A couple weeks ago, a commenter said something to the effect that we can’t trust the Multiple Listing Service’s data, because they play with the numbers in a way that makes under agreement and sales information look better than they really are.
This just isn’t true.
First, remember, we are talking about data. Hard data. Statistics. While I don’t disagree that numbers can be twisted in certain ways to benefit others (something I keep an eye on, closely), people need to focus on the data itself, not how it is being used.
Second, remember, we are talking about the “past”, not the present, nor the future. It is what has happened, previously. No one is suggesting the future will be better or worse, when reporting these numbers. People may be quoted on their opinions, but simply look at the numbers, and ignore all the verbiage.
The commenter complained that the MLS data on sales and under agreements did not account for the (unethical) way some real estate agents canceled their listings, in MLS, and then reposted them, with new MLS property listing numbers. The goal, on the agent’s part, was to make the old listing look new, again. This would make the listing show up again at the top of other agents’ lists, as well as show up new on any search in MLS and on Realtor.com.
Well, that’s not accurate. Our local MLS modified its listing methods, months’ ago, and all “days on market” data accurately reports the total number of days since a property first came on the market, even if the MLS number has been changed.
Therefore, the data I report on “days on market” for under agreements and for sales is accurate, at least as far as MLS goes.
Not all properties for sale are in MLS, don’t forget. Some are only in LINK. Plus, some listings from developers and most FSBOs are not in MLS, at all. It is not a complete picture. It is a good way to judge the market, however.