Umm...Could You PLEASE Close Your Listing? (The Data Is Important!)

Real Estate Agent with Realty One Group Mountain Desert AZDRE# SA582422000

Get a bunch of real estate agents together (in any, over drinks, in the boardroom, by the water cooler, in a parking lot...whatever), mention the phrase "data integrity" and without fail, heads will start nodding, hands will go over hearts & a faraway stare (supposed to mimic that of faithful reverence) will signify tacit agreement of the grave importance of the subject.

BOW before the data gods!Arguments over various platforms & their "lack of good data" start up every single day on Facebook & in bullpens, with agents & brokers swearing that "controlling the data" is something sacrosanct & Holy to all things real estate.

Guess what?  NO data is completely accurate - even when we all raise our right hands & take an oath to preserve the integrity of the MLS for the good of the order, humanity & little children who might someday want to practice real estate.  Why?  Because the data is only as good as what input is received.

Recently, I had a property on the market that was challenging to comp - not because it was so unique, but because of the simple fact that not many 4-plexes have sold in the past year.  Duplexes, triplexes, 5-plexes sure - but for some quirk of the market, very few 4's had sold in the area.  No big deal, right?  Wrong.  The appraiser for the buyer was sure of the value, but didn't have enough solid data to use as proof of the value, and let me know that there were several that were Pending, but he couldn't use them until they closed.  

I started calling agents of the pending properties to see if the scheduled closing dates might be soon - that way the appraiser could just wait a couple days & have the data they needed.  Success!  One property closed that very afternoon!  A 2nd potential comp - took me 6 hours to get a reply from the listing agent - had closed nearly 3 months ago, but had never closed it out in MLS!  Needing the comp, I got the records from the county showing the sale & amount paid for, sent it to the appraiser & that was the last piece of proof he needed to support the value!  By the way - this is the 3rd time this year I've run across properties closed long ago that remain "Under Contract" in the MLS.

So, folks - the moral of the story is:  Umm...Could You Please Close Your Listing? (The Data Is Important!)   We can talk all day about what source of data is better than another & whether Platform A is better than Platform B...but when it all comes down to it, WE ARE RESPONSIBLE.  It isn't that hard - it is part of the job.

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Show All Comments
Kim Johnson
Signature Realty Inc. - Coral Springs, FL
Selling South Florida

Good evening Kent! You are absolutely right, but it will never change. Even with fines in place it still continues!

Jul 17, 2015 09:53 AM #4
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

People want to get away with whatever they can at times and you just have to stand up for what's right even when no one else looks like they're going to.

Jul 17, 2015 10:10 AM #5
Lynn B. Friedman
Atlanta Homes ODAT Realty Call/Text 404-939-2727 Buckhead - Midtown - Westside -- and more ... - Atlanta, GA
Concierge Service for Our Atlanta Sellers & Buyers

Kent Simpson 
In Atlanta, we have several MLS data bases. At FMLS, you close and pay or get fined. Several other comments mention the same thing!

Data keeps us going - thanks for the clear interesting post!

Jul 17, 2015 10:40 AM #6
William James Walton Sr.
WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briotti Group - Waterbury, CT
Greater Waterbury Real Estate

This isn't the only area in which data is not as forthcoming as it should be. I like the idea that if the data isn't entered in a timely fashion in the MLS, that the brokerage should be fined.

Thanks, Kent. I'm inspired....

Jul 17, 2015 11:13 AM #7
Christine Bohn
RE/MAX Professionals - Gainesville, FL
The Bohn Team, Gainesville FL

I agree with you Kent.  Not only is accuracy/timely important for comps in a CMA or appraisal, but also for monthly stats that relate to local and state numbers. 

Jul 17, 2015 11:16 AM #8
Kent Simpson
Realty One Group Mountain Desert - Tucson, AZ
Real Estate Is About People

Cindy - your MLS sounds like they have enough staff to check MLS vs the Recorder's records - that's gotta get expensive!

Kim - I don't think poor listing maintenance in MLS will go away, but fines "help honest people stay honest."

Laura - in all aspects, not just data!

Lynn - I think all MLS systems have a fine structure...the difference is in the willingness to enforce it

William - you're singing my song!  A lot of my business is small multi-unit investment properties.  I can't begin to tell you how poorly data is input regarding important data fields like maintenance expenses, utility costs, property management costs...even rents!  I could write a novel (but it would be extremely boring & never sell).

