Home Buying in 07090>Question Details

John, Other/Just Looking in 07030

So what happened to thwe question about saving Historical MLS and all of the properties that were deleted/re-added to hide the price cuts?

Asked by John, 07030 Thu Mar 25, 2010

Seems like the price cuts are coming again. One relator cut a bunch again in the last 3 days

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Hal Benz’s answer
At the end of the day, "churning listings" never fools anyone. And actions like these are why the public doesn't trust Realtors (even if we being directed to do this by our clients. Oh...and BTW...We CAN refuse and walk away from bad business decisions like this. But giving up listings is an issue for another day)

It won't be long before broker protected data is a thing of the past.

In my opinion, NAR's attempt to level the playing field with their "Realtors Property Resource" database will also fall short. Why? Because the consumer wants (and deserves IMHO) greater transparency. They want to know what they need to know...and want to make their decisions about calling a Realtor separately.

Is that a good thing? I think it could be.

The truth is that there is TOO MUCH information for the average consumer to digest. I've been a broker for years, and it takes me an enormous amount of time to stay ahead of it! If a professional Realtor builds their business around helping consumers INTERPRET the information...and not around CONTROLLING it, I suspect they'll build a loyal following.

It's how I'm trying to build my personal brand.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 25, 2010
Hi John,

I think Debbie, John and I answered your question a while ago when you asked about a specific company and accused them of some sort of shenanigans. I think we explained it in thorough detail. (and Debbie addressed that yet again in her post).

Property history is available through most MLS systems, and even if you aren't thinking of purchasing a particular home, all you need to do is call a Realtor and ask. We can pull up the history for you and will freely divulge the information we can obtain.

We do not hide price reductions. As a matter of fact one thing I think we all do is check the property history for our buyer clients, especially if they are interested in purchasing it.

Price reductions are not akin to leprosy and something to be avoided and hidden. It shows the seller is motivated to sell and is responding to the market and their realtors suggestions.

Withdrawing and re-listing a property when a price reduction occurs, is not an attempt to hide something from the buyer, it's attempt to put a fresh look on the listing for the seller, so buyers will want to see the house. Our jobs as listing agents is to get buyers to the sellers, and get sellers to understand and react to their current market conditions to get a home sold, and as a buyers agent to find our buyers a home and give them as much information as we can..
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 26, 2010
Agree with Hal, I am operating in the same way Hal - I tell my clients that I will share whatever info I can tap from the MLS - which is loaded with data and stats - at a property and community level. And, I deliver on that promise.

I like that Hal, commit to share - NOT control the information. At a brokerage and agent level, there are some firms that control data and some that share - those that do the later should prosper as the consumer's acceptance of the proprietary shielding of data diminishes.

....I'm banking on it! I'm giving you a "thumbs up" too Hal!

Best,
Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service.....and to sharing!
Web Reference: http://www.feenick.com
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 26, 2010
Dunes - to be honest, I beleive John is referencing an old question he posed a few months ago regarding the merger of 2 companies (in Westfield, NJ) and the withdrawing and relisting of the properties held by the 1 company . He (and if I am confusing him with another "John", I apologize) believed it was a conspiracy of some sort to mislead the consumer. The thread was taken down by trulia as some not very pleasant remarks about the company were deemed inappropriate.

I went so far as to call the Manager of the referenced company (NOT my company, mind you) to alert him regarding the disparaging remarks , and to make sure the situation was clearly explained.
An agent from that company responded, and clearly explained that the merger caused the homes to be relisted under the new company's name - not any conspiracy to hide information from the consumer.

John's " Home Buying in" zip of 07030 is in Westfield , NJ - where the original question was generated.
.........................................................................................

As to the question of whether the entire history of a listing (ie: original list price, former listing companies, reductions and days on market) should be readily available for the public's consumption - that can be open for discussion.............I have no problem with that. However, a simple call to an agent can give the buyer the answers to al those questions . I am not sure, however, and it can certainly be debated, where the buyer's rights cross over, and may intrude on the seller's rights.

I go back far enough - really only a handful of years ago, when we guarded the addresses of the homes we listed............buyers would have to call us to find out.......and yes, we were looking for leads. That's nothing to be ahsamed of........we are in business..................Lead generation is a healthy part of any sale-based business model.

Today, things have changed in thee favor of the consumer.
The consumer in today's market can not only learn the address of a home, but have it mapped for them, view numerous photos, and take a virtual tour of the property without even leaving their home...or calling a Realtor. That's pretty user friendly and transparent if you ask me.................but then again, no one did ask me. :)
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 25, 2010
Hal Thumbs up to you.......

I never said lead generation was bad or brokerages or anyone else had an obligation to provide any data...

