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Tax Info Printing in Flexmls

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Good news! The Tax Info option has returned in Flexmls! You can now print the Monsoon Tax Summary page at the same time as the Listing Detail Report. No more printing a listing detail report in Flexmls just to create a separate search in Monsoon to print the tax info.

How to Print Tax Info in Flexmls
From the Listings to Print or E-mail page, select the Listing Detail Report check box and the Tax Info check box to print the Listing Detail Report and the Monsoon Tax Summary page.

Screenshot of Tax Info button

Fewer clicks will save you time and that means higher quality service for your clients!

New Flexmls Update: Portal Star Ratings

Star rating and Flexmls screenshot

Flexmls has improved how your clients can rate listings in their portals! Now, instead of just one star icon to indicate that they like a listing, your clients can use up to three stars to indicate their level of interest in a particular listing. As a Subscriber, you can also view and change star ratings on behalf of clients in Flexmls. These changes apply to Flexmls Web, Flexmls Mobile Web and the Flexmls Pro app for iOS.

How Clients Use the 3-Star Rating System
When in their portal, clients can click the single star icon from the news feed or any search. Here we have a listing that has been selected from the Historic Phx Neighborhoods search in the Searches menu and the single star icon has been clicked.

Screenshot of Flexmls

Clicking the single star icon will put the listing in the Saved listing collection, which they can visit in the portal from the Listings menu. From the Saved listing collection, clients can indicate their level of interest by rating the saved listing with 1, 2 or 3 stars.

Screenshot of Flexmls

How You Can View Clients’ 3-Star Ratings
Subscribers can view a client’s star ratings by selecting the client in Contact Management, visiting the client’s Portal tab and clicking on the client’s Saved Listing Collection.

Flexmls Screen Shot

When you’re viewing the client’s Saved Listing Collection, you can see how many stars they’ve given each listing or add or remove stars at the client’s request. You can also sort your clients listing by clicking the Sort button under the List tab. The default sort is now Rating – High to Low.

Flexmls Screenshot

Where Did the Hide Button Go?
Sometimes a client may want to move a listing to their Hidden Listing Collection, which can be found in the Actions menu. After clicking on a listing, the blue Actions menu will appear over the left side of the listing’s thumbnail picture. From there, you or clients can choose to hide a listing. The actions button will not appear for Subscribers unless you are in the Saved Listing Collection.

Flexmls Screenshot

STAT Market Update: August 2016

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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.

Over the past two months, we’ve shared our thoughts and prognostications on how the July and August 2016 housing numbers would come out and what others would say about them. Now with the actual numbers out, there is no one better than our good friend Michael Orr of the Cromford Report to explain what actually happened:

“Just as we predicted last month, August was a very robust month for sales, up almost 14% from August last year in stark contrast to the uninspiring numbers in July (down over 3% from July 2015). We have already seen countless headlines about weak sales in July and no doubt we will see as many stories about the very strong recovery in August once the numbers are widely distributed. However all these headlines serve to do is illustrate that reporters (and even some real estate analysts) have a hard time properly understanding the effect of the Gregorian calendar on monthly real estate numbers.

July 2015 had 22 working days
July 2016 had 20 working days (10% fewer)
August 2015 had 21 working days
August 2016 had 23 working days (10% more)

“All the variation in monthly sales counts in July & August are due to the above facts and had nothing to do with conditions in the real estate market which remained very similar throughout the period. It is amusing to see all the analysts trying to explain the July numbers with ‘low inventory’ and ‘poor affordability’ the favorite excuses. Nope. The correct reason was ‘there was a weekend at both ends of July’. It will be interesting to see what explanations are used for the August bounce, because inventory has moved lower still and affordability did not improve at all. If we combined July and August in both 2015 and 2016 we get 43 working days in both years and the numbers match properly again. Then we see that the two month sales count rose 4.6% over last year. We have been seeing a similar volume improvement in the ARMLS numbers all year. Nothing unusual has gone on in July or August. However, sales have increased much more than this among new homes, just as they have all year. New homes are poorly represented among ARMLS listings since about 90% of them sell outside of ARMLS. In public recordings however, we are seeing new home growth rates far in excess of the growth rates for re-sale homes.”