Christine - I keep wondering how loans didn't close because comps that should have been in place were not, because of sloppiness.

Jul 17, 2015 12:04 PM #9
Shirley Parks
Sands Realty 210-414-0966 - San Antonio, TX
Broker, 210-414-0966, San Antonio TX Real Estate

It is so frustrating to see listings that are not updated in the MLS!

Jul 17, 2015 12:21 PM #10
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

There are a few agents in my MLS that have pending properties from years ago.  I've begged the board to clean up the data to no avail.  Our executive director simply needs to get a set.  I'm thinking of running for president.

Jul 17, 2015 12:48 PM #11
Kent Simpson
Realty One Group Mountain Desert - Tucson, AZ
Real Estate Is About People

Shirley - indeed

Tammy - Go for it!  Get a whip, not a gavel!

Jul 17, 2015 01:02 PM #12
Thom Abbott |770.713.1505 | Intown Atlanta GA Condo Living - Atlanta, GA
Midtown Atlanta GA Condos For Sale

Tammy Lankford For President!!! Tammy For President! 

Oh, as for the subject of listings not closed, our MLS seems to be pretty up-to-date. If I see something Under Contract past the closing date, it's pretty rare. I think our MLS may send out a notification...but not sure. 

But having those comps in there is a big deal for the Buyer and Seller alike....and is that not who we ultimately serve?

Jul 17, 2015 02:19 PM #13
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

For sure Kent a whip.  And frankly I'm all for changing our executive director that is overpaid and under-worked.

Thom Abbott ah yes, notices.  We're SUPPOSED to send notices, but does it happen? Nope. 

Jul 17, 2015 02:53 PM #14
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

Kent Simpson Like Cindy, our MLS tags us if not changed within 48 hours.  It's not labor-intensive, they have a software program that does the work for them (our MLS).  It may be worth investigating for your area.

Jul 17, 2015 07:27 PM #15
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

We have to get it updated w/i 24 hours, and it's amazing how many times it's not updated in time.  Definitely can be frustrating.

Jul 17, 2015 09:22 PM #16
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

We get notices like it was a court summons. Very strong messaging at work

Jul 18, 2015 12:39 AM #17
Brian Schulman
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552

Another reason to close the listing on time is that otherwise the DOM (days on market) seem to go on and on.  We all want to be able to say that our listings sell quickly.

Jul 18, 2015 01:34 AM #18
Kent Simpson
Realty One Group Mountain Desert - Tucson, AZ
Real Estate Is About People

Thom - you're right on target...with data & the whip!

Tammy - could it be possible that the board has implemented a job description that is too narrow for the exec to do much?

Debe - I'll be talking to some folks on the MLS Board - thanks!

Kat - see Debe Maxwell's comment above yours - perhaps a solution is easier than meets they eye.

Richie - glad to see that your system is "on it"

Brian - good point

Jul 18, 2015 02:01 AM #19
Jenna Dixon
Momentum Real Estate Group LLC - Marietta, GA
55 & Over | New Constructions | Horse Farms

I'm always surprised how much this happens in my market.  The MLS starts sending nasty email notifications right away that bring out the perpetual rule follower in my heart.  Who just ignores this kind of stuff?  UGH!

Jul 18, 2015 10:15 AM #20
Chuck Willman
Utah Homes - Alpine, UT
Utah Homes

Kent, I could not agree more my friend. In the case of a unique property it can be absolutely crucial.

Jul 18, 2015 01:27 PM #21
Chris Webb
Nova Home Loans - Tucson, AZ
Tucson's Social Media Expert

Because of the low entry fee and the possibility of high earning, unfortunately, there are simply unprofessional people with little training in the RE industry. Great post, I thought I was alone in thinking the average agent is just that, average.  

Jul 20, 2015 02:02 AM #22
Kent Simpson
Realty One Group Mountain Desert - Tucson, AZ
Real Estate Is About People

Jenna - on a percentage basis, I wouldn't say that it happens a whole lot, but as Chuck Willman notes, it can be critical.

Chris - there are unprofessional people in many professions, even though a high bar for entry exists.  The RE industry isn't an exception, nor the rule...but we can definitely use some improvement!

Jul 22, 2015 04:17 AM #23
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