I said "You keep it hidden because it's "your info" and if you want access you need to contact a Realtor..
"Lead generation"

This isn't about whether lead generation is healthy or acceptable but whether if this info is used as a lead generator and that's the reason a person needs to contact an Agent.. "

because Marc said and others made similar comments.. "
"There is no conspiracy and nothing is being hidden from you or anyone else"

Conspiracy is a word not used by me, I merely am saying it is hidden and it's hidden so people will contact Agents to gain access to it.."lead generation"

THAT'S FINE but saying it's not hidden in one breath and then explaining why it is seems to suggest one comment or the other is not true or intentionally misleading...


All the yadda yadda about we don't have an obligation, it's our info, we paid for it..THAT'S FINE, keep it, give it away, sell it, use it to start the bar-b-que, I don't care and said repeatedly THAT'S FINE it's your business decision so go for it....

I'm just saying the comments of "nothing is being hidden from you or anyone else" and the why would anyone think this... rings just a bit hollow IMO.....

Anyway thanks for setting me straight about the Grown-up world of Real Estate.....
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 25, 2010
Marc

It's your info and if you choose to use it for lead generation that's fine but let's be honest about it and admit that's what you're doing instead of the
"There is no conspiracy and nothing is being hidden from you or anyone else." spiel which is different from

"Since we as an industry pay the freight for creating and compiling listing data, it is perfectly reasonable that we as agents control the access to listing data. It is not "free" to create or compile, we pay a lot of money for it, it is used in the course of our business, and it is perfectly reasonable that one should expect to call their agent to access listing data."

You keep it hidden because it's "your info" and if you want access you need to contact a Realtor..
"Lead generation"

This isn't about whether lead generation is healthy or acceptable but whether if this info is used as a lead generator and that's the reason a person needs to contact an Agent..


You're the PROs so I'm sure I'm wrong.... thanks for setting me straight...
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 25, 2010
Dunes,

Since we as an industry pay the freight for creating and compiling listing data, it is perfectly reasonable that we as agents control the access to listing data. It is not "free" to create or compile, we pay a lot of money for it, it is used in the course of our business, and it is perfectly reasonable that one should expect to call their agent to access listing data.

This is similar to any other market industry. Does anyone expect data in other industries to be simply free because they want it? Of course not.

-Marc
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 25, 2010
John, you speak of "price cuts" (ie - reductions) as though they are a bad thing.
Why?
They may not be a favorite thing for the seller , but they certainly are a good sign that the seller is responding to the market. As a buyer, each price cut makes the home more affordable .

The multiple listing service that covers Westfield, where I believe your original question originated, discourages agents from withdrawing homes from the market and relisting them during the length of the listing or when a reduction takes place , as it skews the days on market - at first glance. Of course, as mentioned below, the history of the home is easily available through the agent.

Are you now questioning reductions in Hoboken? If so...there still is no conpiracy................just sellers and their agents making decisions regarding the marketing of their homes. All of the "historical" information on a home is there - just ask for it.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 25, 2010
- I'm just saying the comments of "nothing is being hidden from you or anyone else" and the why would anyone think this... rings just a bit hollow IMO.....

If you ask enough people, you'll get enough answers to convince somebody of anything. For those who want to see a conspiracy against the consumer, there's plenty of evidence to support that point of view.

But there's this pretense that the real estate brokerage community somehow owes complete transparency and access to all listing data to the General Public, and that's a point of view that is not supported by any promise or implication of a promise by the Real Estate Brokerage Community.

The data is provided in an attempt to sell a property. Any other use, Dunes, is incidental.

Should that change? Well, it depends. Hal thinks we're headed towards total transparency. Well, maybe.

For example: There's a good argument to be made that the outstanding loan balances should be included with the listing information, too - after all, that's a matter of public record, and having that knowledge may have an effect on a buyer's perception of value for that property. I don't think home sellers are going to go along with it, though, and I'm not certain that the Brokerage Community would be willing to make that sacrifice to satisfy the demands of a data-thirsty public.

- The truth is that there is TOO MUCH information for the average consumer to digest.

And, the average consumer doesn't know what to do with it. (Yes, I said it!)

Our job as a listing broker isn't to give information to the general public, it's to get the property sold. Our job is certainly not to provide aggregators and lead-generation companies with "content" to attract viewers to then show them advertising (no offense, Trulia!).

I know it flies in the face of our attempts to craft an image of, "Anything for the consumer," but you know what - there's a little bit of hard-edged business at work here. If the information isn't going to lead to an immediate buying decision, why should we provide it, again?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 26, 2010
Hey, if the buyer calls another agent, and they write on the property, the listing broker's done their marketing job.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 25, 2010
Dan,

Correct! A smart buyer never uses the listing agent, who is representing the seller. A buyer should always use his own agent.

However, that does not stop a buyer from calling me to answer a question or view one of my listings. Last week a buyer made an appointment with me to see one of my listings. I showed him the house, explained his rights, told him not to tell me anything about his personal circumstances, and gave him the Consumer Information Statement that explains the various forms of agency. He loved the house.