Confessions of an AVM Modeler

Automated Valuation Models (AVMs), whether we love them or hate them, are here to stay. Over the past few months we’ve been working on our own model through continual testing and improvement. We hit upon this topic in STAT last month but it’s big enough to drive an RV through and therefore worthy of another write-up.

By analyzing all past sales we are able to calculate an estimated value for nearly all 1.25 million homes in Maricopa County. Our model is tested by comparing new sales as they occur to our previously calculated estimated value with the thought being that the price for which the home sells is its true value. We then ran our test against the last 10,384 sales. The historical data used to calculate the AVM were from home sales occurring prior to the 10,384 sales used in the test – no listing data was used.

Our test results read as follows:

47.5% of estimated values were within 5%
75.2% within 10%
88.3% within 15%

The full test results are displayed on the chart below.

Public Records Only AVM Accuracy

Chart of test results

Going one step further, we can break down the percentage differences between the actual sales price and our AVM. When we test our model against MLS sales only, properties that were sold using a real estate agent via the MLS sell between 8.5% and 9.0% higher than properties not listed on the MLS.

When we view the public remarks sections of the listings in our sample, it gives us further insights into both the properties the AVM undervalued as well as overvalued.

For the properties overvalued by more than 20% we see phrases such as: “great fix & flip”, “property offered as is”, “fix up needed”, “handyman special”, and “no loans/cash only/as is.”

When we categorize the properties overvalued by the AVM the following groups reoccur: incorrect data, houses that burned down, houses that were torn down, partial interest, mobile homes, wholesale properties, hard money loans, investor buys, fixer uppers, REOs, properties in foreclosure, short sales and non-MLS sales.

For the properties undervalued by more than 20% we see these comments in the MLS: “painstakingly restored”, “completely reconstructed master suite added”, “master architect rebuild”, “beautifully remodeled”, “stunning high quality remodel” and “beautifully upgraded.”

When we categorize the properties undervalued by our AVM the following groups reoccur: sold on the MLS, partially renovated, added square footage, custom homes, complete remodels, new construction on previous tear downs, suspected fraud, extraordinary properties and incorrect data.

MLS Listing Data Model

The AVM discussed earlier was built without using listing data. If we factor the listing price into our model, our accuracy scores go up dramatically! Further proof that if you want to know what your home is worth, ask an ARMLS Subscriber

84.6% of estimated values were within 5%
94.2% within 10%
96.8% within 15%

The full test results are displayed on the chart below.

Chart of test results

On a final note, we have found that by using our AVM to audit the reported sales price we can identify data errors that we would have had no other way of identifying. Comparing our AVM to the actual sales price is now an intrinsic part of our data cleanup.

ARMLS Pending Price Index (PPI)

Last month STAT projected a median sales price for August of $225,000. As has been the trend this year, our mathematical projections were slightly lower than the actual results. The reported median sales price for August was $230,000, 2.2% higher than the $225,000 projected by our model. Looking ahead to September 2016, we expect little change in the median sales price. The ARMLS Pending Price Index projects a median sales price of $227,000. A betting man would wager on $230,000.

MLS sales volume in August 2016 was 7,843, which was 11.9% higher than the total last year of 7,010. STAT had expected August sales volume that resulted in strong year-over-year gains, as there were 23 business days this year compared to 21 business days in 2015. We begin September with 6,388 pending and 3,644 UCB listings giving us a total of 10,032 residential listings practically under contract – this compares to 9,596 of the same type of listings at this time last year. There were 21 business days in both years. MLS sales volume in October 2016 will be comparable to last year’s total of 6,935 where STAT is projecting 7,175 sales. We have now reached the point in the year where monthly sales volume begins its annual descent, with declines each month through November. Sales volume for the first eight months of 2016 might best be described as 2015 revisited with ARMLS reporting 60,564 sales this year compared to 58,958 sales last year.

