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This month: Fearful negotiating, ignorance, sex offenders and property values, the market, the blogs, and getting rid of Facebook.
I like my new chart because it’s going to help me set buyer and seller client expectations. If you’re getting ramped up and educated to buy a home in the spring – how many homes will you have to choose from? Well – if 2018 is anything like 2017, and you’re looking to close around the end of the school year, 96 homes sold in Charlottesville + Albemarle between $400K and $500K.
How many of those might fit what X buyer is looking for? Well, factoring in age of home, proximity to school, work, trails, etc, maybe 12? And how many might be viable? 4? 5?
- Buyers – Time to get ready for the Spring market
- Sellers – Time to get ready for the Spring market. Take pictures now. Start projects now. Start getting ready now. (Really – We have less than a month to get fall photos; if you’re listing in January/February, it’s far better to have beautiful fall photos and drone shots than to have desolate winter pics! (Seriously, if you’re thinking about listing in the spring, please call or email me now. Or reply to this email, or send this to a friend who’s thinking about listing!)
Getting Rid of Facebook – Part 2 of 2
We live in interesting times. A few weeks ago, in response to the President’s wishing, in the midst of the Houston disaster, everybody to have a good time, I mentioned that tweet, and added, “Go F*ck Yourself.” I meant it then, and mean it now. And lament my having deleted that tweet.
About an hour after that tweet, a friend texted saying that people were blowing up the Nest Facebook page, saying things like, I’ll never work with someone so unprofessional. You have small kids, how can you say such a thing? And something about how I’d forgotten to pray for those who have authority over me.
The only ones who might have “authority” over me are my kids, and my wife. And some days, that’s arguable (by them).
If we disagree, come talk to me, but not on my company’s page. I tweeted on my personal account, not on Nest’s.
This experience reminded me of a story I wrote 10 years ago, “If you’re not offending someone, you’re doing something wrong.”
I am sorry that I deleted that tweet, I’m sorrier for the attacks launched against me on my company’s Facebook page.
Simple answer: Facebook is bad; they surveil everyone, are accountable to no one, and their “connections” are weak at best, false and deceptive at worst. I am now using Facebook as a tool to manage my pages, and to interact occasionally in groups. I like not having FB – I like it not being on my phone, and I like having better conversations with people. Already, I have responded, “No, I didn’t see that story; what’s it about?” and have had good discussions. We share too much, and think too little.
- Senator Calls on Facebook to Release Political Ads Russians Spent $100K On
- Exclusive: Russia Used Facebook Events to Organize Anti-Immigrant Rallies on U.S. Soil
- Note to Self’s podcast; I encourage everyone to listen to the last 10 of these. When was the last time you were bored, or let your mind wander?
Ignorance & Unrepresented Buyers
The internet is a wonderful thing. All the knowledge and information is available. There are many aspects to buying a home that defy logic – and prey on emotions. Often, the answer to “why is this this way?” is simply “because.”
Why can’t I do an inspection on a house before I put in an offer? Because, that’s not how traditional real estate works. You make the offer, we negotiate, the seller accepts, then we do the inspection, then we negotiate again.
The house is vacant. Why can’t I move in now? You haven’t closed.
I want to get in again to do measurements. The seller has to let me! No. No they don’t. It’s not your house yet.
I have found that some buyers are perfectly capable of representing themselves. But, enough unrepresented buyers operate and negotiate purely through unfettered emotion that I feel relatively comfortable painting most with a broad brush. Many buyers (and sellers) need to be told – “because” by their representation. If “because” comes from the other side, even when that is the right answer it will be perceived as the wrong, untrusted response.
Emotions are a necessary component to life – and to most residential real estate transactions; managing and compartmentalizing those emotions is one of the most difficult aspects of representing clients.
Sex Offenders and Real Estate Values
Years ago, I represented buyers who made an offer on a house. Between the listing agent shopping our offer to others (spoiler, my folks never bought anything), my folks did the due diligence I had advised. They checked out the sex offenders in the area.
They found one. Turns out, he worked two jobs, lived in his parents’ basement, and in my clients’ judgement, he was far from a threat – they believed he had had consensual sex in high school, and he had been 18 while she had been 17. He was not a threat to them.
He was a massive deterrence to buyers; many if not most buyers will not do the thoughtful due diligence and research my clients did. The mere presence of a registered sex offender is a binary deterrent – Will you buy this house? Yes/No. Often, that answer is no.
Another time, clients did their due diligence after contract and discovered a halfway house with several recent violent sex offenders in residence. Long story short: they got out of the contract, but it cost them quite a bit of money.
Spend some time learning a bit more about dangers of mislabeling all sex offenders; one size does not fit all, but ignorant perception often trumps reality.
2 – Video isn’t skimmable.
3 – 1 + 2 = detracting from value of all video.
4 – Autoplay video with sound is a hateful “evolution” of internet practices. It’s now short-lived! Google Chrome will block autoplay video starting January 2018.
What I’m Reading
- 2016 Joint Center for Housing Studies Report-“the number of renters paying more than 50 percent of their income for housing jumped from 2.1 million households in 2008 to a record 11.4 million in 2014“
- Whole Foods is about to get cheaper; Americans overspend on housing
- Atlanta’s Emperor of Empty Lots (sent to me by a friend; I’ll be writing about this next month)
- Big Data and Civil Rights and Questions about Data’s Intended Uses – I wrote that five years ago, and it’s more relevant than ever with the revelations about Facebook allowing advertisers to target “Jew haters” (and Google, and Twitter, too)
- Mother of two black and three white kids’ post on racism is a must read. Please, read this.
Next month – I’m not yet sure. I think I’m writing about how Buffalo ? New York City, the market, and a few other stories.
Thanks for reading!
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Jim Duncan, Nest Realty, 126 Garrett Street Suite D, Charlottesville, VA 22902. Licensed real estate agent in Commonwealth of VA.