BAREIS Editorial: Showings, Counting DOM/CDOM and Off Market Listings During Pandemic

Published Friday, March 27, 2020

by BAREIS Marin County Directors Yoko Kasai, Jenn Pfeiffer & Barry Crotty

We don’t have a manual that says “Do THIS in the case of a pandemic” so we are all doing the best we can; adjusting as news and directives come to us, trying to serve our clients and protect ourselves, our loved ones, and our businesses in the best way possible.  As BAREIS board members, we can honestly say that all positions, challenges, questions and alternatives are being reviewed by our CEO, KB Walter and the Directors with great thoughtfulness. We just can’t please everyone. 

First of all, as of this writing, the Governor has deemed Real Estate as non-essential and as such, we are not supposed to be showing homes, holding open houses, and conducting inspections.  If that’s the case, why are there still Active listings? Well, one of those reasons might be that the Seller simply HAS to sell. Otherwise, why would we not shelve the property into a Temporarily Off Market, Coming Soon, or Withdrawn status?  If, as a profession, we are not allowed to operate, then those who choose to be out there not heeding advice and endangering those who they’re in contact with. We say that without judgement, however all indications are that this is the sobering truth and we should be complying by sheltering in place. 

As it pertains to freezing DOM, KB along with 6 other MLSs have discussed the issue at great length.  All except for 1 MLS (MLS Listings) has decided not to freeze DOM. She has put together a list of reasons which led to the decision which you can access and share with your colleagues or clients.  It is our job as agents to look at these longer DOM during this time and educate our clients about the reality of this period of time.  Most likely the pandemic is to blame; not because something is “wrong” with the property. If your clients choose to be on the market as an Active listing at this time, then so be it but they can’t have it both ways.  In a few years, we will look back at this time and have a clear picture of the market as it actually was. 

We have also heard several concerns expressed over coronavirus and off-market listing ability. Be clear, that one does NOT have to do with the other.  Using COVID-19 as a reason to sell off-market just isn’t valid. We’re not supposed to be engaging in real estate related sales activities during this time. Simply explain to your clients their options and perhaps encourage trying the Coming Soon status if they want exposure to the agent community.   You now have up to 100 days in that status where you can set the showing parameters, accept offers and not have the listing populate to the public facing portals. 

BAREIS understands that there are circumstances where it makes sense for a seller to sell their home without exposing it onto the MLS.  BAREIS has NOT taken that ability away from anyone at this juncture. The new Clear Cooperation Policy from NAR does not apply to BAREIS and we are taking a wait and see position at this time.  When enforcement of Clear Cooperation kicks into play in May, we have the luxury of evaluating the interpretation and the practicalities of such rules against reality. And by the way, the current BAREIS platform allows you and your seller to set parameters on showings and open houses along with how the property is exposed to the public facing portals. It treads on dangerous ground of Fair Housing laws if you and your clients choose to only market to those who you deem “luxury” agents or buyers.  

Please know that these decisions don’t come lightly.  As BAREIS Board members, we are encouraged by the ongoing dialogue that helps us shape our next steps.  We do it to preserve data integrity and we also want to be mindful of how to best serve you, our members.  Like we said before, we can’t please everyone but we do take each comment seriously. As always, further communication is welcome but please be kind and don’t necessarily shoot the messengers. 


Your Marin BAREIS Directors, 

Barry Crotty, Jenn Pfeiffer, and Yoko Kasai

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