Idaho Real Estate >> ID Real Estate Specialist

head_left_image

The Silliest Realtor Game In Town

With the inventory of homes for sale increasing in many areas of the country a high number of Realtors and consumers are constantly looking at new ideas to compete with the competition of homes that are out there.

One of my recent buyers asked me to investigate a new town home she was very interested in.  I gave her a consumer MLS printout of the property and she was curious why the listing said "20" DOM or Days on the Market.   She went on to tell me that she was sure she had seen that very town home for sale a year earlier at a higher price.

With my curiosity up I decided to investigate the history of this listing and was totally shocked at what I saw.  The first listing went into the MLS almost 2 years to the day of the day I printed out the current MLS information.  The MLS showed 9 different listings on this property over those two years.  For 11 months in a row the Realtor cancelled the listing 4 different times and re-listed the property for the very same price.  Is this a good way to take care of a seller?

The reason Realtors are doing this of course is because they want the public to think the property has not been on the market long and make it look like a new listing.

Rather than look at this as "Smart Marketing" I think the practice borders on "Deception"

Because of this new found information my buyer made an offer much lower than she may have normally made and ended up purchasing the property for a considerable reduction from the last asking price.

In this case the Realtor shot himself in the foot and no favors were done for his seller.

Pricing a home properly to begin with and "Staging" the home inside and out is a much smarter and more professional move.

In addition, a good CMA and ABSORPTION RATES presented to the seller on a MONTHLY basis will detect any trends in the market and allow a seller to make adjustments accordingly. 

Just because a buyer finds a listing on the internet doesn't mean that they won't find out all the MLS history of a property.

I would rather wear a hat of professionalism than one of GAMES and take care of my clients the way a professional does.

Native Idahoan and Boise Idaho Real Estate specialist serving Boise, Meridian Eagle, Nampa, Caldwell and the surrounding Treasure valley area of southwest Idaho. Specializing in residential, investment, land and commercial real estate. Search thousands of MLS listings at Boise Homes for sale and learn all about Idaho by visiting Search Idaho Homes

Comment balloon 104 commentsGeorge Tallabas • August 22 2007 04:42PM

Comments

Come on George, its not always the Realtors fault for the different ways listings are handled.  I have had sellers do this as they don't want the property to look stale.  Some agents do it also.  Another way is to have a very small price reduction.  That works because a lot of us have an automated system that alerts us for new properties and reductions.  Those are also sent to the buyers.  Keeping it in front of the buyers.
Posted by Denise Allen, Realtor@ Chesapeake, Hampton Roads (Resh Realty Group) over 11 years ago
George, I see it all the time in my MLS, I always check the history before writing any offers. No one is fooled as the data is there.
Posted by Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate (Missy Caulk TEAM) over 11 years ago

Wow, what a great post.  I have had similar situations myself, and I think you are right.  Best of luck to you!

Posted by Christopher Benedict, AskTheBigGuy (BIG Realty) over 11 years ago
I have heard of some MLS's now showing a Cumulative Days on Market number.  If a property is relisted within 60 days of being Withdrawn, the clock keeps ticking.  Although I also look at the history of a listing, I like the idea of CDOM.
Posted by Dan Forbes over 11 years ago

Denise - Re-listing because of a price reduction is fine but withdrawing it and re-listing a property constantly is deceptive in my opinion and does not fool a smart buyer.

Missy - Good for you....this practice really irritates me and I do not see it as professional

Christopher - Thank you and my very best to you

Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago
Dan - Thank you and keep up the good work.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago

George,

Nice post on the subject - we just had a call for the very same thing. It says new listing but since it's a market we know and specialize in, we've known that home has been listed for quite some time and what the motivation behind the intention is.

 

Posted by Suburban Chicago Illinois Real Estate (Suburban Village Realty) over 11 years ago
George, this post should be featured.  There has been a lot of discussion about this recently.  Consumers on blogs in the bay area have been talking about it, and they feel cheated.  Buyer's agents should always look at the history.  Also look for variations on the spelling of the street (ex Wood Lane vs Wood Ln) Some agents try and trick this system this way as well.  I agreed that a CDOM would be great, and I wouldn't be surprised to see it implemented shortly.
Posted by Ginger Wilcox (Sindeo) over 11 years ago
Our MLS shows cumulative DOM as well so it is hard to hide the fact. Even if the brokerage changes the days continue to show cumulatively. You got it right. This is deceptive and does nothing for the listing agent's reputation or the seller's position.
Posted by Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty, Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County (Bucci Realty, Inc.) over 11 years ago
I have seen that in our search for a home. The strangest situation was a home that had been for sale for around 2 years. It was overpriced to begin with, taken off the market, and then brought back on the market with new water damage and an HIGHER price. The home is now priced $300K higher than it was originally and there is new and significant water damage. It was not this first time we had seen a house taken off and relisted but it was the first time the new price was higher.
Posted by Mark Pilatowski (myClosingSPACE) over 11 years ago
Paul & Michelle - Thanks for the coment
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago

You bring up an important point.   I always look at the listing history of a property when a client is interested.   Many, like your buyer, already are aware of some the properties.   Looking at the history of the property is very beneficial in most cases.  Our MLS does prohibit the type of activity you described.  One cannot just keep putting the property on the market and taking it of with the same listing company.  However, the can end up with the result you described if they switch listing companies.  I think it doesn't not serve the seller well to play these types of games.

