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Category Archive: ‘Zillow’

2017 Housing Survey

There’s a wealth of data on home buyers, sellers and renters in this year’s Zillow Group Report on Consumer Housing Trends – a self-administered study that gathered information between May 17 and June 5, 2017 from a total of 13,125 key household decision-makers.

Zillow’s 15 favorites:

Homeowners

  • Thirty-nine percent of Baby Boomer and 25 percent of Silent Generation homeowners* still live in the first home they bought. There are likely several million homes that will hit the market over the next two decades for the first time since the 1950s or 1960s. What state will they be in? This is potentially a pool of “affordable” entry-level homes.
  • Forty percent of U.S. homeowners share their home with a pet. The data on Americans and their pets is so sparse, it’s a socio-economic research black hole. It was great to finally put a number on the phenomenon. And the number is impressive: Four in 10 American homeowners have a pet (mostly dogs).
  • Fourteen percent of U.S. homeowners say their home needs serious updating; 61 percent say their home could use “a little updating.” This speaks to the enormous potential demand in the American economy for home improvement labor and materials, and to an often-overlooked cost (both financial and emotional) of homeownership.

Renters

  • When renters* decide to relocate, it’s often prefaced by an increase in rent. Seventy-nine percent of renters who moved from a previous rental experienced a rent increase before moving, with more than half (57 percent) indicating that their decision to move was directly influenced by that increase, including 26 percent who state they were greatly affected by a rent increase previously. Only 21 percent experienced no rent increase in their prior home before moving.
  • Today’s renters cast a wide net to find a new place, contacting a variety of property managers and landlords, all while hoping for a timely response back. On average, a renter contacts 4.5 landlords or property managers and submits 2.6 applications. Almost a third (32 percent) submit three or more applications, demonstrating that for renters in competitive and fast-moving markets, disappointment and competition are now an unfortunate part of the rental process.
  • African-American/black renters submit 3.1 and Hispanic/Latino renters submit 2.9 applications for a rental home, on average, compared with just 2.3 for Caucasian/white renters.
  • When renters move, most stay in the same city (53 percent), and 12 percent even stay in the same neighborhood. Only 30 percent move to a different city (but stay in the same state), and 15 percent move to a different state. When it comes down to it, moving can be a heavy lift, and many renters may end up becoming comfortable with their neighborhood and its offerings.

Buyers

  • Nearly a third (29 percent) of buyers* go over budget. More than a third of Millennial buyers (37 percent) go over budget, compared with 27 percent of Generation X buyers, 19 percent of Baby Boomers and 25 percent of the Silent Generation. Perhaps due to their inexperience, first-time buyers (many of them Millennials) are more likely to exceed their budget (32 percent) than repeat buyers (27 percent). Blowing the budget could also be tied to the fact that more than half of homes available to buy are valued in the top one-third of all homes. More than 40 percent of home buyers are first-time buyers, compounding the intense competition for less expensive homes.
  • Fifty-seven percent of first-time buyers also considered renting, with Millennials most likely to consider that path (62 percent). Given the state of the market for first-time and younger buyers noted above, it’s no wonder. Owning a home can have a lot of financial advantages over the long haul compared to renting, but renting offers flexibility for many would-be buyers who are not quite ready to make a jump.

Sellers

  • Millennials make up almost one-third (32 percent) of sellers*. For all the talk about Millennials having trouble saving down payments and getting into their first homes, a fair share of them have both done that and are turning around to sell.
  • While 36 percent of sellers attempt to sell their homes on their own, although only 11 percent actually do. Many sellers who attempt to or do sell their homes on their own believe it saves time (36 percent) and money (57 percent). Some feel they’re their own best agents because they know their homes better than any agent could (27 percent), or they’ve had negative experiences with an agent (14 percent). Almost a third of these sellers already have a potential buyer in mind (29 percent), eliminating the need for an agent’s help with marketing.
  • One in two sellers (50 percent) sell their home below its list price. Millennial (30 percent) and Generation X sellers (24 percent) are more likely to sell their homes above list price than older generations (11 percent of Baby Boomer and 19 percent of Silent Generation sellers). This trend is attributable in part to location: Younger sellers are more likely to be selling a home in an urban area, where homes sell above their listing prices 29 percent of the time (compared with 20 percent in the suburbs and 13 percent in rural areas).

