For many years I have been attending the NAR Mid-Year and Annual Conventions with one of the highlights of each conference being the MLS Committee meeting. This is where the real changes that truly affect how our business runs are made. For years, these meetings have been held with great discourse and have lasted hours debating the fine details of what should happen with our precious real estate data. This year, oddly enough, it was relatively quiet and went pretty fast with very little arguing and little back and forth on the issues. Oddly enough, one of the biggest changes to the IDX policy came up and was passed and no one seems to be talking about it. The NAR MLS Committee took the RESO recommendations of adding SOLD data to the IDX feed. YES, you heard me correctly, with very little discussion and argument, the NAR MLS Committee has agreed to put SOLD data in the MLS IDX feeds.
What Does Sold Data In IDX Feeds Mean?
As mentioned in other posts on IDX and the Evolution of Real Estate Listings, the IDX feed, as provided by each local MLS, is the gold standard for display of real estate listings on line. Right now, the IDX feed powers agent and broker websites (and others) with the most up to date real estate listings. One thing has been missing, SOLD DATA. Sold Data has historically not been allowed in most local real estate markets for display to the general public. Some Real Estate Brokers have displayed Sold Data by using a VOW – Virtual Office Website, but that required that the user sign up by giving their name and e-mail address. It is only a very small subset of website visitors who actually provide that information, so true Sold Data has largely not been visible on most brokers and agents sites. Third Party Aggregators have displayed Sold Data by obtaining it from other sources such as public record or simply asking the agent or broker to upload the sold information. With the new proposed changes, IDX feeds as provided by each local MLS will provide actual Sold Data possibly going back three years. That means that without the user providing their personal information, they can search Sold Properties just as easily as searching for Active Listings.
Will Sold Properties Now Be On Everyone’s Website?
We are still going through the details of exactly how this will be implemented. Will it be mandatory or at local option? How far will the solds go back? How fast does the changes need to take effect? Anytime the NAR MLS Committee approves something, it still requires ratification by the NAR Board of Directors. Historically they have rubber stamped anything that the MLS Committee has recommended. With some of the more recent, controversial issues the NAR Board of Directors have changed or otherwise not approved the MLS Committee’s recommendations. So until the Board of Directors signs off, we are not sure of exactly how this will turn out. We will update DEANknows very soon with the final rules and give our best explanation of what is to be expected.
What Else Was Decided In The MLS Committee?
The MLS Committee made quite a few changes including how often data must be updated, the use of an API for disseminating data and forcing the MLS’s to provide the actual feed within a specified period of time period of the request for the data. As mentioned, the NAR Board of Directors have yet to approve any of this, but DEANknows will be providing a full synopsis of the changes after we know all of the details.