Realtor Media

In this market of dropping property values and a slow market for sellers it’s difficult to find your way in the real estate market. It seems realtors should be reaching out to people in innovative way and not with just reassuring words of what a good time it is to buy. Is it really such a good time if values will continue to drop?

John Ford is realtor who seems to be everywhere these days. I see him leading things at the Eureka Chamber mixers. He’s got a show on the new classic rock radio station at 95.5 FM. And he also runs a video program every Wednesday at 2 PM where he discusses local real estate issues and interviews other people involved in the market. He produces the show with Joe Filgas of Fidelity.John Ford, Joe Filgas and Brian Hunt

This is a nice thing to see. But it’s a crude production. Not just the show itself, which is OK, but the web site is terrible. There is no archive, although you can watch the most recent show by following several steps described on the site. If you sit through that most recent show, the next most recent show begins to play. But there’s no way to see a list of past shows with subjects, guests, etc. And there really should be an RSS feed. These things are not difficult to set up and would make the effort much more valuable. How many of us can actually tune in at Wednesday, 2 PM? One of the main advantages of IPTV is the ability to watch programming on your own schedule, not the programmer’s.

I’d like to see more efforts like this by other local experts in specific fields. A financial planner would be great…

Taking a Stand on the Economy

Everything seems to be falling: Stock  values, home values, gas prices, earnings.

While all of us are (or should be) watching the news, the campaign, the markets and trying to discern a way forward, we have had a house on the market so the whole thing has been more than an abstract exercise. Of course, now the at stock market is tanking, if you are in the market, it’s no longer abstract either. Or if you have been trying to get a loan to start or build a business in the last few weeks, it’s no longer abstract.

But we’ve had a house on the market since January. It’s in Kaua’i, Hawaii. It was my brother’s house who passed away in November. When we were given a market value prior to listing the house we were shocked. It was much higher than we imagined. But the market comparables were hard to assess. They were all over the place. But all of them were much higher than a similar house might be in Humboldt County. We figured, well, it’s Hawaii after all.

Nine months later, and we hadn’t had a single offer on the house. Each month we lowered the prices trying to catch up with the falling market. After over a $100,000 drop in price, we got an offer. A low offer. But we countered and got an acceptance. So, if escrow closes, (and that’s a big if as the buyer is getting what I thought were extinct loans with only 3% down) we will have made some kind of statement. That house, in that location, at this moment has that value. It’s a small pin in the global real estate map.