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Real estate agents, by the numbers

Realtor Notebook

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Last week's big news was the Redfin Scouting Reports, which were designed so consumers could look up agents and view statistics on agent productivity. Those numbers were to come from multiple listing services. According to the Redfin blog, the Scouting Reports have been taken down -- possibly forever. Redfin stated that it ran into some problems with the MLS data. The company claimed that only a fraction of the data was inaccurate, but that was enough to destroy the credibility of the reports. Some of the issues were caused by how sales are recorded in the MLS when agents work in teams. It would be nice if everyone that uses and inputs MLS data, or any other type of data, cared that much about data accuracy. The announcement of the launch of the Scouting Reports was not well received or embraced by all real estate practitioners. As always, the people who do not actually sell real estate were more in favor of giving consumers the ability to look at agent productivity than...