Listing DOM Just Confuses People, Let's Stop

By Dave Fratello | July 6th, 2007
Are you ready for a shock?

Buyers beware.

MBC shares the head-shaking incredulity of LA Times real estate blogger Peter Viles over this news:


The SoCalMLS (covering Orange County, eastern LA County, the SG Valley and Catalina) has officially decided to drop DOM and CDOM from "client reports" generated by their systems.

Why stop? Well, you see, as the SoCal MLS explains about publishing DOM figures:
One view is that it hurts sellers, another is that it helps buyers.
Actually, that's the same view.

We can all agree that publishing DOM – particularly long DOM figures – helps buyers at the expense of sellers. Doesn't this reveal whose needs the SoCalMLS is most responsive to? (Or, for that matter, to whom any MLS is beholden?)

Realtors rely first and foremost on sellers, both because they select the selling agent and because they set the key terms of sale (price and commission rates). It's a supreme irony that the buyers actually pay everyone else. This move by the SoCalMLS tells you how secondary the buyer's importance really is to the leaders in the field.

Again, from the SoCalMLS notice:
The bottom line is that you, the real estate professional are in the best position to explain to your customer - buyer or seller - what the true DOM figure is and what it means.
When do you think a realtor would have to explain the "true DOM figure" to a seller? Hmmm. We don't really have space here to re-explain how bogus re-listings compromise the reports buyers' agents will generate...

Let's get parochial: Does this move affect MB? Not really, not yet.

The Greater South Bay MLS (GSBMLS), under which you'll find most MB listings, is a separate entity. We're not subject to this decision. (MBC warns you not to delve into the byzantine complexities of MLS authorities from region to region. It will make you mad, or sleepy, or both, but here's a map.)

Indeed, local realtor/blogger Kaye Thomas recently commended our local MLS for adding "combined" days on market to client reports. It's conceivable that a buyer using a SoCalMLS-aligned agent to search for properties in MB would be affected.

Within the next year or so, GSBMLS is going to "merge" with the MRMLS (Multi-Regional MLS), which covers areas north and east of the SoCalMLS, and excludes the L.A. Westside. At some point, GSB needs to work out its rule differences (and enforcement differences!) regarding DOM with the MRMLS folks.

Here's hoping both hold their heads high while the SoCalMLS effort to deprive all market participants of critical information flames out.

A distinct possibility: All the local MLSes go in this direction... and reduce their own relevance as new information sources arise.

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