Posted by on Sep 27, 2017 in Jim's Take on the Market, Market Conditions, Zillow | 1 comment

New Portal Built by Realtors?

The guy who started the StopZillow campaign wants to build a new real estate portal which would be controlled by realtors – he discusses the details here:

https://youtu.be/rv2SiGrw870?t=2m47s

An excerpt from the leadership team’s email announcing that the pre-launch of the crowdfunding campaign starts today:

We will use contributions from this crowdfunding campaign to build the best home search portal ever in real estate. This will be a website designed to sell our listings rather than using our listings to take advantage of us. Crowdfunding will also be used to create the national TV, print and Internet advertising we will need to market this website. 

Once the website is completed (projected January 2018) you as a campaign leader will have the first opportunity to demo it. You will also be given an insiders preview of the national TV commercials and blitz marketing campaign we develop to attract buyers to the website. After you have approved the website and marketing, it will then be made available to crowdfunding contributors, followed by other agents throughout the country

Then we will launch a $50,000,000 Regulation A+ securities offering to enable every licensed agent and broker the opportunity to become an owner. This $50,000,000 shouldn’t be difficult to raise… it’s an average of less than $50 per Realtor. I plan to buy at least $100,000 in stock myself. That money will be used for a national blitz marketing campaign to make every buyer aware of our website.

Once we have our buyers back, we will be able to retain our sellers and ensure our future. Recapturing control of our buyers and regaining control of our industry is the #1 goal of this project. Sellers need buyers. If we have the buyers, sellers will need us.

It seems far-fetched that he could get enough realtors on-board and get them to cough up money to build a new portal. But realtors need to do something to save our jobs, and having our own portal would solve everything.

https://stopzillow.com/plan-save-real-estate/

Posted by on Sep 14, 2017 in Jim's Take on the Market, Realtor, Revolution, Zillow | 3 comments

Economists: Appreciation to Continue

Home values continue to climb, passing $200,000 in June for the first time ever. A panel of more than 100 real estate economists and experts expect that trend will continue – while they say, on average, that there’s a 52 percent probability of the next recession starting by the end of 2019.

  • On average, real estate economists and experts say there’s a 52 percent probability of next recession starting by the end of 2019.
  • Most experts expect a geopolitical crisis will trigger the next recession, which a majority believe will have only a moderate impact on U.S. housing.
  • Home values will climb 5.08 percent by the end of 2017, the group said.

The probability jumps to 73 percent for a recession starting by the end of 2020, according to the Q3 2017 Zillow Home Price Expectations Survey (ZHPE), a quarterly survey sponsored by Zillow and conducted by Pulsenomics LLC. The latest survey was conducted in late July and early August.

Most of the panel’s experts (67) think a geopolitical crisis is likely to be a major trigger for the next recession. That would be a rare occurrence. Although the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, prolonged a recession, most sustained downturns – including that one – have not started with a geopolitical crisis.

The panel ranked likely triggers as 1, 2 and 3 – and with that weighting, a geopolitical crisis also came out ahead, with a score of 138. It was higher than a score of 111 for monetary policy, 101 for a stock market correction and 55 for political gridlock as other possible recession triggers.

On average, the group expects the next recession to have only a moderate impact on U.S. housing. The group said San Francisco and Miami would be the most affected, followed by Los Angeles, New York, San Diego and Seattle.

https://www.zillow.com/research/experts-recession-late-2019-16334/

Posted by on Aug 17, 2017 in Forecasts, Jim's Take on the Market, Zillow | 0 comments

Zillow vs. Redfin?

