Are More Pending Sales Falling Through?

I mentioned this in the comments on a recent post, but I think it’s interesting enough to merit its own post. Since we regularly track pending sales as our measure of monthly sales volume in the monthly charts, I was curious to know whether the credit crunch has caused closed sales volume to diverge from pending.

What you see below is a graph of quarterly King County SFH sales volume according to the NWMLS, with closed sales offset by one month (since most closings take 30 days). The blue and red lines represent pending and closed sales (left axis), while the green bars represent the percent difference between closed sales and pending sales (right axis).

Pending & Closed Sales - King Co. SFH
Click to enlarge

For some reason the first quarter has historically seen the largest difference between pending and closed sales, averaging 8.8% fewer closed sales than pending sales from 2000 through 2007. The first quarter of 2008 stayed close to that figure with 7.5% fewer closed sales than pending.

The second quarter average difference for 2000-2007 was 4.1%. 2008 second quarter closed sales were off 15.9% from pendings, the largest quarterly discrepancy to date.

I think this will be an interesting data set to keep an eye on as the year progresses. 16% of pending sales falling through is certainly not something to ignore when the long-term average 2000-2007 has been just 4-5%.

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About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market. Tim also hosts the weekly improv comedy sci-fi podcast Dispatches from the Multiverse.

54 comments:

  1. 1
    Everett_Tom says:

    I wonder what this does to Absorption Rate calculations, which I think assume that the number of pendings which turn to sold will remain constant from over time..

  2. 2
    AndreB says:

    I would not be surprised if more pending sales are falling through, since the lending environment is a lot tougher than it used to be, so the percentage of people who are unable to get financing (and made an offer subject to financing) should be increasing.

  3. 3
    disbelief says:

    Tim,

    Two questions come to my mind when looking at this data:

    1. How can you have more sales closing than where pending, as happened early in this decade according to the graph? I assume it must come down to some timing difference remaining in spite of the effort to offset the closed sales?

    2. What do you suppose was the factor that caused the spike in closing vs pending (green line) in the first quarter of 2004?

    oh, and lastly, any plans to compare the data of comparable cities such as San Diego?

  4. 4
    The Tim says:

    disbelief @ 3,

    1. I don’t honestly know. My best guess is that it’s some sort of issue with the reporting. Perhaps not all pending sales were being reported for some reason, or maybe there were a large number of sales that quarter that closed in less than 30 days (so they never got counted in the end-of-month pendings).

    2. Not sure, but if you look at the graph of pending sales by year you can see that 2004 had the largest spike in pending sales during the first quarter of nearly any other year (87% more pending sales in March than January). Could just be that the excitement of the booming real estate market drew in a big surge of financially unqualified people but lending hadn’t loosened up enough yet to accommodate them.

    C. If I had MLS data from San Diego I would love to.

  5. 5
    Garth says:

    Some houses are sold before they are built and I would guess never go pending.

    I have seen several transactions recently that took more than 90 days to close.

  6. 6
    S-Crow says:

    And, sometimes pending sales are never moved to a “sold” status because of laziness. Same goes for “contingent” sales….as they go from contingent straight to sold, without ever gaining a “pending” status.

  7. 7

    THEY WOULDN’T LIE TO US

    I’ve seen on Noreil Roubini’s blog that new home canceled sales are a large chunk and never get mentioned; just added in error to new home sales. I wonder about foreclosed homes too, the percentage seems dinky compared to all exisiting mortgages, but the home that is vacant after an auction didn’t meet minimyum bid, do these units even count?

    We’ve all heard of the listed homes that can’t sell, so they lower the price and list it as a fresh unit…..this whole RE game reminds me of the three shells with the pea.

  8. 8
    davidb says:

    I’ve seen quite a few homes that I’ve been watching change to “pending” status and then go back to “active”. I’ve also noticed many listings expiring or getting cancelled and showing up as a new listing. Some of the homes simply change to new after only being on the market for a short time. I suspect the realtors are playing games to make the listing look fresher than it really is.

  9. 9
    Greg Perry says:

    I can debunk a few myths

    Myth 1 “I’ve also noticed many listings expiring or getting cancelled and showing up as a new listing. Some of the homes simply change to new after only being on the market for a short time. I suspect the Realtors are playing games to make the listing look fresher than it really is.”

