In a Perfect World
People do lie, cheat, embellish, steal, hide and twist the facts to improve their situation. THE REAL ESTATE BUSINESS IS NOT A PERFECT MARKET. As the market becomes tighter and agents commissions are tougher to come by, it gets worse. Unfortunately, 10% of us do 87% of the business.
I cover a large area and in effect it is several markets. Most agents do not go out of their market. Actually, most will not go further than 25 minutes from their office. 99% of agents will cooperate and share if you pin them down. I have a reputation for having good listings and making it easy for an agent to show my inventory. If I do not have it, I will tell them who does. They know that if they do not cooperate, I will not help them in the future.
When an agent receives a listing, he is required, if he is a member of MLS, to put it in the system unless he obtains a specific exception from the owner. This is rarely ever done because owners usually wish to have the best exposure possible. Some hold it to work through their clients first. If a property has been on the market previously, he may try to change things to make it look like a new listing. Recently, a 400 acre parcel came on the market and I saw an advertisement. It was not in MLS. When the agent returned my call, I found out it was the same 415 acres I had looked at in August of ‘98 with another agent. Common ploys are not putting in addresses, photos of other properties, 11 miles from instead of the actual 14 miles. One parcel I just checked out forgot to mention in the ad that there was a 3,000 sq. ft. house included. It looked like a bare land ad.
Many continue to advertise after a property has gone into escrow on the bait and switch ploy. Especially if they do not have any other inventory. I just called on a current ad that CLOSED ESCROW 2.5 months ago. Some agents do not report closed sales so they can look like they have inventory. Maybe it makes them feel good. In 2 cases an agent continued to advertise 2 months after their listing had expired and I had listed it.
Our MLS system is only as good as the information it is fed. It used to be better because agents did not put in the information to the computer. Now that they do, there is no one to look over their shoulder and there are more liberties taken.
My Country Properties recap covers a large area and pulling out the information is difficult. I am continually looking at all forms of advertising plus the MLS. If you see something that is incorrect, please let me know. When I dig out the information on a property the agent would never think of calling me to give me a progress report.Joe White
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