Mid-Week Open Thread (2009-07-15)

Here is your open thread for the mid-week on July 15th, 2009. You may post random links and off-topic discussions here. Also, if you have an idea or a topic you’d like to see covered in an article, please make it known.

Be sure to also check out the forums, and get your word in the user-driven discussions there!

0.00 avg. rating (0% score) - 0 votes

About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market. Tim also hosts the weekly improv comedy sci-fi podcast Dispatches from the Multiverse.

37 comments:

  1. 1
    NoMoreWork says:

    Modern Kitchen

    read the description and then check out the “Modern Kitchen” in the photos. Do these real estate agents live in the same decade as the rest of us? There is something to be said for embellishment but this is straight up lying. Just sad.

  2. 2
    Softwarengineer says:

    RE: NoMoreWork @ 1

    You’re right, the kitchen looks like some small/cheap homedepot do-it-yourself with used appliances with $100 price tags.

    I thought it was the dinky mother-in-law kitchen; but no, its the only kitchen pictured…

  3. 3
    The Tim says:

    RE: NoMoreWork @ 1 – Maybe it’s “modern” in the sense of “modern” vs. “post-modern”?

  4. 4
    Softwarengineer says:

    $600B HEALTH REFORM PASSES SENATE COMMITTEE

    I hear the plan is rob Medicare Peter to pay for Health Reform Paul….I can bet the retirees are openning champaign bottles to celebrate.

  5. 5
    Niz Monkey says:

    RE: NoMoreWork @ 1

    $500K for a place that needs $100K+ of renovations/upgrades to even reach early 1990’s styling? Wood pannelling?!?! That upstairs bedroom looked downright dungeony. You know, like a “gimp room.” I must be looking in Seattle.

  6. 6

    RE: The Tim @ 3

    Or ” modern” in the sense of ” we just got indoor plumbing AND electricity.”

  7. 7
  8. 8
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    RE: Acerun @ 7 – Do you really think these old rehashed articles are interesting? I have no idea why such an old article has a July 9, 2009 date, because it’s much older than that.

    Some of the points are good, but most of those are obvious. And some are simplistic. E.g. the first one about open houses. Sure they can lead to contacts with buyers, but that’s more likely when it’s a non-listing agent holding the open house (something not discussed). And even in this market, an open house can help sell a house.

  9. 9
    The Tim says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 8:

    And even in this market, an open house can help sell a house.

    Sure, it can sell a house, but the question is whether it’s worth the effort.

    I’ll bet FREE BACON can sell a house too. Maybe I’ll get a license and become the FREE BACON Listing Agent. Or maybe not.

    </snark>

  10. 10
    Everett_Tom says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 8
    RE: The Tim @ 9

    Actually there were some write ups on the redfin fourms (or maybe the SREP blog, can’t remember now) about open houses, apparently more and more folks are using them as a way to get into homes without having to pay for an agent (e.g. the redfin model.. after the first few visits)

    e.g.

    1) select homes on-line
    2) see which ones are open / plan trip
    3) visit 4 – 6 homes

    In other words, open houses may become more important as more and more MLS info is put on the web (and perhaps someday all the agents / offices / whatever actually post their open houses in the MLS).

    The old put up a sign with balloons and hope someone comes does seem like a long shot…

  11. 11

    RE: The Tim @ 9

    I think you would do frighteningly well being the FREE BACON listing agent.

  12. 12
    Marc says:

    RE: Everett_Tom @ 10

    You’re correct that quite a few buyers are doing this with the plan of using an alternative model to purchase the house and get a commission rebate. As for whether it works for the average seller, is hard to say. Anecdotally I can say it worked for me in a FSBO sale a few years back. And boy did I get lucky.

    In 2006 I foolishly bought a house in a new subdivision in the middle of BFE. It was a pure flip and I never intended to live in it. The bad news came when the houses were built and a solid 80% of them turned up for sale on the MLS by other flippers. It was a total ghost town of empty homes with for sale signs on almost every lot. I had an agent list mine for a reduced commission but it sat for nearly 6 months without a bite. None of them got a bite. So, I cancelled the listing, dropped the price by the 3% commission, put up a FSBO sign, and did open houses on two consecutive weekends and hell if I didn’t sell it. Managed to get my down payment, upgrade money, and all my monthly payments back and was aboslutely thrilled to get off scot free. Probably the luckiest deal I’ve ever done.

