MLS in Houston: Mandatory Secret Sales Price Disclosure

MLS IN HOUSTON: MANDATORY SECRET SALES PRICE DISCLOSURE Responding to reports that home sales prices have been systematically omitted from MLS records in Dallas, a few Houston Realtors tell the Chronicle‘s Nancy Sarnoff that sort of thing can’t happen here: “. . . after a house sells, the price is supposed to be recorded on the Multiple Listing Service by the real estate broker who sold it — a practice that’s hard to get around, in Houston, at least. That’s because agents are bound by MLS rules to report the price or face a $250 fine and possible suspension. ‘If the seller doesn’t want their sales price reported, then they can’t list it in the MLS,’ said Shawn Dauphine of the Houston Association of Realtors, which runs the MLS — a database of listings of homes on the market and those that have sold. Members of the association have access to price data, but the public does not. . . . Over the last 12 months, just three agents in this area were fined for not reporting sale price. The problem is more severe in Dallas because the group that runs the MLS there has an exception in its rules that allows the seller’s agent to report the last known list price in lieu of the sales price, Dauphine said.” [Houston Chronicle; previously on Swamplot]

5 Comment

  • Outside of a rule, what check is in place to be sure the realtor is reporting the correct sales price?

    Are the purchasers or sellers interviewed after?

    Using words like “supposed” in relation to this topic means to me they don’t have a process in place to insure the reporting happens.

    Anybody care to clarify how is it known the right sales price is reported?

  • I enjoyed the benefit of having my misreported sales price being brought up at my HCAD informal hearing. I was told that until my valuation exceeded the sales price, I should not waste my time with hearings.

    It is highly disturbing to me that the MLS data is accessible to HCAD when there are no standards for accuracy. I asked to opt out at the time of closing, no dice.

  • It’s all about the money. If HAR is the only place to get accurate information, all brokers must subscribe (pay). And the MLS were key in getting House Bill 2188 passed, which, according to HCAD’s site “makes confidential any information about properties that an appraisal district obtained from private sources.”

    Here’s the kicker.

    HCAD: Hey, can I get actual sales price from you instead of just lien amounts from Title Company?

    HAR: Nope, you display them to the public.

    HCAD: There would be an uproar if we didn’t display “public” information. Let’s pass a law.

    HAR: Do it.

    HCAD: Now nobody who uses the MLS can protest our valuations. Yipee!!

  • There is no way to verify that the sales price as listed in MLS is the correct one unless you get it verified with the title company. Of course you have to know who the title company was. Until the Texas legislature decided to do HCAD a favor and ban the posting of financial information on the website, the information was provided by the title company which tended to make it harder for HAR members to post an inflated sales price. But now? Well, of course we all know all members of HAR adhere to the ethical standards of NAR, don’t we?

    If you don’t think so, go to Austin and peruse the mulititude of complaints filed against them each month with TREC.

    The other current scam is if you know your neighbor with the same house and same appraised property value got their appraised value reduced by the HCAD board the week before you appear to ask that yours be reduced, you are not allowed to use that as a basis because you are not supposed to know that. Even though a week later the new value of your neighbor’s property is supposed to be posted on the HCAD website.

    There’s that word again. Supposed. Supposed to be. As in not really required.

  • The only person that has control over what sales price gets entered into the MLS is the listing agent. There’s no system in place that verifies whether or not the price entered is indeed correct but I don’t see a reason why a particular listing agent would enter an incorrect price. What would an individual agent stand to gain from that?