Sherman and Broker Bryant mount up for battle!

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC BK607690

I woke up today in such a good mood. My Seller, mentioned in my last post, received his money late yesterday afternoon and I had a pretty light schedule today. Then I read my E-mails only to find that our MFRMLS rules have just been changed and the rules relating to Range Pricing have effectively been altered enough to make this technique worthless. Now folks, if you have read my posts, you know that Range Pricing is what I do. I have used this technique on all of my listings for 12 years and have been very successful with it.

Below is the exact wording expressed by the NAR and MFRMLS attorneys in 1996, when this battle was first fought:

  • With Range Pricing, the Seller agrees with the listing broker to consider offers within a certain price range and allows the property to be marketed using that range. However, since the MLS requires a specific listing price to be entered, it is in the listing broker's sole and absolute discretion to choose the price to be entered as the "list price".

This is the exact wording of the new ruling:

  • Section 23. Range Pricing: Range pricing is defined as that pricing technique in which the seller agrees to consider offers within a range stated in the listing agreement. When submitting a range-priced listing to MFRMLS, the Listing Participant must:
  1. Indicate that the property is range priced in the appropriate block of the MLS data form.                  
  2. State the range in which the seller will consider offers in the first line of the Public Remarks which must state: Range Priced-Seller will consider offer between X (insert dollar amount) and Y (insert dollar amount) with Y being considered full list price.
  3. Enter the list price as the high price of the range.
  4. Enter the low price as the low price listed in the range.

Now folks, what this does, is make Range Pricing useless. And in my opinion, the rule change they have enacted is illegal. This Range Pricing battle was fought 10 years ago and the legal opinion at that time was that, NOT allowing Range Pricing and NOT giving the Seller the freedom to choose, whatever figure they wanted, within the Range, as the list price was in direct conflict with the Sherman Act. Here are the opinions of the legal counsel at that time:

  • POINT: NAR and MFRMLS attorneys have stated firmly that Brokers are free to use Range Pricing as it violates neither Code of Ethics nor FREC (Florida real estate com.) regulations.

WARNING NOTICE

  • Upon advice of MFRMLS legal counsel, this is to place MFRMLS's Participating Brokers and their agents on notice that REALTOR Associations and MLS's are PROHIBITED by federal and state antitrust laws from adopting any rules which attempt to control, interfere in, or regulate the lawful business practices of any member. To do so would constitute restraint of trade. 
  • Further, legal counsel advises that we remind our Participants that ANY attempt by brokers or their agents to organize or attempt a concerted refusal to deal with any broker using range pricing may constitute a per se violation of the Sherman-Clayton Anti-trust Act and may subject those in violation to severe criminal and financial penalties.
  • Therefore, this MLS will NOT consider or adopt ANY rules regarding range pricing, nor be a party to nay actions which attempt to influence or force changes in the lawful, ethical and non-deceptive business practices of a broker choosing to use this marketing technique. 

Broker Bryant is now preparing for battle. Tutas Towne Realty, Inc.'s business plan is built around Range Pricing and has been for 9 years. This new ruling was clearly put in place by a committee that does not have a clue about Range Pricing, so have decided it's just easier to do away with it. Well, my only response to that is, sue me. I will welcome the opportunity to state my case. Sherman and I will hop on our horses and ride into town armed for battle!!!! So giddy up!

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Comments (91)

"The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW.
President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc. - Kissimmee, FL
Giddy Up...TLW...ROAR!
Dec 11, 2006 01:49 PM
Alexander Harb
Knights Investing - Mesquite, TX
Dallas, Texas Real Estate Investing

The way I understood it is that the LOW price in the range was being put in the List Price area on the MLS....now I am seeing that you are saying you put the list price in the middle of the range...so....I am curious as to how this works out in the wash, BB.

If in fact putting the list price as the MIDDLE of the range.....THEN it is not unfair to the buyer......it DOES give them negotiating room......

We will see......we will see......

:-D

============================================

Uh...BB...........

I got curious and took a look in the MLS to look at your properties listed --- all 15 of them....and your range pricing is not the way you have stated to me in the comments here.... your LOW price in the range pricing is the Listed Price and everything points the buyer to not be able to negotiate lower....... you stated that the price in the listed price is in the middle of your range pricing model...and that is not how you have it in the MLS..... Your listed price on the MLS is the bottom end of the range and that leaves no room to negotiate for the buyer.....

