Are you using the “v word” in your Public Remarks?

When filling out the Public Remarks on a new Residential listing you might include showing instructions or comments about being vacant on lockbox or that that the home is empty. Doing this is not a direct violation of MLS listing policies but it is not encouraged.

Here are some examples of comments pulled from Active homes for sale.

  • “Back on the market and it’s vacant easy to show.”
  • “Home is empty and easy to show”
  • “House is vacant on lockbox.”

A quick search on Zillow identified 14 single family homes for sale that were being advertised as being “vacant” in the El Paso area.

Describing a property listing (existing homes) as “vacant.” in the public remarks could be an invitation to criminals and is not advised. With over 2,000 “vacant” homes for sale in MLS, following good safety guidelines can help to protect agents, buyers, and sellers from unnecessary harm. Here are some additional safety tips provided by the National Association of REALTORS®.

GEPAR MLS recommends using the following input fields to effectively identify showing instructions.

Vacant Y/N – This field is available on the GENERAL tab of listing input and allows the listing agent to identify if the home is Vacant or not. This field is confidential and will not appear on Client reports or on public website displays like

Showing Instructions – This is another confidential field found in the FEATURES tab of listing input. You can choose options like “Vacant on Lockbox”or “Lockbox Call First” in this list.

Confidential Remarks – This confidential field allows you to include comments that are only visible to other MLS users and can be used to include specific showing instructions that important to showing agents.

*ShowingTime*: With the addition of ShowingTime you can now enter even more Showing Notes (and Alarm Details) about the property. Buyer’s agents that use Showing Time to schedule and view their showings will be able to see this information prior to visiting the property. (The image below shows what the ShowingTime section looks like)


Map Searching and Accuracy

Searching for MLS listings using a Radius or Map Shape is a popular way to locate properties in the MLS.   Special attention should made during map search when looking for some new construction listings and vacant lots that are not mapped.

Some listings are currently mapped incorrectly in the MLS and could affect your ability to locate valid comparables.  GEPAR MLS is working to improve our maps and address placements in the MLS to reduce the number of errors.  One issue is with new addresses that cannot be auto-mapped by the system correctly and are assigned to downtown El Paso or out of County.  To improve accuracy, listing agents should review new listing mappings to ensure they can be found in MLS maps searches easily.

Please take a moment to watch this video to learn more about map searches, which highlights the importance of reporting accurate map placement.

How to Copy a listing

Copying a listing is a useful feature in MLS that will save you time of re-entering listing information when you just need to relist a property again.

Here is a quick video that shows how to Copy a listing.

Tips for copying your listings.

  • The listing you are copying must have been your previous listing.
  • You will need to add at least one photo to make a copied listing Active again.
  • Review the copied listing information before you are done.   Information like Annual Tax values and the Expiration date could have changed.
  • You can copy a listing to a different property type