Avoid MLS rentals that don’t disclose an address

In order for a real estate broker to list a property for rent in the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS) it must have a written exclusive right to lease or exclusive agency agreement. The difference between the two types of agreement is that an exclusive agency agreement typically reserves to the owner the right to lease the property without compensating the broker.

There can be legitimate reasons for not disclosing a property’s address in an MLS listing, but it’s rare to see a missing address. In the case of a rental, it’s extremely unusual and, in my judgment, a warning flag that you’re looking at a bait-and-switch come-on from an apartment finder that doesn’t really have the property available for rent on an exclusive basis. These no-address listings generally show only a few photos and have zero listing copy describing the apartment.

My advice: skip any MLS listing that doesn’t disclose an exact address. Most of the time, you’ll be wasting your time. If you’re searching for apartments on Craigslist it’s also a good practice to focus on ads that disclose an exact address or building name and are not placed by a rental service.

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