Agents slam duplicate realty listings

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Agents slam duplicate realty listings
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Dubai - Sellers list with multiple agents because they believe this will help them sell their property faster and for a higher price.

By Deepthi Nair

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Published: Mon 21 Sep 2015, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Mon 21 Sep 2015, 7:18 PM

Duplicate property listings by sellers are one of the most common sources of frustration for agents in the UAE. This practice has cost the industry at least Dh1 billion per year, according to Daniel Hart, chief executive officer (CEO) of Masterkey, a UAE real estate management software.
Besides money, brokerages also waste a huge amount of time, resources and additional marketing expenses through duplicate listings, he said.
Echoing a similar view, managing director of Harbor Real Estate Mohanad Alwadiya said sellers list with multiple agents because they believe this will help them sell their property faster and for a higher price.
"The sellers also believe that listing their property with one agent or agency will limit the exposure of the property. This is a bad trend because this demotivates the agents/agencies representing the seller," said Alwadiya, who is also an advisor-instructor at the Dubai Real Estate Institute.
He said the seller might receive offers from multiple agents that actually belong to the same buyer. This is very dangerous because sellers might believe their property is in demand and start raising prices, he added.
Sellers should be made aware of the benefits of listing their property with a single agent. Authorities could also enforce a law that will forbid sellers from listing their properties with multiple agents.
Duplicate listings generate false data about the number of units offered for sale in a specific district and this can influence the buyers' and sellers' decisions, informed Alwadiya.
"Sellers believe this will hopefully lead to either a quicker sale or more money by creating competition among agents. This is a bad practice because it creates confusion in the market as buyers believe there is greater choice for them but actually affects the price negatively for the seller," said Mario Volpi, head of projects, Asteco property management.
As competition to close a deal heats up, some agents may unilaterally decide to alter the property's price without the seller's consent. The level of service can also deteriorate with too many agents in the fray.
Occasionally, agents do work together to clinch a deal.
Volpi said: "For example, if a property is available exclusively through agent A, they will advertise and market it more aggressively in the knowledge that for a certain period, they have a fair level of control. Agent B who has a buyer for the property sees it online or in a newspaper and contacts agent A. If a sale is agreed, the agents often agree on a shared fee for the sake of the deal. In theory, everyone wins."
Having a single agent to market your property will ensure you get the best price in the market. The exclusive agency will also advise the seller on important topics as market trends, pricing strategy, etc.
Meanwhile, Masterkey launched the Middle East's first Multi Listing System (MLS) in the UAE in 2014. It provides a centralised location for agents to add listings and view other listings. This software allows real estate agencies to get an accurate overview of the market.
"Our MLS will bring agents together instead of competing against one another," said Hart. "Duplicate listings are a major headache in our industry, and evidence suggests that the Dh1 billion our team has calculated is likely a conservative figure. The software we have built is designed to encourage sellers to list with one agent and not several competing agencies."
The team behind Masterkey also launched in February 2015. This was a free platform for all registered agents to manage their properties in one space, reducing the time it takes to post listings across dozens of property portals.

Mario Volpi
Mario Volpi
Mohanad Alwadiya
Mohanad Alwadiya

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