It’s officially spring and many optimistic Phoenix & Scottsdale sellers are listing their homes with the homes of moving on to greener pastures before the heat of the summer. In many REALTOR®s haste to get a home into ARMLS, mistakes aren’t uncommon. They can be as harmless as misnaming the assigned neighborhood schools or districts or as egregious as misquoting the number of bedrooms, bathrooms or garage stalls. And there are many in between. I’ve seen a few just over the last couple of days.
Last night I saw some acquaintances- parents of one of my children’s classmates- at the grocery store. After a move out-of-state, they were returning back to town. Having thought their move was permanent, they had sold their home and planned on never looking back. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be… and they were back in town preparing for an inevitable move back to the Valley of the Sun. After discussing how the market had changed since they sold their home last spring, they told me about a few homes they had seen near where I live. Oddly, there was a home I had seen that I thought might be a good fit for them. I added to my to do list to send them this home so they could check it out before they headed back home.
However, I could not find it. I thought this was interesting… It was a vacant home, new construction and I knew exactly the location where it was, but it wouldn’t turn up. After searching the active and pending listings, I eventually looked through all the expired & cancelled listings to see if I could find it that way. I found an expired listing for the same home and dug deeper. It turns out, the home was actually currently listed… but was coded for the wrong area. So, for many agents who search through Paradise Valley by what we call “map codes” to find homes in very specific locations, it wouldn’t turn up at all. In fact, it would show up in an area that would be about 3MI south that feeds into a completely different set of schools.
At $2.5M, that’s a pretty big boo boo to make, especially with the inventory of homes as high as it’s been in years and fierce competition for a smaller pool of buyers. Since ARMLS feeds many real estate portals like Realtor.com, Zillow & Trulia, mistakes even at a very basic level can exclude a many potential buyers. That’s why, it’s really important to review your listing once complete for accuracy. Now, I’m not going to say it’s inexperience or incompetence by this particular listing agent. I know of him and he works at my brokerage, but in the spring when you’re working nearly round the clock on multiple deals for both buyers and sellers, it’s not uncommon to be burning the midnight oil. When you’re inputting a listing at 2AM mistakes happen, but it’s important to be on the lookout for them and correct them as quickly as possible.
Other mistakes can be omissions like excluding your antique family heirloom chandelier (or washers, dryers, wall-mounted TVs, etc.) from a sale, a selling bonus offered to agents or a bonus to buyers. In every ARMLS listing, there are public remarks which anyone can see and there are private remarks for REALTOR®s only to see. Some of these details, like exclusions, are listed here and even though you can’t see them on the listing, you should know what information is listed here as well.
“All men make mistakes, but a good man yields when he knows his course is wrong, and repairs the evil. The only crime is pride.” ― Sophocles
Sophocles was a pretty wise man. I think he was on to something with this statement. Really be vigilant about knowing how your home is represented. If you’re not, it can cost you and/or your REALTOR®. Within ARMLS, there are what we call MLS Input Sheets that are printouts of all data that can be represented in a listing and they should be verified once a listing goes active.
Beyond that, just finding the listing in MLS is a great place to start. If after finding a mistake, you ask your REALTOR® to correct something and you’re met with indifference or arrogance, perhaps the mistake goes beyond the task and perhaps speaks of the character… Remember, I’m only a phone call away and can offer you my competence to list and sell your home!