Continuing to examine and hold a lively discussion of the Northern Virginia Real Estate market.
Please post your local house search updates, MLS finds, on-topic ideas, and links here.
Anybody use any of those services like RealtyTrac, Foreclosures.com and Foreclosure.com ?I get the sense that they are pretty worthless. I know one Realtor that pays 1 of those services $100 a month. To use their database of foreclosed homes?No, to get leads from confused people that turn to a Realtor.That just doesn't seem right.Anybody use these? Anybody buy from these services?Frank
i've just browsed..but never signed up.it seems like their listings are confusing or out of date at times and i can never get the sort to work right on date.. wth?
I've seen some that were still listed 2 months after they were sold.
who won the 'stare-down' battle for this Cherrydale TH in 22207 @ $629K which went under contract after 689 DOM? I bid this home back in March but was countered at $615K so we moved on. btw, A LOT of activities in my price range in N Arlington this week. Including:very nice and big TH on Lee Hwy near Joe's Pizza @ $617KSFH near Ballston that needs work @ $600KSFH near Yorktown HS that also needs some work @ $599KPlus the three Ballston THs on Randolph St(?) that mysteriously all gone from MRIS...What do all these mean? None of those in my price range are distressed homes and none have dropped any meaningful $$$. Is the waiting game over? Are buyers jumping off the fences? Is a 5% drop from peak all it takes to get a contract in 22207/22201? Is N Arlington becoming Manhattan South?I know one thing for sure though - wouldn't be surprised to see a big jump of July sales # for N Arlington.
I just assume that any bank serious about selling it's REO will list it with an REO oriented agent who will put it on the MLS, so why bother? Where I'm looking, below 300k near Franconia Springfield metro, it's not as if there is any lack of REOs to choose from. (and I plan to work the tail off a real agent once I'm actually ready to buy, looking at as many places as physically possible)
I gave realtytrac a try via their "7 days free" offer and i was not impressed. They didn't provide any information that wasn't already available in the foreclosure sale notices in the newspaper. Needless to say, I didn't extend my membership past the 7 day trial period.
You can go here for washington post legal notices online:http://mypublicnotices.com/washingtonpost/PublicNotice.asp
"MM said...I know one thing for sure though - wouldn't be surprised to see a big jump of July sales # for N Arlington."I assume you mean August sales since they will likely only be deemed "under contract" in July. If you are right, we will see it however in the July contracts and contingents number. Personally I dont think Arl has any chance of beating YOY sales numbers until Sept when the credit crunch really started to grind them down, and even then I have my doubts. I guess we shall see...
Hey Cara,I think you are right, that if the bank is serious, it will hit the MLS.But sometimes it is good to know what is in the pipeline. I use the tax records (some counties update fast enough).If you are getting a "deal" on a bank property, you (or your trusted agent) should look at RealtyTrac or the tax records to see if other similar homes are in the price range. That way you know it isn't the end of the world if you miss out (thus being more aggressive).Cara, Don't call me. I only want people that want to buy the first house they see. Just kidding. MM, did you have a buyer agent or did you slice and dice them out?Frank- YADB**Yet Another Damn Brokerps. Also check out my blog post from 2 posts ago called "FranklyCRA" you all might find it interesting.
frank,yeah, the other main purpose of a buyers agent (imo) aside from being there to organize visits to lots of houses on one trip, is knowing what's coming down the pipeline. In a normal market that would be knowing what owners are thinking about selling and have talked to brokers but haven't listed yet (i.e. are getting the pictures taken or getting it ready for market) In this market there's that normal pipeline, plus fence-sitting sellers who would like to sell, but are afraid to list now because listing at a priced-to-move price might imply that their property is in worse condition than it is, but listing at any other price is a waste of time. But if your buyers agent knows you particularly like that neighborhood and your price range, then they can connect you two together.That's the type of thing I'm not going to get from Redfin, and why (in addition to the fact that at my price range it's not much of a discount) I'll be going with a traditional broker.
Hey Cara,Nah, buyer agents say that all the time. That they have the inside scoop on stuff off the market, but it really isn't true. Just a marketing ploy usually.Also frequently you don't want stuff off the market because it hasn't aged. You need to have it simmer on the market for the seller to get real and come down in price. If you get it before the MLS (which never happens, but buyer agents try to get buyer leads that way) you will get a WORSE deal since they will overprice it.Having said that, properly priced homes will hit the MLS and sell quickly, so be prepared.So I don't agree with your comment about not using Redfin because you want that inside scoop. That is bogus.As for what a good agent can do to create value, read this: www.tinyurl.com/CRAFranklyOh and I agree, if you think an good agent is just a taxi with a lockbox key, you are missing out.Frank
The FranklyCRA thing is a fan-freakin-tastic idea!Didn't people always do this, but just less formally? Still, I'm all about data!!!!
frank,But you said yourself that you sent out 100 letters to houses in a neighborhood to find potential sellers for a client. Isn't that the same thing, but one step better?I think we're talking past each other a bit here, same words different contexts/implications.
frank,yes i had an agent. but neither the seller nor us were in much of the negotiation mood so she couldn't really make herself much useful at all.i feel morally (long history but no signed binding contract) obligated to use her for my next purchase in Arlington. but if we have to go further out or to MD i won't use her. she's really suitable only for DC market (still telling me RE only goes up in DC metro) so not really of mush help at all when it comes to the burbs.
