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Why short sale agents don’t need to be sold on how to adapt

Struck by the text of an ad targeting real estate professionals, it must be noted that short sale agents that survived the recession don’t need to be sold on how to adapt – they already did.




Today’s hot market: do we need to learn about it?

Just like lots of other companies that appeal to real estate professionals, Market Leader does a nice job getting their message out to the masses. In fact, I’ve noticed their ads on almost every real estate related site that I have visited over the last few days. That’s probably why (according to statistics on their home page), they “serve over 125,000 real estate professionals.”

The other day when I was minding my own business, clicking on a link in order to check out some real estate news, an ad for Market Leader showed up as a pop-up that I had to close before I could see the news article. The ad’s headline read, “Real estate is back, but adapting won’t be easy. Learn how to sell in today’s hot market.”

Personally, I don’t consider myself to be a big reader of advertisements. I zone out during television commercials, and never seem to be able to focus on the famous ones that appear during the Super Bowl. However, this particular ad made me chuckle.

Here’s why: If you are an agent that was able to succeed between 2008 and 2012, if you didn’t have to take a second job, then you have already learned to adapt. You do not need to “learn how to sell in today’s hot market.” If you could sell properties during a national recession, then you probably already know what to do. Certainly, in Market Leader’s defense, whatever they are peddling will probably help to address challenges faced by agents now (such as low inventory). Nevertheless, the wording of the ad seemed funny to me.

If you are a distressed property or short sale specialist or have worked on a fair share of short sales in the last several years, then you already know quite a bit about how to survive and adapt.

Successful Short Sale Agents Already Know What to Do

Here are three things that any successful short sale agent has learned and can apply to changes in the real estate market:

  1. Details Matter. You’ve probably heard the phrase, “The devil is in the details.” When sending a short sale package to a lender, you want to send it right the first time to avoid delays. If you want your offer to be selected in a situation where sellers are receiving multiple offers, the same level of detail is likely required in the presentation of your offer.
  2. Patience. Short sales require so much patience: patience with the customer service folks at the bank, patience with Fannie Mae or the investor reviewing the package, and patience with the process in general. This new market also requires patience in order to succeed. Lots of agents have to write multiple offers for a single buyer in order to get one accepted, and that requires a great deal of patience.
  3. Outside-the-box thinking. Anyone who can achieve success as a short sale listing agent or negotiator knows that you often have to be strategic in your actions and calculating in order to get your message heard. The same goes for the current market. In order to obtain listings or get offers approved, you may need to use some outside-the-box thinking or creative strategies in order to be successful

If you have achieved success as a short sale listing agent, don’t let anyone tell you that you need to learn to adapt to changes to the market. You have already learned to adapt and are likely a master of your market.

Melissa Zavala is the Broker/Owner of Broadpoint Properties and Head Honcho of Short Sale Expeditor®, and Chief Executive Officer of Transaction 911. Before landing in real estate, she had careers in education and publishing. Most recently, she has been able to use her teaching and organizational skills while traveling the world over—dispelling myths about the distressed property market, engaging and motivating real estate agents, and sharing her passion for real estate. When she isn’t speaking or writing, Melissa enjoys practicing yoga, walking the dog, and vacationing at beach resorts.

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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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