be kept informed about offers, that an offer is scheduled for presentation.
  4. For an existing listing that cannot be shown for an undefined period or a period of more than five (5) calendar days, a Hold Action not exceeding fourteen (14) days or a cancellation instruction must be submitted in the appropriate form.

Remember:

  1. If your client wants to write an offer on a listed property but there is a Delay of Presentation of Offers noted in the listing, don’t wait… contact the Listing Agent to advise them that your client would like to submit an offer.
  2. Request in writing, to be kept informed about offers.
  3. Sellers may change their minds regarding an offer presentation. If you have asked to be kept informed of developments, the Listing Agent is required to advise you of any changes.
  4. If you are the Listing Agent, ensure you are keeping a list of those Agents that have asked, in writing, to be kept informed.

Rule 4.02 Presentation of Offers

If your seller chooses to delay the presentation of offers:

  1. The details of your client’s instructions must be noted in the Realtor remarks.
  2. If requested, a copy of the seller’s completed Direction Regarding Presentation of Offers must be provided to a Cooperating Brokerage (posting the document to the MLS® listing will satisfy this requirement). The Listing Brokerage must keep a record of all Realtors who request, in writing, to be informed about offers or about a change to the published offer presentation date.

If the Listing Brokerage receives a written offer before the published presentation date and the seller wants to see it, the Listing Brokerage must, prior to presenting the offer to the seller:

  1. get a revised Direction Regarding Presentation of Offers document signed by the seller;
  2. update the published instructions and posted documents, prior to presenting the offer;
  3. notify all Realtors who requested to be informed about early offers; and
  4. give those Realtors a fair opportunity to present an offer.  

COVID-19

The pandemic has drastically changed the way in which showings are handled. Sellers and Listing Agents have had to adjust how showings are administered to ensure that all legal protocols are adhered to. This is another factor that is contributing to limited access to properties.

Cooperation and Adaptation

Given the hot market, and the pandemic, you can alleviate some frustration by utilizing your advanced communications and negotiation skills, and brushing up on the Rules of Cooperation. For example:

  • Demonstrate your value by being proactive and professional.
  • Contact other Realtors, don’t wait for them.
  • Book your showing appointments early, even if there is a delay of showings noted.
  • Ask to be kept informed about any changes to showing or offer presentation dates.
  • Always follow-up and follow-through.
  • Suggest a virtual tour or do a drive-by.
  • Monitor listings, relay information to clients, and promptly act on their instructions.

If you run into an issue that you cannot resolve on your own, the next step is to reach out to your Managing Broker.

If you have concerns about another Realtor, your Managing Broker should contact the Managing Broker of the other Brokerage.

If the matter cannot be resolved and a formal complaint is warranted, the FVREB’s Complaint Form can be found here.

And please remember, when you contact the Board, you are expected to show civility, just as you would with clients, fellow Realtors, and other professionals.     

Sources: FVREB Professional Standards and MLS®