2009 Nov 12th

No Hoboken Property Addresses on Realtor.com

Another Reason to Use Truliatrulia_logo_big

Here’s an interesting tidbit – did you know that our local real estate board The Liberty Board   (the same Liberty Board that prohibits us from posting MLS links) prohibits realtor.com from posting property addresses in the realtor.com search results?  Why, you might ask, would an industry seeking to sell real estate in the worst down market in decades seek to keep the address a secret? They want you, the buyer, to call the listing agent.  That’s right, the listing agent who represents not you, the buyer, but the seller.  So if you happen to be working with a buyers’ agent or just have your own realtor whom you like, it makes it that much harder to go on line, look for properties and tell your own agent what you’d like to see.   Make sense?  When you do the same exact search on Trulia.com, a site which happens to have a much friendlier user interface anyway, the property address appears.  A word of advice – use Trulia.

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  1. stan

    aaaaaaaaahh Lori.

    The Holy grail. Actually knowing what the location is before you talk to the agent.

    I never got it, if I call and find out that the residence isnt where I want to live, I don’t see that place.

    Lori-
    Is Trulia accurate and updated frequently with properties? Thanks

  2. Ari

    Out of curiosity, who is on the Liberty Board? I assume other realtors vote for these individuals?

  3. Anthony

    He or she is right..its only to drive you (the customer) to the lsiting agent, who in fact is working for the seller and then becomes a dual agent if in fact he does wind up representing you in as well in the transaction.
    That never seemed right to me as you know its in his/her best interest to get the highest price for the proerty as his commission wil be higher….thats the lovely, sometimes very sleezy world of real estate.

  4. homeboken

    Anthony – Don’t be fooled, the agent technically does better with a higher price to base the commission off of.
    Most agents only care about getting to the closing, that is when they get paid. If there are two agents, they only get 3% of each marginal dollar. So while an extra 20k is huge for a seller, it is only worth $600 to the agent. The agent will not want the deal to fall apart over the $20,000, the $600 is worth it to them.

    Also representing both sides is way better for an agent. 6% of $100,000 is $6,000. But lets say another agent is involved and brings a buyer at $150,000, the seller will be thrilled, but the agent actually lost $1,500 (3% of $150,000 = $4,500)

    The agent’s motivation is to transact, whehter or not that transaction takes place at the highest value is secondary.

    Lori – don’t take this personally, I think you are the exception to this and if I get back in the market to purchase, you will be the first call I make.

  5. lori

    I’ve been a realtor and member of the Liberty Board (we have no choice) for almost 6 years and I’ve never voted. I really don’t know the details nor do I have the time to explore. There is a difference between the Board, which is made up of realtors from Hudson County, and the MLS which is, I believe a for-profit company that puts the listing data out there. Here is their website if you care to investigate further: http://www.libertybrd.org/.

    Trulia is not as timely as realtor.com because realtor.com has some type of connection to the NAR (National Association of Realtors – of which we are also forced to join). Realtor.com gets the feed directly from the MLS. I don’t know how Trulia and Zillow do it. Realtor.com is also a profit based entity. Again, I never took the time to research it because there is nothing I can do about it (besides recommend Trulia, etc.). The MLS system is big business and very political.

  6. BP

    Homeboken – just want to clarify your comment / calculations. The two agents you propose are splitting a 6% commission as 3% & 3% are generally each only taking 1.5% and 1.5% home themselves since they share with the brokerage agency they work under.

    So being a realtor is not nearly as lucrative as “outsiders” tend to believe, financially or life-style wise. A realtor gets no health insurance benefits, no 401K matching, no paid vacations or sick days, no travel or meal reimbursement, is not considered an “employee” of the brokerage company and must therefore pay the full 15% FICA (vs the 7.5% that hourly and salary employees have held out of their paycheck), takes plenty of verbal abuse, and has little personal life since clients want to meet during the nights and weekends.

  7. homeboken

    BP – You are right, on top of that they have to deal with punks like me on internet blogs :)

  8. Lori

    Thank you BP. Believe it or not, despite the drawbacks you quite accurately describe, I actually love my job.

  9. Andy

    Any agency that tries to limit information to steer profit is unethical. I’m suprised no one has ever bothered to sue the MLS or NAR to force the change. Realtor.com only seems to hide addresses for certain properties depending on location. I know in Cape Cod a number of places had the exact street address so I could have my agent go look for me. But I suspect they aren’t subject to the same information hoarding as Hudson County. And w/ Zillow I was able to set up my own page for my address and could enter whatever information I wanted. Most of their information comes from the tax records but you can choose to hide whatever you want. If I had more time and energy I’d start a petition and attempt to make some waves.

  10. Steve

    Soto beat the MLS at their own game, Why don’t we, the brokers, simply put the address of the place in the description? Is that against any MLS rules? Is the MLS going to remove it? I doubt it. If everyone did this, They would get the hint, ~S

  11. Lori

    We do put the address on all of our own listings. Itbwould be great if every realtor did that. I am not sure if everyone has the ability. We pay a pretty penny for “enhanced listing” capability. Not all agents can or will pay for that service. Their ability to change the descriptions may be limited.

  12. Steve

    Lori, I was talking about simply putting the address in the original MLS listing,so when it sweeps over it would be in there. A Realtor could certainly edit and add it to their Realtor.com listing too. But if it is in the MLS and sweeps over then they wouldn’t have too.
    SO if it work’s this way, I will try it and if so ,I will start spreading the word amongst the brokers to do this. I will not be held hostage by our MLS.~S

  13. Lori Turoff

    Steve – I agree and that is a good idea. We should all do it. I’ve already don it to mine. Thanks!

  14. Steve

    Lori, I will do the same tomorrow and mention it to other brokers. I actually noticed it earlier this year on Realtor.com and added my property addresses in. But didn’t address the issue further. I agree with the above comments. The address of a property should be shown if we choose it. Even giving a general cross street and street can be beneficial to customers. They should know the address or at the very least the vicinity of the property to make the determination if they are interested in the area. ~S

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