Let's fudge the numbers

David Goldsmith

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Staff member
I'm kind of embarrassed to be a member of a profession where for some the first reaction to a crisis is to think:
"How can we cover up the facts?"

Especially when as far as I can tell one of the top consumer and regulatory desires (as well as broker claims) over the last decade has been "transparency."
 
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David Goldsmith

All Powerful Moderator
Staff member
They want to "have their cake and eat it too." They don't want to take the units off the market, they want to leave them on the market but not be "penalized" by having those days count. There are also agents who are creating false unit numbers when relisting units to restart the "days on market" clock and hide that the unit has been on the market before.
 

Noah Rosenblatt

Talking Manhattan on UrbanDigs.com
yeah false unit number thing is out there for while..well, I mean, everyone knows whats going on. especially buyers, so having a listing on the market for 30 days with dom not rising, not sure that achieves the right effect? didnt hear about these things post 9/11 or 2008/9 crisis. Listings can come off for few weeks or a month, and that stops dom count. also, i think buyers will keep a keen eye on off market during this period knowing they may still be avail for sale
 

David Goldsmith

All Powerful Moderator
Staff member
I think the last thing the Brokerage Industry needs right now is anything which might erode consumer confidence that we are being totally transparent.
 

Noah Rosenblatt

Talking Manhattan on UrbanDigs.com
agreed. Buyers will see right through it and it will do unintended harm. Again, i think everyone knows what the world is going through and buyers will do what they do until we get back to normal. As long as the market operates and sellers who have to sell, have options, hopefully at reasonable discounted levels.
 

Noah Rosenblatt

Talking Manhattan on UrbanDigs.com
Yeah. Streeteasy will have the dom still ticking. So, not sure why they are doing this when its out there on the most widely used forum. I called and said my two cents. There is agreement to this way of thinking, I will say that. But i guess there is also tremendous pressure from other side.

Again, if its on SE already, I dont see how this helps? It may hurt agents, as consumers go and get data themselves
 

David Goldsmith

All Powerful Moderator
Staff member
It also makes agents look stupid when they tell someone they are assisting "that information isn't available" but they can go find it themselves. Nice way to undermine credibility.

It's also just obvious bullshit in that if it's "not available" consumers know it's being hidden on purpose. No one likes to be told "you're an idiot" and this is the message that is sending.

I'm fuming at how wrong headed this is.
 

LB1995

New member
I'm kind of embarrassed to be a member of a profession where for some the first reaction to a crisis is to think:
"How can we cover up the facts?"

Especially when as far as I can tell one of the top consumer and regulatory desires (as well as broker claims) over the last decade has been "transparency."
from REBNY
In light of the continuing COVID-19 crisis and its impact on the real estate industry, REBNY has issued an order to stop Days on Market (DOM) calculation across all consumer portals in NYC that participate in the RLS network. All our partners have been notified and are expected to disable Days on Market calculation as of Friday, March 20 until further notice.
 

David Goldsmith

All Powerful Moderator
Staff member
Noah,
Are they going to force sites to get rid of Price History as well? Because unless that happens as well then what's the point?
 

David Goldsmith

All Powerful Moderator
Staff member
If I am remembering correctly the whole reason that REBNY finally got off it's ass and did anything about RLS was to fight SE (this is a whole nother discussion) I think it's totally counter productive to undermine it's data partners and put them in a position where consumers who have switched over from SE will now be forced to go back there because one of the pieces of data they want the most only lives here.

And it kind of makes a joke of the claim for doing RLS in the first place was SE lack of transparency with Premier Agent when they just conceded the transparency moral high ground.
 

David Goldsmith

All Powerful Moderator
Staff member

"How Best Intentions By Real Estate Brokers Will Destroy Public Trust And Delay A Market Rebound

By now, housing market activity has slowed down significantly with calls for a national shutdown. Home sellers are pushing back against strangers walking through their homes; real estate appraisers resist pressure from banks to place themself in harm’s way, and real estate agents struggle to come up with alternatives such as face-timing an inspection for the buyers and now…hiding negative market trends from buyers.