Hey Cara,Glad you like the CRA. You would think everyone would do it, but if you didn't grow up with databases, you wouldn't think of it, or even know how to do it. And the big boys don't teach this stuff (nor do they know how to do it)That has been my secret weapon for years. Now THAT stuff ADDS value (and some think we are just a taxi. ) Also read the comments from agents. Most don't do anything close to it. Some claim to do a fraction of it.Just yesterday I found a listing that said "Steal of a deal" on a new listing and sure enough, he had 4 other listings that closed 8% lower that said that. Conclusion: "no need to rush, wait it out, save $20,000" Information= Priceless.Another time I had a buyer that wanted to buy on day 10.I showed him a ton of stats and told him to wait 45 days. We then offered, he got it for $300,000 lower ($3m property). Usually agents don't tell you to wait. They want the deal NOW NOW NOW, or else you might change your mind.As for the mailing letters, while it is similar, it is drastically different vs "word on the street" BS. I know of no agent that will send out letters for one particular client that says "Meet Sally and John, they..." And if I get calls from those sellers we a) know what is coming or b) will try and deal with them like an FSBO and rationalize a better price since no commissions etc. Yes half the time they will be overpriced and we wait for it to list.The main difference is I wouldn't want you to pick an agent because they say "I know the area and will give you a heads up", that usually is BS and unless they agree to do something specific for you,like a mailing just for you, I wouldn't buy it.ESPECIALLY you dont want to buy a place that another agent in the office is about to list before it is listed (I think you mentioned that) . It would take too long to explain why here.If you like the CRA, subscribe to the spam free blog posts via email.Hope that helps.FrankBlog.FranklyRealty.com
Yeah, my parents warned me about having the buying and the listing agent's be from the same office. Totally conflict of interest, as well as too much possibility of unwanted information sharing.
Here's an amazing statistic from Detroit:First, if I told you that mean home price in 2003 was $97,850, what would you guess mean home price in Detroit was today?If you guessed $19,448, you'd be the big winner.As one of the commenters asks, "How low do house prices have to drop in Detroit before it pays to gut them for their parts?"http://galleyslaves.blogspot.com/2008/07/dept-of-shoot-yourself-now.html
Frank,Re: "As for the mailing letters, while it is similar, it is drastically different vs "word on the street" BS. I know of no agent that will send out letters for one particular client that says "Meet Sally and John, they...""We received a letter like this about a month ago. Although the agent didn't name the clients, she said she was writing because she was working with a couple who had not been able to find what they were looking for in our neighborhood, and were we thinking of selling?A few days later the couple bought a house in the neighborhood that was already in the MLS.
zillow has a 'make me move' price system.http://www.zillow.com/search/RealEstateSearch.htm?addrstrthood=&citystatezip=arlington%2Cva#view=ver%3D1%26op%3Dsearch%26scen%3Ds4%26map%3D%28Aw%3AAN77163967%21As%3A38843067%21Ae%3AAN77038826%21An%3A38914428%29%26mode%3D%28zoom%3A12%29%26citystatezip%3Darlington%2Cva%26loc%3Dmapgood luck dealing with people who aren't actively moving and want to cash in.
Can't do this today, but sometime next week, I will have to do a post about a neighborhood in Manassas, called Sumner Lake, where all the houses selling there now are going for less than they did brand new in 2003.I stumbled across it when I checked the Manassas City Assessor's website today to see how updated their "sales search" data is right now (first week of June).Elsewhere in the city, there were a couple houses that sold for way, way more than their assessed value, whereas most every house that sells goes for $100K, $200K UNDER its current assessed value. Did the buyer "fall in love" with the house, not do any research at all, or something else?PS As per the first topic: I did the free trial at RealtyTrac, and found their information incomprehensible and outdated.
"Tabitha said...Elsewhere in the city, there were a couple houses that sold for way, way more than their assessed value, whereas most every house that sells goes for $100K, $200K UNDER its current assessed value. Did the buyer "fall in love" with the house, not do any research at all, or something else?"Tabitha, assuming the assessments were accurate (i.e. accounted for recent improvements and the like) if you see this happening only occasionally, I would argue its likely fraud. That said, if you see this with some regularity, I would be interested to know as it could tell us something about the people who are buying out in PWC.
incidentally, while on the subject of PWC, heres a WAPO article on the recent sales spike. Nothing new as far as this blog is concered (we noted this months ago), yet its still interesting to see a sampling of who these brave buyers are. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/30/AR2008073002848.htmlPWC is the one county that makes no sense to me. Every time I look at the sales data, inventory levels, price drops, etc for trends, it seems to break the mold. In my mind, this is the most difficult county in the area to try to predict.
Ace,Now THAT is a great agent! (was it one of my agents?)Can you email their name offline?When I do my letters I like adding a photo or actual name so it is more believable. Also I say "0% commissions", that helps too.Frank- Broker FranklyRealty.com & FranklyMLS.comTabitha,They do that on purpose so you hire one of their agents.MM, Never trust a Realtor that tells you that everything is going up.
Frank, it was Breshkie Gardizi. I don't think it violates any rules for me to put her name here. But if Harriet chooses to delete this, I understand.
I signed up for Realtytrac.com couple months ago hoping that it would help me find a good deal on purchasing a home. IT DIDN'T. The information on Realtytrac.com is either out dated or incomplete. It's completely waste of money in my view. Oh well, I learned.
Another worthless site is this www.myhousedeals.com by Doug Smith. I was suppose to be able to sign up for a free trail period but that turned out to be a lie. I keep getting pestered with emails on special sign up deals and worthless deals on houses because I can't see anything to know whether or not it is worth actually paying them any money. Sounds like get rich quick scheme to me.
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