Would-Be Churners

Posted by Dave Fratello on Friday, March 7th, 2008 at 8:48pm.

You don't hear us talk much about "bogus re-lists" these days. Under the New Order (Mr. MLS), as of Feb. 4, the practice of "churning" – canceling a listing and "refreshing" it with a new MLS # – is officially frowned upon. Most listing agents are complying.

But a few have tried. Before it went into escrow, the lot sale at 3216 Alma canceled and refreshed with a price drop of $150k.

More recently, in early February – after the Mr. MLS merger – 3009 Poinsettia (pictured), another lot sale, canceled. It was gone for about a month before coming back this week with a new price ($1.239m, down from the start price of $1.399m).

Initially the listing was "new," but within days it suddenly had the old MLS # again (S959766). Look it up now and you see 77 DOM.

We're assuming that the listing was corrected by Mr. MLS, which has a terse violation letter that includes this passage:
Members should not try to confuse the market place and skew the market statistics by canceling and then re-entering the same property as a new listing into the system. It is misleading, skews the statistics and makes CMAs cumbersome and often incorrect.
Click here for the full Mr. MLS "churning" violation letter.

A newer attempt at "churning" is at 1413 Pine (pictured). It started Jan. 9 at $1.759m, took a cut to $1.699m and lingered for just less than 2 months in total, using MLS # 960389. It came back Thursday with a new MLS # (S08034009) and a fresh DOM clock to match a new price, $1.659m.

The property is getting new carpeting to replace that ghastly light-blue stuff, but that doesn't make it a new listing. Here's guessing that Mr. MLS will shortly come down on the listing agent, and that we'll soon see the home's true DOM (58 as we write) when using search tools that display DOM.
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