Date Archives July 2007

Quick market update for Charlottesville/Albemarle

Currently there are:1192 non-condo properties on the market.370 non-condo residential properties are under contract.  107 (nearly 10% of the current inventory) have gone under contract since the first of the month.224 condos are actively on the market.133 condos are under contract18 condos (8% of the current active inventory, or 5% if you include the under contract properties in the “active” category) have gone under contract since the first of the month.Running the sold data early next month (it’s nearly August already!)  should be interesting.

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If you’re not offending someone, you’re doing something wrong

Think about it… if your audience is more qualified to write your blog than you are, why should they read what you say?…The fact is, if no one hates you, you’re doing something wrong….  We’re supposed to be smarter, right?Well, hate is a pretty strong word …Everyone has opinions; those who try to cater to everybody do a disservice to themselves and those whom they seek to represent.When I discuss the market in Charlottesville, I do it from the perspective of one who is an expert in the market, but also from that of one who has a vested interest in the quality of life of my family, friends and the community as a whole….  – it depends, and that answer is colored by opinions.When I write about growth, I do so through the eyes of my wife, who was born here, through my window of the past twenty years and my crystal ball through which I want Charlottesville to be great in thirty years for my grand kids.These issues inherently create conflict – those who want to keep the market data close to their chests and restrict access only to other Realtors (if we don’t someone else surely will)….  When we debate, we all learn – so long as we’re listening as well.A fellow real estate blogger recently caught some flak from some Board members who felt that her blog was “too controversial” – read: too honest.

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What to do with photographs when you lose a listing

And you don’t want your photos used by the next Realtor?  Seeing as how once the photos are submitted to the MLS, the listing agent relinquishes all rights to those photos …  take all the photos out and replace them with something like this – I found this this morning while researching a residential property’s market history….  Not quite the “Bad MLS Photo of the Day,” but still quite amusing.

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Friday Links – 27 July 2007

IRS loses challenge to prove tax liability – ammunition for the FairTax?If you’re getting ready to move and need to figure out where to put your furniture, check out this site that will help you do the arrangements before you move.  (hat tip: Charlottesville Interior Design)This too, shall pass – the real estate market, like all markets, is cyclical….  If you desperately want to show your clients that you care more about branding yourself and less about marketing the home to prospective buyers, go ahead and use print.Newspapers are Dying.The Arbitration Fairness ActHow do McMansions Affect the Value of Neighboring Homes?…  One thing to consider – the headlines don’t make or break the market; the buyers’ and sellers’ interpretations of the information may.

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Where is your traffic coming from?

Last year I ran a poll that affirmed these goals -56% of all voters are either “Curious Consumer” or “Active Buyer or Seller.”39% of all voters are either “Real estate Professional” or “Related Real estate field”Always curious to learn more about my readers, I periodically delve into our overlord’s analysis of my traffic.One of the finest compliments I have received this year was given to me by a buyer who came to me because of this blog.  When we were discussing the market and my writings, he said, “you know, you probably offend some people.”Copyblogger has an outstanding post the other day:You need the courage to alienate the wrong people in order to resonate with the right people.  You need to stick to your convictions when people tell you you’re wrong simply because your knowledge doesn’t mesh with their opinions.Blogging by consensus is a recipe for failure….  Think about it… if your audience is more qualified to write your blog than you are, why should they read what you say?…The fact is, if no one hates you, you’re doing something wrong.

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Perhaps the nicest thing ever written about me

It takes up a quarter-page in one of the two prominent weekly newspapers in Charlottesville.2….  It’s genuine.It’s also refreshing that Duncan doesn’t take the typical Realtor’s approach of basically shilling the properties that he lists.  The way Duncan writes about real estate and the articles he links to make it clear that he is not just in the business to make a living; the man seems genuinely interested in real estate as a topic of intelligent discussion, in sharing what he knows and in learning more.  Quite candidly, this review is one of the nicest things I think has ever been written about me, and I hope to live up to the clearly high expectations I have set. I’m humbled and grateful.

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The web is changing accountability – for everybody

The defendant’s personal gain aside, what he is doing highlights how the rules have changed.At the heart of the fight is a Web site started by Mike Morgan, the real-estate broker, to collect complaints and dispense advice about what he considers shoddy workmanship on homes built by Miami-based Lennar Corp….Previously, companies might have felt free to ignore campaigns like these….  He wouldn’t.The house was in a newer development with buyers coming through frequently to see the sales center, model home, etc. So the new homeowners erected signs in their yard, factually displaying the problems with their house and the builder’s negligence for all to see….  Two things of note:1) It shouldn’t have taken relatively extraordinary steps to get the builder to remedy the problems.2) Today, the bar for educating others on builders’ faults and accomplishments is much, much lower….  AideRSS may be one way to monitor one’s reputation.As any good researcher would do, I searched Wikipedia for Slander and Libel laws and came to the legal determination that so long as the information is factually accurate, you’ll be just fine (you may want to consider consulting with an attorney yourself with more legal training than a blogger and Wikipedia).In speaking with a political lobbyist yesterday about some politicians’ trepidations about blogs, one of the points he made was that some were reluctant to accept blogs because they couldn’t control the message.

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