MLS refuses to list my house as having a basement bedroom even though it is up to code. What can be

Question: I listed my house and property on Lake Michigan with a local realtor yesterday. When we signed the listing agreement she stated the house would be listed as a 4 bedroom. However, the local MLS will not allow a basement bedroom, even though it meets Michigan Residential Code PA 230 and ICC standards. The local MLS has negatively affected the sale of my house which has resulted in an opportunity cost: > 1) is MLS liable? Note: it appears they are not consistent in enforcing their standards > 2) do I have recourse? > 3) have they exposed themselves to class action risk to all sellers who have not had a basement bedroom counted? Note: I spoke with local MLS and they state they do not have to be consistent with building codes and they don't work for me so I don't have any rights to file complaint.

Answer: You may or may not have a claim. However, proving any economic damages in this case could be very difficult. It's arguable that you are not losing any money. For example, I am aware of a developer that is selling two bedroom condominiums. He has the same problem. One of the bedrooms does not have an outside window. So he is selling one bedroom condos with an "office" that looks strikingly like a bedroom. I suspect most buyers use it as a bedroom. He hasn't lowered his price or had any trouble selling the units. I suspect your realtor has similar plans. The classification of the rooms will likely have little effect on the sale price of the house. It will be compared by buyers with similar homes with similar accommodations within the house. You may want to pursue this further, however, what you really want is a realtor who will work hard and honestly for you to find a buyer and sell your home quickly. Good luck.

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