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Post Ideas?

I’ve been trying to write five posts a week but sometimes, coming up with meaningful material can be a stretch. Market trends, stats and predictions seem to be a favorite but there is more to real estate than that. I’ll take any ideas to heart. I don’t mind doing some research but can’t spend hours each day doing it!Portland Real Estate Blog

13 Comments on “Post Ideas?

  1. I’ve been reading on various real estate blogs about the softening of the market, the prediction in 2008 of a slow year followed by a stabilization of the market and of prices. First, do you believe this is true? And second, in layman’s terms, what does this mean? Having come to Portland and bought a home here in 2006 I don’t have a good sense of what the market was like before 2006. What do these predictions mean to the average homeowner? thanks!

  2. First off, I enjoy your blog! It is on my “daily read” list.

    I relocated here (from Phoenix) about two months ago planning to buy a house under the impression the real estate downturn wouldn’t affect PDX. Having seen the errors of my ways, I now am sitting on the sidelines; just signed a year lease on a house.

    Some thoughts:

    1. As a newcomer, I’m surprised to see all the conversions of a single family house lot turned into two, or three, or four(!) tiny townhouses in what appear to be residential neighborhoods. If I buy a house, I don’t want that happening to the property next door! Thoughts? Also, I see a lot of ads suggesting that people buy the run down house on the large lot and tear it down and replace w/ 4 tiny units. Anyone done that? Easy to do? Profitable?

    2. Comments on the differences between the OR vs. WA markets — Vancouver is just a bedroom community to PDX, and from my limited study, cost of living appears cheaper (in addition to flouridated water!).

    3. I’m currently in Tigard, just on the boundary of farm land. Obviously lots of controversy about farm land conversion.

    4. Thoughts on effectiveness of listing a property on Craigslist. Its how I found my rental, and I routinely look there for listings as well. Also, other good web resources for real estate.

    4a. Thoughts on Zillow

    5. Financing — how easy to get a loan? I hear Countrywide is still handing out easy loans, at the same time I hear no one can get a loan…

    6. How to play the foreclosure market?

    Thanks!

  3. Why do real estate agents and brokers refuse to list the addresses of properties when advertising on Craigslist? Any ideas? It’s frustrating and time consuming and makes me think worse of the agent, not better. Seems like a silly thing to do simply to get a prospective buyer’s email address.

  4. Hi Charles,

    Maybe something you can write about is how and when did main street America start real estate speculation after traditionally treating a home as a place to live that also is a long term investment….just a thought

  5. Why do real estate agents and brokers refuse to list the addresses of properties when advertising on Craigslist?

    I just looked at Portland’s Craigslist real estate listings. Three of the four Realtor listings I looked at had the address published. Probably dumb luck.

    There is a business reason to leave a critcal piece of information off marketing material- to find out if people are reading it. Without giving the user a reason to contact the Realtor, there is no way of tracking if that source of marketing works.

    As a seller, would you rather your Realtor say, “I put your house on Craigslist.” “Did it work?” “I don’t know.” Or, “I put your house on Craigslist and had a couple of really good conversations with potential buyers. I got to explain some of the features that you just can’t convey in a flier or on the web”

  6. Thanks for responding to this, Charles, though I’m not sure I understand the logic. If a seller asked “did it work”? I assume he/she is interested in only one response: yes, we have a buyer. I know as a seller that that’s the bottom line for me. It’s not like it takes an enormous amount of time or effort to post an ad on Craigslist (a minute and a half tops).

    Your logic would also make sense if “explaining some of the features you just can’t convey on the web” were the actual reason. In my experience as a buyer that is never the case, as the agent merely sends me the address of the property and, I assume, sticks my email address in her database. This is the real reason I believe agents don’t include the address of their properties.

  7. I agree, looking at postings on Craigslist that don’t have address info is a waste of my time. The first thing I do is look at Zillow to find prior sales for that house. I realize Zillow’s estimate is off in space, but I do appreciate seeing the recent sales info for the house, as well as letting them calculate $/sq ft for me. Of course, I have the same “missing addr” problem on realtor.com…

  8. This is an area where agents are still using decades-old marketing “tactics” to secure leads. In an age of increasing competition, Zilliow, Trulia, more and more FSBO’s, and tons of reduced-fee companies, it’s also a mark of agent desperation, as they struggle to retain a semblance of relevance. I sold my last two houses as FSBOs, getting full price, and saved tens of thousands of dollars. A fair commission for agents is maybe 1%

  9. I sold my last two houses as FSBOs, getting full price

    Congratulations. Not everyone is cut out for being a FSBO. Those that aren’t probably value our services more. I can tell you, for 1% and no recovery of hard marketing costs it wouldn’t be worth me getting out of bed in the morning. You get what you pay for if you have done you homework. How are you qualified to determine what a “fair” rate of pay is for a Realtor? Doesn’t the market set that rate? Would you expect the same level of service and rate of pay for a top law firm and Larry’s House of Law?

    I must have missed the part where Zillow negotiates on your behalf, advises you and helps make intelligent decisions about pricing based on what automated systems spit out.

    Not that you did, but selling at full price under market value doesn’t win awards. There’s no metric to determine if you saved tens of thousands of dollars or lost a hundred thousand dollars by not using a Realtor, is there? It can only be your perception that you saved money, not fact.

    Charles- feeling perfectly relevant on a cloudy Sunday afternoon.

  10. Doesn’t the market set that rate?

    Indeed, which is why we’re seeing more discount brokerages, and services to help owners sell their houses. People are sick of paying some schmo (not you, of course, but you know, others) $18,000 to sell a $300,000 house. There will be an awful lot of agents not getting out of bed this year, and thank god for that. Real estate agents post 2000 are what stock analysts like Henry Blodgett were during the tech bubble. It doesn’t take a genius to sell a house. It’s a soft skill at best, and I use that last word generously.

  11. There’s no metric to determine if you saved tens of thousands of dollars or lost a hundred thousand dollars by not using a Realtor, is there? It can only be your perception that you saved money, not fact.

    Or lost tens of thousands in commission to an agent that you otherwise wouldn’t have had to pay. Most of the so-called “advice” you mention is available to anyone who is literate and can spare five minutes to do the research. There is absolutely no information an agent can give to a seller (or buyer) that she couldn’t otherwise get for free.

  12. There is absolutely no information an agent can give to a seller (or buyer) that she couldn’t otherwise get for free.

    Can you get experience for free?

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