Relisting = Cheating

From CNBC:

Re-listing: I Think It’s Cheating–What Do You Think?

There’s been a lot of talk in the blogosphere lately about the phenomenon of “re-listing”, and so it behooves me to weigh in. “Re-listing” is when an agent takes a property that’s been sitting on the market a bit longer than one might like and removes it from the market, only to “re-list” it days or even minutes later as a “fresh” listing.

As homes sit on the market longer and longer these days, it’s a tactic that many real estate agents say is legal, helpful, and really a no-brainer.

The problem is that despite all the news of the housing downturn, for some reason buyers still like to see “days on market” under 30 before they’re willing to step in. Anything above that is a turn-off. There are ways to find out, if you know where to dig, what the total days on-market has been, but the average real e-surfer probably doesn’t know how.

I beg to differ. Here’s my opinion (which I’m allowed to give here on the blog because it’s a blog, not my other job as a business journalist on CNBC): That’s rot. It is cheating. It’s one thing to change the perception of a home by staging it, dressing it up a bit, but fudging the numbers of “days on market” is just as bad as leaving out the fact that the basement floods periodically. There’s a reason that number is there, so people can gauge interest and understand if that home is correctly priced compared to its neighborhood comps.

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13 Responses to Relisting = Cheating

  1. Cindy says:

    In my inbox today….

    “Thank you for your recent response and interest in REALTOR Magazine. Your question has been forwarded to the ethics columnist and editor for possible use in a Letter to the Editor column. If your question is picked for publication, it will appear in a future issue of REALTOR Magagzine.”
    Unfortunately, we receive many letters….etc.

    In my “google” frenzy the other day trying to research the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice, I hit upon I fired off a note to the them…

    “I would like to know exactly what the policy is regarding “relisting.” I consider it to be an unfair practice that is meant to deceive. What is your stance? Are any steps being taken to send a clear, ethical message regarding this practice?”

    I’ll let you know if anything comes of it….

  2. grim says:

    Given that I sent 45 emails two days ago, and only got a single reply, your odds are pretty darn slim.

  3. Ann says:

    So basically, because relisting is legal, they’re going to do it. Fair enough.

    Hope it’s illegal soon.

  4. REAgent-Pimp says:

    Real estate brokers are like Pimps. They will pimp their own wifes, daughters to just to sell a house. They are motivated to do it more in this hosing market.

    The last time I was trying to buy in 2005, I was misled by my RE agent about multiple bidders, even though there were none. Luckily the appraisers (who was really honest) came up with an appraisal of about 5% less than my offer. he didn’t budge a bit from the pressure from RE agents and the mortgage agent. Thats when I woke up and the deal fell apart.

    That guy saved me a lot of money and stress. I wanna find him now and send him a thank you note !

  5. REAgent-Pimp says:

    I was looking for a house from Feb 2005 – Aug 2005 and probably saw 15 houses. On the day the appraisal came, not only did I back off from the offer, I also backed off from the whole house buying business. Now the same house is selling from 60K less.

  6. REAgent-Pimp says:

    May be I was lucky in 2005. The first house I made an offer went into bidding. Eventhough I was the highest bidder, the seller choose the other guy. So I said OK

    But that deal fell through because the buyes couldn’t come up with $$$. Then the house sat on the market for another 8 months and the RE agent/seller were after me to take another look at the house. I said no-way.

    I thought I was unlucky to miss those two deals and now I know that is not the case !

  7. test-123. says:


  8. David says:

    As a real estate sales trainer (and former agent) I abhore the practice of re-listing. I find it not only deceptive and disingenuous at best, but outright fraud at worst. Shame on the NAR for not working vigorously to eliminate the practice, but silently endorsing it as well. The promotion of this VERY common practice only serves to perpetuate the used car salesman stereotype (so richly deserved at times like these).

    When I have the fresh and unadulterated minds of new agents in my class for two weeks, I not only mention the NJREREPORT as a great source of information regarding the industry (including “Lowball”, “Comp Killers”, etc), but as way to avoid drinking the kool-aid and telling your clients not to believe the doom and gloom. You NEED to appreciate what they are reading, hearing, feeling and experiencing. Don’t be a Pollyanna, because you WILL look like yesterday’s fool. They WILL go work with someone else and tell others about your failure to have an ethical compass that works.

    I implore the new agents not to “relist” and put themselves in buyer’s shoes.

    Relisting is the equivalent of peeing on a buyer’s leg and telling them it’s raining.

    Combine the practice with the buyer lawsuits that are starting to pop up due to agents holding back information about other potential comparables in their price range, what do you think is going to happen when a buyer finds out that the home they thought was only on the market for 30 days was actually on the market for 180?

    Just my 2cents.

  9. test-123. says:

    Easy solution is to give access to realtor sites like gsmls, njmls, for public for a nominal fee.

    Then you will see the fun.

  10. David says:

    What makes the need to relist so beyond ridiculous is that if the oh so smart realtor, like that crook Joe Niece in MN, is that if he “right priced” the property to begin with (usually the fault of the seller’s failure to listen to reason or agent’s #’s are too frothy), then the property would move quickly and this would be a non-issue.

    Sellers have to deal with the fact that, “That past performance is no guarantee of future results.” In other words, you are not guaranteed to make a profit selling your home, just because people successfully did that in years past. Do you want to contain a small loss now or a bigger loss later.

    Deal with it.

  11. Ann says:

    So, if you’re a realtor, and a buyer asks you how many days on the market, I wonder, how does it feel to tell them just what you see on the listing paper right at that second, even though you know that it’s really that plus 200 more, for example.

    Just as one human being relating to another…

    Do they feel honorable when they go to sleep that night?

  12. Jonnyboy says:

    When you vote on the question “Is Re-lising cheating when it comes to selling a home?” at the end of the article you see…

    20% – no it’s not cheating
    66% – yes it’s cheating
    14% – sort of cheating

    ’nuff said

  13. Mitchell says:

    Reads like the NAR is forcing people to use real estate agents to get this information because most people wouldn’t know how to otherwise.

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