To reduce consumer confusion, and to better meet the requirements of state law, we have implemented a new feature in the REsearch listing input form that will increase the visibility of the leasehold disclosure for affected listings.
Hawaii Administrative Rules §16-99-11(d) requires that “a leasehold property advertised for sale in any medium shall be identified by the word “leasehold.”
Although separating leasehold listings from fee simple listings within the MLS is straightforward, the distinction is less clear on third-party listing sites like Zillow or Realtor.com. In most cases, the “leasehold” designation is relegated to fine print, or not displayed at all.
As a result, leasehold properties are often displayed prominently on external sites due to prices that may be drastically lower than fee simple properties. This can lead to consumer confusion and require additional broker and agent resources to address.
Third-party sites are not bound to comply with HAR§16-99-11(d). The HIS Board of Directors has decided to ensure appropriate disclosure across data publishers by having REsearch automatically prepend the public remarks for leasehold properties with the phrase, “This is a leasehold property.”
When you select “Leasehold” for the required “Land Tenure” field, you will see a notification that “This is a leasehold property.” has been added to the listing’s public remarks:
If the length of the existing public remarks prevent the addition of the phrase, you will be asked to edit them to accommodate it.
The phrase is being added to the beginning of the public remarks because different third-party publishers have different character limits for the remarks field, and thus may truncate them and inadvertently remove this disclosure should it appear at the end.
We hope this small change increases awareness of the leasehold status of listings, and encourages consumers to educate themselves on the distinction between leasehold and fee simple properties.
At this time, this disclosure can be edited and removed. However, in the next update to the MLS Rules & Regulations, including this disclosure in the public remarks will be made a requirement.
Did You Know?
Hawaii Information Service was among the first MLSs in the nation to introduce control of listing data distribution with the introduction of the REsearch Syndication Dashboard in 2015.
Principal brokers can control whether their listings are distributed to sites like Zillow or Realtor.com, or listing syndication services like Listhub, by clicking on “Settings” in the main left-side REsearch menu, then click “Syndication” in the list of options.
Questions? Suggestions? Feedback? We’re always happy to hear from you!