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) over 11 years ago

Ginger - Thank you and flag it if you do want it to be featured. Take good care.

Gary - Right on!

Mark - What a game my friend!

Joan - Thanks and I wish all MLS's would prohibit this practice

 

Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago
George, good post (as usual).  I don't work with buyers very often, but when I do, I always research the history of the listing on MLS.  Taking it off and on to reset the clock won't fool a good agent.
Posted by Michael Hoffman, CAI, AARE, CES, BAS (Michael Hoffman & Associates) over 11 years ago

You know, It's a matter of time before those trying to cheat the system get it in the gut.  It is amazing the things people do on the MLS.  It takes more time but we should always go that extra mile for our client's.  Sometimes a well-handled converstion broker to broker can put a stop to this craziness.  Those trying to buck the system, George is watching you! and the consumers are getiing better informed :)

Posted by Sharon "Toni" Brown, South Ozone Park - New York City Real Estate (Exit Realty United) over 11 years ago

Michael - You are right....good agents and "Smart" buyers are never fooled and see this as a game.

Sharon "Toni" - Will you come to work with me? LOL

Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago

It is common in our MLS that this is done.  A Stale listing is withdrawn and re-entered.  The consumers here notice the MLS#'s.   If it old with # of days on the market - the perception is "something is wrong with the home".  The sellers ask for this directly!  It just makes us be better detectives by searching all status with the address. Then we see the full history, even if the agency changes.

Posted by Christine Bohn, The Bohn Team, Gainesville FL (RE/MAX Professionals) over 11 years ago
This does seem deceptive to me. Checking the history works. I can seem like a hero by pointing out details like this to a buyer. It's an easy additional trust builder.
Posted by Rolo Cuadrado (Colorado Mountain College) over 11 years ago
Great post George. I just noticed this recently myself....it made me scratch my head and laugh. Some of these realtor's are not representing their client well at all. It's ricidulous what they think they can get away with. :)
Posted by delete account over 11 years ago

Rolando - I agree with you

Pamela - It is very ridiculous in my opinion as well

Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago

The Northwest MLS cracked down on this last year by showing cumulative days on market so even if the property expires and relists with another company, the old history will show up, making it important to get the price right the first time. If the house stays off the market for 90 days, it can come back as a new listing, but the property history remains.

I just did a check on a home that looked very familiar yesterday when my buyers asked to see it. It turns out that the property was for sale with an agent in my office for 90 days and expired unsold. It has been off the market for over a year, so in this instance, it's probably fair to define it as a somewhat new listing.

Posted by Irene Potter, Creating moving experiences in real estate (ZipRealty Residential Brokerage) over 11 years ago
wow!
Posted by joe over 11 years ago

That is definetly deceiving because people do take that into consideration when they are looking at a property. Days on market is something a lot of buyers will use as a negotiating point.

Posted by Adrian Alvarado, Inland Empire Real Estate (MGR Real Estate Inc.) over 11 years ago
Irene - That is awesome and I wish they would crack down on it across the country!
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago

Joe - Yes it is WOW!

Adrian - Right on my friend

Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago
Good job! We in Denver's Metrolist (MLS) instituted and "initial list date" a while back. It helps get the buyer the info he wants before writing an offer. I am still amazed at the number of Realtors that continually "refresh" their listings. Making it appear as a new listing does not offset a price that is too high. 
Posted by Moe Giroux (Metro Brokers, MLG Real Estate, LLC) over 11 years ago
Moe - That is great!
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago
Any good agent will check the history to determine how long the home has been on the market and what has been changed since the original listing date. This does happen a lot and it is something that we should all be aware of. Will it change, probably not.
Posted by Donna Lueder, Meridian Idaho Real Estate (Integrity Group Inc. ) over 11 years ago

In my MLS your home has to be off the market for 90 days before your days resets to zero. Many agents here cancel a listing then re-list it to get a higher MLS #. Sometimes that works from the standpoint of looking at a list of comparable house you might automatically eliminate the home with low MLS #'s or not look at them for having a low number. Sure you will not fool a good agent but I think the idea is to get you to look.