    This practice happened in the past. In the last few years, the NWMLS created CDOM (Continuous days on market). Inventory has to be off the market for over 3 months to start a new CDOM date. CDOM even includes a change of real estate agents. If the listing expires and is relisted, it will appear as “NEW”, but CDOM will accumulate. If it is Cancelled, and relisted by the same agent there better be good cause or the MLS will fine the agent. If relisted by another agent it will appear “NEW”, but again CDOM will accumulate.

    Myth 2 “We’ve all heard of the listed homes that can’t sell, so they lower the price and list it as a fresh unit…..this whole RE game reminds me of the three shells with the pea.”

    Abuses of “cancell / relist” to get a listing refreshed on a hot sheet now can cost an agent up to $5,000 per infraction. Regardless, CDOM still accumulates in cancel relist scenarios. This is now watched closely. These abuses actually tick buyers agents off, and they are more than willing to turn in listing agents who abuse.

    Myth 3, “new home canceled sales are a large chunk and never get mentioned; just added in error to new home sales.”

    This is impossible in the NWMLS system in that anything that gets classified as SOLD (or PENDING for that matter) has many fields to complete including the selling office and agent. Nothing can be marked as SOLD/CLOSED by accident. If this were deliberate, it would cost the brokerage/agent up to $5K.

    It’s clear that over the years the reporting rules have evolved. SCrow has a point in that there is often an input lag. The Tim has a point in that in hot markets, there are many, many closings in less than 30 days.

    Trendgraphix, a company that packages reporting statistics from the MLS shows slightly different numbers than the MLS month end reporting numbers. They don’t release the stats for up to 2 weeks after months end. Trendgraphix manually corrects obvious input errors. I have the July stats from Trendgraphix posted here: http://www.workingforyou.typepad.com//realestate/2008/08/july-2008-king.html (The charts shows activity from 5/07 through July.)
    It shows more sales than pendings in 2007 and more pendings than sales in 2008.

    Anecdotally, I’m in a busy office and I’m not seeing a greater than normal amount of Pendings falling out. I don’t know if we’ll be able to pin something concrete on the difference. Market forces certainly contribute. Todays data is better than yesterdays data. I don’t know what it all means………..

  10. 10
    The Tim says:

    Greg Perry @ 9,

    Abuses of “cancell / relist” to get a listing refreshed on a hot sheet now can cost an agent up to $5,000 per infraction.

    True, but the practice of writing an intentionally short listing agreement, then letting it expire and relisting is still kosher, if I understand the rules correctly. And there’s no way for someone without MLS access to tell the difference between the two.

  11. 11
    Greg Perry says:

    The Tim @10

    True

    This is beautiful thing when backfires on the listing agent when the seller selects a new agent after 30 days. I’ve seen it happen and laugh my “a__” off!

    CDOM still accumulates.

    The “NEW” status is out there for 3 days only and appears on the hotsheets. This is just a lame attempt to get the listing on the 3 day hot sheet and has questionable value at best with CDOM accumulating.

  12. 12
    Greg Perry says:

    Forgot to mention that the MLS has released CDOM for viewing on public sites.

  13. 13
    Cheapseats says:

    I see several SFHs that show on Redfin as more than one unit for sale, generally indicating that there are more than one MLS for the house, most are people who went FSBO (this one has 4).

    http://www.redfin.com/search#pt=6&max_price=700000&v=3&lat=47.575888790059324&long=-122.37975597381592&zoomLevel=14&market=seattle

    But some are not, it seems that some agents just do not pull the old listing,

    Here is a non-FSBO example, note the differing DOM.

    http://www.redfin.com/search#pt=6&max_price=700000&v=3&lat=47.59892891617517&long=-122.31469631195068&zoomLevel=14&market=seattle

  14. 14
    jjl says:

    I’m still working on my Bothell Market statistics.

    My data show that some of the new listings are listings that canceled, went to foreclosure and are now new listings that are bank owned. I also see very few sales falling apart.

    Also with new construction plats. Some entire plats have been canceled and relisted with new agents.

    Here’s a few numbers for you:

    Period of analysis: 10/1/07 to 8/20/08
    Resales only, no condos, mobiles or land.

    1,362 Listings

    109 have negative equity, plus 44 more that won’t have enough for closing costs.

