Shiver me timbers, it’s been far too long since my last blog post – easily a week and a half! Oh ho what I want to know, where does the time go? OK, so it’s been a slow news week or two. I don’t think it’s just me – a lot of the Real Estate blogs I’ve been reading seem to have been a mite quiet of late. OK, not thunderously silent like mine has been these past ten days or so, but still – quiet.
So what’s been going on? Well, an interesting tidbit came into my e-mail box the other day, from the good folks at RE Info Link (REIL). The good folks at REIL supply the life’s blood of the Realtor business: the MLS. There’s some big news in MLS-land: re-listing is hereby, officially and forthwith, banned! Well, starting in October. This move comes at a very interesting time…
For a long time, agents and sellers have been in the habit of de-listing a property from the MLS for a day, and then putting it back ont the market the next day, so as to get a new MLS number. Also, this would reset the “days on market” to make it look like a fresh listing. Many agents just look at the new listings, because if they’re busy, active agents, they see everything as it first comes on, and if they’ve got a buyer for a newly listed property, they jump on it. Also, listings that have been on the market for a long time probably have something wrong wtih them – i.e. they are over-priced. It’s always the price. Any property would sell for $1, right? Unless it’s a super-fund site, that is.
So relisting a property is a great way to get a listing back in front of the eyes of many agents. Often times, a relist is accompanied by a change in price (usually downward) – but that’s about it. According to REIL, re-listing was originally envisioned so that a seller could respond to market feedback and make changes in the property or the way it was listed on the MLS – changes significant enough such that it really could be considered a “new” listing. But in reality, this process has been abused such, and is now mostly just a cheap ploy, as I said, to fool un-savvy agents and buyers into thinking that the property is new on the market, and isn’t the over-priced dog it probably is.
I say this comes at an interesting time because now we’re entering into a buyer’s market….scratch that. We were entering into a buyer’s market. Now we are definitely, undeniably in a buyer’s market (though how long it will last is anyone’s guess – at least another six months, I reckon). Better said: we are in the first stages of a buyer’s market that may last quite some time, and many homes are going to be staying on the market a looong, long time. It’s interesting: in Silicon Valley, the average Days on Market is somewhere arund 30; here in Santa Cruz, it’s somewhere around 60 on average (although many neighborhoods have averages closer to 30, some even lower than that).
However, 60 is just the average – there are many homes that will be staying on the market longer than that: 90 days, 120…do I hear 150, 360? But, take heart, would-be re-listers: there are ways to get a new MLS number even still. For one, you can just take your property off the market for 30 days, and then put it back on again – this will give you a new MLS number. Or, if your listing expires “naturally,” you can re-list it then, too, and get a new MLS.
But wait – there’s one more way. If a seller formally cancels the listing agreement, and then signs a new listing agreement – this entitles you to a new MLS number, too, as well as a new Days on Market. Interesting. So the only thing that’s changed, really, is that now you need a bit more paperwork to achieve the same result. The practice of re-listing is dead! Long live re-listing!