Sherman and Broker Bryant mount up for battle!

I woke up today in such a good mood. My Seller, mentioned in my last post, received his money late yesterday afternoon and I had a pretty light schedule today. Then I read my E-mails only to find that our MFRMLS rules have just been changed and the rules relating to Range Pricing have effectively been altered enough to make this technique worthless. Now folks, if you have read my posts, you know that Range Pricing is what I do. I have used this technique on all of my listings for 12 years and have been very successful with it.

Below is the exact wording expressed by the NAR and MFRMLS attorneys in 1996, when this battle was first fought:

  • With Range Pricing, the Seller agrees with the listing broker to consider offers within a certain price range and allows the property to be marketed using that range. However, since the MLS requires a specific listing price to be entered, it is in the listing broker's sole and absolute discretion to choose the price to be entered as the "list price".

This is the exact wording of the new ruling:

  • Section 23. Range Pricing: Range pricing is defined as that pricing technique in which the seller agrees to consider offers within a range stated in the listing agreement. When submitting a range-priced listing to MFRMLS, the Listing Participant must:
  1. Indicate that the property is range priced in the appropriate block of the MLS data form.                  
  2. State the range in which the seller will consider offers in the first line of the Public Remarks which must state: Range Priced-Seller will consider offer between X (insert dollar amount) and Y (insert dollar amount) with Y being considered full list price.
  3. Enter the list price as the high price of the range.
  4. Enter the low price as the low price listed in the range.

Now folks, what this does, is make Range Pricing useless. And in my opinion, the rule change they have enacted is illegal. This Range Pricing battle was fought 10 years ago and the legal opinion at that time was that, NOT allowing Range Pricing and NOT giving the Seller the freedom to choose, whatever figure they wanted, within the Range, as the list price was in direct conflict with the Sherman Act. Here are the opinions of the legal counsel at that time:

  • POINT: NAR and MFRMLS attorneys have stated firmly that Brokers are free to use Range Pricing as it violates neither Code of Ethics nor FREC (Florida real estate com.) regulations.

WARNING NOTICE

  • Upon advice of MFRMLS legal counsel, this is to place MFRMLS's Participating Brokers and their agents on notice that REALTOR Associations and MLS's are PROHIBITED by federal and state antitrust laws from adopting any rules which attempt to control, interfere in, or regulate the lawful business practices of any member. To do so would constitute restraint of trade. 
  • Further, legal counsel advises that we remind our Participants that ANY attempt by brokers or their agents to organize or attempt a concerted refusal to deal with any broker using range pricing may constitute a per se violation of the Sherman-Clayton Anti-trust Act and may subject those in violation to severe criminal and financial penalties.
  • Therefore, this MLS will NOT consider or adopt ANY rules regarding range pricing, nor be a party to nay actions which attempt to influence or force changes in the lawful, ethical and non-deceptive business practices of a broker choosing to use this marketing technique. 

Broker Bryant is now preparing for battle. Tutas Towne Realty, Inc.'s business plan is built around Range Pricing and has been for 9 years. This new ruling was clearly put in place by a committee that does not have a clue about Range Pricing, so have decided it's just easier to do away with it. Well, my only response to that is, sue me. I will welcome the opportunity to state my case. Sherman and I will hop on our horses and ride into town armed for battle!!!! So giddy up!

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