Ted sells real estate. Has for 11 years. Those 11 years have shown him a lot and this is his place to sound off - but not just about the crazy world of buying and selling property. He likes to pontificate about happenings, make bad puns, and promote the sharing of important information (like where to get a good burger, or what there is to do in his neighborhood). Overall, Ted has a lot to say and this is his place to say it. Join the conversation, let Ted know what you think.
So yesterday at our weekly sales meeting it came up again… “Beware of the Voyeuristic Seller”. That’s right, it’s becomeing more and more prevelant for Sellers to set up cameras and watch video of people touring their homes.
I wrote about this before in 2010 after hearing a particularly disturbing story of a Realtor being video’d from a bathroon while he was urinating… I know, creepy.
Though I can see why a Seller would like to protect their belongings or try to gain negotiating leverage by capturing touring Buyers on video, I am not a big fan of this tactic. There is something intrinsically violating about being “spyed” on. I would at least like it to be posted that the property is being monitored.
As this practice grows in popularity, it will be interesting to see what the state and the Northwest Multiple Listing Service require of Sellers and Brokers.
Until then, I guess I’d better stop taking naps in other people’s beds.
There is a new battle being waged in real estate over whether listing syndication websites such as Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com (which has nothing to do with the National Association of REALTORS by the way) are good for consumers and the real estate industry.
This question was brought up in a real estate technology forum that I am a part of earlier this week. Most of the brokers in the room, including myself, agreed that anything that aids in promoting our client’s listings and makes information more available to buyers is a good thing. One of the higher ups in our technology company said that that there was momentum building nationally for brokerages to start pulling their listings from these aggregate sites.
Since then I’ve a come across a couple of videos that as far as I can tell lay both sides general assertions. To be honest, I’m not crazy about either of the personalities in these videos. Mr. Abbott seems to be fear-mongoring, while Mr. Glick is a little condescending . That being said, there are fair points coming from both sides.
Here’s Jim Abbott’s spiel:
Here’s Fred Glick’s rebuttal:
I currently support the continued supply of information to the syndicates simply because the other point of view seems more self-protective than based in concern for the public.
However, Mr. Abbott’s points about the absense of regulation are valid. Real Estate Brokerages are highly regulated to protect the public. We answer to Federal & State law, as well as self-imposed rules through our local multiple listing services. Though listing syndicates must comply with fair housing law they explicitly avoid membership in MLS communities to avoid the complicated series of rules brokerages must abide by. Those rules are important. Many were birthed out of lawsuits that occured due to the lack of regulation in specific parts of our industry. The public has been greatly protected due to the implementation of these rules and practices.
Mr. Abbott took an extreme stance in that his brokerage pulled all of their information from these sites.
I believe in a more reasonable solution. In a nutshell, I think we would all be better served to work with these sydicates in creating a series of guidlelines (much less cumbersome than MLS rules since they aren’t actually practicing real estate) to ensure the accuracy and proper use of our data. The syndicates need our information to make their sites viable and should be willing to work with brokerages on improving the presentation of that information. There’s a lot that would need to be worked out but essentially it would be the best of both worlds in that we would keep information free on the web for buyers and sellers while ensureing its accuracy.
This issue is heating up and I’d love to know where the general public stands on it. Chime in if you have something to say!
It’s not too often you get to play in the street. This Saturday, Aug 2o, is the exception. Rainier Ave will be closed for most of the day for the Rainier Valley Heritage Parade followed by the Summer Streets Party – and boy will there be a lot to do! According to the Rainier Valley Chamber of Commerce who sponsors the event there will be, in addition to the parade, two music stages, Art in the Alley, World Board Games, bike games, a kids bike parade. Not to mention all the great stuff that is always in Columbia City – great restaurants and shops. Did I mention I will be in the parade? I didn’t?! Well, allow me to do so now. I will be in the parade with my office. It will be spectacular, and I will wave at you. What more reason do you need to come? Parade starts at 11am, the street party will go until 3pm. See you there!
This Friday night the Valley Vibes Jazz Series will be al fresco. Sponsored by SEEDArts, the concert will be held in the park behind the Columbia library. Music will be provided by Tor Dietrichson’s Salsa/Afro-Cuban Jazz Band Mambo Cadillac and Jeff Busch’s Latin influenced Sambatuque. Bring a picnic and a blanket, sit back and relax, let the kids roam free, and enjoy an evening outside. This is what summer is all about.
(Also, there is another Valley Vibes concert happening Sept 9 at 7pm, that one will be at the Rainier Valley Cultural Center.)
Every August and September fruit trees around Seattle ripen. In our own yard we have an old plum tree that makes the best, biggest, fattest, juiciest plums around. We eat them until we start to turn purple. But it’s hard to keep up with all the fruit, even with giving bags of it away to friends and coworkers we are still left with plums rotting on the ground. And our tree isn’t the only one. An organization called City Fruit has a solution, they match people with too much fruit with people who need the fruit. Here is what they have to say for themselves:
City-grown fruit is a resource for the entire community. Because most residential tree owners can’t—or don’t—use all the fruit produced on their properties, much of it falls to the ground and rots.In addition, much of the fruit grown in urban landscapes is infested with preventable pests.
City Fruit works neighborhood by neighborhood to help residential tree owners grow healthy fruit, to harvest and use what they can, and to share what they don’t need. City Fruit collaborates with others involved in local food production, climate protection, horticulture, food security and community-building to protect and optimize urban fruit trees.
If you have a fruit tree and you need help harvesting, or if you would like to help harvest other people’s trees so that the fruit can be put to good use, contact them.