    125 selling for less than prior purchase price. (some of these are included in the 109 that have negative equity). I’ll separate them later.

    Distressed properties still only account for about 10% of the market.

    Here’s one you’ll all like! $41 Million in price reductions since 10/1/07. That’s an average of $30k per listing.

    More later.

  15. 15
    Greg Perry says:

    Cheapseats,
    Your second example is where the same listing is listed in two different MLS areas. This is completely permissible IF the home is within 1/2 mile of a border. In this case this listing is in MLS area 380 and 390. The agent pays a $50 fee for the priviledge and it is input by the MLS.

    No wonder active inventory is so high :)

  16. 16
    Groundhogday says:

    Sounds like the NWMLS is way ahead of what we have here in Pullman, WA. Agents “refresh” listings every couple of months as a routine practice. DOM is a worthless statistic in this environment.

  17. 17
    BIG says:

    Greg @ 9

    Try these examples of what you say is impossible:
    MLS#
    28135706
    28130101
    28143594
    28096743

  18. 18
    denismurf says:

    Re 9:

    I don’t know what “Days On Redfin” means in NWMLS terms, but here are 2 from the Redfin listings that have been reborn numerous times with new MLS numbers:
    28118857 and 28140620.

    There are so many more that I stopped counting long ago.

  19. 19
    Greg Perry says:

    Big,
    I looked up all four numbers. I gues I don’t understand where you coming from.

    All four currently show ACTIVE with long market times. One of them at one time had a contingent offer on it. When that offer failed, it went right back to ACTIVE. Another one at one time went STI, then PENDING and the sale failed and it went straight back to ACTIVE. 2 of them expired, one with the same agent, one with a different agent and were relisted. The CDOM kept on accumulating like it should.

    I see no irregularities with any of these 4 listings.

  20. 20
    Ray Pepper says:

    The cancel and relist game no longer works in this environment. Our clients are far to saavy for that. We all know about the heavy fines and short listing tricks.

    But, no trickery is working in this environment. The homes selling are the best deals on the block and/or foreclosures for 2008 and as far as I can look forward.

    But, then again our clients are not your normal Buyers!

  21. 21
    Greg Perry says:

    “But, no trickery is working in this environment. ”

    Ray, you are spot on.

  22. 22
    Greg Perry says:

    denismurph,
    One of your examples was an interesting case study. CDOM = 452 days

    Agent one had the listing for 223 days. During this period, at 102 days, this listing was cancelled/relisted after a price drop of $15,000.

    Agent two expired and relisted after 102 days, then again after 34 days, and yet again after another 48 days.

    It did go contingent recently but that went away.

    The first cancel /relist in my opinion was improper, however there was only one break with agent 1.

    Agent two has 3 breaks due to the expire / relist. Now, this could have been the Seller’s preference. If the seller had a bad experience with agent one, he may give agent two a short listing period. OR this plan could have been agent generated.

    My opinion is that IF the short listing periods were the Seller’s desire, then the agent should have created a listing extension if the Seller remained happy to avoid the breaks. IF this was the agent’s plan, there is nothing technically wrong This strategy, however, is ill advised as it irritates off both buyer agents and consumer.

    Since CDOM was created, and especially now that CDOM is able to viewed on pubic sites now, I think we’ll see data rapidly clean up. As Ray Said, “no trickery is working in this environment”.

    I had an old boss in the retail business constantly tell me ” You can’t SH_T (fool) the public. They’ll always find you out.”

  23. 23
    oberon says:

    Except that there is not yet a way for the general public to view CDOM (correct me if I’m wrong). I know the rules changed to allow it, but as far as I know no site shows it yet. I’m quite surprised and disappointed that Redfin hasn’t started showing CDOM.

  24. 24
    denismurf says:

    Here are “Days On Redfin” for the 2 listings I cited:
    28118857 = 45
    28140620 = 9

    The listing agent is the same for both houses.

    In case it isn’t obvious, every time one of these listings is reborn, the asking price history disappears, at least on Redfin.

    If there’s a way for a nonrealtor to view CDOM, I’m not aware of it.

    BTW, Greg, I wasn’t kidding when I said there are many more rebirths just where we’re shopping in 98020. It got to be a joke on the Redfin forum for a while, but, again, there were so many that we lost interest. To me, it’s equivalent to allowing used car dealers to roll back the odometer to whatever they think will move the car.

