172 Listings In The Tallahassee MLS Really Don't Exist
Have you ever been searching the homes for sale in Tallahassee, only to find the same house show up twice in your search?
Well, if you haven't, then you are lucky to have missed the 172 duplicate listings on the Tallahassee MLS.
You might wonder why so many of them exist.
Why Duplicate Listings Exists
A home can be entered "for sale" in the Tallahassee MLS as many times as a listing agent feels prudent apparently, as we are seeing scores of duplicates as the inventory of listings declines. Currently, there are 172 homes featured more than once, and I personally hate this practice. It makes a buyer feel like more houses are out there when in fact, 172 homes in the total count do not exist.
I believe it ruins the customers' experience, trying to compare properties in their price range, only to have one property show up on multiple occasions. As a buyer with limited time to shop for homes, there is no benefit in seeing one home side by side. You'll either like it or you won't (and more often than not, you won't). After all, why would an agent go through the effort of creating duplicate listings if the property is priced and marketed correctly, right? It would have been sold right away if that were the case.
Being one that measures and records everything possible, I can tell you that the majority of agents doing this are untrained and have learned the habit by watching other ineffective agents who do it because they really do not know what to do to get a home sold. It is often a simple case of the blind leading the blind.
Duplicating listings is just another form of MLS manipulation that some real estate agents employ in their attempt to stand out from the crowd, most likely because they do not sell enough homes to stand out from the crowd.
Good Reasons For Duplicate Listings
Not all cases of duplication stink, though any form of duplication that has the listings appear side by side does not do anything to assist the seller and only serves as to lessen the experience of shoppers (buyers).
One good reason for duplication that we use is for homes on large plots of land that can be subdivided. In many cases, it might be easier or more beneficial for a home seller to offer different priced versions of the property for sale.
For example, a home on 50 acres for $650,000 could perhaps be listed as a home on 10 acres for $500,000 plus 40 acres of land available for $150,000. While the seller would like it all to sell right away, breaking the property up to access lower-price range buyers increases the buyer pool for the seller. We have sold numerous properties this way. This is a case of duplication where a $500,000 version and a $650,000 version (plus a $150,000 listing for acreage) all exist, but none of these would appear side by side at the same price.
Ignorance Drives Most Duplicate Listings
If you happen to be a homeowner looking at listings and knowing that you need to hire a listing agent to sell your home, you can look at the use of duplicate listings (MLS manipulation) as a good way to eliminate candidates for the job of selling your home. I have had sellers tell me they thought their (past) agent was working hard when they saw these duplications. They were told "more is better," yet they ended up hiring my company after the prior one failed to sell their home. All versions of it ....
I have found that ignorance is the primary culprit for this action. A well intentioned, poorly trained real estate agent with no real company support feels like she has to do something when a listing is not selling.
Unfortunately for the seller, buyers are not morons and MLS manipulation will not generate sales. It only serves to annoy buyers who have already eliminated the home.
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How To Handle Duplicate Listings As A Prospective Buyer
Whenever you see a duplicate listing, your first thought should be "this is a house that nobody wants."
Because it's obvious the listing agent thinks throwing it in your face twice will boost viewings, and it is a house not getting viewed (we know this because a house getting visited by buyers creates a lot of work for a listing agent who would then not have time to waste on duplicate listings).
Now if you happen upon a listing of a home you've seen at a different price, check to see if there is additional land involved. In this case, the duplicate listing lets you know the property can be purchased with or without additional adjoining property.
If you have any comments or questions about listing a home for sale and MLS manipulation, you can leave them below or simply drop me a note any time.