Private ‘MLS’ permits statewide property search

Everyone selling real estate and most prospective purchasers realize that there is no Multiple Listing Service (MLS) in New York City.

That void results in brokers having to resort to their shared databases through systems such as OLR (OnLine Residential), though listings by many boutique firms never appear in them.

Still, the vast majority of listings are fed into StreetEasy.com, where many buyers check to see what’s available along with services such BuyFolio.com.  Both the New York Times and Craigslist can be sources of properties being sold by their owners without brokerage assistance.

It’s not a great system.

Little did I know until meeting Dawn Pfaff at a monthly dinner meeting of the Lucky Strikers Social Media Club that there exists something she has describes as a statewide MLS.  Sort of.  Continue reading

Advertisements

Brokers flout Fair Housing laws with impunity

When it comes to many matters relating to real estate, the Big Apple often lags the rest of the country.

One prime example discussed on this blog concerns the continuing resistance, especially by the biggest brokerages, to a Multiple Listing Service (MLS) even while reluctantly accepting VOWs (Virtual Online Web sites).

Another example involves the strictures of the Fair Housing Act, along with other anti-discrimination legislation on the municipal, state and and federal levels.

Such measures protect certain “classes” of consumers–for instance, by the source of their income, marital status, age, race and sexual orientation.  (In D.C., sellers may not discriminate by what is called matriculation, that is, against students.)  The list of protected classes can rise into the high teens.

Well schooled about the subtleties of the law when I was affiliated with Long & Foster Real Estate in D.C., I was astonished to see how flagrantly the provisions of the law were violated with impunity by brokers here in New York City. Continue reading