The Written Agreement Supersedes the MLS Listing

The Written Agreement Supersedes the MLS Listing

In real estate, the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) listing is usually the first introduction of a property to potential buyers and tenants. Filled with attractive pictures, captivating descriptions, and maybe even a few enticing promises, these listings tend to set the stage for what a property has to offer.

The Written Agreement Supersedes the MLS Listing

However, as exciting as these listings may be, it’s imperative for buyers and tenants to know written agreements, such as a contract or lease, will always supersede any verbal agreements, handshake agreements, and advertisements, including what’s stated in the MLS listing. Let’s take a look at MLS listings, contracts, and real-life instances where contracts override MLS advertisements.

MLS Listings VS Contracts

The Nature of the MLS Listing
The MLS listing is a marketing tool designed to attract potential buyers and tenants to a property listed for sale or rent. It includes essential information about a property, such as the address, pricing, photographs, and additional details. The MLS listing is used to connect buyers and sellers along with tenants and landlords.

Understanding the Written Agreement
The written agreement, commonly known as the purchase agreement or sales contract, is a legally binding document that outlines the terms and conditions of a real estate transaction. It will include key terms, like the agreed-upon price, contingencies, financing conditions, closing date, and any other pertinent terms negotiated between the parties involved. In order for a contract to be enforceable all parties must sign and fully execute the contract.

Real-Life Examples | MLS Listings VS Contracts
MLS Listing Vs Contract | Understanding the DifferenceExample 1:
If a landlord advertises “One Month Free” in the MLS, but the tenant decides they want to pro-rate the one month free over the 12 months and both parties agree in writing, it supersedes the advertisement in the MLS. So 11 months later the tenant can’t claim they don’t have to pay last month’s rent because the MLS advertised “one month free.”

Example 2:
The same holds true if a seller says they’re going to leave the washer and dryer, but our residential contract to purchase doesn’t include the washer and dryer. So unless the buyer’s agent includes the washer and dryer in the contract the seller is not obligated to leave them. Therefore, there is nothing the buyer can do if the seller decides to take these two appliances with them.

Now, should a seller leave them? Absolutely, if they said they were going to leave them they should. However, a verbal statement or advertisement is not binding in a real estate transaction. So if there is something you want to include or exclude in your home purchase or sale make sure it’s in writing.

Why the Written Agreement Takes Precedence
A written agreement will always take precedence over any advertisements, such as the MLS listing, or verbal agreement, and here’s why:

  1. Legally Binding Document: The written contract holds a significantly higher legal weight compared to the MLS listing or a verbal agreement. While the MLS listing serves as an advertisement and what the property has to offer, the written contract outlines the terms both parties have agreed to and is signed as a formal agreement.
  2. Negotiated Terms: Real estate transactions often involve negotiations and adjustments to the initial terms presented in the MLS listing. A great example is the asking price of a property. While a seller may be asking $750,000 the buyer could negotiate the price down to $735,000. So the written offer is sometimes the starting point and a platform for these negotiations, allowing parties to tailor the terms to their specific needs and preferences.
  3. Protection of Interests: The written contract is designed to protect the interests of both parties. It provides a clear roadmap for the transaction, covering potential contingencies, responsibilities, and obligations of all parties. In case of disputes or misunderstandings, the written contract serves as the primary reference point.

Final Thoughts
While the MLS listing plays a vital role in attracting potential buyers and tenants, it’s important to recognize that the written contract takes precedence in legal terms. The written contract outlines the definitive terms and conditions of the transaction, serving as a legally binding agreement that protects the interests of all parties involved.

So if you are buying, selling, or renting make sure you understand the contract you’re signing and remember what is agreed to in writing will supersede verbal agreements and advertisements. Unfortunately, the “you said so” card won’t get you very far unless their “said so” was put in writing and signed by all parties.

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About the Author

Top Wellington Realtor, Michelle Gibson, wrote: “The Written Agreement Supersedes the MLS Listing”

Michelle has been specializing in residential real estate since 2001 throughout Wellington Florida and the surrounding area. Whether you’re looking to buy, sell, or rent she will guide you through the entire real estate transaction. If you’re ready to put Michelle’s knowledge and expertise to work for you call or e-mail her today.

Areas of service include Wellington, Lake Worth, Royal Palm Beach, Boynton Beach, West Palm Beach, Loxahatchee, Greenacres, and more.

The Written Agreement Supersedes the MLS Listing

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Michelle Gibson Wellington Florida REALTORMichelle Gibson of the Hansen Real Estate Group Inc is a full-time REALTOR who has been specializing in Wellington Florida real estate since 2001. This veteran of the real estate industry has expertise in technology, marketing, and social media.


Hansen Real Estate Group Inc. is a full-service real estate brokerage specializing in residential real estate. As a customer-focused, quality organization, we achieve success one client at a time. Call 561-333-0446 or e-mail me today at [email protected].

Michelle Gibson and Hansen Real Estate Group Inc fully support the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Accessibility Statement


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