 

ar

Posted by Mike Russell, Overland Park Kansas Real Estate (Mike Russell & Associates) over 11 years ago

George,

Been there ..done that..I just put a low offer on a property my buyer who is a cash 1031 guy,when I submitted it I told the Realtor(R) the buyer knew it was on the market for a long time...she said I just put it on last week...I said true but it was already listed for a year with a different agent..what's the difference?:) They do it just to stir the MLS up into thinking the listing is new yet they fail to understand it screws up the DOM...it might report 2 days but in actuality it is 250:)

Posted by Neal Bloom, Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate (eXp Realty) over 11 years ago

George - this is a very deceptive practice.  I have caught several agents in this kind of scheme and their responses to my questions are cold and non-chalant.  They act as though there is absolutely nothing wrong with this type of shell game.  It's infuriating, but all we can do at this point is hold ourselves to a higher standard and refuse to participate.

Thanks for yet another stellar post! 

Posted by Carol Smith (Casmi Photography) over 11 years ago

As a buyer's agent it is our job to represent our clients best interest and try to get them the best possible deal.  When representing the buyer you should always research the history of the property.  Another technique I use is verifying if there are any liens or judgements on the property, the seller's mortgage amount owed, in addition to how long they have been selling.  All of these factors can help you assist the buyer in negotiating aggressively to obtain the best possible price.

Great Post George!

Posted by Michelle Burgos, CDPE, Short Sale Expert, Pembroke Pines,Miramar,Davie,Hollywood (RE/MAX PowerPro Realty) over 11 years ago

I see both sides of the story, and could argue both ways....it all depends on who your representing.  If it was your Seller you are working as far as the grey area allows to represent his home, your listing.

If your the Buyers agent, then you need to do your research and look for this and other "games" agents use.

If you dare to do dual agency here.....there is your quandry....and that is where I think "deception" would enter in.  Do you lie to the buyer, or hang your seller out to dry?

Posted by Drew Riley (Spa Realty, Inc Team Riley) over 11 years ago
Our MLS just implemented "Cumulative Days on Market". Unless a property is off the market for 60 days, the DOM keeps running. DOM by itself is not really a good measure of anything. Pricing. motivation, and overall market conditions also need to be taken into account.
Posted by John Novak, Henderson, Las Vegas and Summerlin Real Estate (Keller Williams Realty The Marketplace) over 11 years ago
As REALTORS we must DISCLOSE, DISCLOSE, DISCLOSE...the TRUTH that is.  There are times you need not disclose (in our area Death, Suicide, Homicide in a property does not need be disclosed) unless you are asked....but if asked you must be HONEST! 
Posted by Michelle Burgos, CDPE, Short Sale Expert, Pembroke Pines,Miramar,Davie,Hollywood (RE/MAX PowerPro Realty) over 11 years ago
Good post George. What some agents and Sellers do is beyond me. A house priced right will sell in any type of market.
Posted by Wayne McMullan, Quinte Real Estate (Royal LePage ProAlliance Realty) over 11 years ago
I wish our MLS had Cumulative days on market. We had it in Florida and it cut out this kind of deception.
Posted by Pam Hofmann, Your Crossville, Lake Tansi & Fairfield Glade Specialist (Third Tennessee Realty & Associates, LLC) over 11 years ago

George,

Good post.

Relisted homes come up as "New Listings" when that is a complete misnomer.

This practice, which is common on the Triangle MLS, is indicative of an ethical failing among some Realtors.

The only reason to do it is to deceive people.  I don't see where it is a form of legitimate representation.

When you set out to deceive, you have stepped over a line.

Posted by Mike Jaquish, 919-880-2769 Cary, NC, Real Estate (Realty Arts) over 11 years ago
We would get fined BIG TIME around here for that - The fines for doing this are so hefty - agents do not want to go there.  Our listings are monitored very closely by our MLS system.  In fact, our MLS makes it IMMPOSSIBLE to "FIX" or change the Days on Market of any listing, no matter how many different agents have the listing or how many times you put it back in or take it out, the listing will always show the history and the TRUE days on market.
Posted by Debbie Cook, Silver Spring and Takoma Park Maryland Real Estate (Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc) over 11 years ago

This practice is referred to as "churning" which, in California is prohibited by most, if not all MLS systems. This creates very serious problems for Realtors and the consumer. Practicing the art of deception in order to profit......sounds like something else that is happening to our industry right now.

"The REALTOR® Code of Ethics  requires REALTORS® to be careful to present a "true picture" in their advertising and representations to the public.  Furthermore, misleading representations in the MLS pose potential legal liabilities to those involved in the listing transaction" Does this not apply to all Realtors in every state?

Churing in unethical and violates the Realtor Code of Ethics.

Altering a listing by letting it expire or withdrawing a listing for the purpose of re-listing at a reduced price or a change in terms is also deceptive and therefore......unethical.

 

Posted by Christopher Walker, Local Broker and Realtor - Hemet & San Jacinto, CA (Mission Grove Realty Inc.) over 11 years ago

This "freshening up" is has been done in the past and is becoming more frequent in our MLS.  Shamefully, I admit, I did it with my last listing out of desparation - I know most buyers/buyers agents know the history and I never lied about how long it had been on the market.   It's a waist of time and a hassle with advetising... who are we fooling?

