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Questions about realtor.com listing

Posted by frugalmom2 (My Page) on
Wed, Sep 28, 11 at 18:02

Hi! We just recently listed our house for sale in the Chicagoland area. I have two questions (for now) to you fine people (I apologize if these have already been addressed, I can't find them):

1. On realtor.com for each listing, there is a tab titled "Property History" and within this tab includes Sales History. Is there any way to have this information removed? I know that it is public record, but I don't like it being so easily accessible. We bought our home just a couple of years ago through an "unqualified sale" (term used for property tax purposes). We essentially bought from a relative, plus there's more to the story that is not important to the question. It is significanly less than our asking price yet should have no bearing on our asking price. Our realtor says she cannot remove it, but I want to double check with you all.

We're completely dumbfounded as to why the NAR would want this kind of information on listings and therefore is not only included, but also unremovable. Are we wrong to believe that sales history should have no bearing on price?

Maybe we should be taking this up with our taxing authority for making the information so readily available online to such entities as realtor.com?

2. Our house is on a dead end street. Our realtor won't mark us as being on a cul-de-sac because there isn't a turnabout. She has instead included in our description that we are located on a "private street" as a euphanism (sp?) for "dead end." Does this make sense? We're a little peeved that we can't include cul-de-sac as it is a searchable category. Thoughts?

Thanks for your time!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Questions about realtor.com listing

I can't answer your first question, but as for your second, there HAS to be a better way than saying it's on a "private street." To me, a private street is one that isn't snowplowed by the city or kept up in any way since it's not part of the "public" street system. At Dictionary.com, it defines cul de sac simply as a street or lane that is "closed at one end"; a "dead-end street".


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RE: Questions about realtor.com listing

1. Past sales history has no bearing on today's market value, you are correct. But that does not mean it is not considered public knowledge.

2. If that was my listing, the MLS would be screaming CUL DE SAC!


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RE: Questions about realtor.com listing

Don't be so sensitive about public information being, well, public. Any buyer's realtor would look that info up for their buyer anyway.

Your irritation to this being public information says that you are sensitive that your price may be at the top of the market rather than more in line with other sold homes in your area. Being priced in line with your comps, including foreclosures, is far more important in receiving offers than public information about your past sale price. So be sure that you have researched that well and are opening the process with your best price. The worst mistake you can make is to overprice it in the beginning.


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RE: Questions about realtor.com listing

I wouldn't want my previous sales info being displayed. At least not unless _every_ listing had it, and that is not the case.

The text says "The Property Price and Tax history data displayed is obtained from public records and/or MLS feeds from the local jurisdiction in which the applicable property is located." If the info is coming from the MLS, rather than a Realtor.com embedded link to a public record, your realtor should have control over it. I would look at other listings in your jurisdiction, those listed by your brokerage and others. Does it show tax history too? If not, I would ask why some public info shows up and not other public info. I find it hard to believe that
Realtor.com would have installed the complicated search required to find this info on public databases; I'm biased toward thinking the info comes from an entry made by the realtor into her MLS database. She may say she didn't enter the sales price directly, but I'd be very surprised if she couldn't uncheck some box that controlled the link. I would press the issue. (I'm a programmer.)

I just checked a couple of listings of a town in Cook County. Prudential/Rubloff and a non-national broker did NOT show the sales price; one Coldwell Banker office showed the info and a different CB did not. Presumably all the homes are in the same jurisdiction.


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RE: Questions about realtor.com listing

If your last sales price is listed on your realtor.com page, it is public knowledge in your area and therefore there is little your realtor can do to have it removed.

Our house is on a dead end street.

A dead end is simply that. A dead end. You can't go anywhere except backwards. A cul de sac has a turn around at the end. (Usually the "sac".) Most buyers who are looking specifically for a cul de sac location would be upset if they came to view your house and found a dead end. I dont agree, however, that it is a private road, that would indicate to me as the other poster said, it is not a road maintained by the town. Usually MLS's have a choice for cul de sac, dead end or no outlet street.


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RE: Questions about realtor.com listing

I wouldn't want my sales history right out there either. It has nothing to do with what I'm selling it for now. And Live, no realtor I ever worked with ever offered to look up that information for me and I never thought about asking for it. For the same reason I don't like to give it. It has nothing to do with what I'm paying. And it's not because I'm worried I'm priced too high. I don't want to deal with a BUYER thinking I'm priced too high and even though I can prove I'm not, I don't need the aggravation of them fighting me on it.

I'm on Realtor.com. I put it on there myself through a flat fee agency and I entered the information myself. BUT the company who I did this through charges me more money ($25 I think) if I want to make a change other than sales status or price. I wonder if your agent doesn't want to make a change because it'll cost her money?

