Person who comes closest to the actual number wins a prize. Okay, maybe not. But still, by all means, play along.
As of 3:40 p.m. on Thursday, April 6, 2011 there are ______ single-family detached homes for sale in Phoenix Arizona:
The answer, if you happen to put your faith in the Arizona Regional MLS – the place where real estate professionals advertise homes for sale to other agents with attached offers of compensation and the place where the majority of those listings are distributed to a variety of portals through the wonders of IDX, is b.
Now, if you prefer a bit of fiction with your search, you can choose answer number 1. That is the total currently showing on Trulia including a listing for a foreclosure auction property “for sale” for $4.
Yes, 32 bits gets you a home.
Or not. Because this is a listing that Trulia has secured from RealtyTrac, a company that collects notices of Trustee’s Sales on properties when a lender has initiated what serves as the foreclosure procedure here in Arizona.
Will this home ever really be for sale at the courthouse steps? Maybe.
Will the lender ever allow it to be sold for $4 without stepping in to offer more and then sell the home as a bank-owned home? Are you f’ing kidding me?
Does that stop the home from being listed “for sale” on a third-party real estate listings aggregator who at the end of the day isn’t really responsible for fishy data such as these RealtyTrac listings? Of course not.
What you’ll hear from the Trulias and Zillows of the world is they are trying to bring “transparency” to the real estate world. How they are doing that by including non-listings such as the $4 home through RealtyTrac, muddying the waters for buyers looking for real homes for sale, is beyond me.
These sites are to real estate listings what reality stars are to actual stars – pretenders who have enough of the outer trappings and have collected enough cache that they appear to be the real thing, even when they aren’t.
Still, if you find yourself inclined to consider these sites to be a reliable source, you won’t be the first. There even are songs written about such choices.