Trulia Real Estate Blog

Three ways to find value homes

November 24, 2008
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Three ways to find value homes
When the housing market gets tough, sellers get tougher. For home buyers, this can also mean some compelling incentives to purchase.Listings on Trulia have offered everything from a purchase credit to including a ‘Princess Bride’ with the home. So how can you make sure that your home stays competitive among growing foreclosures and a tough credit market? And, what’s the best way to find value homes with these great incentives?Here are three ways to make sure you’re targeting the right price.

1) Search for savings by keyword

Search for savings by keyword

Enter your city and select “More search options” on the left.From price reductions to a one year credit for property taxes, this Miami steal was discovered using the keyword search for “reduced” on Trulia.
Enter your city and select “More search options” »
Tip: Not finding what you want? Try other keywords: “credit”, “bonus” or “discount”.

2) Track similar homes

Track similar homes

Whether you’re just eyeing a purchase or you’re curious how much your home would sell for, knowing the market is critical.Select “Price Alerts” and be the first to know when similar homes are listed or sold.
See an example for D.C. or enter your city »

3) Research neighborhood trends

Research neighborhood trends

Can’t decide if it’s the right time? Find price trends in your local market on Trulia’s Market Trend pages.Select the number of bedrooms to compare sales prices by neighborhood or city.
See an example for Irvine or enter your city »
Celebrity Home Sightings Ι Get your superficial fix here.
Superman’s neighborhood
Superman Clark Kent’s mid-western roots weren’t a coincidence. Now you can see the Cleveland house where Jerry Siegel found his inspiration to create Superman on Trulia.Thanks to loyal fans of the famous comic, the rotting home was restored through an online auction that raised over $100K this past September. According to public records, the 1,610 square foot home was built in 1918 and has four bedrooms and two baths. The current owner, Jefferson Gray, was surprised to learn that he owned the birthplace for the Man of Steel.
See Superman’s neighborhood with Google Street View here »
Advice & Opinions Ι Get insightful, fast, FREE advice on home buying & selling
Blog of the week
Fighting Foreclosure? Begin with obtaining as much info as possible.
The more information you can wrest from your mortgage deficiency, the better. A federal law called the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (deficiency) provides a way for you to challenge common kinds of errors such as… see more or reply
Written by Diane Wheatley, Real Estate Professional in California
Question of the week
Q: Can you negotiate for the seller to pay for inspection?
Asked by Michael Roth, Home Buyer in San Francisco
A: : There are so many things you can negotiate between buyer and seller. Inspections, city/transfer taxes, government compliance, closing costs, etc. With REOs, however… see more or reply
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Agents Helping Agents With Marketing Know-How and Tools

November 24, 2008

Agents helping agents 

 Charleston, SC – This week’s most viewed question on Trulia Voices comes from Randall Sandin, a real estate professional and Trulia PRO from Charleston, SC. He asks,

“Anyone have great ideas for free or inexpensive marketing? We use Craigslist a lot, giving Trulia a run and use Constant Contact for cheap email blasts, looking for any other ideas to help market in today’s challenging times.”

Our Trulia Community has some great ideas!

Chris Montague, a real estate agent from Rancho Cucamonga, CA:

I use a website called SharperAgent.com. Its not free but a small fee of $29.95/Month and you get TONS of marketing material. Plus you get a free 30 day trial to see if it’ll work for you and your business. They have TONS of templates on flyers, postcards, newsletters, prospecting, thank you cards etc… and you can print any of them straight from the website. OR upload your email contact list into SharperAgent and start sending out email blasts to your entire sphere of influence.

Diana Giardina, a real estate pro from Mercer, WI, is new to Trulia Voices and posted her first answer in response to a colleague’s request for help:

Diana GiardinaWe use http://agent.point2.com/ They usually offer the first 6 months free. They have many templates, color and graphic to chose from. When listings get entered they get syndicated to over 26 search engines. Really easy website to use. After first 6 months then the website is only 99.95 a year. Plus you can get a domain for 12.95 a year. Check it out. My website is http://www.dianagiardina.com

Susie Shately, a real estate agent from the Lone Star State:

There are a lot of free advertising sites. Some examples other than Craigslist and Trulia are: Postlets, Realbird, SawItOnline, fFyinside, Google, Oodle, Propbot, Spotmixer, ShowingFeedback, Realivent, OpenHouse. All of these are dot coms. Try them. You might  like them.