Voting Open for ARMLS Elections

Board of Directors Voting Banner

Voting is now open for the ARMLS All-Subscriber election. 

Voting is now open for all eligible appraisers, agents and brokers. Candidate bios can be found in the voting app: Vote.ARMLS.com. Please vote before 11:59 p.m. on September 26, 2016. For more election information see the following page: ARMLS.com/elections. 

Questions about the election? Email Elections@ARMLS.com for more information. 

Flexmls Email Opt-In Update

New: When a contact clicks on a view listing(s)/search/CMA link from a manual email, that contact is then opted-in to receive subscriptions. 

Before, the only way to opt-in contacts for subscriptions was via the Flexmls invitation email that could only be re-sent once. Now, you can encourage your contacts to opt-in by sending them a manual email of listings. Make sure to add your prospect in Contact Management prior to using this feature.

opt-in email text

In addition, if Send a Copy to Me is selected on a manual email, it will now include a link back to the private version view in your copy of the email.

private link screenshot

 

Labor Day Hours

Common laborer's tools

In observance of Labor Day, ARMLS will operate according to the following holiday schedule:

Monday September 5 The ARMLS Helpdesk (480-303-7020) and the Tempe Support Center (130 S. Priest Dr., Suite 101, Tempe) will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. All other departments and Support Centers will be closed.

Tuesday September 6: All ARMLS locations will return to normal business hours.

Fourth of July Hours

In observance of Independence Day, ARMLS will operate according to the following holiday schedule:

Monday July 4: The ARMLS Helpdesk (480-303-7020) and the Tempe Support Center (130 S. Priest Dr., Suite 101, Tempe) will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. All other departments and Support Centers will be closed.

Tuesday July 5: All ARMLS locations will return to normal business hours.

Temporary Hours for Monday April 4

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ARMLS will be getting a late start on Monday, April 4. The Support Centers and Help Desk will open at 10 a.m. instead of their usual 8:30 a.m.

If you need assistance during this time, send us an email at Support@ARMLS.com and we’ll get back with you as soon as possible.

50 Reasons You Need a Realtor

50-Reasons-632

Think you don’t need a Real Estate Agent? Think again. Buying or selling a home is one of the largest financial transactions people will make in their lives. If you (or anyone you know) is on the fence about getting a Realtor, check back here each week for another reason why using a professional is the wisest move you can make.

We will add new reasons throughout 2016 until we hit 50:

  1. They can handle the lookie-loos. 
  2. Your Realtor can score 100% on this quiz. Can you?
  3. Realtors can handle a client’s *ahem* anxieties.

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4. Your Realtor will make sure your listing photos don’t look like this.  

5. Being ethical is part of their job, literally.

6. Realtors think logically and will prevent you from making a bad decision based on your emotions.

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7. They’ll handle the price negotiations.

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8. You’ll have access to all the listings in the Valley, not just a fraction online.

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9. Your Realtor knows the sweet spot to price your home. 

10. You’ll never have to worry about losing out to a higher paying tenant every year.

11. You can count on your Agent to give you the kind of decoration tough love that gets faster, higher priced sales.

Save and Hide in Client Portals

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Save and Hide will now be used in the client portal. Clients will no longer flag properties as Likes (thumbs up), Favorites (heart) and No Interest (thumbs down), instead they will Save or Hide properties based on their interest level.

Portal Listing Collections will show:

Saved – listings the client has decided to Save

Hidden by Me – listings where the client has clicked/tapped Hide

Recommended – listings the agent marked as recommended for the client

Hidden by Agent – listings the agent has hidden on the client’s behalf

Existing clients will automatically have their past Likes, Favorites and No Interest listings moved:

• Likes and Favorites will be moved to a listing collection called Saved

• If a client had listings flagged in both Likes and Favorites, there will also be archived collections of each in the portal.

No Interest listings will be in a collection labeled Hidden by me

• Removed will now be in the Hidden by Agent collection

Hidden listings will not appear in the News Feed or in clients’ portal searches. The Save and Hide terminology will carry over into the iPhone and Android apps as well as the mobile version of Flexmls.

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