Buyer Be Aware- Misleading status in Woodland Hills and SoCal in general

Asked by G, 91367 Fri Jun 6, 2008

I live in Woodland Hills and kind of keeping an eye on the market for more than a year. Being a scientist by profession, I started keeping track on so many properties on a spreadsheet. What I've observed is kind of scary.

Listing agent are listing, then changing price several times both up and down, changing status like pending sale, backup offer etc, and then removing the property and listing it back giving the impression there is huge demand. Be careful buyers. Don't fall for their tricks.

Here is one example: One property next door is for sale in the market almost for a year, a townhome. First-time I saw it was listed at $489K and price has changed so many times all the way to $429K last month. It's staus has showed everything, pending sale, backup offer, escrew etc.etc. While it was showing pending sale my agent called me saying that the listing agent is saying that she can get it for $390K. Then it disapperaed from the listing and now back for $439K. Be careful!

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Gary Krieger, , Sherman Oaks, CA
Fri Jun 6, 2008
Buyers should work with a qualified real estate agent to help them make sense of the market. The scenario you've just described could be the result of seller's chasing the market down in a declining marketplace. Often, recently, sellers did not want to make bold price reductions to match the reality of the market. As a result, they would often reduce the price of their property by only small amounts. But, every time they made a small reduction, it was too little, too late. So, they chased the market down again. Regarding the changing status in the MLS, agents are required to change status on their lisings within defined limits. If status is stated incorrectly after, for instance, a 3 day window, the agent can be fined for a violation of MLS rules. I am not suggesting that incorrect information is not sometimes reflected, but overall, the rules are in existence to keep all agents working on a level playing field. Given the recent lending debacle, it is apparent to anyone in the business that properties change from active status to pending status and often back to active again. This is often because the lending guidelines change and a buyer who presents a pre-approved letter from a lender is later deemed unqualified by that lender. Many other issues cause a deal to fall apart and result in the change from Pending back to active. Also, many agents will as a matter of course, change a listing from active to backup offer. They think that will bring more potential buyers to the table while the property is pending. However, most agents will not show backup offer properties because they don't want their clients to fall in love with a property that may not become available again. Finally, one way to filter the sale prices shown is to check with the title company. Your realtor can do that for you. This is an interesting cycle in the market now and it requires both caution and diligence. Be certain that your agent has your best interest at heart, and you should get all the details you need to make intelligent decisions from your agent.
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Sara Mehrpou…, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Mon Jan 31, 2011
Every agent may work differently. Just make sure that you have an agent behind you and has your best interest in mind. Looking for Woodland Hills Homes for Sale? You can get all the information for the area, listings etc at my website:

Sara Mehrpouyan
Rodeo Realty
Direct 818-903-2040
Dre Lic #01712757
0 votes
Aiko Hill, Both Buyer And Seller, 94024
Mon Jun 8, 2009
Thanks for your opinion. What's the best area to live temporarily near the Warner Center and the Marriott Hotel across from the Mall? Thakns, Aiko
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Dot Chance, Agent, Burbank, CA
Sat Jun 7, 2008
Hi, G:

I see your concern. However, there may be a good explanation for all of the things that have happened.

They may have had an accepted offer(s) and then it fell apart in escrow. Although this property may have come up as a new listing, the MLS will show how many cumulative days the property has been on the market.

I have seen agents raise the price by a little bit and sometimes they probably do that to get some attention because there has been a change.
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