I don't know what the rules and regulations are in other parts of the country, but the MLS in Washington State will not allow agents to include any information regarding open houses in their marketing remarks. Now the marketing remarks consist of 500 characters that are swept by all other web sites. So essentially we cannot use the MLS to notify buyers of an open house!
Their reasoning is the multiple is not supposed to be used to promote an agent. They act as if the agents are going to include in their marketing remarks "come meet the fantastic Susan Peters who by chance will be hosting an open house at xxx this Sunday" as opposed to a simple "open Sunday 1 - 4".
I don't know if this makes any sense to you, but to me it certainly doesn't serve the best interest of the seller, the agents, or buyers! It definitely helps the dominate brokerages who contract significant ad space on a weekly basis. By forcing their agents (and consequently all other agents) to advertise and pay for it in print it certainly cuts down on the broker's budget. It's also a huge boon to print media.
As we've discussed on Active Rain almost ad nasuem, the print media is the least effective way for us to advertise. A simple "OPEN SUNDAY 1-4" in the marketing remarks is infinitely more efficient and impactful.
My final question is ... who does the MLS really serve?