Your agent made a mistake with the cul-de-sac thing and maybe for the same reason she doesn't want to change it. I would insist on this change. Dead-ends are the best!


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RE: Questions about realtor.com listing

Sometimes price history feeds come from city/county records and can't be removed.

I had my history removed from zillow.com by emailing their customer support (with some persistence), but it still shows up on propertyshark.com. I wanted it off zillow because I'd set a couple of "make me move" prices in the past that I didn't want known. What does your house look like on those sites?

I agree about the "private street" red flag - to me it says it's not maintained by the city and there will be neighbor headaches. I'd have your Realtor change it.


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RE: Questions about realtor.com listing

If I was a buyer, especially in todays market, I would want to see the previous sale prices. If it wasn't on realtor.com, I'd go to Zillow, if it wasn't on Zillow, I'd go to the local township assessors page. I'd also google the address~

Even if you have it removed, if a potential buyer wants to know there are so many other places to find that public information. IMHO, I think a potential buyer has the right to know the sales history.

I have been trying on and off to sell a home in the western suburbs of Chicago for the last 3 years, and my last asking price this year was 25% less than that house appraised for in Sept of 2006. Not all, but many areas of Chicagoland, home prices have slipped 20-30% in the last 3-4 years. So if your asking price is more than you paid only a few years ago, I think you might need to explain... not all the details, but that is was a family transaction.

Good luck with your sale!


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RE: Questions about realtor.com listing

I am currently a buyer who tries to find sales history on houses. Sometimes it can be found, with a lot of time and trouble on the computer, and sometimes it cannot be found. Sometimes the jurisdiction makes you pay to see it.

Only in the most technologically up-to-date jurisdictions would it be possible for the realtor.com folks to link to sales info automatically, and certainly realtor.com would not do it at all if a fee were involved. Most of the time this info, if it is available, would have to come via the mls. Realtors control the mls, and it could be kept out.

The realtor could, for example, remove the parcel ID from the listing (or drop a digit). The parcel id is typically what you use to find sales prices.

Of course there are different MLS boards and databases, just like there are different Recorder and Assessor jurisdictions with their own databases. But if it were my listing the price would not be in there as long as I could see that other listings in the jurisdiction do not show price.

With all the typos and ommissions and outright errors that I see in the MLS and in the public records databases that I search, it is kind of a miracle that the pricing info ever does show up.


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RE: Questions about realtor.com listing

In my county, all tax and sales info is online and easily accessible. It shows the sales and deed history back to the 50's. There is no way you could hide that info.


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RE: Scientific Questions about realtor.com listing

Billl, I'd be interested to know whether, in a county like yours where one can easily find sales price and tax info on a government-provided website, all the info actually shows up on realtor. com.

Care to share your county and state in the interest of science? I would then hustle right over to realtor.com and take a peek. If so, thank you in advance. If not, I understand.


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RE: Questions about realtor.com listing

Even after reading all the posts in this thread, I don't *get* what use there is in knowing what a house previously sold for. What relevance is it to the current value, unless the previous sale took place within the last few months (and at that, there could be many reasons why the price is now higher or lower).


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RE: Questions about realtor.com listing

I don't *get* what use there is in knowing what a house previously sold for. What relevance is it to the current value

When we were looking at homes over the past few years, this information was very relevant to us in even deciding whether to look at/or make an offer on a house. In our area, there was a huge bubble, so people who bought at the peak payed highly inflated prices. If I looked at the listing online and saw that the seller 1) bought at the peak, 2) was asking for a price over what they paid, and 3) did not do significant upgrades to the house, it was obvious to me that the listing was overpriced and I wouldn't bother to even go look. Also, if I went to see a house that I liked, but which was way overpriced as compared to comps, I would go research what the seller paid. If I found that the seller bought at a high price, I'd realize that the likelihood of them coming down to market value within a reasonable time frame was slim, so I'd move on.

This information kept me from wasting a lot of time in the buying process.


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RE: Questions about realtor.com listing

jamies - Raleigh, Wake County, NC

Here is a link for a property in my city (not my house) - sales and tax history is included.

http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/800-Glenwood-Ave_Raleigh_NC_27605_M58857-45059

Just for some extra "creep" factor, if you look it up on the county website, it also shows that the owners are currently delinquent on their car taxes and are blocked from registering their vehicle until it is cleared.

Here is a link that might be useful: County Tax link


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RE: Questions about realtor.com listing

I find previous purchase price helpful, not to judge the current value, but to help me know at a glance where the seller stands on price and equity if I want to negotiate. Unlike others I like it if I see the seller has lots of equity (room). I don't car how much profit a seller has, I only care about my purchase price compared to what I value the house.
In my area I use refin, it posts the purchase price if it isn't too old. But if not show a buyer's agent can obtain purchase price and current loans on a house. Current debt is equally important when negotiating.
Personally I hate realtor.com, too bulky and difficult to use.


