Great Things Come in Pairs…
Today marks a great day in AG history- we are being invaded by Canadians! Although it is a myth that they are legally required to say “aboot” and it is also untrue that their heads detach at their mouths. There are two bloggers that you’ve been dying to read on AG, so let’s learn what IS true about them:
Norm Fisher of Royal Le Page in Sasketoon, SK was one of the first writers we invited to come on board at AG back when it was just a wee baby. At the time, Norm was busy conquering the world but now that Saskatoon is all his, he’s ready to take the AG bull by the horns!
My first impression of Norm was that he must be the most hilarious man alive (other than Benn of course) because of his headshot campaign. Here are some true things about Norm:
- Norm has been Licensed as a real estate agent since 1993 and has been the sales manager for Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate since 2000 and Associate Broker since 2006.
- He was the Director of the Saskatoon Real Estate Board from 1998-2002 and 2005 and President of the Saskatoon Real Estate Board in 2001.
- Norm has served on the Professional Standards Committee and the Government Affairs Committee of the Saskatoon Real Estate Board as well as the Technology Committee of the Saskatchewan Real Estate Association and the Agency Advisory Committee for the Saskatchewan Real Estate Commission.
- He was the FIRST Saskatoon real estate agent to promote homes online.
Larry Yatkowsky of Vancouver’s Yatter Matters blog has long been an active commentator at Agent Genius and has always been a part of the conversation, making it natural for his transition to writer. A little known fact about Larry is that he too has an English degree- the perfect weapon for any blogger! Here are true things about Larry:
- Larry has been practicing Real Estate for 26 years and 6 months. He’s no newbie and his experience far outshines most blogging practitioners.
- During his professional life as a Realtor, he worked at Viper Software where he marketed and developed MLS software based in America and Canada. His understanding of technology, especially MLS technologies is astounding.
- Larry is a true social media marketer- just *try* getting on Twitter without Larry noticing. He has long shown the way for agents to adapt to new forms of media.
Give Larry and Norm a round of applause in the comments (with as few South Park references as possible, despite my bad example). We are very proud to have both of these amazing guys and look forward to their invasion!
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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