I still stand by my previous comment..... the listed price should be in the middle of the range price..... not at the bottom....

I understand you are working for the seller, BB...but to me it just does not make negotiating good for BOTH parties...why have it ranged priced at all?

All the buyer sees is a home that either is priced at where comparables are in that price range OR they have to pay MORE for the house...instead of looking for the same type of home at a listed price the same as the ranged priced house that they can negotiate lower to save money.

If you just price it at the TOP of the value scale, then the seller and buyer can negotiate a price that is acceptable to BOTH parties...and the seller has saved some money...and the buyer gets the money coming to him/her.That is what i do when I list a home and I do well with that model of pricing.....

My listings get sold for about 95-100% of the Listing Price..... just as nice a price as a range priced home...actually better I think.....since the top of the range in most of the range priced homes would prob NOT appraise at that price...and my home for sale in the MLS would appraise at the full asking price.

Dec 11, 2006 02:15 PM
Bryant Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC - Winter Garden, FL
Selling Florida one home at a time

Alex Alex Alex, I think you are misreading something. I use the low price as the listing price always. The sellers target price which is also market value is in the middle, always. RP is not about negotiating it is about exposure. It really is very very simple. Because I am able to use a lower price as the list the property shows up more often on a Realtor search. That's it. Nothing more nothing less. The buyer can offer whatever they want. Then as is any deal the buyer and the seller can negotiate a sales price. Assuming the property is priced right the sales price will normally end up in the middle. But it could be more it could be less.  RP does not in any way restrict the buyer from making an offer outside the Range.

Alex I have sold hundreds and hundreds of homes this way. Sellers love it and buyers always get it. It's the Realtors and Realtors only that don't get it.  You guys try to make it much more complicated than it is. Some of your statements just don't make any sense at all. The buyer and seller will ALWAYS negotiate a price that is acceptable to both. That's the whole point of successful negotiations. BUT again RP has nothing to do with negotiations, it's all about exposure. Is it so difficult for Realtors to understand that LIST price has nothing to so with SALES price? Why is it perceived that the buyer has the right to negotiate downward, from the list price but the seller does not have the right to negotiate upward, from the list price? Doesn't sound fair to me.

But truly I think I have written enough about RP on AR that at least it can be understood. No one has to agree with it. It really doesn't matter to me. My listings will continue to sell in record time for top dollar and that is really all that matters to me. Closed minds will be closed minds. Personally, I prefer other Realtors don't get it or use it.

Dec 11, 2006 11:37 PM
"The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW.
President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc. - Kissimmee, FL
Darlin' (Broker Bryant) That Sir was a wonderful response and quite the wrap up of RP. Thank you. Oh! have I mentioned to you lately how smart I think you are? :) TLW...ROAR!
Dec 11, 2006 11:56 PM
Anonymous
Ryan from Cali

My earlier post:

"

Hello, I am not a real estate agent but after reading about your range pricing I wanted to comment. I use the MLS in my area to search for a new home so I may be able to offer a view from the other side.

The whole range price concept is very simple. You use the range so that the low end price will show up in the MLS searches as the list price, thereby giving you more exposure for a certain type of house at a lower price point. I have a problem with this, it is a deliberate DECEPTION. You may say that because of your disclaimer that it makes it all well and good, and I admit that when the disclaimor is read it does clear it up SOMEWHAT, but at that point you have already gained the benefit from your deception (the benefit being that your phony list price has put your house on more buyer agents MLS search lists for their clients).

Here is the other thing. Say I like one of the homes with your range pricing and I make an offer for the low price. You of course will not accept that offer, ok, say it happens again and again. The problem is, that offer will never be accepted. So, in fact, that low price range is a LIE. Plain and simple.

Now, with the disclaimer, and the fact that the seller reserves the right to accept or deny any offer, what you are doing is legal. Ok, but I ask you, just because it is legal does that make it ETHICAL? I don't think so.

It seems some of the agents are having trouble understanding your range pricing. Maybe I can explain it a little better for them, here goes:

Take your listing and submit it in the MLS with a listing price that is BELOW whatever the market is so that it will seem like a deal and be included in more search results (more search results, more traffic). Then throw a disclaimer in there on the actual listing stating what the real listing price is.