The Appraiser Lady from  Atlanta:

http://agent.point2.com/ – actually has a free website, (I’ve had for over six months) You can add listings to it also. (It also syndicates listings to other websites.)

http://www.alamode.com- has a free agent website (free domain name for a year) —Type in Anita Hale and See what top ranking I get on Google for FREE!! — this the best free website I have, check it out when you google me. It also has a place where people can look up foreclosure listings and they have to input their contact information.

http://charleston.backpage.com/online/classifieds/index

http://smallbusiness.officelive.com/?xid=c2logo–free website with domain name ( I think it’s free)

http://www.nationalrelocation.com/real-estate/Georgia/Atlant… I get alot of leads from here ( you just have to put a link on your website back too them)

http://www.oodle.com/housing/sale/ — filters to myspace classifieds and other sites

One other thing. If you are registered to sell HUD homes you can list those on your website or make flyers as long as you follow their advertising guidelines. ( please note**you cannot put a sign up at the actually house)
You may not actually want to sell these homes, but they will definitely get you leads.

Hope this helps!!!

Kevin Polite, a real estate professional from Atlanta: 

icontact.com is another website for customer relationship management. You can use a DRIP campaign for as little as $9.99/mo. It’s not real estate specific, but you should be able to find plenty of templates to use especially for e-mail marketing. I’m sure you know it’s easier to get new customer from your old customers then to get complete new ones. I became a Realtor when I never heard back from the real estate agent (note the difference) and was ready to buy my second. E-mail marketing is the most inexpensive way to advertise, however, keep in mind you must make sure when you market to NOT overload them e-mails and that you only do so at the most 1 per month, maybe just quarterly.

Beth Ann Mott, a real estate professional in Denver:

If you are a REALTOR, you have access to a great FREE marketing benefit through NAR and Lowe’s. You can send out an enewsletter or seller or buyer cards. You can brand them with your information and Lowe’s will send them out at no cost to you and they include a 10% off coupon to Lowe’s. This is a great way to touch your sphere or new prospects and reel them in as clients. All it takes is your time in inputing their information. Good Luck!

My Thoughts

Randall, You are already on the right track  …. taking advantage of a suite of Web 2.0 tools right here at Trulia! A link to your blog post about staging a home appeared recently on Trulia’s ”Surviving the Housing Crisis” page under Featured Tips – Buying and Selling.

I have some other favorite FREE tools:

1 comment

Six Foreclosure must-reads: Part I

November 21, 2008
It seems like foreclosure properties are on everyone’s minds these days. Since we released a two-part foreclosure special edition six months ago, home owners and buyers on Trulia haven’t been able to get enough of tips and tricks from foreclosure experts on Voices.
Whether you’re trying to save your home or thinking about buying a foreclosure property on Trulia, we’ve rounded up six must-reads to help you learn how to manage foreclosures, especially in today’s market.
See foreclosure tips
Search foreclosure properties on Trulia

How to avoid foreclosure

Loan Modification Help-What about those Upfront Fees?
Already struggling homeowners who are seeking loan modification help are finding out that any assistance from a loan modification company comes at a steep price… see more or reply
Written by Susan Gregory, Real Estate Professional, Dana Point, CA
More tips:
Q: I am 2 months behind on morgage my payment is almost 1,800.00 dollars a month, i want to do a loan
Tip: Use the keywords “avoid foreclosure” and “modify loan” to get more tips here.

How to find & buy foreclosures

So you want to buy a foreclosed home
With all the bank owned properties out there, is this the right market for you… The first thing you need to do is be pre-approved for a loan. No bank will look at your offer without it…
see more or reply
Written by Scott Godzyk, Real Estate Professional, New Hampshire
More tips:
Q: How do you purchase foreclosures? Can the previous owner reclaim the property later?
Tip: Find foreclosure homes on Trulia. Enter a city and select just the “Foreclosure” listing type on the left.