A few days later, I got a call from an agent to show him the house for a second time. Did I put up a fuss and say he was my client? No of course not. He should have his own representation, and now he does.

-Marc

Marc Paolella
Relocation Director/Appraiser
Century 21 Joe Tekula Realtors
Phone (direct): (973) 584-4235
Web: http://www.marcpaolella.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 25, 2010
Marc, lead generation? The smart buyer will never use the listing agent. But if you put the information readily available they could easily try to buy the house with another realtor who is on their side not your sellers side.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 25, 2010
Dunes & Dan,

Lead generation? Absolutely. And proudly. I have no problem admitting that. We are in business to bring buyers and sellers together. You can't bring a buyer together with anyone if you don't know who they are. Sellers hire us to find a qualified buyer. Buyers hire us to find a qualifying house. We already provide everything but the kitchen sink online and mostly for free. But it's not too much to ask to have you call the agent if you need more detailed information about a property.

As for days-on-market, I would have no problem putting that statistic online. It's often not all that useful by itself. Let's say a house is overlisted for 6 months but now it has been reduced and is ready to sell. If all you know is the current price and the days-on-market, you are going to make a lowball offer and lose the house to someone else who pays full price. Or, for example in the case of a divorce. House is on the market for 4 months, but the first three months the uncooperative wife or husband was not allowing people in without a search warrant. It happens all the time by the way. The 120 days on market is wrong, the house has only been truly listed for 30 days.

However, a phone call to the right agent will get you the details behind the statistics. Things are often not what they seem.

Lead generation is good! It's what makes the real estate world go round.

-Marc

Marc Paolella
Relocation Director/Appraiser
Century 21 Joe Tekula Realtors
Phone (direct): (973) 584-4235
Web: http://www.marcpaolella.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 25, 2010
In the grown up world of residential real estate, the listings come to you courtesy of the listing brokers, and it comes to you with the information that their associations have decided to provide to the public.

The listing brokers do not exist to provide data, historical records, information, or for any other purpose than -- here's the bus driver taking you to school here -- they exist to get their listings sold.

They exist to get their listings sold. That's why real estate brokerages are in business. Sure, there are subsets - dedicated buyer brokerages - but without the listings, there's no real estate business.

As to the how the decisions come about as to which data to release, I have no idea. I do know that brokerages often feel no special responsibility to provide historical listing information.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 25, 2010
When I look at realtor.com it shows me all kinds of information without seeing a realtor. Why is the cdom apparently the only thing that is not given? Is it more special than the actual address of a property is?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 25, 2010
I think John is just asking why he has to ask rather than just be able to view (Agents say it isn't being hid for any reason) the information without contacting an Agent.
It may perhaps seem to some that it is done the way it is in order to generate leads by forcing the Consumer to contact an Agent to view information that is "not being kept secret for any reason"

Now I know the point that consumers are not required to use an Agent they contact will be made but we do all know "leads" are an important item to Agents so the suspicion things may be set-up to generate them should be an expected one IMHO.

Dunes
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 25, 2010
Hi John,

I am not too sure what the question is about, but , there is no "hiding" of prices. You need to ask your realtor to pull up the history of the house on the MLS. The data of previous pricing and listings is always available.

When I change (reduce) a price on a listing, I reduce the price and remove and re-list the property under the new pricing. The property shows ho new on all the websites and the MLS, this is not done to hide anything, just to refresh the property on the market with the new reduced price.

Why would this be interpreted as hiding a price change?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 25, 2010
John,

There is no conspiracy and nothing is being hidden from you or anyone else. Simply ask your Realtor for full marketing history on any home and you will receive a detailed printout.

-Marc

Marc Paolella
Relocation Director/Appraiser
Century 21 Joe Tekula Realtors
Phone (direct): (973) 584-4235
Web: http://www.marcpaolella.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 25, 2010
Hello John,

I agree with the previous answer...there is no hiding price history from people who know where to look.

The big mistake that home sellers often make is that they create too large a "price cushion" for negotiations. The market will simply wait them out on a price improvement. And unfortunately, the seller often has to "over-correct" in order to re-capture the buyer pool.

I find that the "sweet spot" is to price the home no more than 4% - 5% away from where you expect the sale to happen. Buyers will recognize the value, and offers will usually come fairly quickly. Pricing above this, and you'll probably need to make a correction somewhere along the line. And that's not good news...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 25, 2010
Hi John,

I don't know specifically what question you're referring to, but using a good agent makes it near impossible to hide any past pricing history. You can't fault people for trying, though, as price points are so sensitive and proper positioning can be the difference between a sale and none. But to all of us who do their homework, there's no hiding. I hope that puts that question to rest once and for all.

Cheers,

Jacobus "Jack" Vollenberg
RE Appraiser - Vollenberg Appraisers
Realtor/REO Asset Manager - ERA Statewide Realty
Vollenberg@iname.com
Office (908) 968-0336
Cell (973) 590-0142
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 25, 2010
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