The Today Show this morning ran another quick segment on real estate and Realtors with Barbara Corcoran. On the one hand, I’m thankful that The Today Show goes to a qualified expert for their real estate questions, but I’m uncomfortable with the way the segment portrayed Realtors in general.
Sure, as Ms. Corcoran stated, there are a few bad apples out there (as in every industry), but I feel compelled to rebut at least of few of the statements in the segment and clarify the way that I, and, in my experience, the majority of my colleagues here in northeast Florida do business.
1. We’ll give you an honest answer on asking price vs. sold price
The Northeast Florida MLS (Nefar.com) provides its members with access to current and historical pricing data, so Realtors can provide buyers with the original asking price, number of price reductions and the final selling price or percent of list that the seller received.
2. Days on Market (DOM) and Cumulative Days on Market (CDOM)
“Refreshing a listing”, as they refer to it in the Today segment, can be done for a number of reasons. Maybe the seller has made some big improvements to the home since it was first put on the market, for example. Either way, in the Northeast Florida MLS, we have access to a figure known as Cumulative Days on Market. That means that even if a listing has been re-entered as new, we’ll see the true number of days the home at that address has been for sale.
3. Advertising language
Coming from an advertising background myself, it’s frustrating to see Realtors being singled out for so-called “misleading” language. Ms. Corcoran, for example, provided translations such as “useable land” meaning “no trees”. In advertising parlance, this is known as “selling the benefit” and it’s one of the basic tenets of good copywriting. If Apple and its ad agencies were held to the same standard, we’d be demanding that the advertising for the upcoming iPhone 5 (or will it be the 4GS?) clearly state “almost guaranteed to be obsolete in 12 months when we introduce a new version”. Realtors, however, are again held to a different standard.
It’s odd how so many people seem to have a “bad Realtor” story. But if you know me, and really, most of my colleagues here in Ponte Vedra Beach and the surrounding area, you’ll find that we’re honest, ethical and always striving to provide our customers—buyers and sellers—with the most recent, relevant and accurate data and information we can.
After all, our business depends on it.