How to navigate auctions

What Happens at Foreclosure Auctions
Continuing to dispell myths about real estate auctions… leading up to a foreclosure auction, someone who has a lien against the property has exercised their right to foreclose…
see more or reply
Written by Vicky Chrisner, Real Estate Professional, in Dulles, VA
More tips:
Q: Is it true that once my home is BANK OWNED I can no longer be able to buy it back?

Did you know… You can get email alerts when new foreclosures are listed? Enter your city, then click “Email me…” at the top of the page to sign up.
enter your city here
Celebrity Home Sightings Ι Get your superficial fix here.
Paul
Filmmaker Paul Haggis, known for the recent ‘Quantum of Solace’, ‘Casino Royale’ and ‘Crash’, buys discreet LA pad
Sold for $2,365,000
3br / 2ba / 2,262 sqft
Kelsey
‘Cheers’ and ‘Frasier’ star, Kelsey Grammar, lists his Bel Air estate for only 300K more than purchase price
$4,350,000
5br / 5.5ba / 6,000sqft
Nicholas
Nicolas Cage lists yet another home, a 12 bedroom country-manor-style estate in Rhode Island
$15,900,000
12br / 10.5ba
Advice & Opinions Ι Get insightful, fast, FREE advice on home buying & selling
Blog of the week
Selling your home in a challenging market
1) Curb appeal 2) The eyes of the first time home buyer 3) Get rid of toys… See the rest of this Top 10 List
Written by Mark Chesnick, Real Estate Professional in Evans, GA
Question of the week
Q: I have a very good to excellent credit score, can’t I finance 100%?
Asked by Steve, Home Buyer in Tampa, FL
A: : I have been involved in three 100% finance transactions this year and it depends on the situation. Two of them were VA loans where the seller agreed to … see more or reply
Real Estate Eye Candy Ι Trulia picks
Live like James Bond Whether it’s pulse-pounding stunts and expensive cars, or the guarantee of sly villainesses and witty banter, the 007 series never fails to entertain. Inspired by the drama and extravagance of the Bond films, we picked four homes ranging from classic European-style retreats to sleek urban lofts. Highlights include 20-foot full-glass walls, breathtaking views, exquisite terraces, fireplaces, a home theatre, white marble baths and — of course — the requisite martini bar. See for yourself!

Find more homes


New York, NY
$1,565,000
2br / 2ba / 1,245 sqft

Miami Beach, FL
$3,495,000
2br / 2.5ba / 1,800 sqft
Cherry Hills Village CO
$4,295,000
6br / 8ba / 7,280 sqft

San Diego, CA
$1,789,866
4br / 4ba / 4,500 sqft
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Trulia’s 2008 NAR iPhone Winner is Linda Craft

November 21, 2008

linda-craft.jpg

Albeit over a week late, we finally had a chance to draw our Trulia 2008 NAR iPhone winner.

Congrats to our new Trulia Pro, Linda Craft from Linda Craft and Team Realtors® from Raleigh, North Carolina for winning! Thanks to all our other new Trulia Pro’s who we had a chance to meet and get to know better at NAR.

linda.jpg

If you ever need hockey tickets to a Carolina Hurricanes hockey game, you can always register to win them on Linda’s site.

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Trulia Is Finalist In The 2nd Annual Open Web Awards

November 20, 2008

2nd Annual Open Web Awards

Trulia has been selected a finalist in the 2nd Annual Open Web Awards in all THREE categories where we were nominated:

  1. Search and Social Search
  2. Mobile Applications
  3. Embeddable Widgets

Please help us win in all THREE categories.

You can vote for one company per category per DAY.  Voting is now open and you can vote every day until December 15th.  Once you vote, you can add it to your Facebook page as well.

