Ok… There really wasn’t a house that sold for one dollar…. but it grabs your attention, right???

This makes me nuts! In the Birmingham/Bloomfield market, after a transaction closes, many sales get logged into the MLS with a sales price of $ONE DOLLAR$.

Maybe (if I think really hard) I can understand why some people would want this information kept privately. Maybe they didn’t get what they had hoped they’d get for their home. Maybe they have nosey neighbors. I guess the reasons could be limitless. However, you can go to the county office and look it up. IT IS PUBLIC INFORMATION!

In the beginning this practice became popular because the city assessor was very aggressive with property taxes. Or at least that’s what I’ve been told. People thought that if they tried to keep this information secret, their taxes would remain lower. It never works; eventually the system always catches up to you.

Our MLS has even attempted to implement a rule that any agent requesting a transaction to be listed as a dollar sale must also send over a copy of the warranty deed showing a dollar sale price. The problem is that they never issue fines to the people that fail to comply.

What the local realtor community unwittingly did was create much, much more work for themselves. Now every time I want to perform a CMA or market updates, I have to try to track down the agents who participated in the “dollar sale” and hope that they’ll share the sales price. I got wise about 3 years ago and started a dollar sales log. I try to update it as often as possible. This has made my life a bit easier…. But it’s still a pain in the butt.

What adds insult to injury is that even in this soft market, there are still some pretty impressive sales happening. In the recent past there were a few homes that would be considered “high watermark” sales. The majority of the market will never know this because the sales were recorded as…. You guessed it ONE DOLLAR!

I’m really starting to think we’re our own worst enemies!

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