Friday, March 7, 2008

Just Because It's In The MLS Doesn't Mean It's Accurate

I took a listing a couple of weeks ago (2310 E. Winchcomb Dr. for those of you who might be interested!!) and during my research I came across a listing in the same subdivision that had the square footage listed as 1,535 per the assessor’s tax records.  Well as part of my research I also looked at the assessor’s tax records and noticed that it had the square footage listed as 1,385, not 1,535.  So in an effort to try and figure out why there was a discrepancy, I called the listing agent.  The conversation went something like this….

Me:  “Hi, I noticed that you have a listing on Gelding and see that you have the square footage listed as 1,535 per the assessor’s records, but when looking at the assessor’s records, it shows the square footage as 1,385.  Can you explain that to me?  Was there an addition to the house?  I’m a little confused.”

Listing Agent:  “The tax records say what?”

Me:  “It shows the square footage as 1,385, but you have 1,535 in the MLS”

Listing Agent:  “Oh, well I just took the information from the previous listing and it had 1,535.  I guess I should look at the tax records.”

Me:  Dead silent!! 

I couldn’t believe that an agent would be this careless in the representation of a property.  Now granted, there are several instances throughout the buying process where a buyer is advised to verify, among other things, the square footage before purchasing the home.  So odds are, a buyer is going to be informed of the actual square footage before closing on the property, but if it were to happen, a buyer could find themselves in a situation where they thought they were buying a 1,535 square foot home, when in all actuality they just bought a 1,385 square foot house.  If the home feels right to the buyer it’s not too big of a deal.  But when looking at what the buyer paid for the home 150 square feet could be the difference between buying a home at a value and being upside down the day they moved in.  And in this declining market, starting out upside down is a bad place to start.

In addition to the incorrect square footage, I have recently noticed that the listing agent has now posted the incorrect property photo.  Strike two!!  One more strike, and this agent should be out.  It’s embarrassing to me to be included in the pool of Realtors with this individual.  Most of us work very hard at combating the Realtor stereotype, only to be handicapped by agents like this.

-Steve Nicks

[tags] multiple listing service, phoenix real estate, desert ridge real estate [/tags]