Spencer took a crack at Redfin yesterday, and more:

LINK

An excerpt:

Zillow Group CEO Spencer Rascoff isn’t worried about the threat of newly-public Redfin — but he thinks the rest of the real estate industry should be.

He made that clear during a conference call associated with Zillow’s second-quarter earnings Tuesday in which he went so far as to say that Redfin is a “threat” to the traditional real estate industry.

“Undoubtedly, one of Redfin’s goals is to obviate the buyer’s agent,” Rascoff said on the call. “I think they have stated, quite publicly, that they aim to acquire more listings inventory in given markets, and then have no buyers’ agents on the other side of those listings. And that is a threat to organized real estate, and that’s one of the many reasons why brokerages are so concerned about Redfin.”

With N.A.R. on the sidelines, traditional realtors won’t mind somebody taking up the fight against Redfin – and Spencer could wind up being the hero!’

In this era of fake news, we can expect both sides to continue their bending of the facts too, which could get ugly.  Who will consumers believe?

Posted by on Aug 9, 2017 in Jim's Take on the Market, Listing Agent Practices, The Future, Zillow | 0 comments

Zillow/Sandicor Breakdown 2

Zillow has uploaded my Caminito Vasto listing!  The MLS remarks didn’t pull through – but the photos did, go figure. They also called me a Premier Agent, and eliminated the three-headed monster.

We had two offers on Vasto, and I marked it pending on Monday, but they still show it as an active listing – but at least it’s on their website.

They are still having trouble with the listings that go pending, like the one below where they remove the list price and listing agent and just call it off-market, which isn’t accurate either for people who may have seen the for-sale sign or who are checking out the listing agents.  I added the first couple of sentences in the remarks to help:

When my Caminito Vasto seller saw her listing finally appear on Zillow today, she said, “I used to use Zillow all the time but I never realized how crappy and slow they were until now….”.

It doesn’t take much to lose your stature in the marketplace when there are plenty of similar alternatives available!

Posted by on Jul 6, 2017 in Jim's Take on the Market, Listing Agent Practices, Zillow | 0 comments

Zillow/Sandicor Breakdown

For those of you who use Zillow as their go-to real estate portal, you may have noticed that we had a wild and wacky weekend – and the party is still going!

It was on May 1st that Zillow started uploading our listings directly from our MLS, Sandicor.  The new system prevents agents from inputting new listings, or marking our existing listings as pending.

On Friday there was a breakdown in the uploading process, but it wasn’t across the board.  Here are the real estate companies and the effects:

Coldwell and Berkshire – they both had their corporate direct feeds set up before May 1st, and it looks like they are running fine.

Sotheby’s – some new listings have been uploaded since Friday, and some haven’t. No rhyme or reason as to who was affected.

It looks like all other companies are NOT having their listings uploaded to Zillow, nor are they being marked pending automatically like they were previously – and you can’t do it manually either.

I did open house in La Jolla both Saturday and Sunday, and I had visitors on both days asking why my listing wasn’t on Zillow.

It’s a mess, and let’s add these extras too:

  1. The problem previously reported here about how listings get deleted on Zillow once they are marked pending in the MLS has not been resolved.
  2. More and more people are inputting their listings on CRMLS (the SoCal alternative MLS), which leads to duplicate listings which screw up the MLS stats but at least the listings are accurate on Zillow.

The mix-up is isolated to the San Diego market, and could be part of the uneasy union between Zillow and Sandicor, who was a reluctant partner in the past.

But both entities stated publicly that this auto-upload package was good for all, and a big step towards accuracy on Zillow.  We’ll see how long it takes them to fix it – today is Day 6.

For those who think this might be an opportunity for a competitor to take advantage, read this:

http://www.notorious-rob.com/2017/07/random-thoughts-on-redfin-going-public/

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Posted by on Jul 5, 2017 in Jim's Take on the Market, Realtor, Train Wrecks, Zillow | 2 comments

Zbully

From the seattletimes.com – hat tip SM:

LINK

Excerpts:

Zillow is dealing with a PR fiasco and a potential legal fight for going after a small, popular blog that makes fun of McMansions.

