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SOURCE Realty Austin
Austin's Second Largest Real Estate Broker Follows Austin Board of REALTORS® Lead in Ending Listing Syndication to National Third Party Websites
AUSTIN, Texas, Oct. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Realty Austin, the second largest residential real estate firm in Austin, announced it will stop syndicating real estate listings to national third party websites. The company's decision comes on the heels of the Austin Board of REALTORS® announcement that they will stop facilitating the syndication of listings to unregulated consumer portals on April 30, 2014.
Jonathan Boatwright, co-owner of Realty Austin said, "Many of these websites damage the reputation of REALTORS® by posting inaccurate information, mislead consumers about property availability and valuations, and cause distrust between consumers and REALTORS®."
An October 2012 study from the WAV Group showed that as many as 36% of the homes listed for sale on the largest of these websites are no longer on the market. The study also found that approximately 20% of homes actively listed on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) are never posted for sale on these websites.
Boatwright said, "Buyers often get excited when they come across a 'new' listing on one of these websites only to find out from their agent that the listing sold months earlier. Most are unaware that they are missing out on as many as 1 in 5 homes that hit the market. They become frustrated with the inaccuracy of the inventory they find on these sites, and often channel their frustration toward the REALTOR® community."
Because Texas is a non-disclosure state, home sale prices are not recorded with the County Tax Assessor. According to Boatwright, "Sellers are frequently misled about their property valuations because they see automated 'estimates' on these sites that are based on tax assessor valuations and very limited home sales data. These 'estimates' result in unrealistic expectations on the part of sellers, making the job of listing agents even harder, leading to overpriced listings and lost sales opportunities."
Most third party consumer real estate portals make money by selling advertising. Their display of listing data does not have to comply with the same rules, regulations, and Code of Ethics that REALTORS® and their websites are required to follow. Although they get the property listings for free from REALTORS®, they only feature the name and contact information of the Listing Agent if the agent is willing to pay. Otherwise, most of these sites will feature names of the Listing Agent's competitors alongside their listing. Yvette Boatwright, co-owner of Realty Austin added, "This business practice is a disservice to sellers when the agent displayed prominently alongside their listing is unable to provide detailed, accurate information about their home."
Most REALTOR® websites, including realtyaustin.com, are powered by a frequently updated feed of all listings in the Austin Board of REALTORS® Multiple Listing Service. Yvette Boatwright said, "Non-REALTOR® consumer portals are focused on selling advertising rather than providing the most up-to-date property information. Serious buyers should connect with an agent and use their website, or their broker's website, to search for homes."
Jonathan Boatwright concluded, "We understand some sellers will still want to see their homes advertised on certain websites, so our agents will still be free to post their listings wherever they deem appropriate. Our agents are excited about regaining control over where their listings are advertised online. We urge other Austin Brokers to join us in protecting the integrity of our data by turning off their direct feed of listings to these third party websites immediately."
About Realty Austin
Realty Austin is the fastest growing real estate company in Austin with over $1 Billion in sales in 2013, ranking as Austin's second highest producing agency in just eight short years.Realty Austin is headquartered in downtown Austin with satellite offices in Westlake, Northwest Austin, Southwest Austin and Lake Travis. Realty Austin's team consists of 200 full-time, high-producing agents who were hand-selected for their real estate experience, market knowledge and career accomplishments. Realty Austin is the most innovative and progressive real estate company in Austin, uniquely suited for its high tech, homegrown culture. For more information, visit realtyaustin.com or call 512.241.1300. Become a fan on Facebook at facebook.com/realtyaustin.
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