Data vs. Analysis – What Buyers and Sellers Don’t Know

Real Estate Agent with Solutions Real Estate CA DRE #01490977

Data vs. Analysis – What Buyers and Sellers Don’t Know


The Internet these days is a tremendous mass of information, and lots of data with regard to real estate and the housing market. Media headlines and reports are a big part of this.


Consumers are great at finding data but do they understand what it means?The good thing is that anyone can find it these days…much more than they probably want, need, or can make sense of.


The bad thing is that anyone can find it.


Tons of data and media headlines and reports, often contradictory, cause confusion, which often leads to indecision on the part of buyers and sellers. We see it all the time.


We used to be the guardians of real estate data. I wasn’t in the biz at the time but I remember having to get in touch with a real estate agent in order to get any information at all, as well as access to homes, among other things. You may have been one of those protectors of precious real estate information, in order to not give up your power and control.


Are all the data, inaccuracies and contradictions driving your crazy?The Internet has changed all that, and like it or not sellers and buyers have easy access to incredible amounts of information, and are doing more and more research all the time before we even enter the picture.


It’s become abundantly clear in the last few years in my own experience that this is true, and with the craziness we are seeing in the market, no doubt the data are even more confusing to those who find it.


What buyers and sellers usually don’t get with their data, at least not in a meaningful way, is the analysis.


Oh, they find out what has sold and for what, and how long it was on the market. They hear it’s a seller’s market in most areas and how much prices and inventory have shifted (time frames, and data, depending on the report you read). They hear about bidding wars.


The data are endless.


What they don’t get is the precisely the value we add – an analysis of what all this information actually means for them in terms of their buying or selling strategy and decision making. And the impact from a local perspective, not by state or region or nationally.


I’ve found myself spending much more time in recent months describing not only what is going on in terms of prices and inventory and providing specific data, but what this actually means to someone who has to make an informed decision about a sale and/or a purchase in my area, and the implications of certain decisions they may or may not make.


No doubt you have experienced the same.


It’s clear our value is even more critical than ever, with the amount of information out there, the inaccuracies, and the contradictions. We need to know not only what is going on in our local markets and be able to communicate it, but what this actually means for buyers and sellers we are advising in terms of their home search, offer strategy, timing, positioning of their home in the market, coping with multiple offers, and so much more.


For example, why is the inventory shifting and in what way, and how does this impact pricing, offers, timing and decision making.


What financial impact (cost) does delaying a decision to sell and buy a move-up home, given current interest rates, inventory, and the direction prices are moving?


We really are more like teachers…explaining, clarifying, advising…and more consultative than ever before.


Buyers and sellers, whether they know it or not, really do need that level of analysis, and probably want it. It’s clear from the questions they ask.


What say you?


Re-Blogged 3 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. John G. Johnston 03/31/2013 11:31 AM
  2. Michelle Carr Crowe,Altas Just Call...408-252-8900! 03/31/2013 01:32 PM
  3. Bob Baesmann 04/04/2013 08:54 AM
ActiveRain Community
California San Diego County
Certified Residential Specialists
SAN DIEGO Real Estate Agents & Loan Officers
Advice for Sellers
Advice for Buyers
San Diego Realtors®
housng market

Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Nancy - I think that is true. And some spend so much time researching they are getting out in the real world when they need to. And with things moving quickly you have to do the same.

BLiz - and there is so much inaccurate information to correct. THe interpretation and analysis is really key, as we all know.

William - no it isn't easy, and understanding and making sense of it ourselves can be sometimes be a challenge.

Endre - honesty and truth so they are informed and can make the decision that is right for them.


Mar 30, 2013 01:09 AM #8
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Hi Jeff, you are more than right. ( Is that possible?) Lol. There is much confusion generated with all of the information - without a qualified guide, at best it's a murkey situation to navigate. I still am amazed at buyers who seem to think they "have a handle" on the Real Estate market. It takes constant research and first hand knowledge to keep up with the trends and shifts.


BTW -Happy Easter to you!

Mar 30, 2013 01:20 AM #9
Rene Fabre
First American Title - Seattle, WA
Marketing in the Digital Age

Well done, Jeff... I remember starting out when the MLS had a hardcopy book of the current listings. They were "gold" to view. I totally agree with you that a good real estate agent is more important now than ever. Just because the prosective seller/buyer is online self educating doesn't mean its a good education. The agent as guide, consultant, marketing strategist, data interpreter is paramount.

Mar 30, 2013 05:02 AM #10
John G. Johnston
John G. Johnston & Associates, LLC - Westcliffe, CO
An Exclusive Buyer's Agent ~ Westcliffe, CO

Jeff   suggested and re-blogged.  Buyers  or sellers can take this blog to the bank.  Recently, I explained to one seller their home would appraise around $920,000 when I looked at the comps.  But, the current market of inventory their home would only bring $640,000 based on active listings.  I recently blogged that subject.  Thanks for all you do!

Mar 31, 2013 11:17 AM #11
Brad MacKenzie
Brad MacKenzie - Duxbury, MA
Turning Houses into Homes on the South Shore

Exactly.  We help people make the right decision based on the proper interpretation of the facts. Well said.

Mar 31, 2013 11:52 AM #12
Paula McDonald
Beam & Branch Realty - Granbury, TX
Granbury, TX 936-203-0279

You are so right that we are really like teachers.  As a former educator, I find that my years of teaching have really paid off in my career as a real estate agent.