Kate Wagner — who spotlights large, ugly-looking houses on McMansionHell.com — received a cease-and-desist letter from the Seattle company this week, telling her to stop using Zillow photos on her site. She often makes memes out of Zillow home listing photos, pointing out features of home exteriors and rooms that are not exactly likely to win architecture awards.

Wagner said Tuesday she received emails from about 200 lawyers, and has retained the Electronic Frontier Foundation to represent her, pro bono. They plan to respond to Zillow soon.Outside Zillow’s headquarters in downtown Seattle on Tuesday morning, someone plastered the walls with many colorful signs reading “MCMANSION HELL FOREVER.”

“First of all, I was petrified,” said Wagner, a 23-year-old master’s student in Baltimore, who is working on a thesis on architectural acoustics. Zillow’s letter said Wagner ran afoul of Zillow’s terms of use and may violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and state laws. “It’s pretty terrifying when someone issues you a letter saying you’re a criminal and you’re going to jail.”

Zillow was clearly taken aback by the PR backlash to the saga, which has been making the rounds on national and local news sites for the last 24 hours.

Zillow’s top public affairs person, vice president Katie Curnutte, sent Wagner an email Tuesday morning that struck a much friendlier tone. She started by acknowledging Zillow has received several questions from journalists about the initial letter from Zillow’s legal team.

The company is already in the middle of a legal battle on another photo copyright issue and may owe millions of dollars in damages to a real estate photography firm.

Zillow spokeswoman Emily Heffter said that if other sites start publishing photos from Zillow, it could become harder for Zillow to obtain listings from realtors, which provide them under an agreement that only Zillow can use them.

“If we were to back off this, and everyone started taking photos off our site and using them, we’d have a lot of trouble getting photos for our site,” Heffter said. “When you make a deal with someone, you have to hold up your end of it.”

“It’s nothing personal,” she added.

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Posted by on Jun 28, 2017 in Jim's Take on the Market, Zillow | 4 comments

Zillow Threatens McMansion Hell

I think Rob Dawg might have started this one – his blog is where I heard of the McMansion Hell on Friday, and now Zillow is chasing her around like a felon:

https://www.theverge.com/2017/6/26/15876602/zillow-threatens-sue-mcmansion-hell-tumblr-blog

McMansion Hell is a Tumblr blog that highlights the absurdity of giant real estate properties and the ridiculous staging and photography that are omnipresent in their sales listings. The blog, started by 23-year-old Johns Hopkins graduate student Kate Wagner, began in July 2016 as a way to poke fun at pretentious architecture. It has since gone viral, but now she’s facing potential legal charges by real estate site Zillow for allegedly violating the site’s terms of service by reproducing the images on her blog.

A typical McMansion Hell blog post will have a professional photo of a home and/or its interior, along with captions scattered throughout by Wagner. She also adds information about the history and characteristics of various architecture styles, and uses photos from the likes of Zillow and Redfin to illustrate how so many real estate listings inaccurately use the terms.

Under each post, Wagner adds a disclaimer that credits the original source of the images and cites Fair Use for the parody, which allows for use of copyrighted material for “criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.” In a cease and desist letter to Wagner, Zillow claims Wagner’s reproduction of these images do not apply under the Copyright Act. Additionally, the company claims McMansion Hell may “[interfere] with Zillow’s business expectations and interests.”

Zillow got sued for using photos without authorization, so now they are going after the little people with a vengeance?  Where will they stop?

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Posted by on Jun 26, 2017 in Jim's Take on the Market, Market Conditions, Zillow | 5 comments

Zillow Hardball?

On May 1st, Sandicor, our MLS for San Diego, began automatically uploading our listings to Zillow in an effort to improve accuracy.

This is how Zillow advertises the pending sales in Orange County, which is how they were presented in San Diego prior to May 1st:

They leave the list price at the top, which is helpful for searchers who knew the house was for sale but didn’t know the how much.