  25. 25
    david losh says:

    CDOM is an interesting thing. What I think most readers here would be interested in is the Property History of a listing on the NWMLS.
    Property History shows the price reductions and how they are used in the marketing of a listing. It shows when a property was marketed last and what happened. CDOM can change with large price reductions of 10% or more, or by having the property cancelled or off market for three or six months.
    What’s more interesting to me is that Property History for new construction does not always show sales data. Builders list a few units for sale then do transaction outside of the Multiple Listing Service data base on other sales. There are lots of reasons for that. Not showing a sales price for some units may keep the integrity of the pricing structure.
    Just showing CDOM tells you a property has been on the market a long time, this time. It doesn’t show that there has been a price reduction every week, or that there has never been a price reduction. It doesn’t show the Sale Fail releases, or if it has been Pending STI for two months. It does not show that the person has marketed the property every spring for the past five years.
    Again in the world of what a Real Estate agent looks at as opposed to what the consumer sees there’s a big difference.

  26. 26
    Greg Perry says:

    denismurph,
    Yes, I understand. The 45 day one you refer to was the one I expanded.

    This from the NWMLS,
    “Beginning in July, broker members of Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS) may publish market time and listing price history for active listings on their Web sites. These policy changes follow recommendations of a task force and months of discussion and testing by the broker-owned service.

    Tom Hurdelbrink, NWMLS president and CEO, said two new fields, reflecting Days on Market (DOM) and Cumulative Days on Market (CDOM), will show a more complete representation of the market time for a property. If members choose to publish market time, both fields must be displayed and maintained in accordance with protocol established by NWMLS. Those rules require updating information on the site at least daily, he explained.”

    As you can see the rule states that if DOM is published, then CDOM must also be published. I think this is a good rule.

    I was under the understanding that RF had changed their field to CDOM. If they have not, the RFin website is the entity misleading you and violating NWMLS rules.

    I have long been against data manipulation and “trickery”. I was against the idea RFin publishing only DOM when everyone knows it’s not accurate. Windermere will soon be rolling out a new website that consumers will really like.

    I agree with David in that we see all the details of the CDOM in the property history. This content should be disclosed to a buyer by a buyer’s agent as the offer is constructed.

    Its good to remember that the NWMLS is not a public utility. It is a private organization who I believe to be one of the most progressive MLS in the country. The consumer here sees more than any other market.

  27. 27
    Richie says:

    Ray said “The cancel and relist game no longer works in this environment. Our clients are far to saavy for that. We all know about the heavy fines and short listing tricks. ”

    That’s a big “BS”. I can provide him tens of re-cyled listings but not showing the past listing prices. This is why the statistics in MLS was extremely unreliable. It just a gimmic to entice uniformed buyers and create an ambiance that is far better than the fact.

  28. 28
    softwarengineer says:

    HI GREG

    To support The Tim’s skepticism on the RE data auditing we need a GAO of RE; believe me that RFP to Boeing and Northup Grumman is a great example of how data appears OK, until an independent auditor rips it to pieces as complete hogwash.

    Just saying its alright now don’t pass mustard in my book, but referencing an independent RE GAO type written audit does. Ask the Air Force, LOL….

  29. 29
    Ray Pepper says:

    Richie it is not BS…I can also provide you with ten or so listings..but, guess what my friend……They are all still Active….Sellers cancel, list with another Brokerage…raise price…and think that will sell it…..exp. 27193582 cancelled at 439k with 500 Realty…Relisted 28099953…Such brilliance on the part of Coldwell Banker. Same thing over and over. Bad advice from Realtors. Sellers not knowing better… Another few years of this and MY OH MY will the public be educated!

    I can’t wait!

  30. 30
    Scotsman says:

    A dozen home for sale in my area, none of them selling. The price reductions seem to have come to an end. Some were being re-listed every 30-45 days with new prices. that has stopped. I see some of the homes on Craigslist as being for rent. but the asking rents are too high for the area, so no action there. I’ve spoken with two sellers- one has seen virtually no traffic, the other is now off the market and going to “wait for things to pick up next year.” They really want to move south and retire. Who knows what happens next, but my guess is many sellers out here in the country need to do the hard work of realizing the fun is over, and the cure is going to hurt.

