We have, unfortunately, suspended our monthly contracts series. We apologize for the inconvenience, and hope to restart it in the future.
If you’re interested in learning why we’ve had to suspend the series, then read on…
Our local MLS upgraded the software that agents use to access the MLS at the end of July. Although the new software is an improvement in a number of areas, it does not allow us to gather contract data in the same way as before.
The primary challenge is that the availability of database fields has been changing on a regular basis over the past month. The fields contain the correct data, but sometimes they are available to us, and other times they are not. The MLS tech team is fine-tuning the new system. There is one field in particular that we rely on for the Contracts search, which holds the date when each seller accepted an offer.
This particular field gets set when a property is moved to one of the many statuses in the database that signal the property is under contract. It is a required input for the listing agent.
Despite the field definitely having a value, the application agents use to access the database does not always show the value. And when the value is not visible, it is not searchable by the current application.
That the field is only visible in certain situations is actually not new, the same thing happened prior to the software upgrade. What is new, and what we’re struggling with, is that the previous versions would use the hidden field in collecting search results. We would search for the homes that went under contract during a month and some would show a contract date, while the others would not. This was fine since we didn’t care which specific date the home went under contract, just that it happened during the month.
What’s frustrating about the situation is that there is no reason to hide the data in this particular field. Agents can easily see when the property was moved to an “Under Contract” status in the listing itself. There is an entire display that shows the history of each property in the MLS. This is not sensitive information that needs to be protected. It’s already public, so it should be searchable.
We have formally requested that the MLS team make the contract field visible, and therefore searchable, to agents. Hopefully they will agree with our reasoning. If and when they do make the change, we will resume the monthly contracts posts. We find them useful for our work, and know that others are interested in the data too.
Thank you for your patience, and for your interest in a technical matter. We appreciate that you visit the site and follow along with the local real estate markets.