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Jim Klinge, broker-associate
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Encinitas, CA 92024
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Jim Klinge
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701 Palomar Airport Road, Suite 300
Carlsbad, CA 92011

Posted by on Jun 20, 2010 in Market Conditions, Tips, Advice & Links | 6 comments | Print Print

Future of Real Estate, Part 1

Hat tip to Susie for sending this along, from

Anyone who has ever had a beef with a real estate agent should take a look at the website  It’s all in fun, but the name suggests what some buyers and sellers believe to be true — that their agents failed to earn their pay for one reason or another.

“Want your home advertised by a professional?” the site asks.

 “We believe in the three P’s of real estate marketing: put, put and pray. Put a sign in the yard, put it on the multiple listing service, and then pray someone will come along and buy it.”

Bill Petrey of Agent Harvest, the site’s creator and owner of a free agent-finder service that helps buyers and sellers find top producers in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, says other real estate agents have been remarkably restrained in their response to the site. “No one’s tried to shoot me or string me up,” he says.

Judging from the number of sellers and buyers who have used the website to vent, though, maybe agents haven’t barked back because buried in Petrey’s parody is a lot of truth. Among the site’s statistics:

— Longest listing on the market: 2,778 days. That’s seven years.

— Number of listings with no photo: 2,048. If there’s no picture, how are people going to see what the place looks like? The whole idea of listing houses on the Internet is to allow people to search from the comfort of their homes or offices.

— Number of listings with one photo: 2,745. See above.

— Number of agents who claim to be ranked No. 1 in Dallas: 2,320.

“My goal with the site is to poison the well, so to speak; to make people more aware of just how bad a real estate agent can be,” Petrey says. “Consumers need to understand that it’s really worthwhile to look for a good agent, and not let an agent get away with the things they’ve gotten away with in the past.”

Petrey has big plans for his agent-finding service. This year, he expects to start covering other Texas cities. And then he hopes to go national.

If you can’t wait, consider these other options.

• is an online service where would-be home buyers can make anonymous offers on as many homes as they like. The offers are nonbinding, and can be tweaked to match or beat offers from other potential buyers. Once a seller accepts a proffer in principle, any remaining points are negotiated offline, and the parties enter into a valid purchase contract.

N-Play isn’t an attempt to bypass the real estate agent. Rather, the goal is to help agents in the offer and negotiation process, Chief Executive Mark Bloomfield says. “If we can deliver buyers and sellers who are on the same page leading to a contract, closing rates for agents go up and negotiation complications go down.”

One of the interesting aspects of the N-Play process is that all offers are transparent and can be viewed online by everyone.

Normally, offers are confidential, to be seen only by the seller and his agent. Consequently, buyers don’t know how their bids stack up against the competition. But with N-Play, you can see how your offer compares to any other, and if yours is lacking — say, you’re $1,500 below the best offer to date, or the seller wants to close right away — you can raise the ante or otherwise change your offer accordingly.

Though that’s pretty much how an auction works, Bloomfield stresses that his service, which local brokers subscribe to on a per-month, per-listing basis, is not an auction. “The seller maintains control over the process and the home is not perceived as a distress sale,” he says.

Buyers also can get a leg up on the competition with another service, this one called MoveScore, which helps wannabe owners identify possible sellers, often before the seller even realizes he’s in such a mode.

•Say you want to move to a key ZIP Code or school district. Perhaps you want to live in a particular neighborhood, or maybe on a specific block. Perhaps you’ve even found a special property that you would like to buy.

In those cases, rather than wait for someone to stick a sign in the ground, either you or your agent would normally go door-to-door asking folks if they might be interested in selling. But with MoveScore by RealAgile, you can save yourself some time and shoe leather by determining in advance which properties are most likely to sell over the next six months.

The MoveScore by RealAgile is a predictive analytical model, not unlike the FICO scoring model used by lenders to help determine whether potential borrowers are good risks. A sister product, CentreScore, can quickly rank names and addresses within the preset “sphere of influence,” based on the probability that they will make a real estate move.

The MoveScore has 255 data points, according to RealAgile’s Ed Neiman. Among other things, it looks at previous attempts to sell, demographics and psychographics. And it can drill down to within a half-mile radius of a particular house number.

The service is being offered on an exclusive basis to listing agents who want to farm a particular area for potential sellers at 30 cents per rooftop. But it is also ideal for agents who represent buyers who want to live in a particular area. And Neiman says he would be happy to sell the service to interested individual consumers at the same rate.

For people interested in finding potential sellers who are upside down on their loans — that is, owe more than the property is worth — or have 100% equity, a third RealAgile product, Equity Proposition Indicator, estimates the owner equity on properties ranked by MoveScore or CentreScore.

•If you can’t find just the right house this way, try the Make Me Move feature at, the online real estate and mortgage service. Here, you’ll find owners who are willing to sell — for the right price. Simply search the desired ZIP Code, and you’ll find the Make Me Move category on the left side of the page.

According to Zillow representative Katie Curnutte, some 153,000 Make Me Move properties are listed on the site. Make one the right offer and the place is yours.


  1. Thanks for posting this Jim. By the way, Happy Fathers Day to all the dads out there.

    If you get a bad agent it can make your life a living h@ll.

    Ask all the hard questions. All of them.

  2. I imagine most realtors would run away from a story like this, or the rant from a few posts ago. The good ones, however, are able to identify an opportunity to distinguish themselves from the rest. Nicely done, Jim.

    Happy Fathers Day!

  3. The Make Me Move feature on Zillow should be renamed to Show you’re a Moron, or perhaps You are Clueless. The prices on the Make Me Move properties that I have seen usually range from high to beyond insane.

  4. Waiting to feel the magic-That’s the point of the whole Make Me Move thing. “I don’t want to sell, but if somebody gives me this ridiculous amount of money for the house, they will Make Me Move.” Make Me Move houses aren’t really for sale in the normal sense of the word, IMHO.

  5. Geotpf, so how many Make Me Move properties actually sell? I have to believe it’s a number close to zero, however the last two paragraphs in the article made it sound like Make Me Move was a viable option for someone looking to buy a house.

  6. What’s the job of a real estate agent, anyway? Outside sales or inside sales? If I call a real estate agent and say “I’m looking at this house on Circle Rd in Carlsbad” shouldn’t a real estate agent know exactly what kind of neighborhood that is in, based on the street name? There are only a limited number of streets AND they aren’t making any more of them! Within 2 months of systematic driving along every street in town, I know the neighborhoods better than the “real” estate agents do; including where the power lines are and where the tracks run by and where the traffic noise is. These are things I expected of my “real” estate agent.

    Here is a great qualifying question for a real estate agent: ask them if it’s possible to hedge a real estate purchase in case of price decreases, then watch them squirm when they try to answer. A good one will say up front: you can’t, and that’s not why anyone should buy a home, ’cause a home is NOT an investment.


  1. Really Rotten Realty | Politics in the Zeros - [...] Bubbleinfo “Want your home advertised by a professional?” the site [ReallyRottenRealty] [...]

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