sell your house

Photo courtesy Pixabay

While it might seem like it is easy to sell your house in Dallas when the average days on market hover around 44 (the state average in July was 56) and months of inventory in July hit 2.8 months in Dallas and 3.6 months statewide, it does take some effort still.

And that knowledge spurred last week’s Friday question on Facebook, where we asked real estate professionals to give us one piece of advice for sellers.

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After our previous discussion on Realtor commissions, we thought we’d take the opportunity to let real estate professionals of all stripes flex their knowledge with two questions that we asked over two weeks that should be good advice for every buyer and seller out there.

So for our Aug. 10 and 17  Friday Questions, we asked real estate professionals to tell us what they wished everyone knew about the buying and selling process.

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commissionsThere has been a lot of discussion lately about Realtor commissions, and what sellers should expect for the commission they are going to pay. More and more startups are popping up to cut the Realtor out altogether.

So for our Aug. 3  Friday Question, we asked real estate professionals — and our readers — to tell us what they thought about commissions.

It didn’t take much to find a whole fistful of articles (some written by us, even), that discuss the topic of Realtor commissions and disruptors like Open Door and Door. In the past three years or so, we’ve written stories about Door and other companies looking to change the way people sell their homes.

And then there’s this article in Forbes this month, which asks, “Are Real Estate Agents Still Relevant In The Age Of Tech?” The article begins by talking about Zillow and other sites that allow prospective buyers to look through houses themselves, seeing multiple pictures, finding out all kinds of information about renovations, materials used, etc.

“But though tech has allowed homebuyers to do all this legwork themselves, in most cases, they’re still forced to go through agents to finalize the transaction,” the piece said. “And those agents? They get the same 3 percent commission they did decades ago—for seemingly doing a fraction of the work.” (more…)

cool downEver since reports that home sales in the Dallas-Fort Worth market (and nationally, too) slowed in June, there has been a steady flow of stories proclaiming doom for the market. But is it really a cool down?

For our July 27 Friday Question, we took to Facebook and asked our readers what they thought about the reports.

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Photo via Pinterest

Carpet in the bathroom. For us, a discussion about it started with a picture someone sent for a folder I keep of random godawfulness for a future Wednesday WTF piece.

I showed it to Executive Editor Joanna England, because this is how we torture each other during the workday. One thing led to another, and suddenly we had another Friday Question, which we posed on our Facebook page as a poll: “Carpet in the bathroom is a) Gross, stop it; or b) A perfectly lovely choice. (more…)

millennials real estate

Millennials use their smart phones extensively in the homebuying process and use apps for research. Photo: Garry Knight

For years, millennials have largely been thought of as renters, not buyers, but that has changed. Millennials, born from the early 1980s to the early 2000s, now represent the largest group of homebuyers in the U.S. at 32 percent, taking over from Generation X, according to the 2015 National Association of Realtors (NAR) Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends study, which evaluated the generational differences of recent home buyers and sellers.

This matters because the way millennials buy real estate is markedly more technology-driven than older generations, and Realtors need to adapt to their style if they want to keep up, says David Maez, Broker and Co-Owner at VIVO Realty.

“There’s lots of frustration among older agents in working with the millennials, but they’re not going away and agents need to learn to adapt,” Maez said. “It’s exciting because of all of the technology that’s available to us to make it easier to buy and sell properties. How people buy properties is going to continue to evolve on the technology level.”

millennials real estate

Take, for instance, the telephone. Many Realtors are used to speaking with clients, but millennials are much more into texting.

“With millennials, you have to communicate how they want to—they are big on texting and many don’t even answer their phones,” Maez said. “Some agents have had success using Facebook messaging because [their millennial clients] are not checking their email, either.”

The smartphone is key to a lot of the differences in millennial real estate patterns. More than half of them search for homes on their mobile phones and 26 percent of those buy a house they found that way, according to research from NAR.

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Millennials texting

Millennials use their smart phones extensively in the homebuying process and use apps for research. Photo: Garry Knight

For years, Millennials have largely been thought of as renters, not buyers, but that has changed. Millennials, born from the early 1980s to the early 2000s, now represent the largest group of homebuyers in the U.S. at 32 percent, taking over from Generation X, according to the 2015 National Association of Realtors (NAR) Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends study released today, which evaluated the generational differences of recent home buyers and sellers.

This matters because the way Millennials buy real estate is markedly more technology-driven than older generations, and Realtors need to adapt to their style if they want to keep up, says David Maez, Broker and Co-Owner at VIVO Realty.

“There’s lots of frustration among older agents in working with the Millennials, but they’re not going away and agents need to learn to adapt,” Maez said. “It’s exciting because of all of the technology that’s available to us to make it easier to buy and sell properties. How people buy properties is going to continue to evolve on the technology level.”

NAR graph

Take, for instance, the telephone. Many Realtors are used to speaking with clients, but Millennials are much more into texting.

“With Millennials, you have to communicate how they want to—they are big on texting and many don’t even answer their phones,” Maez said. “Some agents have had success using Facebook messaging because [their Millennial clients] are not checking their email, either.”

The smartphone is key to a lot of the differences in Millennial real estate patterns. More than half of them search for homes on their mobile phones and 26 percent of those buy a house they found that way, according to research from NAR.

(more…)

gentrification demonstration

As Silicon Valley buyers moved in to San Francisco, prices for rentals and single-family properties have pushed sky-high. As Candy reported, the bus routes that shuttle employees to and from the Facebook and Google campuses have been protested and picketed by folks fed up with increasing cost of living and being pushed out of the city.

But two laws that went into effect this year to slow speculation and perhaps curb the high rate of evictions under the Ellis Act, which allows owners to evict renters in the case they no longer wish to be landlords. The city is prohibited from issuing permits on Ellis Act properties for 10 years after an eviction, or for five years if the owners chooses to move back into a property.

Realtors have filed suit, saying the law restricts property owners from seeing the full benefit of their real estate ownership. Here’s what they said in the SF Examiner story:

“The San Francisco Association of Realtors supports the rights of private property owners for the free use of their property as their needs suit them. This legislation only exacerbates the problems families face in finding adequate housing and drives out the families that have created the diversity we want and celebrate in our city,” said Walt Baczkowski, the trade group’s CEO, in a statement.

The question still remains — at what point does the city step in when housing prices grow so out of control to threaten the very makeup of the city? If you haven’t already, read Candy’s thoughtful breakdown on the matter and tell us: Do Realtors have a leg to stand on in this fight? Or is the city’s mandate too harsh in that it impedes development?