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How Many are Planning to Buy?


Look at this trend of home-buying plans – roughly 6% of consumers are planning to buy a home in the next six months.  Look how it bumped up at the start of the year – and settled down since.

It also suggests that 94.1% of consumers have no plans to buy a home in the next six months.  How would you like to be a realtor, and face those odds every day!  A lot of striking out!

Posted by on Apr 23, 2016 in Jim's Take on the Market, Why You Should List With Jim | 0 comments

Selling Real Estate – Then & Now

2016-04-22 06.00.25

I stopped by to see Doug Harwood’s new listing on Neptune on Wednesday.  Doug had his Fuji Instax camera, which is like the old Polaroid cameras that produce the photo right there so you can hand it off.

It made us ponder how the real estate selling game has changed over the years.

Much of the selling process is the same, and realtors like it like that.

Things that haven’t changed much:

  1. Open houses.
  2. The back-and-forth negotiations.
  3.  Listing agents trying to hustle up their own buyers for their new listings.

The Differences:

  1. We both sang the praises of Docusign, the electronic-signature process.  This used to be a real night job, where I’d be spending hours at people’s homes writing up listings and offers in person.  But now virtually all signing is done electronically.
  2. No more fax machines. In the beginning, we wrote and signed contracts in person, and then hand-delivered them to the other agent – and sometimes got to present them to their clients. too.  Then the fax machine came out – and much like Docusign – everyone wondered if it was a legitimate contract if it was ‘faxed’.
  3.  It used to take a few days to get photos ‘developed’, and then distributed for flyers and MLS use. Now the digital photos are instantly sent.
  4.  We used to have trouble with photo quality. Now with Photoshop, they are overly-enhanced!
  5.  Newspaper advertising used to be a big deal – and agents used to complain about their company’s ads not being big enough.
  6.  I used to carry a briefcase of real estate forms in my trunk – and when I ran out, I was out of business. I’ve written two contracts in person in the last eight years.
  7.  Remember the Montblanc pens?  I don’t even carry pens any more.
  8.  Up until recently, we collected a personal check from buyers for their good-faith deposit, and had to keep a hand-written record of trust funds. Now we don’t touch money.
  9.  On closing day, the escrow companies hand-delivered the commission checks to the brokerages (some still do). Then I would feel a sense of accomplishment by walking my check into the bank.  But now all money is wired – I haven’t been inside a bank in years.
  10.  We used to have a problem with storing all the files and documentation.  Now the old filing cabinets are just used to collect magnets. 2016-04-22 06.59.53
  11.  The camaraderie between agents played an important role in getting deals done.  But now there are so many agents and companies spread out that we are forced to create instant relationships.
  12.  There is complete dependence on the mobile devices – email and text are more common than actually calling the other agent.  In fact, we have closed sales without ever actually speaking to the other agent.

It’s not as personal as it used to be, but much more efficient!

Posted by on Apr 22, 2016 in Doug Harwood, Jim's Take on the Market, Listing Agent Practices, Realtor, Realtor Training, Realtors Talking Shop | 3 comments

Roam Around


We could use more inventory, for several reasons – to slow price increases, to provide more opportunities for first-timers and newcomers, and to keep realtors busy!

But people don’t want to move, and that’s unlikely to change.  We’re probably in the best climate in America, and enjoy a relatively-perfect lifestyle – why would you give that up?

Most aren’t going anywhere, and that’s fine.

But for those who might consider taking the money and running, where can you go?  As time goes on, the options are getting more creative.

I’ve long thought that we will see communal living and tent cities as suitable options for some baby boomers.  Others sell their house and buy the big RV and cruise the country.

Did you catch the idea mentioned in the article called

You pay $500 per week and live in psuedo-communal living at different locations around the world.  They are just getting started, so the locations are few, but the idea could catch on:

Posted by on Apr 21, 2016 in Jim's Take on the Market, Market Conditions, The Future | 5 comments


Mitch noted that Lush is back together.  I’ve never heard of them – from wiki:

In September 2015, the music press suggested a reunion might be planned after Anderson posted a cryptic “7 day.” message on social media and the official website was revamped. On 28 September 2015, Lush announced their reunion on their Facebook page. The reunited band consists of Anderson, Berenyi and King with the addition of Justin Welch on drums, an old friend of deceased drummer Acland.

We’ve been away for ages and ages, but we’re really excited to announce that we’re finally ready to reform as Lush. For all the fans who have been pestering us to do this: thanks so much for your patience and support! We wish it could have been sooner but, for many years, it was just too painful to contemplate without Chris, and then all kinds of life-changing commitments made it impossible. Now, at last, the three of us are in the right place at the right time to play music together again.

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Posted by on Apr 20, 2016 in Wednesday Rock Blogging | 0 comments