  31. 31
    Greg Perry says:

    software engineer,
    You bring up good points. The NWMLS data will never be totally accurate. The data is good and getting better every year.

    When you consider that in the last 12 months in King County alone, well over ten thousand individual agents (there are over 5,000 on the Eastside alone) representing 992 members either logged a sale or a unit of inventory INDIVIDUALLY input data. 51,100 (Sold/Closed) sales were captured into the system (Windermere agents logged in 15,790 alone). When you add listings, pendings,cancelled, expired, etc, I’ll bet 1/4 million pieces of sales data were input in King County.

    Tens of thousands if independent contractors inputting data into the system. Yes, errors and abuses will happen.

    The NWMLS creates rules. The rules are enforced by 1)internal guidelines and systems and 2) complaint.

    The data has become better and tighter in the last 5 years, but again it’s not perfect, and by the way, don’t look for it ever to be perfect.

    All that being said, I’ll be willing to bet the NWMLS is one of the best (if not the best) real estate databases in the nation from the aspect of accuracy. It certainly is one of the most OPEN databases in the nation in allowing the consumer to see relevant information formerly reserved for agent’s eyes only.

  32. 32
    Scotsman says:

    There’s something funny going on. As I look around my neighborhood on Redfin the DOM doesn’t match up at all on several properties that have in some cases been on the market for a year or more. there must be a way to reset the counter.

    The other thing I notice is that most of the homes that are for sale were last sold in 2005/6, and are priced so that the seller will just recover their original purchases price if 10% is assumed to cover transaction costs and a slightly lower than asking sales price. That’s why the price declines have stopped. Sellers are now going to have to look at the possibility of taking a loss. How long will it take for it to sink in that this is the new reality, and 2006 prices are gone, at least here in the eastern half of 500.

  33. 33
    david losh says:

    The issue is that Subject To Inspection or Feasibility is now counted as a Pending. Properties have gone STI for years without impacting the Pending data. Now every STI shows as a Pending sale Subject To Inspection.
    I think that’s the rise you are seeing. Most agents, once STI is removed are pretty careful to have a closable transaction. Inspection is one out and Financing is another. There have been some, I mean some, transactions fail for Financing, but as I said Lenders and Agents like to get paid.

  34. 34
    softwarengineer says:

    MANY SELLERS CAN’T JUST HUNKER DOWN AND WAIT IN THIS BUBBLE

    In the 1990 Bubble, most of the loans were fixed and wages [excluding the top 10% of household incomes too] were actually going up for most families. Today, the uncontrolled growth is mitigating household incomes and we have a variety of jumbo, ARM, subprime, interest only, clown with the selzer bottle type loans….this means the seller must sell and if the loan is now upside down….

    One way for the ‘clown with the selzer bottle” type loans sellers to get out from under and delay selling is possibly borrow money from mom and dad…..trouble is, mom and dad went way into debt too.

    This horrifying debt crisis is totally uncharted water [excluding the Great Depression] and mitigating its hopelessness won’t change it, no not at all.

  35. 35
    Greg Perry says:

    David,
    I thought this might have an impact as well. Pending inspecton and the old STI are basically the same catagory — different name. The sale first goes to Pending inspection or Pending feasiblity. When the inspecton is completed it goes to PENDING. The way the stats account for the old STI / Pending Inspeciton and PENDING has remained the same. I checked this out.

  36. 36
    david losh says:

    Then that would put the statistic at a high rate of financing falilure.
    That doesn’t make sense.
    You may have figured this, but as a statistic it seems there may be a probability that Real Estate agents don’t change the status from Pending STI to Pending.
    Another thing that may come up in a transaction is Pending Back Up Requested. Some buyers don’t like that. I have heard agents say it’s in the seller’s best interest to use it. Some buyers may not want to be bait for a better offer.
    As we’ve discussed I don’t find much of what the NWMLS does in the way of generating statistics helpful. It’s just more stuff to bring in and disclose in a transaction. After a while it gets to be kind of circular. Analysis is still subjective.

  37. 37
    DaveP says:

    @ Greg Perry,

    As a potential purchaser who has spent 2 years tracking several specific areas in western WA I can ABSOLUTLY SWEAR that I have seen MANY listings get ‘refreshed’ every few months.

