It is a FACT - ALL REAL ESTATE IS LOCAL. Agents know. Will anyone listen???

By
Real Estate Agent with Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate 303829;0225082372

It is a FACT - ALL REAL ESTATE IS LOCAL.

Beginning with the introduction, ACTIVERAIN moves into the business of national real estate market statistical reporting:  "The largest real estate social network ActiveRain Corp surveyed 1,835 real estate agents and real estate brokers in the US and Canada to understand if the real estate market and economy are poised for recovery in 2012, both nationwide and in local markets."

SEE:  Real Estate Recovery Or Not? 2012 Predictions by the Pro's Infographic by ActiveRain.

OPINION vs. FACT BASED REPORTING:  I am of the opinion that statistical reports compiled by opinions of a small number of real estate agents has no significant value in terms of accuracy.  Opinion is not data.  Accurate statistical reports may be compiled with the use of data.  However, that may also be manipulated.

That said, while the sampling is far too small to have national significance, it is interesting to see a report using real estate agents as the source.  We do, after all, live in these markets and experience the effects of the forces that move markets for good or bad.

My first thought on reading the report was, "Mmmm, is ActiveRain moving into the sphere of National Real Estate Market Forecasting??"

If so, compiling and publishing these reports may have some national significance, although the opinions of the average real estate agents has, to date, largely been ignored.  So, even a small sampling is interesting reading.  Agents also have access to real estate facts through the data contained in our MLS systems.  When I compile statistical reports from my MLS, it's based on FACTS of actual closed sales, current listings, etc.  There is no opinion involved.  Which leads me to the question of "How did the NAR get it so wrong".  I've yet to figure that one out. 

CROSS MARKET AVERAGING.  Another problem I note with most published real estate reporting by national companies is cross market averaging.

EXAMPLE:  Washington D.C. is not one market.  It is a geographical area combining several states and numerous counties of which all represent diverse real estate markets.  I have yet to see an accurate published report of any real estate market for Maryland or Northern Virginia.  Until or unless the data used is county originated, it is virtually useless.

THE OPINIONS OF ACTIVERAIN REAL ESTATE AGENT MEMBERS has value.  We are at the source.  We live the dynamic relationships between agents and real estate services consumers. 

I have yet to see a home buyer or seller make a real estate transaction decision based on a National Statistical Market Report.  Sadly, some of the most prominent web sites used by consumers also contain the highest percentage of innacuracies.  Yet, consumers rely on the reports because they have no understanding of how the reports are compiled and, to a consumer, "if it's published, it must be right". 

WHAT DO REAL ESTATE AGENTS THINK?   I believe that, if limiting their opinions to their individual market places, opinions by even a small sampling of real estate opinions will be more accurate than the existing national reports seen on the Internet and relied on by marketing companies, real estate publications and the Congress of the United States.  Our opinions have value even though we have no national voice.  If ActiveRain can make our voices heard, that would be an important force in real estate reporting.  "What do real estate agents think?" could be an important question. 

Courtesy, Lenn Harley, Broker, Homefinders.com, 800-711-7988.  Serving home buyers in Maryland and Northern Virginia where each state and each county is a different real estate market place.

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  1. Charles Stallions 02/25/2012 11:17 AM
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Topic:
ActiveRain Community
Groups:
Real Estate Market Reports for Maryland and Northern Virginia
Tags:
market reports

Comments 71 New Comment

Rainmaker
24,015
Brenda Van Fossen
Dawson Ford Garbee & Co., Realtors, Lynchburg VA

Great post!  I am in Lynchburg VA and our market is improving.  We were behind the curve here--late to see foreclosures and reduced home values and late to start to recover.  Yet I have people condoling me for being in real estate right now.  Of course, I enlighten them.  We need to do more locally to educate the consumers about our local market.  Heaven knows the Nightly News is telling them how bad things are based on Las Vegas' stats!

February 24, 2012 08:23 AM
Ambassador
2,277,483
Lenn Harley
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate

Sylvie.  Manipulating data to generate a favorable report risks losing the trust of a client.

Brenda.  Don't folks realize the investment we have in our business.  Not easy to just walk away, especially when we're older than dirt.

 

February 24, 2012 12:36 PM
Rainmaker
612,958
Bob Miller
The Ruiz/Miller Team - Ocala's Dream Team
Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty

Hi Lenn, great points.  And that is what I tell people when they say "well Zillow says!".

February 24, 2012 04:30 PM
Rainmaker
770,483
Paula McDonald
RE/MAX The Woodlands, TX 936-203-0279
Chevaux Group, PLLC

Yes. The local market experts are the ones in the trenches and therefore have the most credibility.  

February 27, 2012 07:03 PM
Ambassador
2,277,483
Lenn Harley
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate

Bob.  Explain to them how Zillow comes up with their valuations and they understand.

Paula.  Hopefully we do.  If there is some trust, we'll overcome the blather from Zillow.

February 28, 2012 03:58 AM
Ambassador
2,277,483

Lenn Harley

Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland
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