We are in the middle of a combined global pandemic and economic catastrophe and a group of real estate agents in New York (NYRAC), again with best intentions, proposed that Streeteasy/Zillow, arguably the Darth Vader of the NYC real estate industry, did not acquiesce to the proposal.

For NYC Listings, Time Is an Enemy. Brokers Want It Stopped [Bloomberg]

But then, REBNY, New York’s quasi-MLS capitulated to the request and opted to hide days on market from consumers on their RLS system (listings)."
 

David Goldsmith

All Powerful Moderator
Staff member

Decision by StreetEasy, REBNY to stop market clock triggers debate
Critics say manipulating data will have detrimental effect

For years, the “days on market” clock has been part of the yin and yang of New York real estate — a metric buyers love and sellers hate.
Now decisions to stop the clock during the coronavirus pandemic, first by the Real Estate Board of New York’s listings service and then by StreetEasy, has started a debate over transparency and data integrity.
Many brokers say the health emergency has disrupted the market and that pausing the clock will incentivize sellers to keep their listings online. Others decry the move as self-serving and dishonest data manipulation.
Conventional wisdom is that the longer a property has been on the market, the less buyers will offer. With New Yorkers practicing social distancing rather than out seeing homes, many listings could start to look stale.

The idea of removing the days-on-market metric was floated early last week when the New York Residential Agent Continuum, an agent organization, made the request of StreetEasy. Days later REBNY ordered all public-facing data portals that accept its listing data to stop displaying the calculation.
The move prompted StreetEasy to take a stance. Initially the company said it would not follow suit because that would compromise its integrity and deprive consumers of transparency. But by Sunday, StreetEasy had changed its tune.
Citing Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s executive order that prevented real estate agents — and any non-essential business — from doing in-person work starting Sunday, the company said it would also stop the days-on-market clock.
The response from agents varies.
Celebrity broker Ryan Serhant of Nest Seekers International laughed off the change. “Sure, if they want to do that. Why not?” he said.

Wendy Arriz of Warburg Realty called it much-needed “out-of-the-box thinking” that “incentivizes sellers/selling agents to keep listings on the market and not delist.”
“I can’t say whether it’s going to help or not but it certainly can’t hurt,” said Compass broker Michael Franco.
But the authors of New York City’s most-read market reports are upset, even outraged.
“This is wholesale manipulation of a market metric,” said appraiser Jonathan Miller. “It seems to be a crowdsourced decision with people that have skin in the game and that’s not what should be happening right now.”
“All this does is damage their credibility with the consumer. There is no upside to this,” he continued. “They think they’re making their seller feel better, but guess what? We have a global pandemic. You can’t fudge it.”

Donna Olshan, founder of Olshan Realty, agreed.
“Any industry or trade group that seeks to manipulate data — even during extraordinary times such as these — is messaging that the industry endorses the practice of obfuscation,” she said. “Honest data is essential for both buyers and sellers to evaluate and make a decision.”
Olshan said the better option is pulling the property from the market altogether. That’s “the right thing to do anyway right now,” she said.
NYRAC’s founding chairperson Heather McDonough Domi disputed that.
“We’re in a period where there is just so much emotional and psychological stress on the consumer and there is panic,” she said. She added that sellers can become targets for solicitation from other agents immediately after they delist, at times despite the property being off market only temporarily, which means the listing agent’s exclusive is still in place.

“The very last thing I want to do at this moment of time is subject my seller to an unscrupulous agent who wants to take advantage of a situation,” she explained.
Olshan countered that “you don’t try to manipulate market data because you have a cottage industry of dishonest people.”
Mark Chin, head of Keller Williams New York City, said removing the days-on-market clock renders the data “useless.”
“The effects of data distortion can be for a year. It’s frustrating,” he said. “You’re going to have to rely on supply and contract activity and throw out days-on-market.”
Nest Seekers’ Eddie Shapiro said he would not be opposed to a disclaimer on listings to inform consumers the counter was suspended.
Garrett Derderian, head of market analysis at CORE, wondered how the metric will be calculated after the pandemic passes for properties that remained unsold. “Once you open up this can of worms I think it leads to more questions or confusion,” he said.

