The Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS) recently announced new rule changes that will impact agents ability to blog about certain homes. There has always been a rule about not advertising another agents listings without permission, but this new rule specifically forbids blogging about a listing if the seller opts out.
The seller will also be able to opt out of having a AVM (Automated Valuation Model) listed next to their listing.
From the NWMLS bulletin:
NWMLS will add two new data fields to the listing input sheets that will give the seller the choice of whether or not to allow certain data to be displayed with the seller’s listing. The first data field is for automated valuation models (AVM) that estimate the fair market value of the property.
If the seller elects not have AVMs appear on the seller’s listing, then Members and subscribers that display the seller’s listing must not include any AVMs for that listing. The default selection in the listing input sheets will be to allow for AVMs.
The second data field will allow the seller to decide whether or not to allow blogging on the public display of the seller’s listing. If the seller elects not to allow blogging, then Members and subscribers displaying NWMLS data on their public websites may not allow blogging on the seller’s listing. The default selection in the listing input sheets will be to prohibit blogging.
If the seller elects to allow blogging on the seller’s listing, the Member may display a blog that allows commentary from the Member, other Members, subscribers, and the public. Members who maintain blogs must comply with certain requirements including removing inaccurate information from the blog and prohibiting profane or obscene content.
With the ability to opt out of AVM, gone will be these embarrassing listings, such as this home for sale for $849K but with a Zillow AVM of $645,000. The seller will now be able to opt out of this at their discretion. In this case, I think it would be a good idea.
Redfin will also have to discontinue their listing/Zillow mash-ups of listing info and AVM’s, if requested by seller and/or listing agent and also they’ll have to monitor their forums more for questions and answers that mention listed properties by address, such as this amusing exchange about a suspected meth hell-hole over on the coast.
These changes will be effective next week, on October 1st.