Posted by Judi Glamb, Associate Broker, ABR (Coldwell Banker Hearthside) over 11 years ago
Hi George -  I agree with your post and many of the others.  This practice is common in my town as well and is one of those practices I educate my buyers on when we are looking at existing homes.   I realize the market is difficult and there is a lot of competition but it doesn't seem like a fair or ethical practice to me.  To try and fool a buyer or fellow real estate agent.  It actually does enforce why buyers need to hire their own agent and make sure that they choose an agent who will do a thorough job!  Thanks for the post!
Posted by Denise Wilson, ABR, CDPE (RE/MAX Ability Plus) over 11 years ago
Some people will do just about anything to manipulate the system.  It is wrong, plain and simple!
Posted by Dawn DeGroff (Fredericksburg Realty, Inc) over 11 years ago
I'm not a fan of any kind of deception.  Tell the seller to list the home at a price that will sell.  Those are the important numbers on the MLS data sheet.
Posted by Chris Lengquist, Kansas City Real Estate Investing (Ad Astra Realty) over 11 years ago

Our Eastern MLS will hold you countable if you try and decieve the consumer.  We have serious fines in place if an agent should try and twist the listing to make it appear new.  It is a big compliance issue, and I am surprised other MLS companies are not enforcing it. 

 When it comes down to it.  KARMA.

 

 

Posted by Cynthia Mader (Long and Foster Real Estate inc.) over 11 years ago
In our MLS Mid-Florida Regional we are strictly prohibited from doing this. Yes, it is deceptive. Our MLS sheets for agents show how long it has been on the market for the current listing and how long it has been on continuously. It is said to see agents, even here on Active Rain, who play fast and loose with the information they give out.
Posted by John Elwell, You Deserve a Full-Time Agent, Not Reduced Results (CENTURY 21 Bill Nye Realty, Inc.) over 11 years ago

I'm all for having both DOM and CDOM.

Our association had so many problems they now don't allow that.

The association to the south doesn't have CDOM but does make it very easy to check on the history of the property - just one click from the MLS printout brings it all up on the screen. 

Posted by Sharon Simms, St. Petersburg FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS (Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International) over 11 years ago

This kind of manipulation of a listing is against the rules of our MLS. Unless it is a new agent (and thus a new listing), or unless it has been off market for I think 6 months, an agent can't withdraw just to get a new 'days on market'. Our MLS listings actually show days on market for the property (running total for all listings for that house) and days on market for the current listing number. There is also a tab for each listing called "property history" that does a complete search for all prior listings on that property, whether they were withdrawn, expired, sold, or rented. It's quick and easy to see whether the home has been on the market longer than the current listing, and to see the prior listing when the current owners bought the home. Because each listing is tied to its tax record, there is no way for agents to manipulate it unless they post a listing without a tax record attached to it. (which is an instant red flag that someone is trying to 'game' the system).

So we don't have nearly the problems with days on market here now than we did in years past. Fines for violating those rules are much higher too, in the hundreds of dollars, to make sure that agents don't write it off as a cost of doing business.

I'll be back after bit to read all the comments, I wanted to put in a quick two cents. Good post!

Cheers,

Heather

Posted by Heather Elias (Century 21 Redwood Realty) over 11 years ago

Spoken like the true professional that he is, George Tallabas says:

"I would rather wear a hat of professionalism than one of GAMES and take care of my clients the way a professional does"

George you've earned yourself a 10 gallon Cowboy Hat of Professionalism in my book - and if you're ever out this way in Dallas I'll be happy to give you an official one!

Posted by Karen Otto, Plano Home Staging, Dallas Home Staging, www.homes (Home Star Staging) over 11 years ago

George,

You are right on point. Todays buyers are sophisticated and to think that they can be fooled is just that - foolish if not unethical. "How long has this been on the market?" - is one of the first questions out of the buyers' mouths. It is true that some of the sellers are asking for this to be done. I try to explain to them that it's usually shortsided and can bite them in the end.

Posted by Faina Sechzer, Real Estate Expert - Princeton, Montgomery ,Hopewell, NJ (Henderson-Sotheby's International Realty) over 11 years ago
George, I've noticed that (and late entries) too.  I'm trying to figure out if it benefits the consumer, which include both buyers and sellers.  Because it is to the benefit of one, and to the detriment of the other, it sort of cancels out any benefit, don't you think?  Just another waste of time imposed by a few, to the detriment of the rest of us.  Total disregard for our time, and that of our clients- forced into research to investigate because a few can't just play straight.  Ridiculous.
Posted by Laurie Mindnich over 11 years ago
THANK YOU ALL SOOOO VERY MUCH!   I don't have time to respond to you all individually right now but I appreciate all of your comments and support.  For the small handful that support this idea please understand that I prefer to give sellers valuable monthly market data and encourage them to make price adjustments and "Stage" their homes rather than to play this withdrawing and relisting game.  Realtors can look up history in a flash and tell the buyers the true picture.  This practice only makes a Realtor and Seller look bad as you can read by most of the comments.  Karen Otto...Thank you so very much for the offer of the 10 gallon hat my friend!  I would look pretty interesting in one...LOL!
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago

George, I so enjoy reading your blogs.  We noticed this when we relocated from Austin, TX to the Boston, MA area.  The reasons we were given frequently were the house was updated or homeowners decided to not sell and have changed their minds again or whatever.  Unless the house had been obviously updated and it only happened ONCE it didn't matter to us the excuses, rather it left a sense of distrust for us for the current owners and we moved on to other houses.  Our perspective was if we had to worry about 'listing games' (as our family called them) then what might we have to worry about that wasn't quite so obvious.  

