Data Accuracy Is The Golden Rule

Dec 16, 2007 Michael Wurzer

Some agents view the MLS system simply as an advertising medium, and enter the listing data accordingly. They complain about all the required fields and even go so far as to try to put the property in the wrong area simply because another area is more frequently searched. They’ll also put their contact information and other branding in the remarks and manipulate the address to confuse listing history and days on market. The tricks are legion but short-sighted.

The irony is that those who trick the system or give data completeness and accuracy short-shrift because they think it’s just an advertising mechanism also need to use the system to search and expect it to be accurate. If a listing is contingent, those searching the system deserve to know that. If an agent is searching the MLS for a specific area, they do not expect to see listings from other areas. Liability can hinge on accurate address and tax and other information. “Deemed reliable” should not just be words at the bottom of the listing print out.

Even for those focused on using the system to promote their listing at every level, data accuracy and depth should be critical. Searching fundamentally depends on accurate data. The more details you provide regarding the property, the more likely it will be to match someone’s search when they are looking for just that special characteristic. Instead of putting your contact information in the remarks, using that space for valuable descriptive text might result in more search terms matching your listing or a buyer being attracted to your listing from your description. Data accuracy isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing.