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How to Get Your Home’s Real Estate Listing Removed From the Internet

April 30, 2019

How to get a real estate listing removed

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Wondering how to get a real estate listing removed from the internet? Whether you’re a seller who’s withdrawn your house from the market, or a buyer who’s just closed on a new place, fielding inquiries from buyers who still see your house listed online is a drag when it’s no longer for sale.

So what can you do to unlist a house? And how long does it truly take? Allow us to shed light on how real estate listings go up and come down.

Who can remove a real estate listing?

For starters, how do real estate listings get up online for all to see, anyway? When a seller decides to list her home through a real estate agent, that agent gathers the necessary info and photos and loads them onto a vast, interconnected database called the multiple listing service, or MLS. From there, the listing is used to populate online platforms like realtor.com.

Only licensed agents and brokers who pay for membership to the MLS have access to the full feed. As such, they’re the only people who can post real estate there—or remove those listings.

What this means for home buyers and sellers is you can’t just call up the MLS and ask the service to take a house off the site.

In addition, “home sellers are not allowed to make changes, because technically the info and photos become the property of the MLS in which it’s originally listed,” says Lynne Freda, a real estate agent with Freda Realty, in Callicoon, NY.

How to withdraw a real estate listing temporarily

Sellers withdraw their homes from the market all the time, says Beth Bernitt, an agent with Century 21 Real Estate in Bethel, NY.

Sometimes it’s because they’ve changed their mind and no longer want to sell their home. But just as often, something personal comes up that makes a seller decide to delay selling for a few weeks. For instance, you might decide to make some repairs or upgrades to fetch a higher price.

This is what agents call a “temporary off market,” Bernitt says. If you’re thinking you want to pull your listing for a little while, just let your listing agent know.

“Unlisting it is just a click of a button,” Bernitt says. And if you want to relist, it’s just another button click.

However, once your house is unlisted on the MLS, it doesn’t mean it will be instantly reflected far and wide. Various websites may have lag times before this change takes effect. For some sites, it may take as little as 15 minutes (which is what happens at realtor.com), whereas other sites may take days or even weeks.

Withdrawn listing vs. expired listing: What’s the difference?

While a listing agent can deliberately withdraw a listing from the MLS, another way real estate listings disappear from websites is when they expire. That’s when your commitment to work with a certain agent ends and you go your separate ways (that is, unless you renew your real estate contract).

When you sign a contract with an agent to sell your home, there’s an expiration date—typically in three to six months. Listing agents often enter the expiration date of their contract right in the database listing. After all, they pay MLS dues for that listing to go up online, so they won’t want it to stay unless they’re still working with you! So when that date passes, your listing should automatically disappear from the internet.

If you decide you no longer want to work with an agent before your contract is up, you can inform the agent, who will withdraw your listing before it expires.

House just sold? How to remove it from the MLS

Once you close on a home and you’ve walked off with a new set of keys in your palm, your home is off the market. But that doesn’t mean it’s off the internet! Listings (and all those gorgeous photos of your home) don’t get pulled offline until the listing is closed out by the listing agent, says Freda.

“Most MLS systems require seller’s agent to close out sold homes within 24 hours of sale, or the agent will be fined,” she says.

But even then, lag times can still happen, Bernitt says, and it’s frustrating for buyers, sellers, and the agents themselves.

“It’s a lot of wasted time and energy for everyone,” she says. It can be particularly problematic if you’re a seller who’s temporarily withdrawn the home. Prospective buyers who spot the listing and call, only to learn the house is off the market, are likely to be turned off.

“When you put it back on the market, they won’t look at it because you’ve upset them,” she says.

Typically, an agent will realize the listing is still active pretty soon—especially if they’re getting calls or emails from interested buyers. But if they don’t, give them a call. They should be able to make some phone calls to get the photos pulled offline.

If you’re not getting any help from your listing agent, try the agent’s broker. That’s the person who owns the agency where the agent works, aka an agent’s boss. With word of mouth being so important in the real estate biz, chances are the broker’s going to jump at the chance to make things right.

