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Does NAHB Want to Ditch MLSs?

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) released a white paper on Wednesday calling for an overhaul of the system by which residential appraisals are determined. The group made a number of recommendations, some of which members of the National Association of REALTORS® have supported in the past, including the implementation of licensing and certification standards as well as minimum education requirements. However, another in their list of recommendations could have serious consequences for the role of the multiple listing service (MLS) in home sales.

A section of the white paper focused on data technology criticizes local MLSs for becoming “less reliable” in recent years. The solution to this, and the more general problem of a lack of data standards that apply across the country, is what NAHB refers to as “the development of a real estate superhighway.” The group proposed creating this in four sections:

  1. Terra.gov – NAHB proposed “a national real property registry… with access by all stakeholders.” They named this as the site of an “official record of the factual details of both the structure and the regulatory constraints on the land.” Some of the specific items mentioned as included in such a database were time stamped photographs, satellite images, and floor plans. As of Friday afternoon, the Terra.gov domain name remained unregistered according to WhoIs.com.
  2. National Collateral Valuation Repository – NAHB suggested this system would require “mandatory reporting of all real estate transactions” and “would replace today’s imperfect house price indexes.”
  3. Real Estate Exchange – This proposal was described as a “not-for-profit data exchange consortium comprised of commercial and private data providers and sources to serve industry participants… by facilitating information exchange on both a commercial and contributed basis.”
  4. Standards Body – NAHB proposed creating a group responsible for standardizing the “data, methodology, and practice” available on these various platforms.

The white paper does not specifically address where MLSs would fit in this reformed landscape. Multiple requests for comment filed with NAHB were not returned by press time.

Read more
23 Federal Laws That Apply to Real Estate Sales: Appraisal

Meg White

Meg White is the multimedia web producer for REALTOR® Magazine and administrator of the magazine's Weekly Book Scan blog. Contact her at mwhite[at]realtors.org.

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Comments
  1. Tim in Fla

    Home Builders continue to complain about appraisals but yet most do not enter in their property data in the MLS. If builders used the MLS everyone would have access to the data to include market trends for appraisers analysis. They could enter these properties in after settlement if they are worried about coughing up a commission. Just the data would be fine. The appraisers would have sold and pending comparables and a verifiable market trend line needed for each appraisal report. Make it simple home builders, just use the MLS and stop whining. If you think that your sold price per sq foot is some kind of trade secret I have news; you all build at about the same price per sq foot.

  2. I thought Tim of Florida’s response was dead on accurate. Builders blaming the MLS for bad appraisals are like blaming guns, for gun violence. The MLS is proven to be a highly effective tool nationwide in the real estate industry. Builders and builder agents have to get better about reporting complete and accurate data to their local MLS boards. Although local MLS boards also have to setup MLS tools that support home builders and accurate appraisals. It requires a cooperation of local and national REALTORS® associations, local MLS boards, appraisers and lenders all working together to optimize the industry tools that we have.

  3. Tim in Fla

    Also, just a side comment for Realtor members; look for that RAA/GAA Designation issued by NAR. It lets you know the appraiser is also a Realtor and subscribes to the Code of Ethics. Just a thought. Everyone needs to work together.

  4. Terra.gov, you say? It seems that the NAHB should come to terms with the National Association of REALTORS because TERRA.GOV is alive in the REALTOR Property Resource and also free to the public on REALTOR.com. Did you ever think of searching “Homes Not For Sale?” REALTOR.com has been offering that option to search public records for years, only now it is out of the fine print at the bottom of the page with all the other Move, Inc. notices.

  5. I have to agree with Tim in Fla about accuracy of the database. Builders all too often fail to input all of their sales in the MLS. If accuracy is truly the goal, perhaps the cherry picking should stop?

  6. Mandatory reporting? Will the move toward centralization of power be enhanced by turning over control of all property transactions to some alphabet soup agency of the Fed? Is the total capitulation of the constitutional mandate that the power to regulate money by congress as enshrined in Dodd-Frank not sufficient? What does the constitution say about interference of contract? Registry of property/registry of arms,,,,,,, what’s next? Will I be mandated to disclose the number of toilet flushes? Or, will that be taken care of by implementation of smart meters? Will the Home Builders please stay with their hammers, nails and marshalltowns?

  7. Tim in Fla…. Spot On.. on All Counts!

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