For years, the “days on market” clock has
Noah Rosenblatt, CEO of UrbanDigs, said his initial concern — before StreetEasy also suspended days-on-market — was that consumers could be confused or would just go to StreetEasy for the information.
“With the combination of a state-ordered PAUSE and the recent news that StreetEasy will follow REBNY’s guidelines to suspend days on market,” he said, “at least there will be a modicum of consistency for consumers and agents regarding time on market.”
Other platforms are eliminating the calculation but allowing it to be determined by a discerning consumer.
Jonathan Greenspan of On-Line Residential said Linecity doesn’t list days on the market, but a listing’s history is available so anyone can figure it out. Similarly, Kael Goodman of MarketProof said he’s removing the field from his site but continuing to display the listing date.

people that have skin in the game and that’s not what should be happening right now.”
“All this does is damage their credibility with the consumer. There is no upside to this,” he continued. “They think they’re making their seller feel better, but guess what? We have a global pandemic. You can’t fudge it.”

Donna Olshan, founder of Olshan Realty, agreed.
“Any industry or trade group that seeks to manipulate data — even during extraordinary times such as these — is messaging that the industry endorses the practice of obfuscation,” she said. “Honest data is essential for both buyers and sellers to evaluate and make a decision.”
Olshan said the better option is pulling the property from the market altogether. That’s “the right thing to do anyway right now,” she said.
NYRAC’s founding chairperson Heather McDonough Domi disputed that.
“We’re in a period where there is just so much emotional and psychological stress on the consumer and there is panic,” she said. She added that sellers can become targets for solicitation from other agents immediately after they delist, at times despite the property being off market only temporarily, which means the listing agent’s exclusive is still in place.
 

David Goldsmith

All Powerful Moderator
Staff member
Email from REBNY:

REBNY Restarts Days on Market Calculation

Dear David A,

In coordination with Phase Two of New York Forward and the resumption of in-person real estate services, REBNY will restart the Days on Market (DOM) calculation Monday, June 22 across all consumer portals in New York City that participate in REBNY's Residential Listing Service (RLS) network. REBNY is notifying all RLS data partners and expects them to restart their DOM calculations on June 22.

Working alongside industry leaders, REBNY has determined the entire period of the stay-at-home order will count as one day on all public-facing RLS listings. For example, if a property was on the market for 45 days as of March 20, when our order to stop DOM calculations began, all public-facing portals will show that it’s been listed for 46 day on June 22, when Phase Two officially begins.

With the reintroduction of DOM calculations, REBNY's priority is to ensure our agents and brokers get back to business in a seamless, safe and productive way, while providing home sellers and buyers with information they can trust.

Please do not hesitate to contact us at RLSsupport@rebny.com if you have any questions.

Thank you,

REBNY Residential Listing Service (RLS)
 

Noah Rosenblatt

Talking Manhattan on UrbanDigs.com
Yeah, got the same. I mean, i have mixed feelings. On one hand, Im all for transparency and not for meddling with data. Also, the LIST DATE will still be there so users should be able to see for themselves whats up. On other hand, govt orders a shutdown so agents cant do their business for the most part, so in that sense I kind of get it. I was upset in the beginnning when we were ordered to do this and SE wasnt going to, but when they agreed, all sites basically did it.

Crazy times indeed
 

John Walkup

Talking Manhattan on UrbanDigs.com
Removal of DOM may have actually impeded deals because it encouraged sellers to sit on the market without lowering the price. Had the non-immediate sellers removed their listings, the immediate sellers would have faced less search competition, encouraging buyers to compete more. Instead, we are seeing some post-covid deals (contract signed after 3/23) where the listing discount is 20% or 30%. True they may have been overpriced to begin with, but 30% isn't a negotiation as much as it is an ultimatum. Will be interesting to see how many more low-ball sales come in...
 
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