5 Reasons Why Boston Agents Lie About Their Listing’s Address

David Bates / August 1, 2017-11:23 am

If Boston agents don’t like the location of their listing, guess what?

Sometimes, they just change it.

Here are five reasons why they do it and how.

#1 – The Market the Condominium is Located is Not Well-Known

In the last six months, MLS reports reveal that Bay Village has sold exactly one condominium. In the same period Bay Village’s neighbor, the South End, has sold 240.

So, guess what? To be exposed to a bigger buyer pool, it’s not uncommon for listings that are physically located in Bay Village to show up in MLS as South End condos.

My quick breakdown showed twice as many Bay Village addresses were listed in the South End as were listed in Bay Village.

#2 – A High Value Condo is Listed in a Lower Valued Market

Sometimes, a home’s asking price does not reflect the price that most buyers are looking for in that neighborhood. It’s much more. The quick fix: Change the neighborhood the listing is located to a contiguous market that has lots of higher priced listings.

So guess what? When very high-end South Boston listings come to market, MLS sometimes shows them as located in the Seaport, not South Boston. My brief breakdown revealed 24 Macallen Building (141 Dorchester Avenue) listings with an average list price of just over $1 million recently came up with a South Boston location. However, five Macallen Building listings with an average list price exceeding $2 million were listed in MLS with Seaport locations.

#3 – This Detail in the Address Didn’t Help 

Sometimes, agents simply forget to fill in the “area” field in the MLS.

Other times, especially if they are a suburban agent with a city listing, they didn’t even know MLS “area” was an important field to fill out. After all, it’s not required a field, and it’s used in relatively few markets outside of Boston.

These two reasons may account for why 3% of Back Bay listings didn’t show they were in Back Bay, one of Boston’s most enviable markets.

IMPORTANT NOTE: In my experience, listings located in high-end areas that weren’t designated by the listing agent get much less exposure and present excellent opportunities for buyers.

On other occasions, however, agents didn’t forget to fill out the area field, they air-quotes forgot to fill out the field.

IMHO, they knowingly omitted the area field because their listing was in a low-priced area and omitting it presented an alternative way for the listing to get exposure to buyers hoping to find homes in more established and expensive Boston areas.

This might be why my quick break down discovered that approximately 8% of Roxbury listings and 14% of Dorchester listings didn’t specify the area the listings were located. They were as if the names Roxbury and Dorchester didn’t exist.

#4 – The Property Had Been Listed Before and Failed to Sell

When a Boston listing fails to sell and comes back to market a short time later, it’s not categorized as new, it’s categorized as “ACTIVE.”

But, guess what? If an agent wants the listing to come up as new, for previous on-market time to disappear, and the property to get immediate exposure to thousands of agents and thousands of buyers, all they have to do is change the address to something that MLS doesn’t recognize as having been on the market recently. And, sometimes, that happens.

In the past, I have seen this accomplished in a variety of ways, including separating a unit address from 12A to 12 A, and even slightly different addresses that of course left the listing with a technically fictitious location.

#5 – They Want the Listing to get Additional Exposure

MLS is a big advertisement. And, if you want to maximize the reach of your ad listing, list it in as many markets as possible.

This strategy is easier for brokerages selling multiple residences in the same building.

My quick breakdown revealed likely the most prolific use of this method: Incredibly, residences at FORECASTER 121, a new Boston development, have been listed in five different Hub markets, including Beacon Hill, West End, Faneuil, Midtown, and North End