Jackie

 

Posted by Jackie Peraza, Home Stager - Framingham, Massachusetts (Perceptions AdverStaging(TM), LLC) over 11 years ago

I have seen several agents play this game. The MLS in my area has been addressing the issue in an effort to keep information accurate. I don't always check the history of the property before sending information to my clients, but I do try to check before actually showing a property. I feel it is my responsibility to my buyers to make sure they are well informed.

Posted by abka defg over 11 years ago
Any buyer that is working with a Realtor has easy access to this information, hard to believe nayone could be fooked by this practice. It is also a deceptive practice that throws off the MLS statistics as to DOM
Posted by Michael Eisenberg, Bellingham Real Estate Guy (eXp Realty) over 11 years ago

Why do they even try such silly stuff?  It doesn't work.  I sent a buyer to one of my broker partners a couple of weeks ago.  Buyer had a specific home she wanted to see.  I thought it looked familiar but it was listed a "0" age and DOM 6 days. 

Shucks, my partner had shown the same house about 8 months ago and it was a year old then.  When I checked, it's all in the listing history.

Why do they even try???  That stuff demeans us all.

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 11 years ago
I always research the listing before I show my buyer because ususally that will be the first question they will ask me. I want them to feel like I know what I am doing and talking about. With our MLS numbers you can tell if it has been on there for awhile also.
Posted by Kim Wilbourn, Your Local Alabama REALTOR (Kim Wilbourn Realty) over 11 years ago

George - yep, it's pretty common. And so is 2, 3 or 4 agents before a home is sold. I always check the history before showing, and before any offers (it's part of buyer agency, isn't it?) and review this with my buyer clients. And many of them know this too so they ask if a home was listed before, for how much, etc. They have access to lots of data and this fools no one.

Jeff

Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (Solutions Real Estate ) over 11 years ago
The only time I recommend that is when the listing is changing hands.  If I am taking over your listing I want a new MLS # and a fresh start
Posted by Jennifer Walker-Derby, Real Estate Extraordinaire (Re/Max Westside) over 11 years ago

I'm not trying to hijack your post, but I "re-listed" my commnets here:

http://activerain.com/blogsview/181972/Days-on-Market-Counterpoint

I hope you see the humor. :)

Posted by Drew & Christine Morgan, Belmont California Real Estate (RE/MAX Star Properties) over 11 years ago

George,

That is ridiculous--In our MLS, we can check the archive history so it really isn't fooling any Realtors who are on their toes.

Posted by Diane Bell, Hilton Head Real Estate, Bluffton (Charter 1 Real Estate, Hilton Head, Bluffton, SC) over 11 years ago
Wow George, so many comments I may be repeating something here, but I agree with you. It's a deceptive practice and IMO borders on ethical issues. Re-listing with the goal of portraying something different than reality is the very definition of deception and deception is unethical. Yes, as a listing agent, it is my job to give my sellers any advantage I can, but that obligation does not relieve me of my ethical obligations. I like your example of how this practice actually hurt the seller in that case. I commented on a blog post here not too long ago that got around to this same topic and I had agent after agent arguing that it is the right thing to do and there were no ethical problems presented. It's amazing what some can justify as "the right thing to do" when they want so badly to believe that what they're doing is right, even though they know that deception is at the core of their action.
Posted by Ryan Hukill - Edmond, Realtor, Team Lead (ShowMeOKC Real Estate Pros of KW Elite) over 11 years ago
George, you are right on, and I see this kind of thing regularly.  It is unethical and flat wrong.  It is deception, and it is fraud on the public.  No Realtor should engage in such shenanigans.  Thank you George for saying it.
Posted by Chuck Marunde, Sequim Real Estate Broker (Sequim & Port Angeles Real Estate) over 11 years ago
George - What you described used to be common place in my market until about a year ago. Realtors would be constantly re-listing properties after they had been on for a while for the purpose of re-setting the clock back to zero. MLS finally said enough is enough and changed the internal workings of the system so that even if a home was taken off the market and re-listed the days on the market would be accurate. This prevented "gaming" and made the information more accurate for consumers which it should be.
Posted by Bill Gassett, Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate (RE/MAX Executive Realty) over 11 years ago
Thank you all for your wonderful comments (even if you don't agree).  I am going to email this post and all your comments to our MLS and see if I can convince them to ban this practice as many of you have stated your MLS's have done.  Call a spade a spade and if a property has been on the market for 300 days there is something wrong with the price, condition, location or some other factor.  Addressing one of those problems is the solution, not continuing to relist it and deceive the public.  Kudos to all of you!
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago
It is frustrating that the MLS systems don't police the information in the listings better.  I spend a lot of time doing unecessary research when doing CMAs for both buyer and sellers.  Good data in = good data out!
Posted by Yvette Chisholm, Associate Broker - Rockville, MD 301-758-9500 (Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.) over 11 years ago
George, this is a great post.  In fact, some realtors at my office have brought this same issue to my attention.  From what I understand, even if a realtor re-lists a property, the MLS printout will still show CDOM at 200 days for example and DOM at 20 days unless they do something else and I'm not sure what to make the DOM and CDOM the same.  This to me is very deceptive and wrong when they re-list it for the same price only to get a different MLS number and have DOM mislead people to think it's a new listing.  ARGHHH!!!
Posted by Patricia Beck, Colorado Springs Realty (RE/MAX Properties, Inc., GRI, CDPE) over 11 years ago

Good Post!  I've heard of agents taking it off the market for a month or two then relisting it at lower price, To freshen it up, but This is the first I've heard of agents relisting it repeatedly for 2 years---I think it does border DECEPTION.

 

 

Posted by David Fox, Real Estate Technology Specialist (The Real Estate Tech Desk) over 11 years ago
Thanks Yvette, Patricia and David....Like I said in my last comment.  I am going to send my MLS a copy of this post and the associated comments.  If several MLS's can take action against this kind of deception then why can't they all do it?  Have a great evening everyone and thanks for all of the opinions and support.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago
In Arizona the days keep on accumulating unless the property is off the MLS for 90 days.
Posted by Bob & Carolin Benjamin, East Phoenix Arizona Homes (Benjamin Realty LLC) over 11 years ago
I agree that this borders on deception which falls under the code of ethics.  And, like Bob and Carolin said above, here in Arizona, the days do keep accumulating unless off the market for 90 days.  Thanks for the good post!
Posted by Joyce "Joy" Mahaney Brewster (High Profile Realty) over 11 years ago
People do do this fairly often, I have seen it many times. But I think most agents know about it and do check for it. It's really not fooling anyone except the public who doesn't know how to read it or can't check it themselves for that matter. Additionally I have seen agents re-list it after price reduction and roll it out as a new listing.
Posted by Cindy Lin (Staged4more Home Staging & Designs // EcoJoe) over 11 years ago
Not so sure you shouldn't have titled this "The oldest game..." I've seen this since we "plugged in" our MLS in the early 90's. Most reporters who use NAR data don't understand that this is the very reason that our DOM statistic is not valid.
Posted by Joe Manausa, Tallahassee Real Estate (Joe Manausa Real Estate) over 11 years ago
Great, honest, straight to the point post ! Kudo's to you 'cause you probably said what many feared to !
Posted by Melissa Grant, The Law of Attraction In Life & Business (A Serendipity World) over 11 years ago

Great post and discussion.  For those that have MLS rules which prohibit this process, I'd love to read the language and try to get it inserted into our rules.

I'm with you on this one for sure!

Posted by Linda Davis (RE/MAX Home Team) over 11 years ago
You are so right!!  The games Realtors play.  Not all Realtors are as perceptive as you George.  However, I think you hit on something important..Price it right to begin with and it will sell.
Posted by Tracy Santrock, Raleigh - Cary Realtor/Broker In Charge (Fonville Morisey/Santrock Realty Group, Inc. ) over 11 years ago

George, I am on out IS committee in our local association of Realtors.

We are adding a feature next to DOM called CDOM (Cumulative Days On Market). A simple program pulls the listings if sequential and adds the days together.

Tricky stuff

Charles McDonald
REALTOR, Licensed to sell Real Estate in the Commonwealth of Virginia
http://www.mycharlottesvilleagent.com/     http://www.mycharlottesvilleblog.com/

 

Posted by Charles McDonald, REALTOR®, Blogger, Principal Broker®, Owner (Charlottesville Real Estate Solutions) over 11 years ago
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you everyone for your valuable comments and insight!  Have a great day!
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago
great insight
Posted by Jeff Tumbarello (Steelbridge Realty LLC) over 11 years ago

Just left on a comment on a similar post...  http://activerain.com/blogsview/182419/Days-on-market

This is not a silly game!  It is deception!  And appropriate penalties should be given!

Posted by Joyce Heffner-Williams, Owner/Broker/EcoBroker - Monument Real Estate (Keller Williams Clients' Choice Realty) over 11 years ago

I see many agents do this after the listing expires, but seldom before.

