Tag Archives: real estate agents

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.

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Does an Agent’s Pricing Still Matter?


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?

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That Mysterious “Other” – Tales from Google Consumer Survey

Yes, I'd like to explore this mysterious Other, too...

Yes, I’d like to explore this mysterious Other, too…

Tim Dain is the Executive Director at SIRMLS and one of the most forward-thinking MLS people in the industry today. He’s also a bit of a tech geek and likes to experiment with techie things. Well, he sent me something he did through Google’s new consumer survey service, and I thought it was interesting enough to share. (With permission, of course.)

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The Tiger Over the Hill: Real Estate in the Age of Elance



In 1993, Bill Chee gave the (in)famous “Lion Over the Hill” speech in which he sounded the alarm at tech companies coming in and destroying the MLS. Of course, with the benefit of hindsight, we know either that Lion never came over the hill, because it was far too steep to climb for outsiders, or that Realtors hunted it down in the dark of night and killed it dead. But it might be the most famous speeches by a NAR president ever.

Well, a couple of months ago, I saw that NAR had released a big study on international buyers, saying:

We live in a global marketplace. While all real estate is local, not all property buyers are. A significant share of home purchases are made by people whose primary residence is outside of the U.S. Find out which are the top five countries of origin for foreign buyers of U.S. homes, and how these buyers are using the services of REALTORS®.

Now, I’ve heard this mantra at various real estate conferences for a few years. International is on every big broker’s mind. Look at the RE/MAX S-1 filing, for example, as well as how much Realogy likes to talk about their global footprint, etc., of agents across the world proudly wearing the Coldwell Banker or Century 21 brand. I know KW is eager to expand abroad as well.

I have nothing whatsoever against international expansion, against working with international buyers, and so on. But two recent seemingly unconnected events got me thinking about this.

As NAR says, we live in a global marketplace.

Why are we assuming that this “global marketplace” is limited to properties?

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What’s the Value of Agent-to-Agent Relationships?


REALTOR Love! What’s It Worth?

Heard a story the other night from a friend who is a REALTOR(R), while talking about the hot hot seller’s market we’re in now in many places around the country. (As an aside, doesn’t this mean that early 2013 is not a great time to buy?)

Apparently, she had a house on the market for all of 48 hours before she got 12 offers, 6 of them all-cash. But that’s not the interesting part.

The interesting part is that two of the offers came from buyers represented by agents she didn’t like very much. She called them difficult to work with, and a couple other unsavory descriptions as well.

Now, it so happened that the highest offers were all-cash, from agents she had decent relationships with, so that was that. But it got me wondering….

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