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Archive for March, 2012

10 things that drive buyers crazy

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
Friday, March 23rd, 2012

1) Zero photos on the listing. – Buyers want to see at a minimum a front elevation shot, a few interior shots of the kitchen, master bedroom, living, and a rear landscape shot.

2) Sellers who insist on giving the buyer a “personal tour” of the home. – Let the buyer walk through the property undisturbed. If a buyer needs assistance or has a question, they will ask.

3) Safety Hazards from construction/modifications. – Delay showings until all construction is complete.

4) Odors. – Whether they are from pets, left over food, etc… avoid any/all unpleasant odors

5) Difficulty showing upon arrival. – Ensure the key and lockbox work correctly ahead of time.

6) Clutter. – The buyer should be able to walk through the home w/out having to climb over obstacles

7) Loud TV’s and/or music – A little gentle music is acceptable. “Blaring Days of our Lives” is not.

8 ) Calling for feedback 8 minutes after the showing has occurred. – Wait at least 24 hours prior to asking for feedback.

9) False advertising – Buyers many times search for properties based upon select criteria. If you have a 2 bedroom advertised as a 3 bedroom… buyers who require 3 bedrooms are going to be frustrated and annoyed upon arrival and learning of the false advertisement.

10) Attempts at concealing defects. – Do not paint over the water stain in the ceiling. Have the issue addressed by a professional, corrected, and have the area replaced entirely.

Realtors(R) and Zillow

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
Friday, March 16th, 2012

I have never been a supporter of Zillow over the years. The data is outdated and many times useless. Zillow for years has relied upon driving traffic to generate ad dollars for the site. To drive this traffic, they essentially have been stealing data from various websites that syndicate data from the various local MLS’s. 2-3 years ago, ¬†Zillow launched a massive campaign aimed at creating relationships b/w Zillow and Realtors(R). Zillow wanted to entice agents to advertise on their website in various ways. For example, buyer’s agents could pay to have their info show up on various property pages and listing brokers could pay to have their listings featured, etc… Anyways, this ad campaign was a bit of disaster. Realtors(R) understand what sells a listing… the MLS. (We have listed thousands of properties on zillow over the years and I can not attribute one single sale to the Zillow website) Zillow in turn turned their efforts away from Realtors(R) and directed their efforts at raising money for their IPO, etc… Fast forward to today…Zillow has realized they have a problem. W/out Realtor(R) support, they will never conquer Realtor.com. Within the past 6 weeks, Zillow has hired various individuals ¬†to help with social media and their image amongst Realtors(R). Furthermore, they have also hired the former CEO of ARMLS and Activerain to help bring Realtors(R) and Zillow together.

While I applaud Zillow for recognizing they have a long term problem w/out Realtor(R) support. I can’t understand why they can’t connect Realtors(R) and Zillow together. It’s simple. Realtors(R) despise Realtor.com b/c Realtor.com charges Realtors(R) for the leads their very own listings create on the Realtor.com website. Realtors(R) hate being charged for the business they create for others. (It’s a double punch to the stomach) Zillow needs to find a way to drive buyer traffic with the use of MLS listings. However, they need to find a way to feed these leads back to Realtors(R) w/out making money off of the Realtors(R). They need to focus on driving revenue from some other source. As long as Realtors(R) control the data your website relies upon for traffic… they will have the upper hand.

You could certainly argue that Zillow does not rely upon Realtors(R) for all of their data. Homeowners can add their listing to the Zillow database directly w/out the use of a Realtor(R). The problem… this only accounts for a small fraction of the homes on the market. To be relevant, Zillow doesn’t need a portion of the listings, they need all of them.


My Property is now under contract – Why can’t I find it online?

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

When a property goes under contract, the MLS requires that the listing brokerage update the status of the listing on the MLS to reflect this under contract status. Various MLS’s use different terminology to reflect the under contract status. These terms can include, contingent, pending, under contract, under agreement, option period, pending continue to show, and AWC. When we update the status to reflect the under contract status, the property still remains on the MLS, just under a different status. (the property is no longer active)

So why does my property no longer appear on Realtor.com after I updated my status to under contract?

Simple answer: Many 3rd party websites that display data from the MLS will only display active properties. Once a property is no longer active, the 3rd party site discontinues showing the listing. This does not mean the listing is no longer on the MLS.

More complicated answer – Different 3rd party websites use different variables to determine what listings they will show. Each website has the right to determine what property status they will pull into their database. As a result, some websites will show only active properties. Other websites will show active and contingent properties but not pending properties, etc…

In the event the property falls out of contract, we will update the status back to active on the MLS and the property should return back to all of the 3rd party sites.

This policy is the exact same for all MLS members. It does not vary from brokerage to brokerage. 3rd party sites do not show favortism towards any one brokerage. The only factor that determines whether the listing shows up on that particular website is the property’s subtype and status.