Off-MLS Sales in San Francisco: Foul Ball or Home Run?

Are you looking for data and statistics  about whether or not you should buy or sell a property in San Francisco that isn’t marketed on the San Francisco MLS run by the San Francisco Association of Realtors (SFAR)?  While there are plenty of opinions, there has been little in the way of concrete data to help inform the decision about where to best market or find your home.

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To get beyond opinions and anecdotes, we gathered and analyzed data about sales in the San Francisco market comparing MLS sales with Off-MLS sales. We hope our findings will help inform the conversation about how Realtors in San Francisco can best fulfill their fiduciary duty to their clients.

A bit about the inspiration for this project: After the March 2013 Clareity MLS Executive Workshop, Matt Cohen of Clareity Consulting published a blog post about how to research Off-MLS sales for a particular location. If you’d like to read the blog post that guided the creation of our report, it is titled “Off-MLS Transactions – Method for Local Evaluation.”

We’d also like to share some background about why this topic is interesting enough for us to invest our time and money in creating it: As Realtors in San Francisco we have a professional interest in making sure we are fulfilling our fiduciary duty to our clients. We’ve heard arguments both for and against Off-MLS sales, but we hadn’t seen any data relevant to our clients and our market.

We started this project with nothing more than a couple really big spreadsheets and the hope of finding some solid data that would help us in advising our clients. We didn’t start with pre-determined conclusions, and our professional volunteer activities do not represent a bias for or against the MLS; they are only indicative of our involvement in the local real estate community.

Just as we were inspired by Matt Cohen’s blog post, we hope our research into this topic will inspire you to dig into the data behind your passions as well! We look forward to continuing the conversation in person or online.

The report is an acrobat pdf file, and can be downloaded free of charge.

Download our Off-MLS vs. MLS-marketed Report: