Adventures on the MLS — and not the fun kind either!
In the Real Estate Industry we have this tool called the MLS. The MLS stands for Multiple Listing Service. All members of the Buffalo Niagara Association of Realtors have access to this tool. We hope that each member takes time to review their listings to ensure that they are complete and full of information — correct information. This tool is only as effective if the data in it is entered correctly; which does not always happen. This data is what is sent to all the other sites.
If it is incorrect there, it is wrong — EVERYWHERE.
What harm can an error on the MLS do?
A lot. Especially if it is your listing and is input incorrectly in the MLS! I have spoken about the importance of good photos and how they can ruin your chances of someone seeing your home. But there is even a more important thing to review about your listing. The data as input into the MLS.
The next important aspect of a search is the criteria used. Buyers place very specific criteria in their searches in hopes that it will narrow the search down. So what happens if your Realtor enters the data incorrectly?
- Well the first thing that happens is the potential buyers searching for YOUR home for sale are not finding it.
- There is even a bigger problem. The stats that media receive regarding the market can be off. And most importantly it can affect the Comparative Market Report that you receive regarding your home. Many times I have to go in and make corrections to the listings that I am comparing.
- The most difficult part of this is now there are so many services that feed our listings directly from the MLS. So that information is feed out to all those affiliated sites incorrectly.
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Scary that your home could be missed by hundreds of potential Western New York buyers that are in fact looking for your home!
Some Examples of Bad Data on the MLS
A $31 Million Dollar Listing in Buffalo NY!
Imagine being the listing that their home is listed for $31,000,000 has been sitting on the MLS for days and nobody noticed? A misplaced zero and the perfect home will never show up in a search a consumer is looking for homes priced at the $300,000 range. That could throw off the average list price in a community if not corrected.
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Allentown is a very popular community that many Buffalonians want to live in. Allentown is a well defined community, in fact it is a historic district. Every once in awhile a home a street or two away from Allentown shows up in that MLS area. Again it throws off the comps for the community and market conditions. Inexperienced agents may end up showing a home thinking it is in Allentown not knowing the true boundaries of the community. Can you see a potential problem? Sure the home that really isn’t in Allentown may get a lot of activity, but when buyers discover it isn’t really in Allentown they will be angry.
Incorrect Square Footage
Square footage does not include the basement, attic or garage spaces into consideration. So if you have an 800 square foot home, market the home correctly, don’t try and make it something it is not. You would be surprised how many folks want that square footage! A good agent will review the tax records and in many instances measure a home if they believe there is a error.
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Wrong Property Type
Imagine searching for the perfect single family home in Bidwell and not finding your home. Only to find out that you are in the multi-family category? Or think about about the Patio home owner that is listed in the condos but not listed in the single family homes as well. Buyer Agents have to look in both areas to find this category of home for sale. Sad fact is that not all agents spend the time looking in both areas. Agents have the choice to list in one, the other or both.
Incorrect Property Disclosures
Folks, if you know that there is an easement, or asbestos or any other material fact. The house floods in April when the snow melts. Disclose it! Don’t think that the buyer will fall in love and just buy the house anyway! Many times this just causes bad feelings and a nightmare.
A three bedroom home listed as a Four bedroom
This is just wrong. A legal bedroom must have a window and a closet folks. Just because the you are using the room as a bedroom doesn’t make it a bedroom. Or what if someone enters your four bedroom as a three bedroom? See where there could be a problem? Your home not being seen by the buyers that want your home.
Incorrect or incomplete tax data
When the tax data is incorrect, it just means that an agent has to do more research (unnecessary, I might add) to find the answers for their clients.
No Directions or Bad Directions
Directions are an important piece of information for Realtors. What if their GPS dies? It is helpful to have this information on the sheets we carry to showings. Worse yet are bad directions.
Style of home
Look buyers are picky. They want what they want. So if you have a Ranch home, call it a Ranch. Your Center hall Colonial two story home is not a Ranch.
This is where it can be a lot of fun – NOT! Does a potential home buyer search for BDRM or bedrooms? AI = what? It took me some time to realize they were trying to say “As Is”. One other aspect that is annoying for buyers is when the text is all upper case. Only use all capital when you need emphasis on a specific fact. Spelling errors can be embarrassing, remember to use spell check. All of that information is ported out to all the affiliated partners. Those sites are fully search-able by search engines. These text errors can have an impact on potential buyers being able to see your home!
The data on the MLS is garbage in, garbage out. If the incorrect information is not on the MLS, it can cause difficulty for potential buyers. Not all agents are savvy working with databases. If your home for sale is incorrect or incomplete it could be missed.
Have you reviewed your listing on the MLS? Preventing Costly Home Selling Mistakes is a lot easier than you think. It is important that you work with an experienced Real Estate Professional prepared to market your home to it’s fullest potential. Call us today at (716) 650-0051 to discuss your needs and how we can assist you in getting your home sold!