Real estate association cracking down on ‘off-market’ properties 

    As if buying a home weren’t hard enough, the lack of properties for sale across the country has made the process even more daunting. The problem has resulted in more intense bidding wars for the slimmer pickings and many house hunters—particularly those with modest means—being shut out.

    That’s not necessarily a trend that’s playing out in Baton Rouge, but what if you found out there were a lot of homes for sale but you and your real estate agent just don’t know about them?

    That’s what some buyers’ agents say has been happening with greater frequency, particularly in highly competitive housing markets such as Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., The Washington Post reports.

    Locally, the market is holding relatively stable, drifting slightly towards a buyer’s market, but that hasn’t stopped home prices from rising—even if those houses are taking longer to sell.

    Now the National Association of Realtors is cracking down on “coming soon” or “off-market” designations, which generally allow sellers to unofficially solicit buyers under the radar without having the number of days it is listed count against them when they go on the market. In addition, keeping these listings off the public multiple listing service means buyers won’t know if a seller has dropped or raised their price expectations.

    NAR voted Monday at its annual membership meeting in San Francisco to bar real estate agents and brokers in its 640 affiliated multiple listing services from keeping listings off the services. It recommended that the dozens of other multiple listing services it doesn’t oversee adopt similar standards. 

    The move is aimed at generating a discussion about the practice nationwide. A handful of multiple listing services had previously taken steps to fine brokers and agents who fail to put their for-sale properties on the open market. Read the full story.

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