    Listings that never went STI. Sometimes the listing is 3+ months old, sometimes they are only 3 weeks old.

    Same used car tactics, different decade. I don’t need to hear anything about ‘rules and regs’ against such tactics… because I actually SEE IT MYSELF all the time. A) parcel for sale B) time elapses, sometimes short amount sometimes long amount C) listing is suddenly brand new again.

    It’s dirty pool, and based on what I have seen it is a standard practice by many realators.

  38. 38
    shawn says:

    Seems like there is a need here. Someone could easily write a program that would track these changes and list them on a web site. Hmmm…. HomePriceOffenders.com hmm….

  39. 39
    Richie says:

    DaveP:

    I agree with you 100%. I have been doing the same thing for the last six months. I have seen many houses being re-listed again and again with or without the price reduction. DOM was changed everytime. The statistics of MLS was so unreliable.

  40. 40
    Greg Perry says:

    David P and Richie,
    Again, there are several possible reasons for what you describe:

    1. Additional listing in different MLS zone (within 1/2 mile) Legit
    2. Listing expires, then relists with same company. Legit
    3. Listing expires, then relists with different company. Legit
    4. Cancell/relist with a 5% or more price difference. Legit.
    5. Cancell / relist for any other reason. Abuse
    6. Short listing period (30 day) expire / relist. While technically legit, this practice is suspect.

    For the last 6 months or so the cancell/relist practice is caught on MLS computers and the fines have become automatic. There is no MLS tolerance for cancel/relist. This practice is rapidly cleaning up.

    For those who like the Rfin database, this database is a large part of your problem. If they are not showing CDOM (which would clear most everything up) this is a major part of your confusion. If DOM is published, CDOM must also be published. Windermere is close to a website relaunch which will have this information.

    As I have said continually above, errors and abuses occur. The data is consistently getting better. That being said, you all have the luxury of using one of the best and most open MLS databases as consumers then anywhere else in the country.

  41. 41
    david losh says:

    You know after some thought it seems to me that CDOM is about as useless a statistic as the Absorbtion Rate in today’s market. Let’s just talk about today. There are thousands of houses on the market. There are thousands more that have left the market to return another day. Then there are thousands that would like to sell but are waiting.
    Thousands of housing units have been created in the past few years. Every municipality has lowered zoning and construction standards to accomodate those new tax base assessments, permit fees, or economic stimulous.
    There are two sides of the Real Estate business. Helping the buyer and helping the seller. Most people here are asking for buyer help, but the seller also wants the agent to use every trick in the book to try and sell a property. Random relists don’t help the seller, it usually alienates other agents or attracts lower offers. As you’re pointing out it makes the consumer suspicious.
    When an agent makes a presentation to a seller in a declining market, as distinquished from a down market, there are things the agent has on thier wish list. We want price and condition. Most sellers fight it, some don’t, but many do. They want to do nothing for a higher asking price.
    The reality is you have two weeks to get a new listing sold. If a listing doesn’t get mass attention in the first two weeks it’s stale. After the first two weeks without a sale it gets the price reduction it should have in the first place, then after a month, if it’s not sold, it just goes into inventory with thousands of other listings in today’s market place.
    It’s then you have agents trying to fix what should have been done in the first place, they are fixing price and condition. For a big price reduction you cancel and relist. If you are having the place painted, the seller is moving out, a renter is moving in, or you are cleaning out the property you cancel and relist.
    Usually there is something going on in a house when market times reach 200 days plus on the market. If it’s just sitting there why not cancel the listing? Why not let it expire and have another agent list it? Agents only get paid when a listing sells.
    So I think it’s the market we are in coupled with sellers who are unrealistic that is causing the relists.

  42. 42
    Clive says:

    Greg,
    Why do most agents distort the Redin name in discussions ?

  43. 43
    Ray Pepper says:

    I will say it again. It doesn’t matter. They can cancel, relist, paint, relist, carpet, increase price, relist, etc……….It just will not make it sell unless its the Best deal on the block. Consumers are very aware now that they are faced with buying a depreciating asset and are doing their homework with offers and comparables.

    But, then again maybe its just our Buyers. The uninformed have never heard of Seattle Bubble, 500 Realty, Red Fin, and the many more coming.

