Posts by: ARMLS

October Market Update


Each month Tom Ruff of The Information Market gives his stellar commentary on the housing market. Tom is armed with Pending data, which others do not have access. His insights are below.Read the full issue of STAT for the accompanying graphs.

Tome RuffAs we expected, there were no surprises this month. Sales volume in September came in as expected while prices remained flat. Sales volume for this year had been running 14% lower than 2013, but the sales volume this month was only 1% lower than September 2013. There were 6,252 sales this September compared to 6,314 sales for September 2013. Keep in mind there were 21 working days this September compared to 20 working days in September 2013. Discounting the number of working days, the year-over-year sales volumes were very similar.

With year-over-year sales volumes being in lockstep, we are afforded a clear picture of the year-over-year changes as to the composition of sales. Normal/traditional sales are up, distressed/investor sales are down. With September defined as more of the same, I thought it would be a perfect time to do some additional number crunching based on a question I saw on Facebook.

The Facebook question went something like this: “What’s the difference in sales prices between using a Realtor and selling a home via FSBO?” The question started a chain of calculations where we went from exploring off-market sales (see: Using a Subscriber vs. Not) to where we ended up calculating the added value of using an ARMLS Subscriber (see: The Value of a Subscriber).

First, taking the question at face value, it’s a series of calculations and simple enough. But diving deeper it’s a question spawned by the constant threat REALTORS perceive when a disruptive real estate venture moves into the market. Predictions of the demise of the real estate industry rain down whenever a new real estate venture, new business model or syndication du jour launches. Lay on the couch, everything is going to be okay. The REALTOR® / MLS model isn’t going anywhere. The numbers have your back.

Using a Subscriber vs. Not
Second, we can do the calculation we were asked as The Information Market compiles public records data and then matches it to MLS data, giving us a unique database. We looked at single-family sales this year from January to September for Maricopa and Pinal counties. We removed new construction as our comparison will be of the resale market. Here are the findings:

83.76% of all resale homes sold using an ARMLS Subscriber and the MLS
90% of all resale homes that sold over the median price used an ARMLS Subscriber and the MLS
• Single men are slightly less likely to use a Subscriber and the MLS but did 82.53% of the time
• Single women fit the norm using a Subscriber and the MLS 84% of the time
• Married couples are more likely to use a Subscriber and the MLS at 86.08% of the time

Fix & flip investors used an ARMLS® Subscriber 84.34% of the time. These investors clearly know how to value property and their price points as their livelihood depends on buying low and selling high. They don’t need an agent to tell them property values but they need a Subscriber to ensure arms-length transactions. This should be a shock to you! The perception of many is that they don’t use REALTORS®.

The Value of a Subscriber
Subscribers were used in 84% of transactions – but did they add value? It would be easy but flawed to look at the median and average sales prices of MLS vs. Non-MLS sales like the Facebook question above suggests. To show why, we did the calculation for August with new construction and distressed properties removed:

Non-MLS MLS Difference
Median Sales Price $161,000 $218,000 + 35%
Average Sales Price $210,537 $271,716 + 29%
Price per SqFt: $107.15 $126.26 + 17.8%


The numbers above are flawed because it is more common for owners at lower price points to attempt a FBSO while it is less common for FSBOs to be attempted at higher price points. This is a natural bias we must account for.

There is a fair solution to remove the bias, by using the Full Cash Value Ratio (FCVR), where we compare the sold price versus the county tax assessor’s value. A property that was valued at $100,000 by the assessor and sold for $100,000 would have a FCVR of 100%. In our calculation, the FCVR acts like an index, giving a more accurate picture when we make our comparison. Looking at the same August sales for single-family homes and removing new construction and distressed properties we feel confident in saying using an ARMLS Subscriber increases value for the seller by 9.6%.

FSBO 210,573 174,978 1.203426
REALTOR 271,716 206,150 1.318051


The Pending Price Index
The PPI projected the median sales price in September to be $190,000 with the actual median price coming in at $194,000. Home prices can best be described as stable and flat. Our sales volume projection for September came within 1.6%. We projected 6,150 sales and the actual sales for the month landed at 6,252. Our projections have been trending slightly more pessimistic than the actual reported results.

Looking ahead, the ARMLS Pending Price Index is projecting declines in both the median sales price as well as the average sales price. Anticipated declines in October can be attributed to modest downward pricing pressure as well as seasonable patterns. We’re projecting a median sales price of $191,000 with sales volume of 5,850.

Showing Info on Mobile

Being able to easily see showing information while in the field is a big feature. The flexmls mobile site ( and the flexmls by FBS iPhone app now make this information easy to access.

On the listing detail screen, many will see an eye icon. Others will see an ” i ” with a circle around it. Both do the same thing when tapped, display showing instructions.


