Comments on Properties on Real Estate Listing Websites

Why don’t popular real estate listing websites permit public comment on properties for sale or rent? I think it would be beneficial if people could opine whether or not they think a property is overpriced, has a hidden condition (e.g is adjacent to noisy area), or conversely neighbors could comment how wonderful the neighborhood is.

Could easily run afoul of NAR rules. These websites like Zillow are already being sued by Realtors. If people were allowed to trash their properties it would be the final straw. The whole idea of a multiple listing service would be at risk. Realtors want to control access and comments. They pay a lot of money to be on the MLS and already dislike Zillow and Redfin.
I think they were part of the reason the Redfin forum was disbanded.


Speaking of Redfin they are now showing random ads on their site. Do they do revenue share with MLS? Redfin is getting desperate.

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In the past on Redfin, I have noticed remarks by agents who have toured a property and they were always positive.

Do websites such as Redfin and Zillow pay a fee to multiple listing services for their database? Perhaps they are under contractual obligations to not allow comments.

I think comments would be helpful. There are probably many people who buy properties in locations where there are hidden conditions that past and present sellers may not have disclosed. For example, if houses on a certain street back up to a house of worship and the pastor allows his/her preaching to be heard on outside speakers by those in the parking lot and a half a mile away, I think that condition should be disclosed to buyers. Yes, I know that buyers should perform their due diligence and seller should disclose, but it’s not a perfect world. What usually happens is that new buyer goes on neighborhood social media to complain about something everyone already knows about and then buyer gets defensive when asked if it was disclosed or if buyer did their research/due diligence.

Disclosure gotcha laws have made being a seller a nightmare. If we have a downturn buyers will be going after sellers for non disclosure. Then they use legal blackmail to get a small settlement since no one wants to spend 100s of thousands on lawsuits. The last thing we need is a bunch of Yelp like bull shit comments being thrown around. My neighbor said something about a property I sold that was inaccurate to the new buyer. But it got me in a gotcha lawsuit. It is a nasty world out there. Besides everything is so subjective. Loud noises bother some not others. My neighbor has a barking dog my wife hates. Nobody else cares. When we sell do I have to disclose an issue that bothers no one?

As far as Zillow and Redfin, they are leaches. They pay anything. They just pay MLS fees and share the info. Other realtors are suing them for that.

Redfin’s comments are not always positive, but they do try to keep on the polite side. If something’s a fixer, they’ll say so. There are also private comments that your realtor should be able to see. I thought those were shared among relators but maybe only shared on a per company basis.

Also, I think that’s why Redfin had a forum in the first place–to allow people to comment on properties or other RE issues.

My neighbors dog is barking. I am thinking about a video like the guy did in Central Park. Pure genius. He knew if he took enough videos an entitled dig owner would say something stupid. My neighbor is perfect setup. He lets his dog run up and down the street in violation of city leash laws . Plus he threatened me and the HOA security cop and has already been cited.

Pages of disclosures are there to protect lazy buyers. I posit the vast majority of buyers fail to do adequate research on a property (some even buy sight unseen) and hardly any read entirely the routinely 30+ page CC&Rs if buying in an HOA.

MLS and anyone who gets data from MLS is like the restaurant website - only positive things shown there. They can’t let free-for-all comments because

  1. who will moderate and fact-check to ensure no malicious intent or fake news
  2. what’s the incentive to show negative info

However, similar to yelp, there’s a place for an independent vendor who doesn’t get into an MLS partnership and hence is not bound by MLS guidelines to have a forum for free-for-all comments. However, it is a difficult problem because:

  1. Unlike yelp restaurant listings or Amazon product listings, property listings are inherently short-lived. This will be more of an eBay sort of listing environment vs Amazon/yelp. And you don’t have reviews on eBay for the same reason - by the time a critical mass of reviews accumulate, the listing is no longer relevant.

  2. How do you get the basic listing info if the vendor (MLS) owning the info is not interested in sharing?


Perhaps there is a forthcoming business opportunity for an entrepreneur to create a property listing website that permits comments.

It’s right here. Make any comments you want on any property. No one will sanction you here.
I trash talked the Belmont house with no railings and $1m over ask. Nobody cared or complained.