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.


Sean Wallis bought this East Dallas Duplex for $12,500

I know you are out there, another real estate nutcase like me who has overcome impossible odds in dealing with REO properties? You’ve transformed stinkers into stunners, losers into lovers, lemons into lemonade with a strong splash of vodka.

Well, Housingwire Magazine is looking for you as they seek their first AGENT X, a true REO superstar. And there are some major perks involved, so pay attention.

The online pub seeks stories of personal triumph, in which you battled a property so run down and neglected that everyone else thought it was a lost cause from the beginning. Translation: scraper. Translation: they thought you were off your rocker. Tell us about the property, about the challenges you faced, and how you overcame them to eventually rehab and sell something that at one time seemed not just unsellable, but un-unhabitable.

Convince HousingWire that you are worthy, and you could win. Like $100,000 in Marketing Services from HW Creative, including: creative/development services, a profile in the prestigious Giants of REO, on-line ad placement on, print ad placement in HousingWire Magazine, a handsome trophy acknowledging their achievement, a graphic badge for personal advertising, and a lapel pin, identifying YOU as AGENT X.

We will also run a full profile of you, your lapel pin, and your properties here on If you are nice, you may even get to guest post and a drink.

Are you shaking yet?

Consideration for the AGENT X Award is open to all real estate professionals who are registered for the 2012 REO Expo. To be considered for this award, please fill out this form, and tell your story, either by describing your experience in 1,000 words or less accompanied by supporting photos. Or just laze out and submit a video of no more than three minutes. All submissions must be received by HousingWire by May 15, 2012. No late submissions will be considered.

At the end of the submission process, HousingWire will select five finalists to present their triumphant REO stories in front of a panel of judges, including your’s truly,  and a live audience at an awards ceremony to be held at REO Expo. Finalists will be asked to submit a video about their experience (no more than three minutes, thank you, this is not the Academy Awards) prior to the EXPO, and will be provided up to five minutes at the ceremony itself to further discuss their horror story with happy ending live before the judges after screening the video for the audience. Crowdsourcing, too: during the ceremony, held on the first day, Tuesday, of the REO Expo, audience members will be invited to Tweet their choice for winner. After those votes are tallied, the judges will make their final selection. The winner will be announced at the ceremony, and also at the General Session to be held the following Wednesday morning.

I’m tired already, but also very excited.


No substitution, cash redemption or transfer of right to receive prizes is permitted.

To register for REO EXPO 2012, please CLICK HERE.


Texas Realtors are getting more optimistic. According to one of my favorite sources, HomeGain, three quarters of Texas real estate professionals and homeowners expect home prices (in Texas) to rise or stay the same in the coming six months. That’s pretty good news and the most positive they’ve been in awhile.

HomeGain’s second quarter 2011 nationwide home values survey of more than 750 HomeGain current and former members — Realtors —  and more than 2600 home owners, sought opinions on home prices. They also asked Realtors what they thought of President Obama’s performance as President.

That news may not be so hot.

The realities of the market are finally sinking in with sellers. In a nutshell, 53% of agents say clients’ home values have declined over the last year — slightly more homeowners, 56%,  than Realtors, 53%, seem to realize this.

Most homeowners still think their homes are worth more than they are. Almost half of the agents in Texas, 44%, say homeowners think their homes are worth 10 to 20% more than they actually are.

Don’t expect whopping appreciation. In the next six months, 47% of Texas Realtors think home prices will stay the same — 28% believe prices will increase, 25% say they will decrease, so almost an even split.

And don’t ask Texas Realtors to rate President Obama’s job in steadying the housing market: 46% strongly dissapprove of how he has served as President thus far, this after we got Bin Laden. But that’s a higher opinion of both the market and our fearless leader than what the nation’s Realtors believe. Fifty percent of surveyed real estate professionals nationwide expect home values to decrease over the next six months, and 65% percent disapprove of Obama’s performance as President.

Nationally, most real estate professionals and homeowners continue to expect home values to decrease or stay the same through the middle of the year. Fifty percent of agents and brokers and 42% of homeowners think that home values will decrease over the next six months.

“The current survey reflects that real estate professionals are resigned to accepting a market with declining prices being the norm rather than the exception. The past few years have been particularly harsh on the real estate industry and the majority of real estate professionals don’t expect much improvement in the coming six months.” said Louis Cammarosano, General Manager of HomeGain.