California Regional Multiple Listing Service, Inc. (CRMLS) and the Southern California MLS (SoCalMLS) have agreed to merge, creating the largest multiple listing service in the nation. The joint announcement was made last week by Len Herman, 2011 president of SoCalMLS and Rob Arrietta, 2011 president of CRMLS.
“This union was long overdue,” said Herman. “Combining two highly complementary organizations is what our brokers and subscribers want, and now we have the opportunity to offer even greater value to our customers.”
“The combination of two of the largest MLSs in the nation simply makes sense for brokerages, agents, and REALTOR® associations,” said Arrietta. “The combination of our products and services gives real estate professionals throughout California an extremely cost effective solution for their MLS services.”
The combined entity will remain as CRMLS, which is based in San Dimas, Calif., with Arrietta serving as president of the organization. Herman will remain on as part of the transition team. CRMLS will now provide products and services to 33 REALTOR® associations and their 68,000 participants and subscribers throughout California.
Each year, about 15 million American households move, with the majority changing households between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Unfortunately, this same time period also is peak season for moving company scams.
- To avoid falling victim to common scams, experts in the moving industry recommend consumers do the following:
- Go with a company that has a well-known and recognized name
- Get a referral from friends, family, neighbors, and colleagues
- Ask for an in-home estimate, to ensure accuracy of the estimate
- Don’t always go with the lowest price
- Do not pay up-front fees
- Conduct research on the government website protectyourmove.gov to find out if a mover is licensed for interstate moves by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association.
- Get all details of the transaction in writing
- Request a copy of “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move,” a brochure created by the Federal Highway Administration that outlines consumers’ rights. Federal law requires movers to give this to customers prior to an interstate move.
A reader asks: How much of a percentage do Realtors normally charge as commission in San Francisco?
Our reply: Commissions are negiotiable and the is no “normal” rate. In today’s open market there are any number of choices for a seller. There are those who have a nominal flat fee and only put the property in the MLS but do not help the seller negiotiate or find a qualified buyer. However, as in most businesses, “you get what you pay for”.
If you want to receive the most “net” from the sale of your property a good, experienced Realtor can be worth much more than the commission they earn. For example, in a survey by the National Association of Realtors it was discovered that For Sale by Owners receive 16% less than owners who used a Realtor. So with a 6% commission paid to the agent, the seller would still be ahead by 10%! And if that agent was a skilled negiotiator the seller could be ahead even more.
Experience is so important in any market but in a changing market it can mean the difference between selling the property or having it sit on the market losing value. Although do not believe in a gloom and doom scenario, the San Francisco Real Estate market has begun to change. (Refer to our previous article on June 16, 2006. We also publish a weekly report of market conditions from Avram Goldman, President of Coldwell Banker, San Francisco Bay Area on our website.) Choosing the right broker can not only make the process easier but also more profitable for the seller.
- Janis Stone