VOTE #1  Search and Social Search

VOTE #2  Mobile Applications

Vote #3 Embeddable Widgets

 

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Trulia NAR 2008 Testimonial Video

November 20, 2008

Two weeks ago, Trulia attended the NAR 2008 Realtors’ Conference and Expo in Orlando, Florida. We had an amazing experience meeting hundreds of real estate agents, executives and vendors from around the nation. Thanks so much to all of you for sharing your ideas, thoughts and Trulia experiences with us. We’ll continue doing our very best to improve and enhance your experience on Trulia.

Check out some of the Sights and Sounds of our NAR experience:

I love Realtors #nar2008

ann-cummings.jpg

Ann Cummings, Pete Flint and Rudy Bachraty

joe-spake-frances-thorsen-jim-lee.jpg

Joe Spake, Frances Flynn Thorsen and Jim Lee

See more NAR photos on Flickr

1 comment

Independent Study Shows Trulia as #1 Lead Generator

While at NAR in Orlando, Trulia partner, Threewide Corporation shared with us some exciting data about our traffic – data that’s just too good to keep to ourselves.

Threewide’s ListHub, the most widely adopted network for listing distribution, works in concert with MLSs, various franchises and brokerages, and core real estate technologies to bring real estate companies a single dashboard for controlling their online marketing strategy.  Analyzing the traffic that’s sent to clients from their syndication feeds, Threewide found some interesting results.  Here are some highlights:

  • Study analyzed about 600k listings sent from MLSs and brokers to 16 of the largest real estate sites for the month of October 2008
  • Trulia generated the most leads* in this period with almost 12,500 – over 30% of all client leads!
  • The second closest competitor had just over 15% of all leads and the 3rd just over 12%, with the top 5 making up almost 80% of all leads sent
  • Trulia had the highest percentage of redirected traffic** with over 35% of all traffic sent to ListHub clients
  • Finally,  over 8,000 listings received at least 1 lead from a consumer coming directly from Trulia, with our nearest competitor sending traffic resulting in leads for  a little over 3,600 listings

These statistics show that Trulia delivers the most leads, and in these challenging times we all know how important that is!  AND, considering that some of the 600K listings sent to Trulia were already being displayed from other broker listing sources and thus not actively displayed on the site to prevent showing duplicate listings, the actual percentage of leads sent from Trulia to Threewide’s clients is even better than the original report shows.  But there will be even more data about this in weeks to come.

If you have any questions or would like additional information feel free to contact us!

*  A lead occurs when a consumer submits their contact information to the listing broker or agent via the broker/MLS designated landing page
** Redirect occurs when consumer clicks from channel site (e.g. Trulia) to broker/MLS designated landing page.

 

3 comments

REO’s, Buyer’s Agents and Designated Agency

November 17, 2008

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Atlanta, Georgia – This weeks most viewed question on Trulia Voices come from Fred B., a home buyer from Atlanta, Georgia, who asked – Help! Isn’t this a serious conflict of interest?…..Fred found a home he loved which happened to be an REO, a bank owned home, and contacted Jack & Jill from the listing agency to make an offer. After making an offer, Fred was confronted by what he thought might be a conflict of interest situation – his agent knew of other offers, didn’t share them with him and Jill’s partner Jack, was the sellers agent. Later, we find out that Fred signed a designated agency agreement.

Let’s check out some feedback our community members provided Fred.

Feedback from our Trulia Voices Community

Before we had more clarity on the issue, Lisa Crowder, a real estate agent from Decatur, Georgia asked, “Did you sign a buyer brokerage agreement with this agent, or did she simply help you fill out a purchase agreement for the property?”

Vicky Chrisner, a real estate agent from Dulles, Virginia said, “Here’s how it works… the seller hires a brokerage, who appoints an agent. In some cases, the BROKER and listing agent are the same person. If you do not employ your own, separate BROKER, and instead go through the listing agent, then you don’t have representation, you don’t have an agent. At best, the BROKER can appoint another agent to be your representative – that’s called “designated agency”; or the same agent (or agent team) can work with you either strictly as the seller’s agent (which is what this sounds like) OR under “dual agency” meaning both parties give up true representation. You need to check your paperwork and ask Jill who she represents. You may have a potential for a complaint or even law suit; but first you need to really know the deal.