  13. 13

    Marc said “in 2006 I foolishly bought a house in a new subdivision in the middle of BFE”…

    BFE= Bumf**k Egypt?

  14. 14
    David Losh says:

    RE: Everett_Tom @ 10

    It is in the forums that agents who hold a house open can get more shoppers into the home from the internet. Advertising an open on your company website got popular this year. The NWMLS also has an open house function. Craigslist is mashed with open house postings.

    People see the property on line and want to view it without an agent. The old Sunday news paper ads are not what they used to be. When asked the vast majority of people either live in the neighborhood or saw the property on line.

  15. 15
    Marc says:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 13

    It was past Yelm, down a road with signs marked “volcano evacuation route.” What? That should have been my first clue? :-)

    No disrespect to the residents of Yelm and all points east. Beautiful country but a terrible commute to my office downtown.

  16. 16
    Trigger says:

    Again – We are starting to rally. The Dow is over 8600 – wow. Cool stuff. People are making loads of money everyday on the market. Is the rally sustainable? Maybe the Fed printed enough money and it is starting to get into the system? How much money is flowing in the system now?

  17. 17
    David Losh says:

    RE: Trigger @ 16

    Foreclosures are up 16%.

  18. 18
    Cheap South says:

    RE: David Losh @ 17

    yeap- the foreclosure numbers were not pretty, The CNN reporter said “now it’s the unemployment”…Sure; who could see this coming when people were buying homes counting on two salaries to be able to make the payments?

    Or, the 30 year old “accountant” in Atlanta feature in HGTV’s “My first Place” that went for a $380K home, 100% financed, $2800 mortgage. I would love to see where she is now (the show was from 2008 and she worked for……wait, wait…….a developer!!!)

  19. 19
    Acerun says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 8

    Anytime I get a chance to get people talking about BACON I will take it.

    If I see an piece that is recently published about real estate I will post it. There is no need to get arrogant about how uninterested you are in old news…..

  20. 20
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    By The Tim @ 9:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 8:

    And even in this market, an open house can help sell a house.

    Sure, it can sell a house, but the question is whether it’s worth the effort.

    I don’t get it. When it’s harder to sell a house you go to extra effort to do so. So it’s more important now.

    Finding a buyer in certain markets can be tough. Why wouldn’t you want to go to extra effort to try to find one? It can be the difference between success and failure–which is a significant difference.

  21. 21
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    RE: Acerun @ 19 – I just get tired of seeing the same old B.S. here. Pay attention people and don’t link stuff that’s already been linked–especially when it’s low quality stuff like that article.

    The other one that has been popping up a lot is the one of the “study” of how people answered a hypothetical walk-away question.

  22. 22
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    By Marc @ 12:

    RE: Everett_Tom @ 10

    You’re correct that quite a few buyers are doing this with the plan of using an alternative model to purchase the house and get a commission rebate.

    People have been debating the value of open houses even prior to our downturn. Since our downturn I had one instance where two buyers saw the house at the open house, made a second visit during the open house at the same time, and both made offers through agents. Having open houses was very important to that seller, and the schedule was actually part of our contract. It worked.

    Oh, and that wasn’t unique, except the part about them coming back a second time at the same time. I’ve had at least one other situation since the downturn where an open house generated multiple offers through agents who were not present at the open house.

  23. 23
    Tacoma Troll says:

    Its worth the effort, on boht the agent and buyers side. Myself included and several of my fellow “renters/house hunters” use these open houses as opportunites to see properties without having the agent involved. ALso it is a nice way to stalk houses out of our price range to get design ideas or simply be nosy (he he he)

    I bought my very first house after previewing it through this process.

  24. 24
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    The biggest thing if you’re a seller is to avoid having non-listing agents hold the open. They may likely be more interested in gaining clients than selling your home. And that pushiness can turn off a potential buyer, turning a buyer of your home into a non-buyer.

    The number one goal of holding an open house is to sell the house, and that’s especially true of the owners live there and have to effectively be kicked out of their house. The listing agent is more likely to have that goal than some other agent from their office (depending on the compensation agreement between them, if any).

