My BW colleague and fellow blogger Peter Coy wrote a nice story earlier this year on the growing trend of real estate agents pulling a house that they can’t sell out of the MLS database, and then re-listing it again (or maybe they tweak a small detail such as “assessor’s number” as a tactic to prompt the program to reset). The whole purpose was to reset the “number of days on market” that the MLS listing showed — since any listing that revealed a house had been sitting unsold for, say, 130 days would suggest the seller was growing desperate and could be low-balled. Reset the listing and it makes it appear the house just went on the market — better make a bid fast before someone else does!
Recently came across a mention on the Housing Doom Housing Bubble Blog blog that the Arizona Multiple Listing Service is cracking down on the practice. Any realtor caught trying to change an MLS listing to reset the number of days on market will be fined, plus the MLS made it tougher to tinker with existing listings.
BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.