Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

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.

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