From a tipster yesterday:

2189 Market St. #1
MLS# 315146 – withdrawn on 12/21/06
MLS# 317856 – active on 1/2/07
12 days off the market but came on as a new listing with only a reduction in price? I’m stumped.

And from another today:

28 Presidio Terrace just showed up as withdrawn after 164 days on the market, no change in price from 5.38M (MLS# 310748). It immediately shows back up as a new listing (MLS# 318035), same price, 0 days on market. I thought this stuff was supposed to be put to an end?

So did we. Where’s that darn MLS cop when you really need one…
A New New Policy Change For The MLS [SocketSite]
Tainted Love Of Presidio Terrace [SocketSite]
Proof Of Listing Dates? Inconceivable! [SocketSite]

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by enforcement

    any way to get the realtors ™ responsible for this in trouble? i’d love to see these sleazy tactics punished.
    [Editor’s Note: We’d prefer to focus on understanding (what exactly are the rules?) and education (how does this affect any published statistics?), and not so much on worrying about getting anyone in trouble (or “punishment” per se).]

  2. Posted by Anonymous

    any chance it was originally misposted as the wrong kind of property type? Or is everything on the listing exactly the same except for the reduction in price? i believe there are ways of fudging the rules a bit dependent on what the realtor’s argument is at the time–things can be entered/changed manually by SFAR staffers and the old custom was that it was a subjective call on the part of SFAR–who by the way, did not make it easy to get around the rules (i.e. the excuse had to be valid and substantiated).

  3. Posted by Dave

    You can actually expect them to police its customers?… Its like cops policing cops…

  4. Posted by Cece Blase

    The deal with the MLS is that if you pulled the property off before the end of the year, you can put it back on as new after just two weeks.
    Any listing that comes on after January 1st will be subject to the new rules.

  5. Posted by crispy&cole

    MLS cops? Police their own?
    Google “fox guarding the hen house”

  6. Posted by tipster

    Cece, neither of these listings was off for two weeks. What do you think is the most likely outcome?
    [Removed by Editor]

  7. Posted by Anonymous

    it must be really satisfying for all of you to ride this wave of conspiracy–i’m sure it’s a very safe place for all of you but regardless, petulance is not going to bring home prices down to where you want them. aren’t we all in agreement that bureaucracy and incompetence are twin brothers? it’s asinine for any of you principals to actually believe that you’re being intentionally manipulated or deceived. this is not to imply that the SFAR folks are incompetent but bureaucracy, by principal, is a hindrance on anyone’s ability to be truly helpful to the greatest number of people. [additional note: SFARMLS members (i.e. agents) are equally frustrated with any inconsistencies because it means everytime we pull a listing up for a client, we have to do that much more digging to find out about the property history.]
    SUGGESTION: perhaps, Socketsite should try to enlist the regular help of an [anonymous] SFAR staffer / MLS Board board member to answer questions and respond to ligitimate concerns about MLS policy and/or abuses.

  8. Posted by enforcement

    Anonymous, nobody’s saying enforcement would bring down prices. I thought everyone would agree that cracking down on this type of dishonest behavior is good for buyers, sellers, and agents.
    And if there is a clarification to the rules that makes this permissible, I’d like to hear it. So far, nobody’s provided one.

  9. Posted by NotAnAgent

    it’s asinine for any of you principals to actually believe that you’re being intentionally manipulated or deceived. this is not to imply that the SFAR folks are incompetent but bureaucracy, by principal, is a hindrance on anyone’s ability to be truly helpful to the greatest number of people.
    If the intention is not to deceive, the agent would simply leave the property on the market, racking up more DOM. Obviously, the very purpose of allowing an agent to repost a listing at all is to facilitate the deceit.
    Honesty would require that any buyer can instantly find out how long the property has been on the market as soon as the property is viewed.
    Your implication that the agent has to do more work to find this out and otherwise it doesn’t harm anyone is not only false, it is a circular (and therefore illogical) reason for keeping agents around: to protect the buyers from all the agents!
    There are web sites that DO display such information and the agents don’t realize that, because of a rule, any rule, that allows a property to be listed as new when the listing is anything but, the agents are losing their relationship and credibility with the buyers so fast my head is spinning.

  10. Posted by Tom Geller

    I just discovered this blog, and think it’s great. It’s exactly what I’d do if I weren’t so lazy. And apathetic.
    I’m not currently an SFAR member, but I was in 2002-2004, and on the MLS Committee for much of that time. (Trivia: Its co-chair Matthew Borland became SFAR’s President for 2006.)
    At that time I occasionally reported MLS abuses to SFAR staffer Barbara Pacak, and always found her intelligent and responsive.
    According to this page, she’s still the Administrative Manager there — contact her at 415-431-8022 x113 or That page also lists two other people in charge of the MLS: Mina Tran (x115) and Signe Hirsimaki (x117).
    Of course, these staffers can only act according to the rules promulgated by the MLS Committee. Only SFAR members are able to see who that committee’s chairs are, alas. Any members care to pass on the info to the rest of us?

  11. Posted by Eddy

    Good response Tom. Everyone should be encouraged to take action when an act of deceit is committed. But the reality is that most people here are just interested in some of the ins- and outs of SF real estate. I suspect the majority here aren’t buyes or sellers, but just interested market observers. Most with an opinion. Oh, and I’m sure there are a lot of agents.
    Anyway, a new rule came into effect on Jan 1, and when its clear that a listing has been pulled and re-listed within 24 hours with NO change in any fact or figure about the property; then it makes for an interesting post.
    I hope more people send these shenanigans in for our viewing pleasure!

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