  44. 44
    Pegasus says:

    Hate to point out the obvious but I previously pointed out the deletions from the King Co.SFH listing number toward the end of last month by about 600 listings. After the new month started another large circa 600 listings range dematerialized right in plain view. Since then the SFH listing number has remained in about a hundred up or down number. The flatest number I have ever observed for almost a month. Either the universe is in perfect equilibrium or someone is fudging those numbers. I tend to believe the latter scenario. Somebody gots some ‘splaining to do.

  45. 45
    Civil Servant says:

    Hi Greg Perry — I am seeing, with increasing frequency, the same thing that DaveP, Richie, and others describe. And with all due respect (I do enjoy and learn from your contributions here), it doesn’t seem to me that the rules as you describe them apply to a lot of what I see. The data may be getting better and better, but the few bad apples in your profession may not be, and this causes the database to be a less valuable and less trustworthy tool for consumers like us. It also tarnishes all you good apples by association, since we can’t tell who’s who. You note above @ 31 that the rules are enforced partly by complaint. Is there a means for people like us to register complaints? Since the NWMLS is a service agency, I would hope that there is.

  46. 46
    david losh says:

    I’ll take the ropfen question. It’s to keep it’s mention off the internet searches. By misspelling rodfun the blogosphere doesn’t match the name to organic placement.
    We’re Real Estate agents promoting our own branding.
    I personally hate ridfun. I think it does a disservice to the consumer by claiming to be something other than a capture web site for a discount brokerage. What bothers me is the trip to Congress to promote the concept. That’s my tax dollars. Beyond that the ripid company then attacked the Real Estate industry as a whole. It provides service for a rebate. It pays the consumer to do business with it.
    The consumer, by focusing on the commission has been missing the bigger picture of paying way too much for properties. Bluntly put when you are paying fifty to one hundred thousand dollars too much for a property how smart are you to save 2% off the commission?
    In the world of representation I would rather people hire a person who can guide them into a smart purchase or know how to get top dollar for a property.

  47. 47
    george says:

    David,

    Do you have any evidence that buyers that use Redfin pay on average 50K to 100K more for properties?

    I am sympathetic. I don’t think it’s a good thing that people are losing work. Sites like Redin make you wonder if the real estate profession is even going to exist in 20 years the way it is now.

  48. 48
    david losh says:

    No there is no evidence, it’s just a couple of numbers to make a point.
    No, robfan is nothing new other than the rebates, there are always agents who will work for less, or not work as the case may be.
    What I’m fascinated by is the idea of agents opening doors and writing offers. The idea that the home inspector will tell a person if the house is in good shape. Doing research on line for a home purchase, or trusting the internet seems pretty far fetched to me.
    If I look at a few thousand houses in my career, or take four of them apart down to the studs to rebuild, or am a principle in about a hundred transactions, should I be paid the same as a rofen agent?
    Should I be paid less or accept less? How would your internet experience compare to a person who is inside the Real Estate industry? Will those rebates be the same as having experienced counsel negotiating the terms of your purchase?

  49. 49
    Pegasus says:

    Ray when someone(you) goes to the effort to disguise the name of a valid competitor(REDFIN) you come off looking like the complete self-promotional arses that you and your sidekicks portray. Your comments here and in the past are all anyone with a brain need to conclude never to do business with you or your ilk. I would have not beat around the bush like this but with Tim’s new rules i wanted to stay within bounds. I could say a lot more about your twisted posts but I won’t.

  50. 50
    BrianL says:

    You should be paid what the market will carry, just like house prices.

    If you provide better services tht customers are stilling to pay more for, then you will make more. If Redfin provides 95% of the services cheaper, well… welcome to the programming/manufacturing/etc industries where outsourcing or replaced by cheaper buisness models. It isn’t fun, but without a niche or consumer driven position, its tough to fight back.

    I just bought a house through redfin. Agents showing us around varied in quality – some provided lots of info about what they noted walking around, others opened the door and that was it.

    Redfin opened the door, made the offer, helped arrange the inspection, worked with use through the offer/counter offer process and did it for much less than traditional buyers agents. We were looking for an entry level place; we knew where the area we wanted to buy and did our research. They were a good match for us.

  51. 51
    Everett_Tom says:

    Pegasus ,

    Do you mean David Losh? I from what I see Ray used the Redfin name (just spaced out i.e. “Red Fin”).

  52. 52

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