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RE: Questions about realtor.com listing

"We're completely dumbfounded as to why the NAR would want this kind of information on listings and therefore is not only included, but also unremovable. Are we wrong to believe that sales history should have no bearing on price? "

The NAR exists to increase housing prices and housing transaction volume in support of its members who are paid on a percentage basis from successful sales. (Third party commentary on to the NAR's former head economist a.k.a. Baghdad Bob provides an especially amusing case in point. Time Magazine actually named him as one of the top 25 people responsible for the housing crash!)

While prior sales history should have no bearing on price, I expect that in general, the NAR believes posting this increases prices.

P.S. One benefit of an artificially low purchase price is that it sometimes helps with correcting appraisals and lowering taxes - you may want to consider this option as lowering taxes should increase the market value of your property.

Here is a link that might be useful: David Lereah commentary


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RE: more Questions about realtor.com listing

I love a good mystery -- thanks, Bill.

CityGate realty has multiple listings right around that house. For most of them, realtor.com includes the pricing (and tax, btw) history. But for one, 623 wills forest, the previous price does not show on realtor.com, even though you can easily find it on the county site.

To me, that implies that the realtor did *something* different when he entered that one into the MLS.

OPs realtor should do the same.

Now *I* have a question. I know that tax info is public info -- taxes are determined by the duly appointed or elected body and are paid to same.

But I don't believe sales price info per se is public info. I appears to be so because most purchases involve a lien, and liens are recorded to protect the lienholders and the title holders.

But if you purchase for cash, I don't think there's any requirement that the consideration paid be recorded.

On the other hand, I don't think it's protected, either. I/O/W, if your realtor decides to march down to the assessor's office and report what you paid, he's probably not doing anything illegal.

Sombody correct me if necessary, please.


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RE: Questions about realtor.com listing

I find previous purchase price helpful, not to judge the current value, but to help me know at a glance where the seller stands on price and equity if I want to negotiate.

Of course that information could be misleading, because it doesn't tell you whether the owner refinanced a bunch of times subsequent to purchase and now owes significantly more. Plenty of people should have plenty of equity based on their purchase price compared with market value today, but don't have that equity because they kept pulling cash out.


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RE: Questions about realtor.com liting

Sorry cmarlin, I didn't see the part of your post about current debt. Exactly.


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RE: Questions about realtor.com listing

"I love a good mystery -- thanks, Bill. "

Not sure if it matters, but the last sale info for that property was when it was zoned for rental. The seller is listed as "HOUSE OF DREAMS LLC" and there is a 9/6 not about it being converted back to single family. Realtor.com separates out their commercial vs residential, so they may be just not picking up the link between the 2.


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RE: Questions about realtor.com listing.

Billl,

3415 clark then.

I have now officially done way more work than OPs realtor.

Stopping....


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RE: Questions about realtor.com listing

Thanks, sas95, that gives a different perspective.

When I purchased 6 years ago, it mattered more to me that the house had been unoccupied for six months (elderly lady in retirement home) which meant we could offer less, & the dependents, who wanted rid of the home, accepted.

Here, only RE agents have access to selling prices.


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RE: Questions about realtor.com listing

The availablity differs from place to place. We're able to get lots of information from the assessor's website in the county I'm following. For example, I just looked at the recent sales listed and picked one to follow up on. Here is just part of what I learned, omitting all identifying info:

Total Sq Ft Living Area: 3,197, FIRST: 1,854, SECOND: 1,343. Lot is .55 acres. Lot sold for $210,000 in May, 1999, House sold for 1,015,000 in May 2001, resold for $1,400,000 in December, 2005 and just sold for $1,200,000 this month.

Buyers and seller's names are all there, more details of the property and even an exterior picture. Armed with the seller's information, let me go to the recorders website where I was able to determine that the sale did not appear to be a distressed sale -- no mortgage on the property. The buyer got a mortgage, but unless you want to register to see the doc and pay a fee to see it, you can't tell how much.

This will all vary from area to area, but here all you need is the address to access sales history, ownership, and lots of details from the assessor's website. More information is available from county recorder's site.

What folks don't understand is that this information has always been available. Used to, you had to make a trip to the courthouse to get it, but now just a few keystokes will do.


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RE: Questions about realtor.com listing

The beauty of the Internet.


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RE: Questions about realtor.com listing

Thank you for all of the responses. Wanted to respond to a couple of the questions/wonderings. Our agent has made several other changes, so I do not believe she just trying to save money by not making changes to our listing.

