Coming Soon Listings now on MLS

sebfreyCommentary, Marketing

MLS Listings

Most consumers probably are not aware of this, but our local MLS just went through a fairly large upgrade. The implementation left a lot to be desired, with the CEO of MLS Listings issuing a public apology for the blunders. One of the new features of the upgraded system is a new status for listings: “Coming Soon.” The Coming Soon feature was created to help stem the tide of off-market real estate listings, which has been increasingly common in recent years. By listing a home as “Coming Soon,” the listing will only be available to MLS subscribers (that is, Real estate agents, appraisers, etc.). The listing will not be visible to consumers via Zillow, Trulia, and other “syndicated” web sites, and the system will not even allow a Coming Soon listing to be emailed out by a subscriber. When a home is listed as Coming Soon, it may remain with this status for only 30 days. At the end of 30 days, if the listing is not marked as “sold” or moved to “Active” status, the MLS will automatically withdraw the listing. During the “Coming Soon” period, the days-on-market for the listing will not accrue, and if it is moved to Active status, it will come on the market as a brand-new, just-listed home. Why would a real estate agent choose to use this new Coming Soon status, rather than listing a home immediately onto the MLS for all the public to see? I am in a situation like this right now: I just signed a … Read More

Bad Real Estate Photos

sebfreyCommentary

Bad Real Estate Photo

It is simply amazing to me how many bad real estate photos there are to be found on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS)! Here is a prime example I just came across: In all fairness, this is the worst of the shots on the listing – but what is it doing here at all? If this is the quality of presentation of the home, you need to ask yourself: what kind of agent have I hired to to represent me in one of the biggest financial transactions – perhaps the biggest transaction – of my life? To me, this photograph screams “I don’t care.” Blurry photos are one thing. In this particular listing, many of the other photos were also dark, or tilted, or shows nothing of interest at all (for example, the wall of a hallway with some family photos on it). I’ve also see lots of MLS photos with the photographer’s fingers in the frame (partially covering the frame) and many times I’ve seen photos of a car door or side view mirror, where the agent just took the photo of the home from inside a car, and didn’t even bother to crop the image. That’s why when you interview an agent, it’s a good idea to ask them to provide you with recent examples of some homes they have recently listed for sale. Look these homes up on Zillow and other real estate sites, to see how good a job the agent did marketing them. If the presentation of the home is poor, … Read More

Changes to the Santa Cruz MLS

Seb FreySanta Cruz Real Estate

I think they expanded the digit count because the MLS is growing, it won’t just be the five counties around here (Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Monterey, and San Benito) but will expand to include the Greater San Francisco Bay Area. Another thing that’s happened release with “Release 3.8” of MLSListings.com is that you can now search for bank-owned REO properties. … The thing is, of course, that the agent has to manually set that flag, and agents are not the most detail-oriented people in the world – especially busy REO agents, who often put no comments or pictures on their REO listings. We’ll see how well that works out – but no matter, because I have my own weekly Santa Cruz REO and Short Sale list that I send out, which I find by manually reviewing all the listings that come on the market each week and send the list out to subscribers.

Real High Stakes Poker, Round Two

Seb FreySanta Cruz Real Estate

The seller had actually already signed the documents she needed to, all that was left for the buyers to go to their friendly neighborhood First American Title Company office and do their signatures, and then we’d just sit around and wait for those fat commission checks to come rolling in.

…It seems that the buyers had gone ballistic, had threatened to file a lawsuit, to sue us for misrepresentation or fraud or something…but that the buyer’s agent had calmed them down to the point where all they wanted was a discount of $15,000.

…I shipped that off to my client the seller, and in a few hours I had it back, and forwarded it on to the buyer’s agent, saying, “OK, here’s the cancellation of contract.

…In the end, the buyer’s agent chipped in $2,500 of her commission, and we had to chip in $2,500 of our commission – except that our client, bless her heart, signed a separate agreement and wrote my brokerage a check after the close of escrow, giving us the $2,500 back.

Fiduciary Responsibility – Get the Picture?

Seb FreySanta Cruz Real Estate

That’s a good sign, I think – there’s a different class of buyer out there now, the kind of folks who were sitting on the sidelines in ’04 and ’05, who thought the market was too high and that the values couldn’t be sustained, and they should wait a bit.

…Now, you’d think that in a market like this, where there’s so much competition in the low-end of the market, that the listing agent would pull out all the stops to get potential buyers in to sell the homes, right?

…Now, I can appreciate that many of these homes are not exactly beauties – but a lot of buyers aren’t expecting them to be, when they’re looking at the bottom of the market.

…It does seem reasonable to me, though, that if you want to sell a property in today’s market, that you at least put up a picture and some remarks that would make a buyer at least want to drive by.