NorthstarMLS has added several new data fields and additional options for some existing fields. Many of these enhancements result from a joint effort between agents and homebuilders to encourage more new construction inventory to be entered into the MLS. These new and revised fields are all available in Add/Edit, Instanet Forms and for search and display in Matrix (except PDF reports, which will be updated soon).

Public and Agent Remarks
The Public and Agent Remarks fields are expanded from 255 characters to 500. This change is in response to the many requests we have had for more Remarks space and a review of the idea with our Agent Advisory Committee. While we still encourage the use of supplements, this allows more room to describe the property with fewer abbreviations.

NEW FIELDS:

Certificate of Occupancy Date
Common in new constructions and indicates when the property can be occupied.

Availability Date for Closing
Also common with new constructions and helpful information for buyers.

Total Units Sold
This is for use with new developments when multiple units are listed under a single listing. We already have a field for Total Units Available. This field allows agents to indicate number sold and can be updated ongoing for the life of the development listing.

Community Name
Specifically for new construction community names and located in the new construction section. Designed to make it easier to identify and search all homes in a specific new construction community.

Builder Name, Builder License Number and Builder Association(s)
Through a partnership with the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, we created a MN builder name pick list that auto-populates the builder license number. We also have a Builder Association pick list for MN and WI. These fields will make it easy to search specific builder inventory and ensure that builder names are entered consistently and accurately. (The builder Association we contacted in western Wisconsin declined to participate, but we were able to source a limited builder list for the area.) These fields are available for Single Family, Lots & Land and Cross Property.

Garage Square Feet, Garage Door Height and Garage Door Width
These are also commonly requested fields since our recent addition of Garage Dimensions. These are all optional fields, but we recommend them, as many buyers are interested in space available for vehicles, boats, etc.

CHANGES TO EXISTING FIELDS:

Construction Status
There are two options for Models—Model (for sale) and Model (not for sale). To list a Model (not for sale) requires that at least one Active listing be tied to that Model and available for sale (To-Be-Built, Under Construction and/or New Construction). All current Models on NorthstarMLS were automatically converted to Model (for sale). If you have an Active Model that is not for sale, you will need to manually correct it in Add/Edit.

Directions
Expanding from 200 to 300 characters. Allows more detailed directions when a new development is not yet available on mapping/GPS apps.

Amenities-Unit
Added Indoor Sprinklers (required in most new constructions over 4,500 gross square feet)

Exterior
Added Engineered Wood. Here is a definition for Engineered Wood and how it differs from Fiber Board.

  • Fiberboard: Typically manufactured 1980-1998, an external structural sheathing hardboard material made from steam cooked and pressure molded wood particles, cellulose or synthetic fibers or composites. Masonite is a common brand.
  • Engineered Wood: Typically manufactured 1999 or later, an external structural framing material made from wood veneer (such as plywood), oriented strand board (OSB) or laminated dimensional lumber (glue laminated beam). “Engineered” to eliminate flaws, resist moisture/deterioration (using sealants), and be cost effective to install and maintain.  Brands include SmartSide, Catawba and TruWood.

Extra Rooms
Added Athletic Court, Flex Room and Other

Appliances
Added Tankless Water Heater

Association Fee Includes
Added Internet

Air Conditioning and Heating
Added Ductless Mini-Split

Bathroom Description
Added Walk-In Shower Stall (this is not a shower head over a bathtub, but a separate stall)
Added Bathroom Ensuite (attached to and only accessible from a bedroom)
Jack & Jill has been expanded to three options: Full Jack & Jill, 3/Ž4 Jack & Jill, and 1Ž/2 Jack & Jill.

Note: Because we have no way of knowing whether currently selected Jack & Jill Baths are full, three-quarters or half, we did not convert them. If your listing has a Jack & Jill bathroom, you need to manually reselect it in Add/Edit.

Green Certification
Changed from a Yes/No option to three new options: Pending, Tested and Certified.

Note: Because we have no way of knowing which new option fits for current “Yes” green certification listings, we did not convert them. If your listing is Green Certified, you need to manually select one of the new options in Add/Edit. Please carefully note the definitions for the new options, in particular “Certified” which goes beyond a simple energy efficiency score.

  • Pending: Test ordered. In process of being tested. May have had tester visits, but data not yet run through model to provide score.
  • Tested: Final testing and energy efficiency score by a certified rater.
  • Certified: More comprehensive level of certification beyond energy efficiency. May include indoor air quality, water resource management, etc.

For any of the above, documentation must be uploaded as a supplement.

Days On Market
The regular Days on Market (DOM) and Days on Market at Current List Price (PDOM) have been adjusted to be consistent with Cumulative Days on Market (CDOM). Time spent in the To-Be-Built, Under Construction and Model statuses does not count in the market time of New Construction status properties.

Listing Input Forms
The NorthstarMLS listing input forms have all been revised on Instanet with these changes. Please note they can no longer accommodate the length of Multi-Family Residential on a single form. It has been broken out into two forms.

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Tip of the Week
Market Metric: DOM & CDOM with Infosparks

Learn what the metric Days on Market is really telling you and how to use it to your advantage!

The What: DOM measures the number of days from the last time a listing is listed to the last pending status before the listing is sold. CDOM measures the number of days from when a property is first listed to when a property goes into the last pending status before being sold. For a visual explanation of this, see below.


The How: There are variations, but the gist is to identify the number of days that a home spends on the market as active. DOM and CDOM are calculated for each listing and then averaged with all other pending sales. DOM indicates how long it takes for a listing to sell once it is priced and shown appropriately. CDOM shows how long it takes a listing to sell, including all the cumulative time the home was actively marketed. So if a home goes on the market in January, receives no offers or showings, is removed from the market in March and then put back on the market in May before being sold in June, CDOM captures those first three months of listing, whereas DOM only counts from May to June.

The Oops: Neither DOM nor CDOM are better than the other. Each exposes different things about a market and are most powerful when used together.

The Beauty: DOM is really good at showing the length of time it takes to sell a typical home, given current market conditions. CDOM shows how long it takes to sell a home from listing to pending, on average. Comparing DOM to CDOM is a nice way for agents to manage seller expectations.

Go to Infosparks now to see it in action!


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