Posts by: ARMLS

Realist Tax System Ending


On the morning of January 14, those who have Realist set as their default tax provider will be switched to Monsoon. Realist users may switch back to Realist temporarily or access Realist from the Taxes menu until January 28, when Realist will be removed permanently. Realist users should consider switching immediately instead of waiting until Realist is unavailable.

To make the switch easier, there are several resources:

How to switch your default tax system

Monsoon Training Classes, Videos and Webinars

Brokers – Tax system office visits are available

UCB Listing Checker Tool


Are you using UCB, Under-Contract Backups, correctly? We’ve created a tool to help you determine if you should put your listings in Pending or UCB. The rule in question is 10.8 in the ARMLS Rules & Regs. Simply answer these four Yes or No questions:

‘Tis Not The Season for Sharing MLS Credentials

flexmls mobile login screen

Being kind is one thing but sharing your MLS login credentials or lockbox key could result in large fines. This is your annual reminder not to share access. Rule 7.2 says:

“Subscribers may not share their access credentials with anyone, whether the other party is another Subscriber or non-Subscriber. Further Subscribers may not share access to the system by allowing anyone else to participate in an online access session using their access credentials, whether or not the actual credentials were disclosed or shared.” Read the full rule for more details here.

Rule 13.3 goes into detail on sharing lockbox keys:

“When a Lockbox key is assigned to a Subscriber or Affiliate, that key is for the Subscriber’s or Affiliate’s own use. A Subscriber or Affiliate is not permitted to allow any other person to use his/her assigned key, nor shall a Subscriber or Affiliate use another Subscriber’s or Affiliate’s key. In addition, the personal identification number that is required to operate the key is not to be disclosed to any other person and is not to be written on the key or written on any paper or document that is stored with or near the key. Furthermore, a Lockbox Key may only be used to the extent of its assigned privilege authorized by the Subscriber’s or Affiliate’s Association.”

In short, don’t share your MLS access or key with your clients, neighbors, the public, other Subscribers or even your spouse / significant other. The fines for sharing your login credentials or lockbox key range from $500 – $15,000. See the Penalty Policy or Subscriber Agreement for fine information.

When do more listings close?

Does it seem like the end of the month is when more listings close? The data supports that claim. We took all closed listings (year-to-date) and looked at which day of the month each listing closed. For example, If the close of escrow date was 11/12/2014 then the day of the month was 12. We compiled those numbers to look for trends on which parts of the month see the most closings:


It wasn’t a surprise that day 30 had the most closings. Day 14 and 15 were also notable days. Looking deeper into the data on which days of the week had the most closings, 32% of listings closed on a Friday where only 15% of closings happened on a Monday.

What’s up with day 31?
There were 6 days in our dataset where day 31 appeared but only 4 were on a weekday.

Great flexmls Feature: Compare Tab

Have you ever wanted to see the average or median sales price of your flexmls search results? What about the DOM or average price change? Quick statistics are easy using the Compare Tab:

Compare Tab
Simply complete a search and click “Compare”. By default, all search results will be compared but you can select results to compare as well using the checkboxes on the left and then selecting “Selected”.


November Market Update


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

For the first time in 15 months the number of monthly sold listings has improved year-over-year, with 6,154 closed this October compared to 6,041 in October 2013. The last time we saw an improvement in this metric was in July 2013. As we’ve talked often in STAT, July 2013 marked the end of a two year period of rapid price appreciation and heavy investor demand as our market bounced off its 2011 bottom. With that said, the market is still much the same and while our volume numbers are better year-over-year, demand is still extremely low.

With the financial crisis and subprime mortgage bust receding further into history, government regulators are looking to inject more life into the still-recovering housing market. In October there was a lot of chatter in the media, and that chatter focused on two primary subjects: making loans easier to obtain and the need for more jobs as well as better paying jobs. The government has named its effort “L.I.F.T.” after the four ingredients they say are critical for housing success:

“…the Labor, Income, Fixed investment and Trust required to lift the economy toward robust sustainable growth are still lacking the necessary thrust.”

The L.I.F.T Program (Labor, Income, Fixed investment and Trust)
The new program was released with a video preview, along with the complete October 2014 U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook found here. If you prefer a man in a bow tie, watch this Video. Outlook highlights from the report included:

• Projecting the unemployment rate to average around 5.7 percent next year as many of the missing 25-54 year olds who have dropped out of the labor market start to return, driving participation rates up.

• A faster GDP growth rate is the essential step to getting broad-based income growth. Unfortunately, the economy can’t perform at its highest level until this happens.

• Fixed investment has picked up, but as a share of total GDP it is still about 2 percentage points below the levels reached prior to the Great Recession. Housing’s share of this investment is particularly lagging.

• Long-run demand means new home construction needs to ramp up to a pace of 1.7 million additional housing units each year. Over the past 12 months, there have been about 1 million housing starts.

• The final ingredient we need for lift off is arguably the most fragile today. Fortunately, headlines about fiscal and monetary policy have ebbed and total economic policy uncertainty is near the lowest level since the end of the Great Recession.

Industry critics say that tough lending standards are preventing the housing market from making a full recovery because of the many would-be homeowners that are being excluded. The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) is working to expand availability for mortgage credit and is working out risk with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. FHFA is working with GSEs (Government-Sponsored Enterprises) to develop guidelines for LTR ratios between 96 and 97.

Federal regulators are proceeding with new rules that ease guidelines for banks selling mortgage securities and could mean fewer borrowers will need to make hefty down payments. These changes coming in the next year will make a difference.

Is our market poised to lift off?
It’s possible with clearer lending policies, lower down payment requirements and an improving job market coupled with pent-up demand (for example: Millennials and boomerang buyers). In fact, we’re predicting that 2015 will be the lift off and 2016 will be a break out year.

ARMLS® Pending Price Index (PPI)
The PPI projected the median sales price in October to be $191,000 with the actual median price coming in at $192,500. Our median sales price projections came within .8%. Prices remain stable and flat. On the sales volume side we had our biggest miss of the year as we failed to account for an additional business day in October. Our projected 5,850 sales were 304 sales lower than the actual sales figure of 6,154.

Over the past few months our projections have been trending slightly more pessimistic than the actual reported results. Looking ahead to November, the PPI is projecting minimal declines in both the median sales price as well as the average sales price. Status quo will best define November home prices, STAT is projecting a median sales price of $190,000 with sales volume of 5,309. We expect the typical historical pattern for home sales this time of year with a fall from October to November with sales rising in December.

On October 28, with the help of internet giant Google, announced the launch of Nowcast to predict housing market trends as they are occurring. In their own words, “The new report is based on data modeling developed by Google Chief Economist Hal Varian, who defines ‘Nowcasting’ as ‘contemporaneous forecasting’ – basically an ability to predict what is happening as it occurs”. I want STAT readers to know we will never back down from a little competition and are well aware of “contemporaneous forecasting” and feel our own in-house methodology, “countin’ better” is and will remain the superior model.

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