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No Photo Available Part II


Back in January 2007, I posted "No Picture Available", which was about listings coming onto the MLS with no photos. One of the ways the MLS works and is vital to how we now buy and sell home, is that an agent enters the MLS listing information into the MLS and within 24 hours, that information is sent to all matching prospects with searches programmed on the MLS with their agent and spread across the web to sites like Realtor.com, Trulia, Zillow, etc. The MLS is also the source to which all of the major Brokerages, HER, Coldwell Banker, etc access home information for their websites. So it would only makes sense that if you were truly trying to perform your duties as a listing agent, who's job it is to market the home for sale, you wouldn't enter the listing until photos of the homes were available to upload, right? Well apparently those that monitor the MLS agree, well, sort of...as of May 1st, fines are now in place for listings that do not have a primary photo within 15 days of being entered in the MLS.
"Based in part on the limited number of members still using the photography services and to help insure photos continue to appear for properties, the following policy changes will be effective May 1, 2009: A photo will be required for all listings. Architectural renderings, plat maps and auditor photos are acceptable to use. ...Listings without photos will be fined and charged for a photo to be taken. Any listing that is found to be without a photo 15 days after entry into CBR Tempo will be assessed a $50 fine and have a photo taken by the service at the above charges.
A glossy photo will be taken and charged only if you also request MLS to take and charge the primary photo for you.
A status change for property entered the same day does not excuse the listing from the requirement of having a photo except for Sold Non MLS. A seller can request that no photo appear in MLS if willing to sign a photo waiver form (to be created prior to the May 1, 2009 implementation date of this new policy.)"
- Columbus Board of Realtors

And as a follow up, out of 17 homes that have come onto the market in the last two days 7 of those as of this morning, still did not have photos. These homes were not forclosures, they were $200,000+ homes.
William Robbins