This is another great example of why you should have your very own agent.”

Then Fred clarified the situation, “Lisa, I signed a purchase and sale agreement that contained a designated agency assignment. “Jill” is supposed to be working exclusively with me as my designated agent and “Jack” is to be working exclusively as the Seller’s designated agent. Is this what you meant?

Deryk Harper, a real estate agent from Alpharettam Georgia said, “You could have used ANY Georgia licensed REALTOR/Broker to represent you and submit this offer to the listing Broker. The listing Broker has a legal responsibility to submit all offers to the Seller…in this case the bank/lender.

The listing Broker also has the responsibility to treat all offers “equally” in a multiple offer situation. In other words if they tell you and your agent that there are multiple offers and ask that you resubmit your highest and best offer within a certain timeframe then they have to give the exact same information to anyone else that has submitted an offer. We are in the middle of 3 multiple offer situations with Buyers that we represent right now. Here is how all three have gone:

1. We submitted an original offer.
2. We were notified IN WRITING that there were multiple offers received on the property and that we had until a certain time…usually 24 hours to notify the listing agent and either
A. Withdraw the offer—some Buyers don’t want to get in a bidding war
B. Keep the original offer in play
C. Change the offer and resubmit
3. We changed the offer and resubmitted
4. We got a message from the listing agent that our new offer had been received in time and would be considered along with the rest.
5. Within a couple of days we were informed, again in writing from the listing agent, that they had chosen to counter one of the other offers and that we would be contacted again if those negotiations did not work out so we could have put our offer back in the mix if we wanted……….”

Hank Miller, an Associate Broker from Atlanta, Georgia and a Trulia PRO said, “There’s no point in rehashing the agency points, those made are on target – bottom line is that Jack & Jill are probably a “team”, the team holds the listing and the seller is their client – you are their customer. You are not represented to the highest level and their loyalty has to be to the seller. They should “do no harm” – nothing illegal or unethical – but they will have the seller’s best interests at heart.

The “issue” with these distressed properties is that often it’s like playing three card Monty. A home can site for a year, you call about it and suddenly there are multiple offers and your “highest and best” is needed ASAP. The other game that is getting very popular is listing for significantly less than they’ll go for and the bidding war starts. Then the old standby – it’s under contract…it fell through…under contract….fell through…all the while it’s listed as active until the last possible second.”

Fred selected real estate agent  and Trulia PRO Bill Eckler from Sarasota Florida for having the Best Answer, “Sometimes the best approach is to be direct and play all your cards.

Jill, I have to tell you I’m more than a little uncomfortable with what has happened recently. These are my concerns. Trust is a big issue for me and from where I stand this is what II see. I’d like to buy this house but I’m not willing to get caught in the middle of some kind of game that is going on here.

Jill’s response should clarify what your next move should be: either “all in” with your best offer, take it or leave it or walk away and look for another opportunity. There are plenty out there.

What do you think they are saying to the other two offers? Essentially, they have or so they are trying to make you think they have, several serious buyers and they are creating a behind the scene promotion to get the highest price for the property.

This is not a comfortable position to be in but this is the process when there are multiple offers. This is one of the reasons banks will post a ridiculously low price on a property….they know it will get the real attention they are seeking.

Unfortunately, this is when the “Great Deal” becomes an “OK Deal”……..Your task here is to determine when it is no longer a deal for you.  Good luck”

My Thoughts

Whether dealing with an REO or not, having a local experienced real estate agent working in your best interests is so important in today’s fast changing market. It’s also crucial to understand the types of agency agreements that exist so you can make the best choice as to which way to proceed. Generally speaking, if you don’t have an exclusive agency relationship with a buyers or sellers agent, you may not have that agent working 100% in your best interest. When you sign an exclusive agency agreement, that agent is now working with you as a fiduciary. Otherwise, you’re pretty much just a customer. As a customer, the agent works with you, not for you. They still have to deal honestly and fairly with you but are loyal to their client – whomever they have a signed exclusive agreement with.

