Category Archives: Real Estate

Oh, California… Duty to Monitor Crazies?

Santa Barbara Mom Lawsuit

I ran across this disturbing story on the Interwebz related to the horrible killings in Santa Barbara last year:

A tearful mother of a college student slain in a rampage outside Santa Barbara last year said Tuesday that she and the parents of the first victims sued the county sheriff and other parties to prevent future tragedies.

You can’t help but feel sorrow for Kelly Wang and the families of other victims in that tragedy. There’s no question that the killer, Elliot Rodger, was mentally unstable and dangerous.

But… the lawsuit contends that landlords — and by extension, their property managers — have a duty to screen for disturbed individuals, and I have to say I’m wondering about that.

Continue reading

Does an Agent’s Pricing Still Matter?

pricing

A while back, I wrote a post about some possible problems and concerns with a new Fannie Mae program, called Collateral Underwriter, which is aimed at helping lenders evaluate appraisals and appraisers. As is often the case, that issue went completely under the radar while everyone was too busy arguing about HomesForSale.com or some new Zillow thing.

In recent conversations — primarily with the extraordinary Linsey Ehle, Career Development Coach for BHG Gary Greene in The Woodlands who is among the best at what she does — something else to consider here came up. (Disclosure time: Linsey’s my girlfriend. :) )

We have always been told, because it has always been the case, that no one is a better source of property valuation than the local REALTOR. Think about the hate that Zestimates gets because “it’s totally inaccurate”. If you’re looking to sell your house, and want to know what it’s worth, call your local REALTOR. She can access the MLS, use her expertise, and pull comps that are appropriate for your house.

My question: Is this still true?

Continue reading

Don’t Brokerages Compete With Each Other?

032-muhammad-ali-theredlist

Over on Facebook, an interesting and intelligent discussion broke out — which is news in and of itself, I realize. We weren’t discussing The Dress or llamas. Amazing.

What we were discussing is MLS taking over syndication, something that Kipp Cooper at North Alabama pioneered. Here’s how it began:

_2__Listing_Syndication__Portals____IDX_for_REALTORS

The responses were really interesting, and raised an issue that I think is worth talking about further. So let’s do that.

Continue reading

On NRT’s New HomesForSale.com (Which Most Folks Are Misunderstanding)

Making Sense I know some folks think I’m a Realogy homer. Well, given that’s where I got my start in the industry, maybe I’m a little bit guilty of that whole “cut me and I bleed blue” thing. But I think I’m actually calling things as I see them; I’ve been plenty critical of Realogy when they’ve done something deserving of criticism, and I’m complimentary when they’ve done something right.

The newest Realogy initiative that’s making waves is HomesForSale.com, a “national” portal for the NRT, Realogy’s company-owned brokerage operations. I mentioned it and some screenshots yesterday, when I was really talking about some issues that the MLS probably needs to address. Since then I’ve seen all sorts of discussion about HomesForSale, about NRT, etc. etc. both publicly and privately.

Almost all of the commentary thus far has been negative. The main thrust of such criticism is something like this:

If this is the best that Realogy can do to compete against Zillow and Trulia and Realtor.com, it’s farcical. There’s nothing innovative or new here, and the site isn’t even mobile responsive, and the color scheme sucks too!

Or something along those lines.

Thing is, I think this line of criticism is almost wholly unwarranted, because it is based on a misunderstanding of the strategy behind HomesForSale. I actually think HomesForSale is a nice move, one that could fail of course like any initiative, but it’s solidly grounded in strategy.

Let’s get into it.

Continue reading

Tell Me Again How the MLS is the “Gold Standard” of Data Accuracy?

Homes_For_Sale__Real_Estate_Listings____MLS_Search___HomesForSale_com

I’ll have some thoughts on Realogy/NRT’s new HomesForSale.com later, but I couldn’t resist this brief observation.

I kinda knew the problem existed, but until this splashy website came along, we did not have the visual impact/evidence. If HomesForSale.com accomplishes nothing else, it really ought to wake up the industry (particularly the MLS) about the problem with data in the MLS.

Let me explain, with pictures.

Continue reading