One last thing, have you thought about what would happen if all the real estate agents started using your range pricing? The integrity of the MLS would be destroyed. Whose to say that agents wouldn't start increasing the range in their range pricing so that they could beat eachother in the lists. Just because you limit your range to 5 or 10% either way doesn't make it right. Maybe somebody will come along and range it 20 or 30%. Search results would be become useless, see the problem here??"

 

Looks like I was right, there really is no choice but to make this rule change, sorry

Dec 12, 2006 02:12 AM
#76
Alexander Harb
Knights Investing - Mesquite, TX
Dallas, Texas Real Estate Investing

BB I understand what you are saying, BUT it LOOKS like the bottom price in your range is the LEAST the seller will take..... You said in your response to me that the house usually sells for MORE than the least price stated in your range...so they (buyers) are taking the lowest price as a basement from which to work from....

Did you read the message from Ryan above me????

Just remember...he IS NOT an agent...and read again what he says......

Dec 12, 2006 05:07 AM
Bryant Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC - Winter Garden, FL
Selling Florida one home at a time

Alex, looks can be deceiving. Over 400 closings and not one single complaint from a Buyer, Seller or Realtor about Range Pricing. That really is all that matters. If a Realtor pulls up the listing and does not want to deal with RPing, then simply don't show it. They are always many more in line waiting to show it and sell it. 

Ryan actually understands RPing perfectly. He doesn't like it but at least he understands how it works and the purpose for using it. The only part he is wrong about is thinking it is DECEPTIVE and unethical. But he is entitled to his opinion, as are you.

So in summary: It's legal, it's ethical, it's NOT deceptive, it works, sellers love it, most buyers understand it, my peers are confused and NAR is wrong. But time will tell. IMHO

Dec 12, 2006 05:46 AM
"The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW.
President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc. - Kissimmee, FL
Darlin' (Broker Bryant) your HUMBLE is making me laugh. Hubba! Bubba! NEXT. :) TLW...ROAR!
Dec 12, 2006 05:54 AM
Alexander Harb
Knights Investing - Mesquite, TX
Dallas, Texas Real Estate Investing

We will see what we will see.....

As I stated before I do understand RPing.......

BUT...we will see.......

Dec 12, 2006 06:44 AM
Anonymous
Lee Burg

BB, I do have a high degree of respect for you. So please do not take my comments personally or an attack on your opinion. I respect you too much. However just as much as I respect you I equally believe you are 110% incorrect and that your conduct may cross the border of deception. You may have closed 400+ homes but it only takes 1 complaint to the state to lose our license.  You said "It's legal, it's ethical, it's NOT deceptive, it works, sellers love it, most buyers understand it, my peers are confused and NAR is wrong." That's only your opinion and you are entitled to it. We are just telling you that others see your use of RP as a violation of MLS policy and possibly considerd deceptive. Also you stated that in one of your last posts the MFRMLS former policy and attributed it to being an NAR policy "PARAPHRASE: Range Pricing is when a Seller offers his property for sale within a range from x to z. The LIST price is any figure within this range at the listing brokers sole discretion. "

 

Dec 12, 2006 08:59 AM
#81
Bryant Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC - Winter Garden, FL
Selling Florida one home at a time

Hi Lee, I justed posted another post relating to this. Please read the links at the bottom that will take you to some other articles about Range Pricing. The one I found interesting was the one mentioning that 58%(MLS) of the properties in San Diego are Range Priced. The paraphrasing was actually done by FAR and MFRMLS attorneys. I do stand corrected on that. 

Lee, this is definitely my opinion. I always have and always will abide by the rules that govern Realtors and our MLS. On this one issue I disagree and I disagree strongly. I may or may not fight it, I haven't decided yet. Just remember NAR and MFRMLS are associations, they pass policy, not law. Policies can be debated and challenged. That's what makes our association so strong. RP does not harm the public in any way. If Realtors understood it and knew how to explain it, to their buyers, it would not even be an issue. Buyers get it immediately when it is presented properly. In order to deceive someone you must hide something from them. RP is 100% disclosed prior to anyone looking at a property. But I do appreciate your opinion.

BTW are you a Realtor? You should join AR if you haven't already. It really is a great place for discussion.

