Why MLS sold data is bad, and a note about the comma

by Victor Lund on November 16, 2011

MLS Sold DataOversights are interesting. They are even more interesting when they are fixed.  Let me explain a little bit about “reporting Sales to the (MLS) Service” in the model MLS rules.

Up until the recent meeting of the MLS Issues and Policies Committee meeting at the NAR Annual Convention, agents were required to change the listing status to Sold when a transaction closed. This is a case whereby the rule did not clearly indicate the behavior.

As written, the agent was required to update the status of the listing, not enter the sale price from the contract. This is a significant rule change – especially if you are in a non-disclosure State.

The new rule requires agents to change the status AND report the sale price.

In many areas around the country, agents may have assumed that they should enter the transaction price when changing the status. But as a matter of fact, not all agents have been doing that, and the MLS has not had a rule to enforce the reporting of price. Now they do, under the amendment to the rule.

What this says about our industry is that MLS sold data may not have been the gold standard of reporting transaction prices. This is the cornerstone of the RVM or REALTOR® Valuation Model. Having said that, I believe that the sold data in the MLS is the gold standard for the period of time between the status being changed from Pending to Sold, and when the transaction gets recorded as a measure of public record.

I wonder if MLSs will update their sold data by using Tax Record data to match and append their sold records.

I wonder if matching and appending the sold data in the MLS is allowed in the Tax record license agreement.

I wonder if anyone knows that the sold data in Virtual Office Websites may be inaccurate, and what ramifications that holds on historical sold data that is being displayed to the consumer.

This new rule will make MLS data better. It will also improve the quality of the RVM. VOW data will certainly improve. Market data from companies like 10K, RBI, Trend Graphics, and Teradatum will also improve.

If you were at the Multiple Listing Issues and Policies Committee meeting – you may have wondered what all of the discussion was about regarding a “comma” in the way the new policy was written. In essence, there was no comma between statements allowing for licensing use of the data to government bodies and third parties (like RPR or Partner Infonet). No worries, Bob Hale explained the necessity of the comma to support the intent of the rule – and the committee added the comma. Thanks Bob Hale, and his informant – Laurie Janik

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