At the prompting of Suzi Gravenstuk after a quick comment on one of her posts I will elaborate. The situation surrounds inaccuracies in the MLS, whether innocent or deceitful. My story basically went like this:
"We had an agent selling his personal home and for some reason he asked our staff on numerous occasions to change his area number from one to the other (the "other" being wrong). Finally, I became involved and just a quick glance showed that almost EVERY agent entered listings for that particular subdivision in the wrong area number (as in 8 out of 10). I explained not only to the agent that we would not change the area number just BECAUSE EVERYBODY ELSE DOES IT, but I informed the MLS and lo and behold every home in the subdivision was changed to the CORRECT area number.
Gee, after languishing on the market for 3 months prior, he had a contract on his home in less than a week because it clearly showed now that he had the best price in the neighborhood. Because area number searching is so vital here, his listing now stood out among the rest and the other agents could clearly see that when they searched.
Sometimes it simply pays to do the right thing."
The two MLS's services the Atlanta area do not permit advertising the square footage on residential properties, yet I see it all the time on both paperwork turned into our office, but also on listings posted on the Internet already. The MLS does a good job filtering these out. I have seen references to a property close to a particular church. We all know this list can be endless.
Professionals: Many larger offices have staff members that enter listings on your behalf after you have completed a form provided by your MLS as a template. Ensure that you double check the data entry of your listing after the staff notifies you the listing is entered. If you yourself enter the listing - take just 5 extra minutes to print the full view of your listing and proofread it. You owe a service to your client to ensure that you are marketing their property accurately and within all laws and MLS rules - and LEARN those rules - violations can incur serious, serious penalties!
Customers: After you have thoughtfully and painstakingly chosen just the right professional to help with your real estate needs, ask them to email you a buyer's version of the listing as it will be shown to agents searching the MLS. Double-check for accuracy - if your home doesn't have an in-ground pool, but somehow it shows that you do, have the agent correct it immediately. It is NOT enough to wait for your listing to get proliferated to national websites before you review it - often it takes days for your listing to appear and any real estate professional will tell you that the first couple of weeks are the most important to get your home the exposure that it needs. If it's wrong in the computer, it might get overlooked before anyone notices the error.