An agent posted a question on LinkedIn this morning about where to find information on remote market areas to help an investor-client. Another agent responded with links to a couple of websites that report market data around the country. I tried one that I had not encountered before, and the results were what I have learned to expect — disappointing. I looked up Austin, Texas on that other site, and compared their report with up-to-the-minute data from our MLS.
The online report showed the Median price of a single family home here as $331,791. The Average List Price as of today is actually $331,133, but the Median List Price is $239,000, and the Median Sold Price in the past 30 days was $231,000. I can’t get even close to the reported DOM of 161 according to the online outlet . Today’s Average DOM is 103; Median 73. The numbers for Sold properties are much lower. Of course, I know market segments where listings languish for many months, and others that sell in 30 days or less. I’m sure that real estate professionals all know of these huge differences between size/price segments and neighborhoods in all our market areas.
This is NOT criticism of that specific research firm or their competitors! What they are trying to do is valuable, but summaries of market conditions for an entire metro area don’t help a remote home buyer or investor very much. There are some other sites that act as VOWs and online brokerages that I don’t feel so charitable about, but more research is usually better than less. The bottom line, though, is that real estate still requires a human being dealing with “hyper-local” market detail.