A new limited service rule

A new required data entry field came into effect in the Charlottesville MLS earlier this month addressing “limited service” companies:

This new field applies to those properties that are listed by an MLS member, for a flat fee or commission, for a seller who is not engaging the full services of a REALTOR®.

Listing brokers participating in a limited-service model need to be certain they comply with all statutory requirements of a listing broker for their state. Listing brokers offering limited services must also ensure they adequately disclose to sellers what services they are and are not providing to their client.

The rule refers to legislation enacted in the Commonwealth of Virginia last year addressing limited service companies, or “discount” firms as some refer to them. “Discount” is a misnomer, as it begs the question – discount from what? Commissions are negotiable – sometimes more, sometimes less.

It’s easier to define “limited service” than it is “full service,” though I’d like to see someone try to define full.

As radicalcoach said on Twitter last night

Lose the “limited” service thoughts. Lose the “full” service thoughts. They mean nothing. How do you sell a house? That is the service.

There is so much more to real estate representation than driving around and taking pictures – negotiating, listening, counseling, analyzing, guiding, drawing opinions, thoughts and opinions out of clients – to itemize every step in a representational relationship would be nearly impossible. Every transaction is different and the “might happens” are innumerable

One more thing – so long as Realtors are dependent on whatever the seller is willing to pay the Buyer-Broker, many consumers will embrace the mistrust that is bred by the commingling of commissions.

I wonder if some Realtors might search for all houses but those that are marked as “limited service?”

My “full service” is probably a lot different than someone else’s “full service.”

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