Jonathan Dalton reflects on the state of the industry. In What Have We Taught Our Clients?, he covers the sins of perception that real estate agents are propagating across the country.
We have taught our clients that agents are driving the buying process. We’re not. Yes, an agent will send properties to his or her buyers. But they’ll likely receive as many or more in return. Why? Because there’s little need for the middleman when it comes to searching for homes. Our role as agents has changed – finding the home is the easy part. Negotiating the contract all the way through to the closing is where our expertise comes into play.
Lani Anglin writes a fun rant titled, Obsession With Youth? I Think Not!, where she berates a letter writer to REALTOR magazine.
I object to the letter because those who have been successful in the corporate world that haven’t hit their 30th birthday SHOULD be celebrated. As a member of that group, I will tell you that my biggest professional obstacle is NOT my sex, my background or my vocabulary level- it is my age.
Patrick Kapowich, of Silicon Valley Broker, discusses How Can Brokers Protect Themselves From Agent Promotion?
My concern was the same then as it is now: Will agents and/or brokers answer online questions outside their areas of expertise? (As many do off-line) – They did. Which, by the way, is strictly prohibited.
Benn Rosales reminds us about self-fulfilling prophecies in Mortgage Drama, Real Estate Bubble, Tech Crash, Dotcom Disaster.
As some (including myself) try to remain positive around the blog-o-whatever about the mortgage industry, there are already those who cannot stop warning and passing along their own fears. It is already preordained that we will have a mortgage meltdown because the virus of words is already spreading.
Craig Shiller, of Home Staging, talks about the values of staging a home in Are Vacant Homes Black Holes That Suck the Life Out of their Own Sales?
…a vacant house will be more difficult to sell then a furnished home. A buyers market will only make it even more difficult for a seller to sell for there are more than enough homes to choose from.
Kevin Boer on The Innovator’s Dilemma In Real Estate: Beware Of That Redfin Swimming Just Below You, where he applies lessons from Harvard’s Clayton Christensen on how low-cost competitors move up the value chain to real estate brokerage.
If the new entrant succeeds, it starts to take market share from the incumbents, who finally wake up — often too late — and discover that the “cheap, undesirable” part of the market is much larger than they previously thought.
Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home
When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?
Looking at the bigger picture
(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).
That said, SelfStorage.com dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).
They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.
“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”
Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?
With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.
The average home age is higher than ever
(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.
With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.
Prices of new homes on the rise
Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.
Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?
The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.
Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes
(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub, Realtor.com, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.
Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.
So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.
1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues
It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also Realtor.com’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.
Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.
2. Two major media brands emerge
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