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Friday, January 12, 2007

Anecdote: Reloaded

Many of you may remember the million-dollar new construction that I've been following since June of last year. Recall that it was originally listed at $1,625,000, has seen four separate price reductions (down to $1,275,000—28% off), and was most recently re-listed with a new brokerage and a shiny new description.

About a year ago I posted about a warning the NWMLS had posted to local agents. Here's the heart of it:

You may not cancel and relist a property, even with a new listing agreement and new listing input sheets, unless there is a material change to the listing (e.g., a significant change in the price of the property, a remodel, a change in zoning, or a change in ownership).
What does this have to do with the listing in question? Well, after fifty more days of apparently zero interest in this increasingly stale listing (240 cumulative days on the market), the listing agent—one Miss Sarah L. Reed of RE/MAX—has apparently decided that the new year is a good time to generate some fresh interest in the property by brazenly violating NWMLS rules.

Old price: $1,275,000. Old description:
A warm & elegant tribute to the distinctive northwest craftsman lifestyle! New majestic custom home on over 3 peaceful, close-in acres w/equestrian opp. Featuring glistening hardwoods in sun-filled rooms, arched doorways, library, slab granite, state of the art stainless steel gourmet kitchen-6 burner viking. Open & flowing w/soaring ceilings, greatroom, dining, family~bonus designed for entertaining. Showcase master suite retreat w/fplc, spa bath, dual closets. Caretaker-nanny-ext.Family wing.
"New" price: $1,275,000. "New" description:
A warm & elegant tribute to the distinctive northwest craftsman lifestyle! New majestic custom home on over 3 peaceful, close-in acres w/equestrian opp. Featuring glistening hardwoods in sun-filled rooms, arched doorways, library, slab granite, state of the art stainless steel gourmet kitchen-6 burner viking. Open & flowing w/soaring ceilings, greatroom, dining, family~bonus designed for entertaining. Showcase master suite retreat w/fplc, spa bath, dual closets. Caretaker-nanny-ext.Family wing.
You can also see (if you have a ZipRealty account) that the pictures are identical between the old and new listings.

I'm just an unsophisticated blogger, not a real estate professional, but it sure doesn't look to me like there has been a "material change to the listing." Tsk, tsk Ms. Reed.

Seeing something like this almost exactly one year after posting about the NWMLS warning leads me to wonder whether January is perhaps a particularly popular month to violate the NWMLS rules regarding re-listing properties.

Update: Be sure to see Sarah Reed's response to this post.

14 comments:

Kaleetan said...

You are quite the sleuth tim - way to go!

Mrs Reed is busted!

Think your gonna pull the wool over my eyes with your new listing huh ? ...no way..not with timmy around

synthetik said...

When my wife and I first moved to Seattle in March of 06', this house was for sale:

4606 Whitman Ave N., 98103
Price $1,275,000

I have no idea how many times it's been relisted but it's been many. The current price is now $1,100,000 and "6 days on the market".

In the past it's been relisted with no price changes - several times.

Link (required ziprealty login)

It's really nice but right on the corner of a major intersection. Easily the most expensive home in the immediate area - a modern art masterpiece!

synthetik said...

TIMMAY!

T,V & Mr.B said...

While waiting in the doctors office today, I was reading an article in Readers Digest that explained how people who have used discount broker agencies to list their home, they were black listed by the traditional RE brokers, and when they tried to have an open house, no agents would come by due to being told not to by a traditional broker. I can't find the link on Readers Digest web site, but it was pretty disturbing to find out the lengths that these people will go to, just to keep their money line going.

MisterBubble said...

Hey y'all...dumb question:

What's the best way to get days-on-market for any listing?

Thanks!

Norm said...

Are you saying you can't see any difference? :)

Some areas have legislation, like mine, which prevents listing periods which exceed one year. After that, the only way to keep the property listed is with a new agreement.

just_checking said...

Interesting factoid about friends at NAR

biliruben said...

Misterbubble - Redfin, linked here, has days on the market for every listing.

Geon said...

4606 Whitman Ave N., 98103
Price $1,275,000


I've seen this listing, not sure if was on the realtor site or HGTV's "What is that!" LOL.

cosmos said...

just_checking - Thanks for the link! Now I understand why W didn't call up the army of realtors for his surge in Iraq. Too bad.

SeattleMoose said...

I track properties by address not MLS listing so this game has been pretty obvious over the last year.

Mrs. gReed is just another RE pirate flipping off the rules.

The whole RE industry is a criminal organization and all of its members should be tried for "crimes against humanity"......

Ardell DellaLoggia said...

Regarding mls cancel and reposting, it used to be (before the relatively new rule) like taking something that wasn't selling on the bottom shelf, and moving it to eye level in a grocery store. Not really deceitful from an agent to agent inside the mls perspective.

Remember the public wasn't seeing any of this at all. It was just agent to agent advertising within the mls.

The rule came in because the public doesn't have the "property history" button that we have. So from the public view it was deceiving, though not from the agent to agent view.

Agents have been "updating their listing number" for many, many years for the benefit of the seller. Just like a second or third Broker's Open.

If the remarks said: New on Market...that would be deceitful. But just getting the agents to take another look (relisting puts it in the agents inbox again), is just a "hey guys, don't forget about this one!"

MLS new rule basically says, "Hey, give us a REASON to look at it, like a big price change."

Sarah Reed said...

Regarding my listing on Avondale-I wanted to set the record straight about my intentional relisting of the property. I try to always write a shorter listing agreement than the average agent as it better serves the client/seller. I do not "cancel and relist", or intend to deceive the consumer or other agents. I wanted the listing to expire contractually, and be relisted after the first of the year so that it would have an MLS # starting with 270. Largely because so many agents only search the new listings for their clients, overlooking perfectly fine homes with a bit of market time. Buyers always ask how long a property has been on the market, and I am always honest with my clients in every way. The Days On Market is clearly available to all agents, though the MLS does not print it to the consumer. My sellers always get a detailed explaination of my reasons for writing a shorter listing contract, and the benefits it gives them. Ultimately, the descision is theirs.

Certainly, I have had a few issues to overcome with this property, as the last agent blantantly overpriced it since he does not live in or do much business in the area. Also, he had it in the zip code for the city of Sammamish. Finally, the school district was wrong, and the photos were lack luster. The former agent really SHOULD have relisted the home with each of the massive price drops he was forced to do by his lack of accurate info and pricing, and did the sellers a huge disservice by not. He was likely afraid that they might cancel his service, which they were eager to do in the end. The home is very well constructed and finished nicely, and is finally appropriately priced. There was an appraisal done this summer for value only, and it came in at $1,550,000.

The current listing contract is written to expire the first week of March. I did this to appeal to the lazier agents out there that only search for "new listings". More paperwork for me, but I'm not lazy.

Sarah Reed said...

One more thing. I agree that there are alot of unprofessional agents out there harming the public. It would be valuable to the industry and the safety of the consumer if we had stricter regulations surrounding the obtaining of a real estate license in this state. If you ever get the chance to vote for stricter guidlines and laws for real estate professionals, PLEASE DO! We try to be a self-policing industry, but not everyone shares the high ethics that we all should subscribe to. Unfortunately, there are alot of people that get in the business to take advantage of the public.