NAR's Lawrence Yun Blames Inflated Sales Figures on Duplicate Counting of Closed Sales
The National Association of Realtors revealed this week that estimates of previously-owned home sales have been inflated, due in part to "double counting".
The practice of double counting can be attributed to multiple MLSs reporting the same closed sale. NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun mentioned the Denver, Colorado area real estate market as an example of duplicate reporting of home sales.
We see the same situation in northwest Wisconsin, where some properties appear on multiple MLS systems. In an area like ours, it isn't uncommon for agents and brokers to list a property on more than one MLS. For example, SAAR (the Superior Area Association of Realtors) came onto the scene several years ago and a considerable number of brokerages in Douglas, Ashland and Bayfield County decided to join. But many northwest Wisconsin agents continue to belong to the Northwest Wisconsin MLS (in Eau Claire) and still others belong to NorthstarMLS in the Twin Cities and western Wisconsin greater metropolitan area, which includes the Minneapolis - Saint Paul metro and border counties in western Wisconsin.
The practice of double counting (or duplicate counting) reveals one of the most glaring areas where multiple listing systems need to be reformed on a nationwide basis. I'm not saying that an agent or brokerage should not be able to put listings on more than one MLS, only that a single listing number and entry for any listing should appear on Realtor.com and in any national database of listings or sales. Dwelling addresses should be cross-checked in order to ensure that a sold property is not showing up twice in MLS statistical data reporting.
Evidence of the duplicate counting problem also shows up in places like Trulia and Zillow, where it is not uncommon to see multiple entries for the same listing address in a search for area properties.