“In (a) broker’s mind, ‘listing’ means house and contract. But to buyers, ‘new listing’ likely suggests a house that’s just come onto the market. That can result in confusion and misunderstanding. And confusion and misunderstanding can mean trouble… While the listing contract is technically ‘new,’ the relationship between the seller and the listing broker is ongoing and continuous, and the listed property – in the eyes of reasonable consumers – is certainly not ‘new’ to the market.”
– From a National Association of Realtors white paper regarding “the murky issues associated with properties that are ‘re-listed’ by Realtors,” according to Inman News.
The MLS is a useful tool, but it’s not a perfect one. We tend to take time-on-market data with a grain of salt, because agents can reset the “age” of a listing simply by pulling it off the market and re-listing it. This has obvious benefits to the seller and broker, but buyers shouldn’t immediately assume that a property that has been listed for 30 days hasn’t actually been on the market for 300 more.
According to Inman, the white paper reminds Realtors that their code of ethics demands that they be “honest and truthful in their real estate communications,” and it recommends brokers and listing services develop classifications like “back on market,” “price reduced,” “reintroducing” or “recently re-listed.”