Are you wondering how you can have a real estate listing removed from the internet? Whether you’re a homeowner who has taken your home off the market or a buyer who just bought a new home, it’s a strain to respond to inquiries from potential buyers who are still seeing your home listed online, if it is no longer for sale.
So what can you do to remove a house from the list? And how long does it really take to remove an MLS record? Let’s shed some light on how real estate listings move up and down real estate sites on the internet.
Who can remove a property listing?
For starters, how are real estate listings put online for all to see in the first place? When a seller decides to list their home through a real estate agent, that agent gathers the necessary information and photos and uploads them into a vast, interconnected database called the Multiple Listing Service, or MLS. From there, the listing is used to fill online platforms like realtor.com.
Only licensed agents and brokers who pay to join the MLS have access to the full feed. As such, they are the only people who can post properties there or remove those listings.
For home buyers and sellers, this means you can’t just call MLS and ask the service to take a home off the site.
In addition, “home sellers are not permitted to make any changes as the information and photos technically become the property of the MLS in which they are originally listed,” it said Lynne Fredaa real estate agent at Freda Realty in Callicoon, NY.
How to temporarily withdraw a real estate offer
Sellers are constantly withdrawing their real estate listings from the market, says bed Bernitta broker at Century 21 Real Estate in Bethel, NY.
Sometimes it’s because they’ve changed their mind and don’t want to sell their current home anymore. But just as often, something personal comes up that causes a seller to delay the sale by a few weeks. For example, you might decide to do some repairs or upgrades to get a higher price.
This is what agents call a “temporary off-market,” says Bernitt. If you think you might want to retire your listing for a while, just let your agent know.
“Delisting is just a click of a button,” says Bernitt. And if you want to reset it, it’s just another click of the button.
However, once your home isn’t listed in the MLS, that doesn’t mean it’s immediately reflected on real estate websites far and wide. Various websites may experience delays before this change takes effect. Some sites can take as little as 15 minutes (which is the case with realtor.com), while other sites can take days or even weeks to remove photos and listing information.
Withdrawn Listing vs Listing Expired: What’s the Difference?
While a listing agent can intentionally withdraw a listing from the MLS, property listings also disappear from websites when they expire. Then your listing contract to work with a particular agent ends and you go your separate ways (unless you renew your real estate contract).
When you sign a contract with a real estate agent or agent to sell your home, there is an expiry date – typically three to six months. Listing agents often enter the expiry date of their contract right into the database listing. After all, they’re paying MLS fees to get this listing online, so they don’t want it to stay unless they’re still working with you! So when that date passes, your listing should automatically disappear from the web.
If you decide you no longer wish to work with an agent before your contract expires, you can notify the agent who will withdraw your listing before it expires.
House just sold? How to remove it from the MLS
Once you complete the real estate transaction and walk away with a new set of keys in hand, your new home is off the market. But that doesn’t mean it’s off the internet! Listings (and all those gorgeous professional photos of your home) don’t go offline until the listing is closed by the listing, says Freda.
“Most MLS systems require the seller’s agent to close homes sold within 24 hours of the sale or the agent will be fined,” she says.
But even then, delays can still happen, says Bernitt, and it’s frustrating for buyers, sellers and the brokers themselves.
“It’s a huge waste of time and energy for everyone,” she says. It can be especially problematic if you’re a seller who has temporarily retired the home. Potential buyers who spot the listing and call only to be told the home is no longer on the market are likely to be put off.
“If you put it back on the market, they don’t look at it because you upset them,” she says.
Typically, an agent will find out fairly quickly that the listing is still active — especially when they receive calls or emails from interested buyers. But if not, give her a call. You should be able to make some calls to get the photos offline.
If you can’t get help from your broker, try the broker’s broker. This is the person who owns the agency that the agent works at, also known as an agent’s boss. Because word of mouth is so important in the real estate business, chances are the agent will jump at the chance to make things right.