“I want to break free
I want to break free
I want to break free from your lies
You’re so self satisfied I don’t need you
I’ve got to break free”

–Queen

Why we're breaking free

Bright MLS is seeking to control all the real estate listings in the DC Metro area. Is it for the benefit of consumers, or more closely related to market share, profits and an effort to rein in a certain national brokerage innovating its way to the top

Bright's Dim New Rule

Bright has reversed the previous MRIS rule that developers must list/disclose all the properties they sell. The result is that there are big holes in the data; many buildings in DC without sales histories. While letting developers hide their off-market listings and sales histories, Bright has made new demands on brokerage listings and is aggressively enforcing them.

Off-Market Listings

The Off-MLS Policy includes New Construction listings, which need to be entered into Bright within one business day of public marketing. New Construction listings are defined as ‘newly built.’ Condo conversions and major renovations with no current Certificate of Occupancy (or equivalent) are included. These properties can remain in the Coming Soon status for up to two years, with no showings allowed. Once showings are allowed, the status will must be updated to ‘Active.’ ‘Coming Soon’ properties are only available to MLS subscribers. These listings will not be otherwise distributed to brokers, agents, and/or public-facing or syndication websites.

MLS rules prohibit public marketing that includes, but is not limited to, flyers displayed in windows, yard signs, digital marketing on public facing websites, brokerage website displays (including IDX and VOW), digital communications marketing (email blasts), multi-brokerage listing sharing networks, and applications available to the general public prior to listing on MLS.

They call it marketing–but we call it disclosure when it comes to development. Hiding new construction until it’s bright & shiny, with the only public commentary being sales jargon from those who profit, deprives consumers of valuable information and insights into quality, construction values and early sales opportunities. Where is the opportunity to visually examine the type and quality of construction, measure the length of time the project took to build, review transfers of ownership, changes to plans and to compare the visual aspects of the project to others? If you don’t know about it, you can’ see it, can you?

Why it hides new development from you

Developers can keep their developments in MLS ‘Coming Soon’ status for up to two years. Agents can see them, but the public can’t. These projects are not listed on Compass, Zillow, Redfin, Trulia, Movoto or your other public-facing search sites. Worse, developers don’t have to enter their projects in MLS at all. Bright MLS has given them a pass. So unless you know exactly where to look for new construction projects (and most people don’t, in our experience, that’s why they call us), you’ll miss them until any researching or purchasing advantage is lost. How is that consumer-friendly?

Our development section, and other sites like it, are no longer able to publicly display off-market properties that will eventually list for sale since this might constitute advertising or promotion prior to listing since we can not determine at which point–if any– a property lists with an agent or sales & marketing firm. So valuable information not readily researchable and available to the general public is effectively being muzzled. This benefits developers, but the public is left in the dark.

We're going unfiltered.

We’ve taken our DC Development section private. While we don’t like to hide nearly a decade of new construction reporting from consumers or Google, we can’t risk the ridiculously high fines of $5,000. – $10,000. per infraction our 1,000+ pages and blog posts would generate. So, only clients of The Isaacs Team will be able to access them–one on one–going forward.

As Freddie sang; “It’s a beautiful day, the sun is shining, I feel good, and no one’s gonna stop me now.”


Real Estate Out Loud

Disclaimer: Post content is the opinion of The Isaacs Team LLC. Any views or opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author and not entities such as brokerages, institutions or organizations the writer may be affiliated with.

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