Posted by David Slavin, CDPE, ABR, SRES Keller Williams Premier (Keller Williams Premier) over 11 years ago
Actually, if an agent cancels a listing and relists it a large number of times, I think a case could be made that NOT putting this information on the "Sellers Disclosure" could cause the ultimate buyer feel "misled," and perhaps even lead to some sort of legal action by the buyer against the seller, the agent, or both !
Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) over 11 years ago
we see a lot of that here too.  It just seems silly because agents can look at the history.  Our MLS is starting to fine.  Thanks for the heads up.
Posted by Valarie Grisham (Keller Williams) over 11 years ago

Karen said "Actually, if an agent cancels a listing and relists it a large number of times, I think a case could be made that NOT putting this information on the "Sellers Disclosure" could cause the ultimate buyer feel "misled," "

 

I couldn't agree more. We give buyers of our listings a copy of the MLS history for them to acknowledge--full disclsoure.

Posted by Drew & Christine Morgan, Belmont California Real Estate (RE/MAX Star Properties) over 11 years ago

This issue has been a HUGE issue on the DC market.  Our MLS is linked directly to the Tax ID # / so agents would have to put in the address in a different way...  Instead of 100 1st St NW (the actual address) they would enter 100 1stNW Street - or something similar.

It was a common practice to several agents and a couple of brokerages.  Agents would get caught and happily pay the $50 fine for the 2nd offence and $100 for the 3rd (1st offence is a warning).

That is until the MLS increased the fine for the 2nd violtion to $1000 and the 3rd offence is a $3000 fine and a 30-day suspension.

Needless to say; agents have stopped this deception.  If the home doesn't sell; it must be off the market for 6 months for the DOM to reset to zero.  Switching to a different agent/brokerage doesn't make a difference.

I think this is a great system - it's too bad so many agents like to use deception as a marketing ploy.

 

Posted by James Downing - Metro DC Houses Team REALTORS®, CRS, GRI, ABR,MRP, MilRes, When Looking to Buy or Sell - Make the Right Move (Real Living | At Home) over 11 years ago

Thanks again to all that have commented.  I wish I had the time to respond to each of you individually but unfortunately I am too busy with showing, selling and closing homes which is a great problem!  This became a much hotter topic that I had envisioned but as you can read, I am very passionate abount honesty and integrity when dealing with our clients.  I will not do anything that borders even on the grey area. 

Thanks again and God bless you all.

Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago
George- I am really glad you brought this up.  This practice of churning a listing happens all the time.  I really don't know who is more to blame for doing this.  Is it the listing agent or the seller who suggests this type of deceptive marketing on our local MLS?  We abide by a strict code of ethics, and I feel we should not do anything to violate them. Great post!
Posted by Denise Gentile, REALTOR , Riverside County (Coldwell Banker Associated Brokers Realty) over 11 years ago
George - I think it borders on deception as well.  It just doesn't sound like good business.
Posted by Joe Bartolotta Florida's Upfront Mortgage Broker (Fidelity Mortgage Services) over 11 years ago

What is NAR's position on this practice?

I see my local MLS making changes after a NAR audit recently.

Does NAR sanction this type of manipulation of data?

Posted by Mike Jaquish, 919-880-2769 Cary, NC, Real Estate (Realty Arts) over 11 years ago

The DOM is not the way to make an offer. An agent needs to seek the SOLD's and ACTIVE's in the neighborhood and make a logical offer.

Teresa Johnson

Posted by Teresa Johnson, Teresa johnson and Associates (RE/MAX Greater Atlanta) over 11 years ago
George, I actually do this.  However, I cancel and relist them so the listing hits the "hotsheet" in MLS, especially if I can get a reduced price.  I have found it really does sell a home.  All realtors have access to the history of the home.  No deception intended.
Posted by Kay Van Kampen, Realtor®, Springfield Mo Real Estate (RE/MAX Broker, RE/MAX) over 11 years ago

Kay-

Price your listings right in the first place.  It IS deceptive.

Posted by Anonymous over 11 years ago
Wow an agent that admits she does this?  Its agents like this that give realtors a bad name.  She should lose her license!
Posted by Robert over 11 years ago

I believe that different regions may have varying standards and what is traditional and acceptable in one region may not be in another.

Our MLS system in Belmont (San Mateo County) decided this year to disallow the practice of re-listing a home (effectively re-setting the DOM stat) since consumers thought it was a deceptive practice-and to some degree I suppose some agents employed this practice inappropriately.

One of the first questions we receive at an open house from prospective buyers is how long a home has been on the market; and of course we tell them from the date it was originally listed; and we also tell them how long it has been on the market after any price reductions. Home buyers judge in our area if a home is overpriced if it's still on the market after 21 days. Clearly more and more buyers are relying on this statistic and the Internet for information to help them in buying a home.

When the MLS systems decided to share our proprietary database with the public over the Internet, we applauded that move as a way to reach more prospective buyers. To some degree however the public now perceives this iinformation as their right to view and are beginning to demand if not try and dictate what information should be made available. We've even received consumer complaints about erroneous advertising of third party web sites which extract the MLS information and misrepresent it when they launch it on their web page; this is can probably be traced back to their spiders getting iinformation and simply displaying it incorrectly.

