Impact to Everyday Consumers and REALTORS® from Revised Existing Home Sales

The following is an excerpt from broader questions and answers related to the NAR re-benchmarking of existing home sales. To address the questions we have received related to the NAR upcoming sales data revision, here are two pertinent questions related to its impact on consumers and REALTORS®:

Q. Will there be a re-statement of home sales by local MLSs?
A. No. That is not required. The purpose of a MLS sales count at the local level is just that: how many homes were sold through the MLS. The data drift problem is at the national level where a re-benchmarking is required to assess total existing home sales to account for changes in FSBOs, adjusting for flipping, and such.

However, there will be a state-level sales revision since re-benchmarking can be done at the state level.

Q. Should consumers care about this revision and re-benchmarking?
A. What matters for consumers is the price of their home and there is no revision to prices. For home-buyers and home-sellers, the newly revised national data has no impact, because only very localized data matters to consumers making decisions. Local REALTOR® experts can help consumers with the local data. The national data is important for policymakers to measure the broad strength and weakness of the housing market as they impact the national economy. Like weather, the only thing that truly matters for consumers are outlooks on data from their local market area. One thing observed in the re-benchmarking process for consumers is that the FSBO method of selling suffered greatly during the housing market downturn.

The full Q&A can be found here.

Lawrence Yun, PhD., Chief Economist and Senior Vice President

Lawrence Yun is Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of Research at NAR. He directs research activity for the association and regularly provides commentary on real estate market trends for its 1 million REALTOR® members.

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  1. Thanks for the clarification. Would you be able to explain more about the calculations? How exactly is the Census data used to determine the adjustments?
    From my understanding the recalculations will be using 2010 Census Data instead of 2000 Census data, is that correct?

    A clearer understanding of the calculations would help dispell some of the conspiracy theories.

  2. T.J. Doyle, Marketing & Communications Manager

    Good morning Craig. As Lawrence notes in his full Q&A, the numerical computation sheet will be available after the official release of the latest monthly existing home sales figures at 10 a.m., December 21, 2011. Here is a link to the full Q&A:

  3. No question just a note. I feel bound by both personal ethics and those expounded by the NAR, CAR ( Colorado Association of Realtors) and the Grand Junction Board of Realtors. I can not tell you how disappointed I am in your failure to be accurate. One year perhaps, two years as an accident. However, your lack of attention to your figures for such an extended period of time I find unconscionable . I find people asking me about your “error”. I have no answer and feel bilked by your organization, which for over 24 years, I have had the greatest pride, which has now been lost. You were the bastion, the mainstay of Ethics and Honesty that kept the Realtor’s from being “as low as used car salesmen.” My dissapointment is paramount. To say that “only local figures count” and that ” The national data is important for policymakers to measure the broad strength and weakness of the housing market as they impact the national economy” is insulting. With the internet and national Media, you have been a leader for the Real Estate Community. You may not realize that the impact of your measure for the United States was so widely followed and respected. However, I feel bilked. The respect from my customers, friends and passersby has been so diminished by the revelation that you double counted your figures. People DO pay attention! I will not defend the NAR for their figures, I can not and to hear that only “local” figures are important… well, we all deal with that every day, but NAR has risen in the last five years to become one of the MOST important organizations that the policy makers look to. That the consumers look up to. No, this time you have failed. Had I simply ” expanded and made a mistake in information” in any deal, on any contract, to bolster confidence in a sale, to later be found out to have done this not once but five times as you have done for five years, I would loose my license. I would not be able to simply say, oh, I made a mistake, this was only to influence the buyer or seller, as you did for Policy makers. I hold my ethics and standards as the most important aspect of my Real Estate career. Evidentally, you can simply brush this off with all of America watching. I hold you responsible for your actions and feel that your overall representation to policy makers has been a barefaced attempt to cover up the real facts of the situation. If NAR is helping set Policy with such a deception, then you have failed in your duty to all Realtors across America and the American people. I am no longer so proud to be a part of your organization. Patti L. Barrett, Grand Junction, Colorado

  4. In the past, the media has used NAR statistics with confidence. It is disappointing
    that those numbers were inaccurate when the entire world was watching them so closely. It is surely going to hurt our credability.