Oops, Lee, I forgot to add, I really have no problem using the high price as the list price if the MLS changes the way we are able to search for properties. Give us the capability to search by low price as well.

Dec 12, 2006 09:18 AM
Bryant Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC - Winter Garden, FL
Selling Florida one home at a time

I WAS GOING TO CORRECT MY ABOVE COMMENT BUT DECIDED TO ADD THIS INSTEAD.

Lee, I want to edit my paraphrase since I have now found the exact wording. This was all put together by NAR and MFRMLS attorneys in 1996 and with guidance from several western MLSs and The California Assoc. of Realtors. This verbiage was a compilation of their joint efforts:

With Range Pricing, the seller agrees with the listing broker to consider offers within a certain price range and allows the property to be marketed using that range. However, since the MLS requires a specific listing price to be entered, it is in the listing broker's sole and absolute discretion to choose the price to be entered as the "list price" 

  

Dec 12, 2006 09:54 AM
joanne Douglas
Terrie O'Connor Realtors - Ridgewood, NJ
And BB, it is in the sellers best interest to put the list price is as low as possible so the home gets maximum exposure!!!  

Did we realtors get compared to Car Salesmen in an earlier comment???  I think so...just hope it was a New Car Salesman...  they deal in MSRP but advertise on TV at the lowest end of the leasing market!! 
Dec 12, 2006 12:12 PM
Alexander Harb
Knights Investing - Mesquite, TX
Dallas, Texas Real Estate Investing

Leasing and buying are two totally different animals...a NEW car looses anywhere from 10- 60% of it's value after you cross the line from the car lot to the open road.....

A lease is different... you DO NOT own the car......you are paying for the privilege of driving it.

Dec 12, 2006 12:57 PM
Anonymous
Lee Burg
BB, no one is arguing as RP. There just needs to be a way for it to be understandable to the general public and not deceptive. Alex gave the very best argument. If everybody did what you did then you would not have any advantage in this regard.
Dec 12, 2006 01:58 PM
#86
"The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW.
President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc. - Kissimmee, FL
Alex. Please take a moment to*** READ THIS POST***It is in your own best interest to do so. TLW...ROAR!
Dec 12, 2006 08:58 PM
Bryant Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC - Winter Garden, FL
Selling Florida one home at a time
Lee, Now that is a statement I can AGREE with. All that requires is understanding from Realtors and the ability to relate it to the buyers.  I know from experience Buyers get it real quick. The easiest way is just tell them to make an offer. It doesn't matter if the offer is within the range or not and the seller may very well acept an offer below the bottom figure. Make an offer and lets negotiate. The ADVANTAGE of RPing to the buyer is that they may have been able to see and buy a property that they would not have been exposed to if it was not RP. And that's the beauty of it.
Dec 12, 2006 10:41 PM
Alexander Harb
Knights Investing - Mesquite, TX
Dallas, Texas Real Estate Investing

TLW I already know about BBs integrity, silly.......

And I understand you are there in his corner fighting for him and with him...please take a look at your hubbys response to Lee.....

I am where Lee is...... we will see what the MLS and NAR say....ok...lets just leave it at that..... I really don't want to start a fight with people I respect.....

I realize that the listing price is at the sole discretion of the seller and listing agent....BUT I would feel better if the listed price were in the middle of the range... not the bottom... it makes people think the bottom is the least the seller will accept......

;-D

Dec 13, 2006 05:07 AM
Bryant Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC - Winter Garden, FL
Selling Florida one home at a time
Hey Alex, I think she is just letting you know I had posted another related post. We're to old to fight:) I hope things are going well with you. 
Dec 13, 2006 05:22 AM
Alexander Harb
Knights Investing - Mesquite, TX
Dallas, Texas Real Estate Investing

Have I ever told you that you remind me of Captian Kangaroo, BB You have his "look".......

So simple, gentle and so wise looking...... BTW I LOVED Mr. Trolley and his caboose for a head... it was so funny to watch.... Mr Greenjeans was nice, BUT I felt a little to effeminate for my taste..... I kinda had to turn my head away when he talked..... :P Something about him just turned me off....

I just hope they (NAR, MLS, and all the agents affected by this) come up with a solution everyone can live with.....

;-D

Dec 13, 2006 07:06 AM

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