Roger gave us a link in yesterday's comments that sheds some light on to the much-seen practice of re-listing properties on the MLS. When we see a property using our Realtor, we ask about this; but it was actually our Realtor who turned us onto the whole practice in the first place as this Realtor is honest and does the homework and tells us. Contrary to some beliefs, many Realtors don't like the way other Realtors operate, thus giving all Realtors a bad name. Anyway, point being, the Realtor has the information, and you have a responsibility to ask for it.
Here's the meat of the issue:
If a property is not selling the listing agent can, with permission of the owner, re-list the property on MLS. They pay a small fee, the property is withdrawn, and then re-listed back on the market and becomes a new listing. The history of the old listing is available to Realtors but not the public, except when you ask.And this came from a Realtor (with minor edits from me). This same Realtor also talks about dual-agency. His explanation goes much further than my rudimentary knowledge on the subject. I was interested to learn that the brokerage and not the agent is the actual seller contracted. What this means is that two agents working both ends of the deal from the same agency are really in conflict and acting on behalf of the seller.
Re-listing can affect the statistics for:
This practice of re-listing can make the market activity look different. It could show a different trend then what is actually happening. It is deceptive in nature. It should not be allowed.
- Days on the market
- Percent of asking price paid
- Canceled and withdrawn home
- New listings
Here is an example of re-listing:
Jan 1 listed $800,000
March 1 Re-listed $700,000
May 1 Re-listed $600,000
May 15 sold $590,000
Days on the market 15
Percent of asking price 98.3%
Number of new listing 3
Number of withdrawn 2
Now here is the same house without re-listing:
Jan 1 listed $800,000It is the same house but at the difference in the statistical results.
price adjustment $700,000
price adjustment $600,000
May 15 sold $590,000
Days on the market 136
Percent of asking price 73.75%
Number of new listing 1
Number of withdrawn 0
I can't think of any reason why a buyer would not want to employ an agent on their behalf. It costs you nothing and if you use one that has no business connection to the seller agency, then you presumably have one working on your behalf. They sign a contract. You have legal rights associated with that contract. Makes sense to me to use one.
Now what would we do if a property we wanted to make an offer on was listed by the same brokerage as our agent represents? We'd first have a conversation with our agent. Do we feel secure that our agent has our best interest in mind? Do we think our agent is selling to us? If we felt at all uncomfortable, we'd get another agent to represent us. Is our agent showing us a disproportionate number of properties listed through their brokerage? All of these are warning signs in our minds.
Agents work relationships. It's a networking thing. If an agent felt we were acting inappropriately by using another agent to make the offer on a dual-listed property, that agent isn't looking out for our best interests. And thus would never get to list our home when we sell it nor gain referrals to our friends and families. If the agent can't see this then they are too short sighted to be working with us in the first place.
I'd like to hear from other agents out there on ethics in their business. And of course I'd like to hear from you too.
Check out Mohican's place for a much better Rent vs Own argument than I've ever articulated.