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Poll: Investors still favour MLS

While 10 per cent of respondents to the online survey identify Realtor web sites as their most valuable source of property classifieds – an equal number pointing to investor clubs – some 80 per cent say the MLS remains their preferred go-to.

The results of the poll, canvassing investors from February through April, may surprise analysts considering the proliferation of not only pocket listings but the investment clubs largely created to connect buyers with sellers.

The findings also suggest that despite the growing number of alternative listings, investors are still turning to the MLS to sell their properties.

Still, the push to list elsewhere continues, with one leading Realtor cautioned investors against abandoning the multiple listing service for a certain class of property.

“Triplexes and four-plexes definitely should go on the (Multiple Listing Service),” investment specialist and Realtor Banny Bar said. “In fact, I would say that buyers for any property with less than 14 or 15 doors are self-directed buyers who are looking for properties on their own and on the MLS system. For those properties pocket listing has the potential to extend the listing time and attract fewer buyers and so lower the price that the seller gets.”

It’s a lesson that an increasing number of investors may be learning for themselves as they cede to REALTOR requests to keep their properties off the multiple listings service and allow them to troll for buyers through their own contacts and via their own websites.

The incentives for the client often include a discounted commission for the agent, while that real estate professional usually avoids having to split that fee with another REALTOR.

Pocket listings can work for the client with a larger property to sell,” said Bar, “if the real estate agent has years of experience and is connected with the buyers. Still, investors have to really know their brokers and how they plan to market the property if they are not putting it on MLS.”

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