Flat Fee MLS Listings in Alaska, Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana,
Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah and Washington

Mechanical versus Electronic Lockboxes

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
July 22nd, 2019

An Electronic Lockbox is a lockbox that is accessible to all Realtors through the use of their key fob or smart phone. The Electronic box is sometimes referred to as a Supra Box or Sentrilock box. (depending upon your area) This is the type of lockbox that would be used by any Full service traditional Realtor with a listing on the MLS. The advantages of using an Electronic box include a more professional appearance during a showing, tracking who goes in and out of the property, tracking how long someone is in the property, and greater security in that a non Realtor(R) can not access the box.

 

Mechanical lockboxes are accessible via anyone who has the code to that lockbox. This includes Realtors and members of the public. Advantages of mechanical boxes include being able to get contractors in and out of the property easily and a much lower cost when compared to the Electronic boxes. Disadvantages include: They can be much easier to break into. Most banks and REO vendors utilize mechanical lockboxes, which some sellers do not want to be associated with. Anyone with the code has access¬† to the box and mechanical lockboxes will not track activity. Lastly, some MLS’s will not allow a code to be published in the MLS. Thus, each showing agent may have to contact you and speak with you to acquire the code. This could result in missed showings in you are unavailable to answer your phone.

 

Other notes – For the markets of NWMLS in the Seattle area, Prospector in the Sacramento area, and NNRMLS in the Reno area, the MLS will only allow a mechanical box to be on the property if an MLS issued Electronic box is also on the property. These particular MLS’s claim this is for the safety and security of the property. It is important to note that this is not our rule. These 3 MLS’s enforce this rule for all listings from all agencies who list a property in that particular MLS.

Showing Time –

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
July 11th, 2019

Showing time is an application used by agents to set up and manage showings electronically. It has become extremely popular in Arizona and New Mexico over the last year. In addition, it is gaining traction in part of NV, ID, and AK.

On the MLS listing, an agent can click on showing time to make an appt on a particular listing. When the agent does this, showing time will send us the showing request via email. We then fwd the email to your email address. When you receive this email, you will see a blue icon that says “Action Required”. When you click this, showing time will give you the option to accept, decline, or propose a new showing time.

At the request of the homeowner, we can add your email to showing time. This will allow you to receive the showing time request in real time versus having our firm fwd the request to you manually.

Another positive of showing time is the app will automatically ask the showing Realtor for feedback after the showing is complete. We are happy to fwd this feedback to you upon receipt.

If an owner does not want to use showing time, we can shut it off completely but would need written instructions from the owner to do so. We highly recommend against shutting off showing time but will do with a written request from the owner.

Showing Time is included at no additional cost on all of our MLS listings. (in areas where showing time is offered by the MLS)

 

 

How to Deal With Inspection Reports Provided to a Seller

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
June 12th, 2019

Sharing a great piece from the Texas Real Estate Commission regarding a very common topic that almost every seller has faced.

https://www.trec.texas.gov/article/how-deal-inspection-reports-provided-seller

Realtor.com Seller Reports Now Available

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
June 11th, 2019

Realtor.com Preview

Realtor.com has a new feature that allows weekly updates to automatically be emailed to a seller from the Realtor.com platform. This feature tracks activity on the Realtor.com platform for that individual listing. Any seller signing up through Congress Realty through our website directly will receive this feature at no additional cost. To add this service, email us to let us know to add it to your account and we can set it up for you that same day.

Click to the hyperlink at the top of this post to view a sample report.

How do I submit a change to my listing?

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
May 30th, 2019

We try to make making changes to your MLS listing as easy as possible. The fastest way to make a change to your listing is through our private client area. Once a listing goes active, we email the seller a link with your login and password to our private client area. Once you login, you will see blue hyperlinks such as change listing information, add photos, add open house, etc… From these links, you can submit any # of changes. Once we complete a change submitted to us in the private client area, you will receive an emailed confirmation that the change was made. Note: The private client area is only accessible from a desktop or laptop computer.

Can I email changes to Congress Realty? Yes, you can. However, please keep in mind we do give preference to changes submitted through the private client area. Thus, the fastest way to submit a change is through the private client area. Emailed changes will still be completed.

