Wednesday, December 13, 2006

New Ideas for Old Spaces

Man Cave

While the earliest citation appears to be in 1992 by a Canadian journalist, I became aware of this new dimension of cocooning last year when my son and his wife finished their basement so he could have office space for his telecommuting job.

His cave is painted a rich dark green. On the walls are prints of men, horses, ships, and the blade from a broken oar from his days as college rower. To the right of his desk where his three computers show his development environment and the output of his code, a muted television shows the golf channel.

What I love about this word is that the minute you say it, everyone knows what it is.

Snoring Room

This is a subordinate sleeping area solely for isolating a loud sleeper. Once called "captive rooms," a snoring room might have been an extra bedroom, dressing area, walk-in closet or former nursery, but it was never called a snoring room. In this era of ever-fresh marketing concepts, the term snoring room has arisen.

Watch for it in ad copy for upscale retirement communities. "Each home features two bedrooms, a study, and a snoring room . . . "

Real Transparency in Property Data and Transactions

A recent story in Inman News speaks to how demanding the public is for real information. The article mentions, "real transparency in property data and transactions."

I feel the public is entitled to know how long houses are actually taking to sell and to rely on REALTORS for a true telling of this info and for info on general sales trends. If our MLS doesn't rise to this higher level of service, we are betraying our values and image with the public.

I also see this as an ethical dilemma and we are an industry that is needs to be constantly vigilant on this point. What can be done to change the present situation so that DOM is a true reflection of the real time a listing has been offered for sale?

Six Reasons a Cape Cod Listing Is Taken off the Market

1. Refinancing rules
2. Travel plans of occupants
3. Failure to sell at a certain price point
4. Motivation of owner
5. Change of listing agent/broker
6. Marketing strategy by a listing agent trying to make the listing look new to the market

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Really, How Many Days Has a House Been on the Market on Cape Cod?

In the Cape Cod & Islands Association of REALTORS(r), Inc., it is common practice to mask the true days on market for listings. The software authorized by our MLS is oblivious to the connection between street address and days on market. Several agents can handle a listing consecutively, and at each change of agency the days-on-market counter is reset to zero. When a neighboring MLS (MLS PIN) corrected its software to prohibit this, a 30 percent discrepancy was noted. Since our MLS data is represented to the public as a true mirror of the market and a reflection of the local and state economy, such an error has major implications.

A variation of the falsification of days on market is when the listing agent himself/herself suggests to the owner that the listing be withdrawn and then re-listed as a new listing. Of course these agents will claim that the owner suggested this ploy and they are only doing what the owner wants. ("Just following orders" -- where have we heard that defense before?) Whatever shortsighted gain might accrue to the individual, the wider effect is to mislead other people and corrupt an important database.

This situation is not addressed in any of our continuing education or ethics training. We want the public to look to us as experts and some of us can't even count right!