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NAR overestimated real estate sales by 14%

November existing-home sales up 12% from year ago

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The National Association of Realtors says it overestimated home sales by more than 14 percent since 2007 because an adjustment that the trade group makes to data it collects from multiple listing services to account for sales that take place outside of MLSs got out of whack over time.NAR says it's fixed the problem and "rebenchmarked" statistics going back to 2007, when it said its adjustments began to diverge from previous assumptions about how many sales take place outside of MLSs.The trade group blamed much of the problem on a decline in "for sale by owner" sales -- properties not represented by real estate brokers and therefore not listed in an MLS.NAR said consumer survey data show FSBOs accounted for 9 percent of sales in 2010, down from 16 percent in 2000."In addition to a decline in FSBO transactions, more builders began marketing new properties through real estate brokers (and those sales) weren't completely filtered from the existing-home data," ...