  25. 25
    Acerun says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 21

    It is very simple, don’t click it, don’t read and don’t whine about it.
    These articles you are tired of hearing about are just what is circulating in the mainstream press these days.
    Maybe you would be happier not reading a blog about how messed up your industry is.

  26. 26
    patient says:

    These are the big local housing news/developments for the first half of 2009 imo:

    1. The increase in short sales and reos that causes excessive fallout or delay of pendings.
    2. The sharp decrease in new listings.

    I wonder what the 2nd half will bring:

    – Sharp increase in NTSs and forcelosures? ( Is June’s number part of a trend or a one time event ).

    Anyone who predicts anything else new of significance to enter the stage in the 2nd half of 2009?

    Apart from this 2009 seems to otherwise chug along the 2008 line of low volume and decreasing prices
    with a short break for a lackluster spring bounce

  27. 27
    Joel says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 21 – Now you’re just being irritable. How many thousands of comments have been made on this blog since its inception? And you want everybody to read through every single one of them to make sure what they’re linking to hasn’t been posted before? Just calm down, take deep breaths and lay off the caffeine a little.

  28. 28
    The Tim says:

    By Joel @ 27:

    How many thousands of comments have been made on this blog since its inception?

    Counting this comment, at the time it was posted: 58,260. Better get to readin’.

  29. 29
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    By Acerun @ 25:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 21

    It is very simple, don’t click it, don’t read and don’t whine about it.
    These articles you are tired of hearing about are just what is circulating in the mainstream press these days.
    Maybe you would be happier not reading a blog about how messed up your industry is.

    Maybe if you had a better description of what the article was about I wouldn’t have clicked it. The fact that you said Smartmoney was smart about brokers was not only misleading, but also indicates you don’t understand much about the industry.

    That article is junk. It shows even more ignorance of the topic than is typical in reporting in general.

  30. 30
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    RE: Joel @ 27 – I’m sorry, but when someone comes to a blog page on July 15 to report on a story dated July 9, I think they have some responsibility to try to determine whether it’s been mentioned before. Or preferably, to just assume it has because if it were somehow important, it would have been.

    Now if it were something like the Times re-dating the article and it was the same day as the re-date, that would be one thing. There I’d complain about the times (as I did about this one above because I think it’s been kicking around since before July 9 also).

    But hey, maybe my next post will be to announce Michael Jackson died. ;-)

  31. 31
    Acerun says:

    Uh Oh…. Somebody better call a wahmbulance!

  32. 32

    Kary said “But hey, maybe my next post will be to announce Michael Jackson died. ;-) ”

    You heard it here first. The National Association of Realtors had Michael Jackson killed.

  33. 33
    searayman says:

    Check this night and day listing on Trulia down in Miami. Check out the interior pics.

    http://www.trulia.com/property/1081781415-6184-SW-149th-Ave-Miami-FL-33193

  34. 34
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 32 – No, it wasn’t NAR, it was the folks at Entertainment Tonight. They also put out contracts on Princess Di, Jon Benet Ramsey, and periodically kidnap/kill attractive blond girls/women so that the country can become overly fascinated about their particular cases.

    I try to get all my MJ news from Jimmy Kimmel. He puts the whole story in its proper perspective.

  35. 35
    Chris says:

    RE: searayman @ 33RE: searayman @ 33

    Wow.

    Those outdoor pics are so nice and then the house is just destroyed. I’d heard the stories about things like this happening, but it’s just beyond to see it in practice

    I’m not always a fan of the moralizing that’s happened over some of the foreclosures and choices to walk, but I’d still call this flat out wrong and probably criminal. Good times…

  36. 36
    Sniggy says:

    RE: Chris @ 35

    You are assuming the owners did it.

  37. 37
    posthoc says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 24 – I second Kary’s point. We are keeping an eye on the (expensive!) neighborhoods north of UW and occasionally visit open houses to get a little more information. (And “occasionally” means once every 1-2 months, so don’t jump down my throat on that.) There is nothing more off-putting than to find out the agent “hosting” the open house is not the listing agent, with no interest at all in marketing the house or representing the seller, but rather in *us* as potential clients from whom a commission can be gotten. I’ve had agents present portfolios full of “comparable” houses, offer to run me a neighborhood CME… is this really the agent you want “representing” your home during an open house?

Leave a Reply

Use your email address to sign up with Gravatar for a custom avatar.
Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Please read the rules before posting a comment.