This is the showing information screen (the layout and fields shown may differ on your device depending on the selections made by the Listing Agent):

On the showing info screen, tapping on the Listing Member will bring up their contact info:

Mobile Torque is an ARMLS® blog post series dedicated to advancing mobile and educating Subscribers on mobile and mobile MLS access.

Supra Key Service Invoices Are Due

As a reminder, if you haven’t paid your Supra key invoice, Supra may soon turn off your service. Key / Lockbox services are handled directly from Supra to our Subscribers. In a recent billing reminder they had the following instructions on payments:

To make payment online please visit SupraWEB. To make a payment through our automated pay by phone system, call toll free at 1-877-699-6787, you will need your key serial number and your 4-digit PIN Code. If you wish, you may also speak to a representative directly by calling 1-877-699-6787.

Ringing Alarm Clock

Mother, May I Post Another Broker’s Listing?

Note: this is a re-post of a popular post from last year. check out this post on how you can help us with this problem.

Posting a listing that belongs to another Agent on Craigslist is very much like the children’s game, Mother, May I?  You may not take the step if you don’t get permission from Mother, or the listing Broker. This requirement for permission includes not just Craigslist, but also your personal website, promotional displays, newspaper advertising, flyers and non-IDX sites like Facebook, Google, Postlets, Trulia, Yahoo and Zillow.

Mother May I - childrenSome make the case that additional postings give a listing more exposure, and that’s good for the Seller.  But ARMLS Rule (10.11 Advertising of Listings Filed With ARMLS), Article 12 of the Code of Ethics (specifically Standard of Practice 12-4 and 12-5) and the Internet Data Exchange  (IDX) Policy all require permission from the listing brokerage before advertising another Broker’s listed property.  Further violating ARMLS Rules concerning the posting of another Broker’s listing without permission is a violation of the ARMLS Penalty Policy.  The Arizona Administrative Code (R4-502. Advertising by a Licensee) cautions that all advertising contain accurate claims and representations and not create false or misleading impressions. If you include a link back to an IDX-enabled website, make sure you are abiding by all IDX Rules.

Agents who post information about another Broker’s listings should regularly review the posts for accuracy, and remove the post if the property is no longer Active.

There are plenty of listings now on Craigslist that are posted by Agents who are not the listing Agent. Care to share any experiences with postings of your listings by other Agents?

What’s a Phablet?

With the release of the iPhone 6 Plus and Samsung Note 4, the term phablet has been thrust back into the public realm. Wikipedia puts it well: A phablet (/ˈfæblɪt/) is a class of mobile device designed to combine or straddle the functions of a smartphone and tablet. The word Phablet is a portmanteau of the words phone and tablet. There are two components of a phablet, the ability to make cellular calls and size. This photo from MCPR explains the size component:


Increasingly, more mobile users want to make calls and use a tablet without carrying two devices. In the next month Apple will release a new line of iPads, some think an iPad Mini with cellular calling capabilities will be released while others think the iPhone 6 Plus is an indication that’s not going to happen.

Samsung just announced the Samsung Note 4 and Nokia has a phablet coming out as well. The Galaxy and Note series of Samsung devices is well worth exploring.

Mobile Torque is an ARMLS® blog post series dedicated to advancing mobile and educating Subscribers on mobile and mobile MLS access.

Pictorial: Lockboxes Gone Wild

This is a re-post of a popular blog we published last year, it’s back by popular demand.

Lockbox placement is a hotly debated topic, which we explored in Where Not to Place a Lockbox earlier this year. To further the conversation we’ve created a pictorial of additional places you shouldn’t place a lockbox.

Cacti have a menacing look, are hazardous to Subscribers but easy work for a criminal as they are not a permanently attached fixture to the property.

Cacti have a menacing look, are hazardous to Subscribers but easy work for a criminal.

Skinny tree branches.

Skinny tree branches.

Avoid objects not permanently attached to the structure.

Avoid objects not permanently attached to the structure.


Water spigots, the valve handle can be removed with a screwdriver allowing someone to slide the lockbox right off



Where should a lockbox be placed?

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ARMLS at the SEVRAR Expo 2014


The SEVRAR Expo was held last week. Among the vendor booths were the ARMLS Training booth and the Monsoon Tax System booth. Events like this give us an extra opportunity to talk to Subscribers 1-on-1. Over at the trainer’s booth, Office Visits were the talk of the day. At the Monsoon booth, the new tax system generated a slew of questions.

IMG_2125-small2How much does Monsoon cost? It’s a Subscriber benefit, there is no additional cost.

Where does Monsoon get its data? The Information Market (which is also the source for iMapp) and the MLS.

How do I get to Monsoon? See this blog here or go directly to

Is there an app to download? No, to use Monsoon on your mobile device, just enter in you mobile browser. Being able to access full tax info via mobile is a new and exciting thing.

We would like to thank SEVRAR for hosting a great event and our Subscribers for coming out to see us.

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