Price drops: March 2010 Archives
It's also spamming Craigslist considerably less these days. It used to pop up almost every weekend, twice (until Craigslist viewers flagged it down), and return the following weekend, twice, like clockwork.
One particularly charming feature of this property, in addition to the wood paneling inside, is the daring blend of fish scale siding on top and tan stucco on the bottom.
More details at the original post from September 2008.
Today’s “new” listing inspired me to dust off one of my old gripes about the real estate industry, namely its lack of transparency and borderline dishonesty.
3229 Fernside Boulevard came on the market this week, with the following specs:
4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 2,172 sqft, 6,439-sqft lot, MLS(r) #40453128, $895,000
Traditional Mediterranean family home of highest caliber.[…] Living rm w/ fireplace, office rm w/ built-in book cases & French doors which lead outside. […] wonderful backyard […]
Given the size, lot size, waterfront location, and tax-credit-fueled buying frenzy, there's nothing outrageous about the $895,000 price tag (although $412 / sqft is silly in almost any circumstances).
What really galls me about this listing is that, on March 2, 2010, over 15 years after the Web started gaining acceptance, 6 years after we sent unmanned rovers to another planet, the real estate industry and its various players still can't, or won't, get their act together and tell people the truth about their listings.
I surveyed several sites' records of this property and I am appalled to report that none of them paints an accurate picture of this listing.
- Redfin promises to give you the skinny, but hides it behind a registration wall due to MLS(r) rules. And even after you log in, you get no information about previous prices.
- Trulia shows the current price and its list date says "more than 180 days ago", but there's no mention of previous list prices.
- Yahoo! is completely out of date and doesn't even have an MLS(r) number.
- Kijiji suggests the listing is just one month old.
- Movoto, MLS East Bay and Sawbuck (never heard of them before) come out and say or imply the listing is brand new ("On site: 1 Days" could be interpreted as "new listing" or "new listing as far as we know", but I'd bet money most people pick the former).
- Cal Home Finder says the listing is pending at the old price and MLS(r) number.
What will it take for the real estate industry to get its act together and stop misleading people looking to spend six-plus figures on a house? I'm not holding out any hope for the industry to self-regulate, considering the myriad conflicts of interest: not telling the public a property has been on the market for a long time creates a false sense of urgency, which may help a sale, which helps the agent earn a commission, a percentage of which goes to NAR in the form of dues, so any transparency and data freshness rules are simply not going to be enforced.
What's blocking the establishment of a single, open, publicly-accessible, up-to-date repository of property information about for-sale listings, so that consistent, accurate information is available to consumers on any site they choose to visit? It's not that technology isn't available to achieve this. If Google can update its index of billions of Web pages from the entire world multiple times every day, surely a database containing a few million listings and a few hundred million data points can be kept up to date and published on a daily basis.
It all boils down to archaic, arcane, and paranoid barriers erected around real estate listing information by an industry fighting tooth and nail against its inexorable obsolescence.
Please refer to the original post for details, or Chez Neumansky's detailed tour summary for a first-hand account of the place.