They make it clear that that the home is pending, which is good for their accuracy, and they mention the listing agent, with a phone number, along with the three-headed monster on the right.

Here is how Zillow has been marking our pending sales since May 1st:

If you were a casual observer, you wouldn’t learn much about this home.

  • No list price.
  • No ‘pending’ banner (or anything about it being for sale or not).
  • No listing-agent info (except I’ve learned to put my name in the first line of the remarks).
  • No three-headed monster (three agents who pay for advertising).

If you were told about a new listing on this street and checked Zillow for more info, they now give you nothing!  What’s worse is they have captured my photos and remarks, but now prevent me from editing.

It’s not just me – I checked some of highest-spending Zillow agents, and they are getting the same treatment.

Is it just an oversight in the transition?

After a couple of inquiries, a Zillow rep did respond today, and said I should probably check with my MLS to fix it.  Thanks a million.

There is a work-around. Join the CRMLS (which provides the MLS for the rest of Southern California), input your listings there, and then Zillow will reflect them when pending.

Until then, our listing accuracy has gone backwards in San Diego!

It may not seem like much, but listing agents are judged by their online presence. When potential sellers see our listings without prices, for-sale status, or even the listing agent mentioned, they will think that we won’t be doing much for them either.  But it is out of our control – Sandicor and Zillow are running this circus!

Posted by on Jun 19, 2017 in Jim's Take on the Market, Listing Agent Practices, Zillow | 3 comments

C.A.R. and Instant Offers

He says C.A.R. would “oppose any such development that eliminates many consumer protections”. Well, are you opposing the Zillow Instant Offers? It doesn’t sound like it. As usual, the leaders of the realtor business are comatose while outsiders strip us down for spare parts.

There is an easy solution. Everyone provide ‘instant offers’.

I have regular buyers for North San Diego’s coastal region that will happily pay 10% under value, and investors that will pay 20% to 30% under value. Both will close in 5-10 days. Contact me today!

June 7, 2017

Fellow REALTOR®,

C.A.R. President Geoff McIntosh

No doubt you’ve heard about Zillow Group’s “Instant Offers” pilot program for home sellers where, with or without an agent, homeowners can entertain instant offers and sell their home quickly. This program – which is essentially a new take on another “I’ll buy your house for all cash, below market value” business – is a small segment of the marketplace. The reactions we have received so far falls into either the camp of strong opposition or strong support. For those who are opposed, the pilot has been the subject of much consternation by REALTORS® since its announcement because it creates a path that eliminates the critical role an agent plays in the transaction – another step toward disintermediation.

Many see this as an antagonistic step against the very industry that fuels the site with listing content and premier advertising money, only to promote the prospect of excluding REALTORS® from the transaction. For those who see it that way, they have the option of rethinking their participation with the site. Those holding the other opinion have reported that they see business opportunities to enhance their work through this program. No matter how you look at it, we can all agree it’s bad for consumers who need to get sage advice, excellent customer experience, and top dollar when they’re selling their home, especially when consumers have to pay an exorbitant cost to participate in the program.

C.A.R. has been asked for its take. First of all, there is no substitute for the tremendous value REALTORS® bring to what is usually the largest, and often the most complicated, transaction a consumer will ever make. The program seems to be geared toward investors or investment groups who are willing to make more speculative investments. Any move which promotes eliminating REALTORS® from their role as a trusted navigator in this complex undertaking would ultimately harm most consumers, leaving them without a duty-bound advisor just when they need one most. C.A.R would oppose any such development that eliminates many consumer protections and will ALWAYS advocate for the unparalled value of using a REALTOR®.

This is the perfect opportunity for you to discuss with your clients the value proposition that a REALTOR® brings to the table and look at expanding the services you are uniquely able to offer investors and investment groups.

Sincerely,

Geoff McIntosh
Geoff McIntosh
2017 President
CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

Posted by on Jun 7, 2017 in Jim's Take on the Market, Realtor, Realtors Talking Shop, Zillow | 0 comments