Questions to Ask Before You Share

There are many factors to consider when you’re deciding where you'll allow your listing data to be displayed.

January 21, 2014

Brokers: Before anyone else can advertise your listings, you must give consent. Any listing advertisement must include your name and any additional information required by state law such as office location or telephone number. But there are other factors to consider when you’re deciding where you’ll allow listing data to be displayed. These questions, drawn from a list developed by NAR attorneys, will  help you evaluate companies and websites that display listings. 

Look at how the site displays content.

  • Is the broker’s identity properly displayed?
  • Is the listing agent identified? Is the listing agent’s contact information included?
  • Do links on the listing display go directly to the broker?
  • Does the publisher include a visible timestamp?
  • Are agents who are not affiliated with the broker advertised on the broker’s listings?
  • Does the listing display clearly distinguish between the listing content and advertising placed around it?
  • Are copyright notices on listings preserved and displayed?
  • Is the publisher’s identity readily identifiable on the website?

Ask questions of the site publisher, such as:

  • Do you accept information about an individual listing from multiple sources?
  • If so, do I have control over which data sources take precedence?
  • Do you permanently retain listing information? How is the information used?
  • Do you modify listing content?
  • Do you add content to listings, such as sellers’ names, automated valuations, or reviews?
  • Do I have the ability to opt out of having any of the additional content displayed on my listings?
  • Do you have a process to promptly correct inaccurate listing information?
  • How often do you update, including removal of active listing status when a property goes off market?
  • Do you have an effective process to guard against scraping or unauthorized use of the listings?
  • Are sites “powered” by you (where your listing aggregation is framed into another site) identified?
  • Do your terms restrict use of the listing information to consumers’ personal, noncommercial use and prohibit the information’s use for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties for purchase?

For the full list of questions, including contract issues to address in syndication agreements, check out NAR's 
“Internet Display of Listings: Broker Considerations for Syndication.”

Meg White

Meg White is the former managing editor of REALTOR® Magazine.