Who owns the listing data?

I just finished reading and responding to a discussion in the INMAN blog


The reason I think this is an important issue is because it comes down to, who is responsible for the way your home is marketed?

In my opinion that should be your real estate professional.

Many websites are building traffic to their site by using other peoples information. The challenge with this is that information becomes dated or is entered on the third party site incorrectly or incompletely. By ensuring the chain of ownership and responsibility you can be sure your property is marketed in it's best light.

Here is my response or comment in that blog:

To answer who owns the listing information you need only follow the chain of responsibility.

The real estate broker/agent enters into a contract with a seller, which allows the real estate broker/agent to offer and market the seller’s property for sale.

The real estate broker/agent is responsible for entering the information into their local MLS, print media as well as any internet marketing that is done. If the information is incorrect or incomplete the broker and agent are held responsible.

If it were not for the listing agreement the information would not be made available. The listing information provided is usually above and beyond what is public record through county records.

The photos added, the descriptions used and the pricing strategy are all services brought to bear by the real estate firm and its agents.

Since real estate agents can not practice real estate unless they are a broker or work for a brokerage firm, ownership of the listing, the data and the responsibility lands squarely at the broker’s feet.