Regular readers know that I don’t necessarily hold my own profession in the highest regard. Yes, there are plenty of great people brokering real estate deals. But there are also tons of mo-mos. And, when I see a mo-mo move repeated over and over again, I get frustrated enough to write a post. So here goes…
The mo-mo move that’s getting my goat recently is brokers listing incorrect property sizes on the MLS. This often happens when a property comprises multiple structures. So, for example, for a property with three 1k sq ft detached bungalows, a mo-mo broker might list the sq footage on the MLS as “1k sq ft” instead of “3k sq ft”.
Why is this such a big deal? Many buyers use a price per square foot screen to quickly weed out over-priced properties from their searches. If the listing broker has mistakenly reduced the square footage of a property, it will be weeded out incorrectly.
For example: Say the property above was listed for $600,000. A buyer quickly cruising through the listings would see the $600k price and the 1k sq ft size, calculate a price per square foot of $600, pause for a moment to think “what a delusional seller”, and then quickly move on to the next property.
Had the broker done his job properly and listed the accurate square footage, the buyer would have calculated the square footage as $600k / 3k square feet = $200 / square foot, taken the time to examine the property closely, and possibly put in an offer.
What irks me about a broker who screws this up is that he is eventually going to get paid anyway. Eventually, a smart buyer is going to look closely at the screwed-up listing, realize that the actual price per square foot is reasonable, make a low-ball offer, and win the deal. The seller will be bummed about the low price but will probably sell anyway, never knowing that the mo-mo broker prevented him from getting more offers and, most likely, a better price.
A lot of times, the mistakes brokers make come from ignorance. This one is just failure to check work, or, in other words, incompetence.