The Real Deal Miami

Expired listings creating tension between SoFla brokers and buyers

July 22, 2013 02:00PM

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MichaelCitron

Michael Citron

In South Florida’s hot housing market, expired listings aren’t a little thing to buyers. They’re a big deal — and they’re creating major headaches for brokers. Savvy house hunters are doing searches online, pulling up several properties from the likes of Zillow.com and Trulia.com, and are skewering their agents for not scheduling tours, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

There’s a good reason why, the brokers explain: The listings are old. One example was a five-bedroom house in Palm Beach County listed on Zillow.com last week for $700,000. The home had been under contract since last August and the sale closed Friday.

“They say, ‘Michael, I see five houses that you haven’t shown me. What gives?'” agent Michael Citron told the newspaper. “A home is a big purchase, and people have to have trust and confidence in their agent. With some of these, I feel like I have to earn their trust all over again.”

Both Palm Beach and Broward counties are struggling to keep up with the demand from home buyers. Palm Beach had fewer than 6,000 homes for sale in May, nearly half the number, the year before. The number of Broward homes on the market was 4,135 homes, 20 percent less than May 2012.

Brokers enter homes for sale into multiple listing service databases and are supposed to update the information in real time; some agents forget to make changes, though, or leave listings open to get backup offers, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

Zillow and Trulia receive listings through a process called syndication; Zillow tries to take down expired listings, a spokeswoman said, and Trulia described expired listings as an industry-wide problem. [Sun-Sentinel]Melanie Gray

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