Now I have reported to MRIS another violation.
Lets see what they do about it.
New Construction Fudging the Reporting of Seller Subsidy… how conveeee….enient.
- Damn side note: I once had a listing for $325,000 and an agent said “but the developer is offering an amazing $15,000 in incentives, will you match that?” The builder’s price was $350,000. I said “Sure. I’ll double it! I’ll give you $30,000 back with a price of $355,000, Deal?” So make sure you NET everything out!
So how do they do this?
Well one way is through fudging the “seller subsidy”. If a place is $600,000 and they want to drop the price to $580,000, they will instead give $20,000 worth of “seller subsidies” or “cash back.” Effectively the sale is $580,000, but it gets recorded in the tax records as $600,000 (which is fine). The part that is not fine is they are leaving off the subsidy information on the MLS. Insert Dr. Evil’s voice: How convenient!
- The graph to the left shows one builder’s last 40 sales. Not one included a seller subsidy. Meanwhile I have been in their sales office. As with EVERY builder, they give huge seller subsidies. Yet not one is posted here, as required by the MLS.
- The box on the right side of the graph are 50 Arlington Condos sold in 2006. About 40% have seller subsidies.
Why does seller subsidy disclosure matter?
If you are considering buying a $500k condo in Arlington, you will look at the past sales as one of a dozen metrics to value a home (I wish I could show all my tricks on pricing and offering on homes, but the competition might be reading this, email me if you want a sample). If the builder just sold a nearly exact unit for $500,000 and recorded no subsidy, you might actually consider buying the unit near $500k. However, if you knew that there was $20,000 cash back, and the net price was actually $480,000, that is basically a Honda Civic value of information ($20k).
So in conclusion, make sure your buyer agent knows the market well and knows about tricks like those and other listing agent tricks that could cost you $20,000.
For all those super smart people that think like my Mom (read Mom Blog on not trusting Realtors) did “I don’t need no stinking buyer agent,” this stuff happens all the time. (shameless plug here: sign up to get emails of new blogs, the sign up box is at the bottom)
– Written by Frank Borges LL0SA- Broker/Owner FranklyRealty.com
703-827-4OO6 Please report all typos, I don’t like looking stupid. If you like this post, sign up for new blogs daily, use the form on the right of the page.
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*Thank you to MRIS continued: I would like to thank MRIS for warning agents about MLS fudging.(the local MLS system) for posting a bulletin board on Matrix (the back end Realtor system) warning listing agents that Data MLS fudging is illegal and will not be tolerated. I believe my MLS Data fudging Blog (Part 1 and Part 2) and the resulting Business Week article probably lit a fire under them. While I wanted to copy and paste that notice, it wa
s gone after 24 hours. Oh well. Update: I found the link to the notice.
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