I agree that technically a cul-de-sac should have a turnaround (hence the name), but as another poster pointed out, Dictionary.com includes "dead end" in their definition of a cul-de-sac. I suspect that the term has evolved over time yet also has some regional influence on it's meaning. So what I have done is find all the listings in my suburb marked as being on a cul-de-sac, yet don't appear from the map to have a turnaround. I will drive around tomorrow (SAHM who need to keep these kids out of the staged house anyway!) and check out these so-called cul-de-sacs. I'll also try to find some houses for sale on dead end streets (with no turnarounds) to see if they are listed as being on a cul-de-sac. Based on my findings, we'll go from there.

As for the Sales History, I've also gone through several listings in my suburb to look up their sales history, versus what is available on our assessor's website. While a close match, I did find four that did have sales history on the assessor's office website, but not realtor.com. Strangely, they did have tax info. I am considering JAMIES idea to fudge or omit the parcel id on the MLS if possible - maybe I can get my agent to check out those 4 properties on the MLS and see if their parcel id's are correct.

I actually have used our assessor's public data quite extensively in successfully appealling our property taxes. I used the sales history for comps, which is what you are supposed to do in appealing one's taxes. That is why our's is labeled "unqualified" because it does not qualify as a comp.

Will continue to research this, but some of your posts have helped me feel better about the info being out there. If in the end there is nothing we can do, so be it. We're happy to explain the situation to any potential buyer who's wondering.

Thanks for all your comments!

(Thanks! to AnnKathryn for the info on emailing Zillow - will have to try that, too)


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RE: Questions about realtor.com listing

frugalmom you're welcome, but note that I was asking zillow remove the 'make me move' price, not the history of sales prices. What actually happened was that all history was removed for my house, but from reading the zillow forums I don't think it's always that easy to get it removed.

Good luck with your sale!

Now *I* have a question. I know that tax info is public info -- taxes are determined by the duly appointed or elected body and are paid to same.

But I don't believe sales price info per se is public info. I appears to be so because most purchases involve a lien, and liens are recorded to protect the lienholders and the title holders.

But if you purchase for cash, I don't think there's any requirement that the consideration paid be recorded.

On the other hand, I don't think it's protected, either. I/O/W, if your realtor decides to march down to the assessor's office and report what you paid, he's probably not doing anything illegal.

Sombody correct me if necessary, please.

It may be different for each county and/or state, but in my county I can choose to not have my sales price recorded. It will cost my Realtor a $500 "fine" to not record the price, but I'm seriously considering paying this. I think the "fine" comes from our friendly local NAR affiliate which penalizes Realtors for not reporting sales prices.

In this internet age when nearly everything is available online in one form or another, I think it's important to retain a shred of privacy whenever possible.

On the other hand, not recording the price means that my house can't be used as a comp for others, which might not be the most civic-minded approach to take.


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RE: Questions about realtor.com listing

The parcel ID is a required field in our MLS. And this is the missing link that Realtor.com probably uses to pull the tax records from.
LITH... we agents do not charge ourselves to make changes to our listings. You get charged because you hired a limited service agency (data entry person), to advertise your property. They are not going to do anything else to your listing unless you pay, a la carte.
Invisible Hand... You actually read "Time" magazine?
In the past, buyers and sellers moaned and groaned that they needed more info to be made public when selling or buying a property. There ya go.


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RE: Questions about realtor.com listing

"Invisible Hand... You actually read "Time" magazine? "

No, but it seemed like a concise reference supporting my distaste for the NAR and David Lereah in particular. It is disappointing that so many real estate professionals align themselves with this organization and in my opinion against the buyers and sellers of homes.

Real estate could be such a noble profession as it is so intimate to people's lives, but so many "professionals" out there choose a more self serving approach.


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RE: Questions about realtor.com listing

IH,
The fact that I am a member of NAR bears no influence on how I treat my clients.
OTOH, NAR's Chief Economist is nothing more than a spin miester.


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RE: Questions about realtor.com listing

NCRealEstateGuy, I didn't have to make changes because I'm the one who submitted all the information. I guess I'm a control freak. I want my street to be called what I say it is. I was just wondering why their agent would resist changing it to what the client wants--I figured maybe they get charged by Realtor.com, not themself. Don't they get charged for more pictures, etc.?


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RE: Questions about realtor.com listing

LITH... Yes, Realtor.com charges us for Enhanced Listings... more pics and avaliability of a visual tour.
But our MLS does not charge to make changes.
My bet, is that the agent is one of those that follows the letter of the law to a tee. And since it is not technically a cul de sac, she is hesitant to note it as much. As far as I am concerned, my responsibility to my seller would far outwiegh a nasty email from my MLS asking me to change the entry.


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RE: Questions about realtor.com listing

Yeah, you're probably right NC.


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