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.

(more…)

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…)

landlords

Photo courtesy Flickr/Alan Levine

With rents rising as demand grows, more and more people are taking the plunge and becoming landlords. In fact, a recent Bankrate.com report found that 22 percent of adults have invested in some way in real estate — a third of all those surveyed.

For some, it’s a desire to snag a great deal and hold on to it as an investment in the future. For some, it’s a reluctance to sell their former abode — in 2014, a Redfin survey revealed that almost 40 percent of those surveyed were interested in holding on to their old home when they bought a new one.

But almost every landlord we spoke to said it’s not exactly a path to easy money — and they were ready to share some knowledge with both renters and prospective landlords.

We posted a simple query to landlords on our Facebook page last Friday, and the conversation was robust. We also reached out to other landlords for more responses. 

The question? “What are some things you wish more tenants knew about renting?”

Responses (edited for clarity and brevity) are below. (more…)