“The sale closed and now my buyer wants all the pictures of their new property removed. What can I do?”
Clients make a lot of requests; before you promise a specific course of action always review with them the contracts they’ve signed for what is or isn’t allowed. Per the new California Residential Purchase Agreement and Joint Escrow Instructions (CAR Form RPA, Revised 12/22) Item 21 states
MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE (“MLS”): Agents are authorized to report to the MLS that an offer has been accepted and, upon Close Of Escrow, the sales price and other terms of this transaction shall be provided to the MLS to be published and disseminated to persons and entities authorized to use the information on terms approved by the MLS. Buyer acknowledges that: (i) any pictures, videos, floor plans (collectively, “Images”) or other information about the Property that has been or will be inputted into the MLS or internet portals, or both, at the instruction of Seller or in compliance with MLS rules, will not be removed after Close Of Escrow; (ii) California Civil Code § 1088(c) requires the MLS to maintain such Images and information for at least three years and as a result they may be displayed or circulated on the Internet, which cannot be controlled or removed by Seller or Agents; and (iii) Seller, Seller's Agent, Buyer's Agent, and MLS have no obligation or ability to remove such Images or information from the Internet.
While data in the MLS is required to remain in the MLS per California Civil Code access to it can be managed so that only authorized subscribers to the MLS --such as agents, brokers and appraisers-- have the ability to view it directly in the course of their licensed duties. Contact the listing agent via email along with SFAR MLS Support asking for their permission to change the privacy settings on the photos to Private When Off Market. Once that is given, SFAR MLS support can make the update on their behalf.
First published in the Office Liaison Report on 2023/01/31.