Real Estate

A look at MLSs and the pocket listing ban

Today’s episode of HousingWire Daily features an interview with Ryan Cook, owner of a HomeSmart affiliated brokerage in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Cook was a contributor for HousingWire Senior Mortgage Reporter Matthew Blake’s piece titled, “Policing the pocket listings,” where he shares his experience with working with MLSs in the Massachusetts Area such as MLS PIN and Rhode Island State-Wide MLS.

During the episode, Cook discusses more about his work with MLSs and the challenges that come with it, including problems with MLSs enforcing the pocket listing ban. He also shares his concern about issues with things such as the property owner’s right to privacy.

Here is a small preview of the interview, which has been lightly edited for length and clarity: 

Alcynna: Lloyd: Why do you think MLS PIN and other listing services have trouble policing the ban? Do you think it’s an issue that’s at the discretion of the individual person looking into pocket listings?

Ryan Cook: It is basically part of the agreement of being a member of the MLS that you need to be doing things the right way. They really have no way of knowing unless agents report it. Most agents are very good and do the right thing. On a rare occasion when something goes wrong, they tend to look the other way because they don’t want problems. Most agents will give other agents the benefit of the doubt out of professional courtesy and may say something to you personally, like ,“Hey, you know you need to get that up there.” 

But if someone’s aggravated and they call in, next thing you know you get a fine. So the challenge there is policing it. MLS doesn’t have enough staff to police it. You’re not submitting your contracts to the MLS in order to get approval to put the listing up there. It’s on an honor system. And most agents want to do the right thing. Sometimes people make mistakes or have a bad day so they don’t want to nail someone to the wall, because one day they might be the one having a bad day. 

HousingWire Daily examines the most compelling articles reported across HW Media. Each afternoon, we provide our listeners with a deeper look into the stories coming across our newsrooms that are helping Move Markets Forward. Hosted by the HW team and produced by Alcynna Lloyd and Elissa Branch. If you have a pitch or an inquiry relating to podcasts, you can reach our team at

Below is the transcription of the interview. These transcriptions, powered by Speechpad, have been lightly edited and may contain small errors from reproduction:

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    HousingWire Daily

    Hosted by the journalists behind the headlines, HousingWire Daily examines the most compelling mortgage, real estate, and fintech articles reported from the HousingWire newsroom.

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