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Broker aims to help buyers take listing commission out of the picture



Lofty goal: do away with listing commissions

Real estate broker, Frank Llosa is known not just for his wacky business card antics but for his website that features the wikiMLS which he designed as an effort to be the most comprehensive data source in his Virginia/DC/MD market. Llosa says his site is “data heavy and thus sellers use it to research what to sell their home for.”

This week, Llosa launched in “a very beta format” a tool they have dubbed “Frankly I Wish” where buyers can place ads on hyper-local areas through their buyer’s agent in an effort to attract a seller before the seller puts their home in the MLS. Llosa says this is a win for buyers because they can save on the listing commission.

Within the first day, Llosa reports 20 ads were placed, showing market interest and enthusiasm. He notes that the tool is “very beta” and has launched prior to the full design, so he acknowledges that the aesthetics are very raw.

It is a simple concept that appears to be the reverse of pocket listings, a concept already well understood in the real estate industry. Buyer’s agents have fewer opportunities to promote their buyer’s interests, so it is interesting for an agent to be able to say “Client looking for a two bedroom on this street” and have it appear above search results for that street (or subdivision, area, or so on). This could be helpful for buyer’s agents working with clients with extremely unique requirements or lofty dreams with no rush to close.

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  1. sfvrealestate

    September 15, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    …Like, for example, a house that comes with a unicorn and rainbow? Sign me up!

  2. sfvrealestate

    September 15, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    …Or better yet, a house that comes with Ol' Yeller as my pet and Justin Bieber as my boyfriend! Plus a time machine that makes me Justin Bieber's age!

  3. Tina Fine

    September 15, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    I think it is a great idea for buyers to post about what they are looking for. Matches will be more likely made when both buyers and sellers actively participate in the real estate information market.

  4. A.G

    September 16, 2011 at 1:06 am

    …So, who is looking out for the sellers best interest? Sure, they save 3% in commission, but they get robbed for another 5% on sales price by the buyers agent…

  5. Manhattan Beach Realtor

    September 16, 2011 at 9:37 am

    Llosa's efforts are commendable, even though they will chip away at listing agent income. Any innovation in this market to lower consumer costs is a good thing.

  6. Frank

    September 16, 2011 at 11:35 am

    Hey Agent Genius, thanks for the mention. Your graphic is better than mine. I didn't want to waste my programmers time designing this (they have a long list of cool stuff) so I used my old school html knowledge to make it live in a day.

    Hey Manhattan, it won't really chip away at any listing agent's pockets. Just think of it like those postcards that a buyer's agent might send out that says "We have a buyer for your listing, contact me directly." Same thing, just digital. You wouldn't run into a FSBO and say "I have a buyer for your place, go get a listing agent" would you?

    Hey A.G., you are right. Can't have it both ways. You bet I'm going to represent my buyer and try and get them the lowest price. I represent THEM, not the seller. What would you do? Tell the seller to go hire a listing agent so your buyer can't pay more? I would be the first to tell a seller they shouldn't do this, but many prefer the FSBO route and think listing agents are useless. Their ignorance is profit for my client.

  7. Fred Romano

    September 16, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    Completely amazed that anyone would use this website, looks like it was built in the late 80's and totally not user friendly. Google likes it though with a page rank of 4, so I guess hes got something there!

    • Mike

      September 25, 2011 at 7:06 am

      FranklyMLS enables consumers to easily access important data that no other site allows, is fast and very user friendly. Graphics are nice, but are eye candy and have little to do with functionality or usefulness. Google dominates the world but has always utilized extremely basic graphics.

  8. Morgan

    September 18, 2011 at 11:36 pm

    Hey Fred, I agree, it's not the prettiest site, but I disagree – I think it's very user- friendly! I used it to buy my house in '09, to sell my house and get comps, and then I used the site to buy a tear-down a couple of weeks ago. When I was looking for houses, it's so much easier to sort by DOM so I can see what was recently added, then move my mouse over the mls# to get a pop-up pic. If I know I don't like a listing, I click on X to never see it again or I can create a list of my faves to keep an eye out on them. Also, there was one time, I was click-happy and somehow created a search for $3M or up homes in Ashburn (which is not what I wanted!) and Frank himself emailed me to make sure that was correct. When I told him it was my mistake, he even offered up some other neighborhoods that I should probably look into. As you can tell, I'm a big fan of the site. Makes my home-searching so much easier! Now I'm going to be watching these want ads so I can sell my home…

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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, 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.”

Click here to continue reading the list of the 12 best places to buy a home…

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Housing News

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.



aging housing inventory

aging housing inventory

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.

Click here to continue reading this story…

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Housing News

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.



zillow move

zillow move

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,, 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’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

Last fall, the News Corp. acquisition of Move, Inc. was given the green light by the feds, and this month, Zillow finalized their acquisition of Trulia.

…Click here to continue reading this story…

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