Relisters' Row

Posted by Dave Fratello on Thursday, May 28th, 2009 at 5:21am.

Like a lot of MBC readers, your blog author often checks in on what's new in local RE by clicking on Redfin's MB page.

Wednesday, by some coincidence, 3 "new" listings in a row weren't.

For a time, they created a little "Relisters' Row," a virtual wall of shame.


As the pic here shows (click to enlarge), the newest to re-list were 209 16th, 133 1st and 512 12th. (Although 16th is not in the same category because the "new" listing reflects its addition to income properties; the older SFR listing remains.) We'd say go ahead and click all those highlighted addresses for more pics & details via Redfin – but that would just be encouraging them.

None of these listings made a major price move. The 1st St. listing is down $26k from its last incarnation. The 12th St. listing actually rose in price by $46k. All just wanted a little freshening up.

Of course, these aren't the only listings pulling old-fashioned bogus re-lists these days. The practice is less common, but hardly unheard of. In the past few weeks, there's also:
  • 132 2nd, which MBC featured 10 weeks ago when it began at $4.5m. (See "A 2nd Try at 2nd.") After a bogus re-list, it's at $4.2m. That's also way, way down from $6.0m in March 2008 – but at least that price faded legitimately after a long break. Not this time: the "old" listing was quickly replaced with the new price.
  • 3309 Poinsettia (one of the "Twins in the Trees") recently reset the clock after 400+ DOM in one set of capable hands to celebrate the arrival of a new agent. Funny, same speckie, now $1.995m, down rather substantially from that $2.795m start that no one wants to acknowledge now.
  • 617 6th, which took some time, but not the requisite 60 days off, before coming back at $4.699m – down a bit from its last price ($4.995m), quite a lot from its start in March 2008 at $5.950m.
And that's just a sampling.

There was a time, as many readers know, when bogus re-lists were treated in a somewhat harsher light here at MBC.

We haven't really rattled the cage much recently, because the phenomenon has receded – in part thanks to the new MLS system – and because the environment has changed.

Those who keep trying to use bogus re-lists to "freshen up" their properties tend to look more pathetic than deceptive these days. The internet is helping more and more buyers to see through this silly posing.

We were a bit amazed to see that the last MBC post properly labeled as being about "re-listing" was from March of 2008. (See "All New, Except for All Those Months Before.")

It's still wrong to slap a new MLS number on a property and call it "new" when it's not. Maybe we're just less concerned now that consumers are being impacted.

We'll acknowledge that there is a constantly changing pool of buyers (and agents!) who will be fooled by these moves.

But, increasingly, the people closest to this market are laughing, no need to joust, as agents play "let's pretend" with multi-million-dollar properties, calling them "new on market" when what they need are new prices to meet the market.

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UPDATE: A reader notes that the new listing for 209 16th reflected the addition of the property to the income property listings and not a re-list, as it first appeared. Text of the story has also been changed.
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