This is a bad practice

Education & Training with Real Estate Expert Witness Support

Have you ever seen this.  An agent takes a listing on Wednesday.  instead of putting it on to MLS,  they keep it to themselves but they have time to put an Open House ad in the newspaper and get a sign ordered.  If they don't double end it themselves over the weekend,  they will put it on MLS. In a hot market,  they have a good chance of being the buyers agent. 

If you see this,  you should file a Grievance with your Association.

I must not have been clear.  I have received several answers to this Blog saying that the Seller can instruct the agent to hold it off the market.  I agree.  I was talking about the agent who doesn't tell the seller and delays putting it on MLS so they have a chance to sell it themselves.  This is a breach of fiduciary duty since the best way to get a competitive offer is to let the rest of the real estate community have a shot at the listing

Posted by


Guy Berry

Email -

Visit my Website  

Connect on Facebook



Comments (11)

Amanda Evans
DFW Living - Fort Worth, TX
Real Estate Broker - Fort Worth Texas

It might not be bad business or an ethics violation. 

The seller may have authorized or instructed their agent to not put it on the MLS while the listing agent is given an opportunity to procure the buyer themselves.  There might be an agreement between the seller and the agent that if the agent brings the buyer the seller can save a portion of the commission/fee to be paid.

Maybe?  Maybe.

Sep 05, 2008 11:18 AM
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce

There are lots of folks who list...and put the listing in MLS with no showings 'till the first's the only way a seller can have a chance of getting more than one offer.

Sep 05, 2008 11:26 AM
Pacita Dimacali
Alain Pinel - Oakland, CA
Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA

This is not a violation as long as the Seller completes the form --- in California, it's Seller Instruction to Exclude Listing from the MLS --- to exclude the listing from the MLS for a certain period of time (or maybe not even put on the MLS at all during the listing period per Paragraph 5). 

Then within so many hours or getting the listing, the agent must send this form to the local MLS to let them know the agent has this listing.

Sometimes, we need time to prepare the property for staging. And it also takes time to place an ad in the newspaper since many of such ads have deadlines days before actual publication. We can put a Coming Soon sign on the property. We can also post this on craigslist or similar ads to say it's coming soon, as long as we identify ourselves as realtors.

I don't think it's a matter of wanting to double-end as much as it may be the Seller's preference to wait or that the agent needs time to prepare the listing.

But I agree....I've also been frustrated when I see a listing go on the MLS and then get changed to sold the same day.

Sometimes, we hear of new listings coming up, some agents want to write pre-emptive offers. It depends on the seller if he wants to hold off and get maximum exposure before entertaining offers --- but that decision should be the seller's and not the agent's, If the seller is in a hurry and if the offer is good, then the seller may consider that okay, too.


Sep 05, 2008 11:27 AM
Kim Sellers
Lake Arrowhead, CA Coldwell Banker - Lake Arrowhead, CA
Lake Arrowhead Realtor - BRE#01412099 - Lake Arrow

This is against our MLS rules, we have 24 hours only to post a listing once we have a signed listing contract.  This is just wrong and not at all representing your Seller to the fullest.

Sep 05, 2008 11:53 AM
Lou Ludwig
Ludwig & Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC

Hi Guy

If the seller did not give permission to the listing broker to hold the property off the market in writing, the listing broker violated your MLS bi laws and subject to having a complaint filed against then.

Good luck and success

Lou Ludwig

Sep 05, 2008 12:00 PM
vacation Guy

we use to see this often in my market when the market was hot. But you do often thin something is up when a listing goes in and it goes pending the same day

Myrtle Beach rentals

Sep 05, 2008 12:03 PM
Sandy Nelson
Riley Jackson Real Estate Inc. - Olympia, WA
your Olympia area Realtor

Our Mls requires a listing to be input within 24 hrs of the listing agreement being signed. Trying to double-end a deal is a lousy practice in my opinion.


Sep 05, 2008 12:03 PM
Laurie Mindnich
Centennial, CO

Guy, it's a horrible practice because it screams: "I'D RATHER DOUBLE END IT!" which in addition to tacky, is not in the best interest of the seller- if the house sells prior to it being offered (and usually outside the limits of local MLS rules), who's to SAY if another offer wouldn't have competed? Outside of fixing up the property (in which case, post date the LISTING) there is absolutely no excuse for a "R"ealtor to delay entry. In my objective opinion.  

Sep 05, 2008 12:04 PM
Liz Provo
Mass Marketing Resources - Easthampton, MA

Pocketing the listing goes on all the time.... a pretty crummy think to do to the seller though.  An agent is working with a buyer who is looking for a home in X price range.  Then the agent gets a new listing opportunity for a home that is a great fit for the buyer, if only the price would come in at the level they can. VOILA! Miraculously, the seller agrees to X price and the agent's sgn is barely planted when the perfect buyer is ready and willing to scoop it up. The agent says "Look how good I am.  I sold it in a day!"  She should be ashamed that she just undersold her seller, possibly reducing their sale by thousands of dollars they should have gotten, and still walked away with a hefty commission.  What might have happened if the home was really subjected to the market? We'll never know. 

Sep 05, 2008 12:37 PM
Tim Maitski - Sandy Springs, GA
Editor of

In our MLS we have 48 hours.  I've seen some agents do this and it really stinks.  I would guess that the seller usually has no clue about what's going on.

I reblogged this because I think people need to watch out for these shenanigans.

Sep 05, 2008 01:25 PM
Bob & Carolin Benjamin
Benjamin Realty LLC - Gold Canyon, AZ
East Phoenix Arizona Homes

Gee do you see this happening a lot? Just curious as we don't.

Sep 05, 2008 02:35 PM