Sold data isn’t a right, agents say

by Olivia D'Orazio16 Mar 2015
An overwhelming majority of sales reps believe sold data should be kept private – despite calls from industry players and the public alike to open the MLS.

A recent REP poll found some 71 per cent of respondents want sold data to remain private, and many of those agents turned to the forum to argue in favour of keeping the data closed.

“Realtors invested the time, money and efforts to organize information so Realtors could service the consumer professionally,” wrote David Z in the forum. “Now it is expected that these systems belong to the public is absurd.”

Indeed, sold data is available to the public through other avenues – users just need to pay for access. It’s for that same reason that many other private companies don’t release their data or statistics without monetary compensation.

“Our knowledge is based on our access to information and we pay for the system that holds that information,” wrote one anonymous commenter.

But paying for access to the service – or lack thereof – isn’t the only issue that has many agents holding the line against opening the data. The threat of catastrophic misinterpretation should be enough to throw away the key when it comes to sold data.

“When [buyers and sellers] get the data, they think they understand it fully and will not call us for correct interpretation,” write Mark Huang, a 12-year real estate veteran, in the forum. “Their decision based on wrong interpretation of the sold data would be negative to their own interests.”
Have your say: Should sold data be made public? Why or why not?

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