If a Seller and a Realtor sign a Listing Agreement and wish to use the MLS system, there are some basic rules that we all must abide by, so sayeth the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB). The content of the listing is regulated to maintain some level of fairness. For example, an individual Realtor cannot use the listing to promote themselves. I can't put this blog domain on a listing. I can't even put my company's domain on the listing.
Some issues cannot be legislated by the Board. If a Seller wishes to delay viewing offers until a certain date, that's their prerogative. As it should be. It's their house after all.
However, there are some rules that even Seller's can't avoid.
The Toronto Real Estate Board recently made it mandatory to immediately allow showings on listings as soon as they are entered onto the MLS system. Until now, an agent could delay showings for an unlimited period of time, in some cases with no intention of ever allowing buyers to view the property.
This is one rule that ultimately is in the best interest of the Seller. I've never seen a Seller receive an exceptionally good price for their house because they delayed showings. However, I have seen houses sell for less than they should have because the listing became stale by the time showings were allowed.
This is perhaps a small step but it's a good rule and it's about time.