What about changes to sites like Zillow and Realtor.com? Typically, Zillow and Realtor.com will pull changes from the MLS. Thus, once we make a change to your MLS listing, Zillow and Realtor.com should update within a few hours. However, if Zillow or Realtor.com does not, we have a private login where we can make certain changes to the Zillow or Realtor.com website. This special service is only available to clients who sign up directly through Congress Realty through our website and is included with our standard $299 listing.

Helena, Montana Flat Fee MLS now available!

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
May 20th, 2019

We are excited to announce our coverage of Helena, MT and surrounding areas. This addition to our coverage area begins immediately and is currently available to order through our online portal. If you don’t see your area covered by our service, call us and inquire about having Congress Realty add your city to our Flat Fee MLS model.

Flagstaff Market Update

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
April 16th, 2019

Inventory is up 4% from this time last year. (March 2018 compared with March 2019)

Closed sales for the year in the 1st quarter were down about 20% compared to 2018.¬† This # isn’t a huge concern, as 2018 reflects an astronomical # of sales compared to years prior.

The market can really be looked at in 3 groups right now. Under 300k is clearly a seller’s market. Inventory is low and reflects less than 3 months of supply. 300-500k is considered to be a balanced market with just under 6 months available inventory on the market. And Lastly, over 500k is trending towards a buyer’s market, with over 10 months available supply on the market.

*These figures reflect the Flagstaff, AZ market only

How to and How Not to Submit your Photos… and When

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
March 20th, 2019

Photos… The #1 question that comes into our office.

The ideal way to submit your photos is through our Pre Listing Manager. When you order online, the last step in the process is filling out your profile sheet and uploading your photos. Once you sign the listing agreement electronically, our system automatically and immediately emails you the profile sheet to fill out and the link to upload your photos.

Now, let’s say you are trying to submit your photos but it seems like the system is taking too long to upload them… Not a problem. All that is happening is that your photos are most likely very large files. Instead of using the online system, go ahead and email them to us. If you email the photos to us, please email them to english@congressrealty.com. PLEASE do not upload them to a 3rd party link like Dropbox or Google Drive and simply send us the link. Instead, please attach the jpegs to a new email and send them to us directly. The best time to send your photos is either before you send your profile sheet to us or immediately right after. It is not in your best interest to wait days before sending your photos.

Another scenario: You already have your listing on the MLS and you want to change your photos. Not a problem. DO NOT use the Pre Listing Manager to do this. Instead, email us at english@congressrealty.com as described in the above paragraph or use our private client area. You will have access to the private client area via the “Listing is Active” email we send you upon activating your listing.

What if you want your photos in a very specific order? Not a problem. Please label the files in the order you want them and email them to us. For example, 1.jpg, 2.jpg, 3.jpg, etc… This will guarantee that we can place your photos in the exact order you desire.

Lastly, if your photos are just enormous and you insist upon sending us a link to download the photos via a 3rd party site like Google Drive or Dropbox, please ensure the following. 1) Please do not set your photos to private. We will not have access to download the files if they are set to private. 2nd) Please place the photos in one folder so that we can download them all at one time.

Following these prompts will help us activate your listing quickly and accurately.

 

California Coverage Update

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
March 11th, 2019

CAL Desert MLS and Palm Springs MLS are now available through our Flat Fee Platform. We are excited to continue our growth throughout the state of California. If you have any questions or are unsure if your city is covered via Congress Realty, call us at anytime at 800 657 6579.

Forwarded Emails

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
January 30th, 2019

From time to time, a seller will receive a forwarded email from our firm during the duration of their listing. The most common occurrence might be a Realtor emailing to ask a simple question about the property. For example, what level is the master bedroom located on? When this happens, we fwd the email to the seller. As a seller, when you receive a forwarded email, you want to reply to the original party who made the request. You don’t want to reply to Congress Realty directly. By replying to the inquiring party directly, you will be providing the information to this party in the most timely manner possible. While the MLS listing does instruct agents to contact the owner, it does happen where the agent will email us with this type of inquiry on rare occasion. As a part of our service at no additional cost, we will always fwd these types of requests to the owner that same day and many times within just minutes of receipt.

The same is true if we fwd a lead from a 3rd party website like Zillow. You always want to reply to the prospective buyer directly. The buyer info will be included in the forwarded message.