Mar 31, 2013 12:26 PM #13
Brenda J. Andrew
Professional Realtor in Corpus Christi, TX

I believe people do need us to helps shift through all of that data.  Sometimes there is information coming from other areas that doesn't even effect our area and vice versa.  Great post, and it is true, most of the time they have already done the research prior to ever even picking up the phone to call.  

Mar 31, 2013 01:39 PM #14
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Thanks, Debb - Hope you had a great holiday, too. Yes, there is a lot of info out there and it can be hard to make any sense of it, or to even realize how it might have an impact unles you deal with it every day as we do

Rene - I am still surprised at how much information is out there but more so how misleading it can be.

Thanks, John. A big part of this, as you demonstrated so well, is being honest about the reality.

Brad - interpretation is a big part of what consumers are missing in their own research. Thanks for stopping by

Paula - it is a big part of out role, isn't it?

Brenda - I'm glad they do the research beforehand. It then allows us to do what we do best. You're right, there is a lot of information out there that is not specific to the area they are looking at and may not even be relevant.


Mar 31, 2013 01:52 PM #15
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Jeff - You're right that there is so much data these days, but so much of it comes without analysis and that is imperative.

Mar 31, 2013 03:13 PM #16
Wika Hutchinson
Eugene, OR
Thank you for sharing a great post Jeff. People often take information from the Internet and not realizing that it was from months or even years back. The real estate professionals understand how to analyze those information and compare them to the most current info.
Mar 31, 2013 03:43 PM #17
Ron Barnes
Associate Broker at Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Georgia Properties - Jasper, GA
"Most agents claim they're #1 - I THINK YOU'RE #1!

Good post, and similar in nature to one I wrote awhile back. I totally agree, and believe most of them realize they get enough information to be dangerous, unless they have help.

As the old computer saying used to go, garbage in equals garbage out!

Mar 31, 2013 09:50 PM #18
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Jeff, I totally agree; however, with all the information readily available on the Internet everyone thinks they are an expert. As you mentioned, education is a big part of our existence.

Mar 31, 2013 10:13 PM #19
Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group
Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001 - Gaithersburg, MD
301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA

as such.. as one of the most important decisions and possible the most expensive one. .having a knowledgeable real estate agent on your side. . that has to be priority #1

Great post Jeff

Mar 31, 2013 10:29 PM #20
Michelle Francis
Tim Francis Realty LLC - Atlanta, GA
Realtor, Buckhead Atlanta Homes for Sale & Lease


Love it.  The devil is in the details and how you use them.  We are doing more in educating current buyers and sellers on today's market and how we should best proceed.  

It's a zoo out there and even folks who have bought and sold a few places already are surprised by this market.  If you are buying, you need to be totally ready to buy, otherwise, those homes you look at today will NOT be available in even two days in many cases.

All the best, Michelle

Apr 01, 2013 12:01 AM #21
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Jeff, you are so right, right, right! Our value added can't be in providing data. Anyone can do that. Our value added has to come from our ability to analyze the date, understand it, and explain it to our clients so they can make appropriate decisions. Not everyone can do that!

Apr 01, 2013 01:57 AM #22
Charita Cadenhead
Keller Williams Realty - Birmingham, AL
Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama)

Jeff when reading your post, all that kept running through my head was the thought of a consumer saying to themselves "well a lot of good that did.  I got all of this information and I don't know what the hell to do with it." Hence your post makes a grand statement:  Data vs Analysis (we combine the two so that they make sense).

Apr 01, 2013 04:41 AM #23
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Data can be made to create the spin, perception too. Skewed is worse than missing. It's reporting with an agenda, purpose, ulterior motive.

Apr 01, 2013 05:17 AM #24
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Christine - I know I am amazed at how much information is out there so imagine how consumers must feel. We, at least, understand (usually) what it all means, and that is essential information for buyers and sellers to have.

Wika - excellent point. Often the information is quite old and with dramatic changes in the market that information is no longer relevant. It's much like thee issue of reporting on local real estate conditions as compared to generalities

Ron - and that garbage isn't helpful to anyone trying to make a good real estate decision

Michael - and usually that perceived expertise is erroneous. And many get so bogged down in their research that they are not dealing with the reality and seeing homes in real life to better evaluate what is really going on.

Fernando - and it's even more important these days with all the shifting in the market, don't you think?

Michelle - and the misinformation leads to wrong decisions, or no decisions, and certain expectations that will cause people to not do the right thing


Apr 02, 2013 12:09 AM #25
Toni Weidman
Sailwinds Realty - Trinity, FL
20+ Years Selling Homes in New Port Richey, FL

A local perspective is the important one, Jeff. All the news comes down to what's happening in your area and how you distill it.

Apr 04, 2013 10:41 PM #26
Eric Kodner
Madeline Island Realty - La Pointe, WI
CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -

Jeff, what I liked best about your post was the comment "We are really more like teachers..explaining, clarifying, advising". I agree with that 100 per cent. Even in the information age, someone has to cut through the confusion and clarify what it all means.

Apr 07, 2013 03:43 PM #27
Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?


Jeff Dowler, CRS

The Southern California Relocation Dude
What's my Carlsbad CA Area Home Worth??
Spam prevention

Additional Information