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incomplete MLS information

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William jackson

Sophomore Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2003
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
California
I occasionally pull an MLS comp that has little information about the property and states it was listed for comps only. How can I adjust with limited information ? Should I omit the sale , call the realtor ?
 

Rob Bodkin

Junior Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Washington
A lot of the time here locally when a Realtor enters a sale for "comps only" it was never exposed to the market or had some other factor that made it's arms length/fair market quality suspect. I would almost always dismiss them out of hand, but if it looks like a really good comp and I need it then I would at very least call the agent. I would also follow up with the buyer or seller and ask them about the qualities of the sale. If it seems reasonable after all of that I'd use it.

Rob Bodkin
Freestone Partners
 

Bill_FL

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Florida
While Rob is correct, in part, the home may have been exposed to the market as a FSBO. The realtor supplied the buyer. ALWAYS call the broker on every sale. How else are you going to know about concessions, verify the data, etc.?
 

Craig Sewell

Freshman Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2002
We often have "comp only" listings in our area. With the lack of information they provide they are anything but comps. If needed, I call the Realtor, but keep in mind they are always is a "sell" mode. I know a property once that had no indoor plumbing at all and the broker told me it "could" be a showcase (I guess that would apply to all properties). What a Realtor calls good or average condition may be completely differnent from what you or I would call good or average condition. The one real problem I have in this area is that Realtors simply do not measure the house, calculate the square footage, or place this information in the MLS listings. The MLS listings report the square footage as zero or the square footage found in the assessment record. For fear of making a mistake and being sued, they simply quit calculating the square footage. Guess you can't be sued for something you didn't do. Very professional, huh? (I am a broker also, but not proud of it). Consequently, I am left to use the GLA figure obtained from the assessment records, wrong or right. This has been going on for sometime so maybe the Realtors are right. Who cares what the square footage of a house is? Maybe we should eliminate that line(GLA) from the market data grid altogether.
 

Austin

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Virginia
I was looking through the MLS comp sale book yesterday and saw some sales listed with no size numbers at all and almost every entry with things like 2000 sf +- per tax records. If you don’t have a properly measured and classified breakdown of the basic components of the dwelling, the most important of which is the GLA, then there is no way you can justify the sale price. If a Realtor calls me up and ask how I came up with that appraised price I ask them the same thing. Without even knowing the basic value factors how could you have possibly established that sale price?
That is another reason I developed a method of screening the MLS data for comparability. If you graph the GLA vs sale price of comparable sales and one is not measured correctly it will show up on the graph. I used a comp yester entered at 2,000 sf and after adjusting the adjusted price shot completely out of the range telling me that the GLA was grossly out of kilter. If you correctly pick truly comparable sales and use the correct sequence of adjustments the erroneous data will stick out like a sore thumb. I see entries all of the time like 2,000 sf of GLA. Then in the comments section you will see nice Florida Room. Well is the Florida room included in the GLA or not? Believe it or not it is possible to factor it out and find the approximately correct size of the room and the approximately correct GLA. Another reason I say if some hungry lawyer gets the urge, they can have a field day suing Realtors for misrepresentation. This could rival the tobacco settlement. Lots of Realors with lots of E & O = massive deep pockets for blood sucking lawyers of which there is an over abundant supply.
 

Restrain

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Florida
Down here, the real estate agents were sued over the size of the home (apparently actually measured it) so now they use tax records. At least there is a single base as there is one organization per county that measures all the homes. While we know that there are problems, at least the problems are generally consistent.

As to getting real estate agents to return phone calls, unless you are making an appointment to appraise a home, the return rate on phone calls is less than 20%. You just do the best you can.

Roger
 

Mike Garrett RAA

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
This is a function of the MLS committee of your local board. You need to become vocal about it. Go to committee meetings, stand up in annual meetings IF the REALTORS® are not doing their jobs. If you are not a member of the board, you should be. Nothing gets done standing on the outside complaining.

We fought for a long time with builders to get something on MLS so that we could then call for complete info on new construction. While those "comps only" solds are incomplete they are sure better than no information. At least now I can find out what has been sold without lengthy public records searches.

Lastly, my board takes it seriously. If you don't do it right (as a REALTOR®) they fine you big time. Just ask me, I sold a small house last year and forgot to change the status within the required time limit and was fined $100.
 

Farm Gal

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Nebraska
:twisted: I make a concerted effort to call EVERY realtor as many times as needs must to actually get them on the phone when they pull that

"Sold before Print" S_ _ _ on us.

(Local use: translation= "I'm too lazy to put the details in, heres the size and sale date")

If I have the inclination, I'll load their voice mail for several days with repeated calls, and talk to the broker (I'm DESPERATE to get the details- I need this as a comp) :twisted:

Many realtors run with 'pocket listings' when homes in a certain range are in short supply: they take the listing and then 'forget' to put it into the MLS :roll: in hopes that they can get both sides of the transaction themsleves, or give the other half to a friend or give the other half to an agent in the same agency!

These homes often sell faily quickly but surprise surprise, once sold the ganet doesn't take the time to enter the details.... Grrrr :evil:

They sometimes list them with negative days on the market, or 0 days. Lies dirty lies, and really tosses DOM analysis into a cocked hat. JERKS!
 

Steve Owen

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Missouri
How can I adjust with limited information ?

First let me say that Mike is absolutely right. Nothing will change if we don't work to change it.

Secondly, a possible solution to your immediate problem. Call the selling agent and ask who appraised the property. Then call the appraiser and ask them for the info you need - everything you want to know is on the first page if they did a 1004.

Hint: If the selling agent doesn't know who appraised it and is too lazy to look it up, see if your MLS lists the finance company. Then call them and ask who apprised the sale (be sure to get the buyers name from the selling agent first, as that will make it eaiser for the lender to look it up). The lender will almost always be willing to give you the name of the appraiser, and may even fax you page 1 of the report.
 

Mike Simpson

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2002
William-

Call the real estate agent. If you haven't had much experience doing this be prepared. Agents can be downright nasty (especially if they don't know you). Be pleasant no matter how rude they may become...develop a thick hide. If they're uncooperative or won't return your call, I wouldn't use the comp--with the possible exception as additional support & detailed explanation.

By the way--know what a real estate agent calls a turn of the century delapitated cabin? - Old world charm!

-Mike
 
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