The Value of Good Data Coupled With a Good Agent

What an interesting real estate market we’ve experienced in St Louis over the past few years!  Seller’s fully expect their homes to sell the first weekend after hitting the market, with a feeding frenzy by buyer’s and bidding wars that drive the price above the list price.  Buyer’s come to realize if they are going to be successful in buying a home they have to think fast, take chances and move quick!  Heck, with a market like this, it’s no wonder a lot of folks, particularly sellers, don’t necessarily see a need for a real estate agent.

However, the reality is that sellers and buyers need a great agent now more than ever.  Yes, I emphasized great as, like in any profession, there are varying levels of knowledge, experience and professionalism among real estate agents.   In addition to having a great agent that agent needs timely, accurate market data, along with an understanding of the market resulting in complete market knowledge.  Unfortunately, this combination is not easy to find. 

So what’s the actual price, $270,000 or $250,000?

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For example, in the past few days I’ve noticed a lot of agents posting information on social media and even the media reporting that the median price of homes sold in St Louis City and County during June was over $270,000.  However, when you look at our chart below (available exclusively from MORE, REALTORS® you see it shows that the median home price for homes sold within the City and County of St Louis during June was $250,000. That’s a difference of $20,000 or 8%.  Does it matter?  Well, if you’re a seller would it matter if what you thought (or were being told) your home was worth was off by $20,000?  If you’re a buyer trying to decide just how high to go, with a fear that you are exceeding the value of the home, does it matter if the data you are basing this decision on is off by $20,000?  In both cases, I would say it does matter.

St Louis City and St Louis County Home Prices – Past 13 Months

St Louis City and St Louis County Home Prices - Past 13 Months

An increase of over 16% or 11%??

Furthermore, I’m seeing reports stating that the median price of homes sold in the City and County of St Louis in June 2021 were up over 16% from a year ago.  However, referring back to the chart above, you can see in June 2020 the median price was $224,900 so the price last month of $250,000 represents an 11% increase.  Once again, is it significant to know by what rate home prices have increased? Again, whether a buyer or seller I say it is.

Before I go further, I want to emphasize I’m not blaming the media or even real estate agents for passing along information they think is credible.  However, I teach and coach agents to not accept any data or information at face value but instead to check the source, and check the data themselves.

Hey, how do you know YOU’RE right??

Ok, I know some readers are thinking this so I’ll go ahead and ask it…how do I know I’m right?  Well, no one is perfect or infallible but in my company we have literally spent a lot of time, money and effort over the past few years developing proprietary software to produce good, accurate and relevant data for our agents and their clients.  We go to great lengths to check and double check our data and I would be a fool if I didn’t do so prior to writing this article.  After double-checking our data, which is what is shown on the above chart, I’m convinced it’s accurate.

Here’s the proof…

Since our source for St Louis market data is MARIS, which provides the REALTOR® MLS, it seems the best way to check the data would be to go there.  Below is the chart from MARIS showing the sold prices for the City and County of St Louis for the past 13 months, the same period as our chart above.  The chart below shows a median price in June 2021 of $250,000 (within $500 of our chart above) and shows a median price in June 2020 of $224,900 (the exact number on our chart).

St Louis City and St Louis County Home Prices – Past 13 Months From The MLS For Comparison

St Louis City and St Louis County Home Prices - Past 13 Months From The MLS For Comparison

The data is good, but it’s just part of the recipe for success

So it’s vital to have good data so you can make good decisions whether you are buying or selling a home but the data won’t mean much if you don’t have a great agent.  You need an agent that knows how to interpret the data, apply it, along with a lot of other data,  to the current market conditions and help guide you to a smart decision.  Oh, do I know where you can find such an agent? It just so happens I do, MORE, REALTORS® the home of “Masters Of Real Estate“.  You can check out our agents HERE.

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