Date Archives February 2007

Shopping for an agent and more

Search for an agent instead of a house….  Sometimes, the first agent you meet might not be the best one for you.Wolf Net seems to have a pretty good mapping solution.Shopping for houses isn’t like shopping at Nordstrom’sAnother post describing why blogging is good for real estate agents.  By far the most important reason is this (and I’ve said this before, many times)Agents that write blogs perform more research to keep up with their local markets than Realtors who don’t blog.  This greater knowledge base becomes a significant competitive advantage over non-blogging Realtors…And if the Realtor demonstrates his incompetence, more the better.I love this post about “Appliance Realtors.”The Daily Reckoning provides good analysis on the national housing market.What will be written about if there is no development in Charlottesville?

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Days on Market penalties

One of the most important statistics offered via the MLS is the Days on Market – the number of days a particular property has been on the market is a good guide to the seller’s motivation, an indication as to whether they may be more willing to negotiate, etc. However, with every system comes those who try to “game” the system, by withdrawing a property and re-listing it, to make it appear as if a property is new, or “fresh” on the market.  Any system with no form of punitive measure to deter this behavior is potentially worthless.  From an agent in the Charlottesville area:I won’t mention names, but… I know one agent who changes the listing agent to another one of her partners and then relists the property so that it looks like she has been fired and a new one brought on. It doesn’t benefit anyone to have this kind of practice.Behavior and practices such as this damage the credibility of the MLS system and opens up more cracks in the MLS armor.  For this reason, I was and am quite pleased that my secondary MLS, MRIS, just came out with the following announcement regarding fines:Sweet.

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The new math of alternative energy

(permanent subscription link)Now the equation is showing significant signs of change.  Costs are falling for some alternative-energy sources, driven by new technology and renewed development interest.Alternative energy still can’t compete with fossil fuels on price.  But the margins are narrowing, particularly since oil and gas prices have been rising.  The math looks even more favorable if you consider the environmental cost of fossil fuels — which most purely economic calculations don’t.

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