The post How to Get Your Home’s Real Estate Listing Removed From the Internet appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

Beat the Crowds! How to Buy a House Before It Officially Hits the Market

August 3, 2018

How to Buy a House Before It Officially Hits the Market

SvetaZi/iStock; realtor.com

Buying a home is a lot like running a race: Once a listing goes live, buyers have to sprint off the starting block before throngs of other buyers start bidding. Talk about stressful!

What if there were a way to buy a house before it’s officially on the market?

Well, there is—and it can help you snag your dream house long before your competition even knows it exists.

“Making moves to get ahead of the general public when you’re the buyer is wise if you want to get the perfect house,” says real estate investor Steve Davis, founder of Real Wealth Academy, LLC. “All it taskes is a little ingenuity and some sleuthing, to find out which homes are going on the market before the listings go live, so that you’re ready to pounce.”

Want to get ahead of the curve? Here are some secrets for beating the crowds.

Ask your agent about listings he’s trying to get

Don’t just ask your real estate agent about current listings; ask if there are any listings he or she is working on where the seller hasn’t signed on yet.

“Basically, the agent will try to find an interested buyer before they have even locked down the listing, and use that to entice the seller to sign the listing agreement with them,” says Davis. You’re basically offering yourself up as “bait,” so to speak, and the listing agent will help you do it because it’s mutually beneficial. Of course, you aren’t promising to buy a place, but if you’re seriously interested, that can be enough to get your foot in the door before the rest of the world hears about it.

Hone in on homeowners undergoing life changes

One great place to seek out budding home sales in a neighborhood is to infiltrate their local parenting groups. After all, parents are all in “transitional periods—with newborns, babies on the way, or young children heading off to school,” says Davis. “Thus the likelihood of these families looking to move is very high.”

Additionally, paying attention to the “life events” of people in these areas via local papers or other outlets can also provide solid leads. Check local announcements on births, weddings, and yes, even the obituaries (a bit morbid, but many of these homes will be market-bound in the near future).

Another place that may be plugged into upcoming sales are social clubs.

“Utilize social clubs as a forum to ask if anyone is selling a home,” says Collin Bond, Esq., a broker at Triplemint, a company that specializes in off-market property outreach for their clients. “Clubs like the Junior League, Lions Club, or Knights of Columbus can be great places to inquire about people thinking of moving.”

Do a mass mailing

Sometimes, a little retro outreach can also work wonders—which is why you should consider doing a mailing to the people in the neighborhood where you wish to reside.

Davis suggests using a company like Dietrich Direct to purchase residential mailing lists for the area you’re interested in (costs are low, starting at $25). Then draft a letter to send to all those homeowners. “In the letter, simply state that you are looking to buy a home in their area and ask if they will be selling any time in the near future,” says Davis.

You can also post “bandit signs” in the area, essentially flyers or posters stating that you’d like to purchase a home in this area and that people should contact you if they know anyone who might sell. Davis suggests that people hesitant to post their own phone number can use a Google number or create an email account just for this purpose.

Hit up HOA boards

If there’s a certain building or community you’re interested in, contact its HOA or condo board and inquire if anyone has heard rumblings of any places that might soon be up for sale.

“I’m frequently inundated by requests to see my listings before they launch, by people who’ve heard about it from the head of the board or someone in the building,” says Brian Letendre, a broker at Bohemia Realty Group.

In fact, many neighborhoods and buildings have their own online sites, Facebook pages, or online communities, which can be a perfect way to get the insider scoop on homes or apartments about to be listed.

“Another suggestion would be to search hashtags for the neighborhood you’re interested in on various social media platforms, and include #realestate or #moving,” adds Letendre.

Use current listings as a springboard for up-and-comers

Current listings may be out of the bag, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use them to find listings that may be waiting in the wings.

“Go to open houses in the area where you are looking, and chat up the neighbors if you see them,” says Bond. “Ask the real estate agent and neighbors about the neighborhood, and try to work in a question about if they know of other homes becoming available.”

The post Beat the Crowds! How to Buy a House Before It Officially Hits the Market appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.