In the Bay Area agents used to put a home in as a new listing when the seller would make a price reduction not in an effort to fool the public-but in an effort to get more agents to see the home. Remember, before the Internet the public never had access to that information unless it was filtered through an agent. And of course agents are duty bound to tell their prospective buyer the listing's history-just as they would divulge the sales history.

Some agents tend to show recently listed homes for sale and forget about the ones which have been on the market awhile and this was a good way to get their attention--it was a "tool" to get your seller's listing back in front of agents, not trick the public. Any savvy agent would see the new listing show up on their hot sheet and realize it was a home they'd already seen but it got the listing back in front of the agents at a new price; agents who had never seen the home often did so after it was re-listed (perhaps simply because it now fell within their buyer's price range). It was the way our board chose to handle it at the time and it was an acceptable and provided for practice--back  then.

Anecdotal case in point; we were recently asked to take over a listing in Belmont from another agent when the seller was dissatisfied with the service they were receiving. That agent had the home on the market for 14 days. When we re-listed the home (at effectively the same price), because it was with a different broker, the Days on Market stat reset automatically. Even though our board now tracks and reports CDOM (publicly) our first agent tour came along and about 50 agents showed up (that's a lot in our area)-only one mentioned that they had seen it before.

The way in which the days-on-market stat was recorded was an not an intentionally misleading practice in and of itself, but one can see how the public-which has come to rely on Internet as their source for home information-would miss the true facts without the guidance of an agent.

Say, another good reason to work with an agent...

Posted by Drew & Christine Morgan, Belmont California Real Estate (RE/MAX Star Properties) over 11 years ago
Wow - You are all just blowing me away!  I had no idea the response would be so great.  It is interesting to read the diverse opinions and the MLS rules that vary across the country.  Thank you all for your valuable comments and for taking the time to share.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago
I agree the practice is borderline deception... it also sound that the realtor had their own best interest at heart. We work for the seller and that responsibilty is one that should not be taken lightly. Anyhow, that's how I feel about the matter.
Posted by Vicente A. Martinez, Realtor, Brooklyn - Long Island - Queens Homes (Prudential Douglas Elliman Licensed Real Estate Salesperson) over 11 years ago
Thank you Vincent and everyone else for your valuable opinions.  I appreciate each and everyone of you.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago

George - forgive me, I'm a newer agent and have done this myself and also recommended it to other agents.  However, my purpose is just to make it fresh in the minds of the agents, not to deceive potential buyers.  With so many listings on the market even the best ones can get lost. 

I've seen a lot of homes sell right after a re-list; I never thought that an agent representing a buyer wasn't looking at the property history because I do that all the time for my buyers.  I purposefully worked 2 years in the Real Estate industry before I got my license so I could learn as much as I could and the practice of releasing and re-listing was very common.  I just thought it's what you do, but I certainly can see from your perspective what it might look like from another angle.  Thanks for sharing your opinion ~ it's given me a whole new way of thinking.

Posted by Joddie Roberts, Your Spokane Realtor - Spokane, WA (Mountain Real Estate and Property Management) over 11 years ago
Joddie - Thank you for your input.  If you read a lot of the comments on this post you will see it is a HOT BUTTON and more than I ever thought.  You will read that several MLS's have banned the practice and others have adopted a DOM category and a CDOM (Cumulative Days On Market) as well to give the true picture of how long a property has been on the market.  Good luck to you Joddie and have a great weekend.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago
George, if I may add to that, not only is it deceiving, it skews the entire DOM statistic for both local and national markets. This was mentioned above, but I think it's an important point to emphasize.
Posted by Ryan Hukill - Edmond, Realtor, Team Lead (ShowMeOKC Real Estate Pros of KW Elite) over 11 years ago
Ryan - I totally undersand.  Have a great weekend.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago
I agree with those seeong this as a deceptive practise.  Until the local boards attach a significant penalty to this practise it will continue. Right ?
Posted by Bill Gillhespy, Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos (16 Sunview Blvd) over 11 years ago
Bill - Very true.  I have sent a copy of this post and associated comments to my MLS in hopes something will be done to stop this practice.  Thanks for your comment and have a wonderful day.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago

Gaming the MLS, How about this, I know a broker who games the MLS by hiding comps for his own personal portfolio.  He buys a piece of property (either death in the family or elderly couple) at a low price (and he gets the, usually the elderly, to sign an exclusive right to sell) pays cash but never performs as an agent on the Exclusive Right to Sell on behalf of the elderly).  He then turns around and lists (sets up a second exclusive right to sell) the property.  But he hides the first sale (the lower comp) until he sells the property at a much higher price.  He games the system by using legal terms like A-L and A-1 for the exact piece of property.  In some instances he has waited 3 to 4 weeks before entering the lower comp into the system.  He says its legal and EVERYONE DOES IT.  He does it for DOUBLE DIPPING.

Posted by Anonymous over 10 years ago

Participate