When it comes to making winning offers on a home, having a skilled buyer’s agent to guide you can make all the difference in the world. Buyer’s agents do this for a living. They have a pulse on the market, active and sold listings, and other agents. Having one in a situation like Fred’s can make the offer making/ bidding process less painful. Having a stress free transaction is what we all desire. Have you ever used a buyer’s agent?

0 comments

Trulia Blogger Hits Home Run at ‘U.S. News and World Report’ With First Blog Post

November 14, 2008

Realtor Mark Chesnick of Evans, GA, wrote his debut blog entry on Trulia blogs this week. Within hours the full text of his article appeared on U.S. News and World Report’s blog The Home Front. It also appeared prominently on Trulia’s Surviving the Housing Crisis page.

When we tell real estate professionals that they can establish themselves as local experts, we’re not kidding!

Are you blogging on Trulia? Are you answering consumer questions on Trulia Voices? It’s a great place to get started … engage … and make a name in your local market as the “go to” real estate professional.

The Home Front Blog

4 comments

Should you buy or sell in this market?

November 13, 2008
With the elections behind us, the housing crisis has regained center stage. Home owners and buyers on Trulia are anxiously wondering when to buy, how to sell and what tomorrow’s market will bring.
While there isn’t one answer that’s right for everyone, you can find local price trends and advice to help you decide for yourself. Here are three must-reads from Trulia’s Surviving the Housing Crisis Center that will help you make the best decision. It may just be the next-best thing to a crystal ball.
enter your city here
Should you buy or sell in this market

What can you do to help your home sell?
Six Selling Myths Uncovered
Myth #1: You should always price your home high and negotiate down. Truth: Pricing too high can be as bad as pricing too low. If you list too high, you’ll miss out on buyers looking in the… see more or reply
Written by Hank Bailey, Real Estate Professional, 30606

How do you know when to buy?
Market Indicators & Real Estate
Real estate prices cycle through highs and lows. Tracking the following market indicators will help you decide if it’s a good time to invest in real estate in your area. Job Growth…
see more or reply
Written by Andre Shambley, Real Estate Professional, Miami

Should you still sell after a year on the market?
Q: What do I need to do to sell my home it’s been on the market almost a year?
Asked by Jennifer, Home Seller, Middleburg, FL
A: If I had a listing on the market and it was not recieving any showings I would like at the condition of the home, the price of the home and the… see more or reply
Did you know… You can find out how much homes like yours are selling for. Get free emails for recently sold homes in your area. Enter your city, then look for the email link at the top!
enter your city here
Celebrity Home Sightings Ι Get your superficial fix here.
Nicholas
Nicholas Cage put Rhode Island home up for sale, in addition to two others in New Orleans and LA
$15,900,000
12br / 10.5ba
  Tom
Baseball Hall of Famer Tom Glavine lists 14,550 square-foot mansion in Alpharetta, GA
$3,750,000
7br / 10ba
  Sargent and Eunice
Parents to California’s First Lady, Maria Shriver, selling their Ambassador’s estate in Potomac, MD
$11,800,000
10br / 10.5ba
 
Advice & Opinions Ι Get insightful, fast, FREE advice on home buying & selling
Blog of the week
Top 5: Options for someone facing foreclosure
5. Roommates Welcome! Consider getting a roommate. If you have enough space, taking on a roommate who will not only share the utility bills but also the mortgage payment could be a tremendous help… see more or reply
Written by Kristopher Wissing, Real Estate Professional in Louisville
 
Question of the week
Q: Using a Buyer’s Agent
Asked by Tish, Home Buyer in Atlanta, GA
A: Just remember that when dealing with a foreclosure, you must be willing to wait up to 90 days just for a response from the lender. The lenders are extremely busy … see more or reply
 
Real Estate Eye Candy Ι Trulia picks
Steals & deals under 250K:
Kitchen edition
With the holidays around the corner, it’s time to start prepping for the festivities. Whether you’re a gourmet chef that enjoys hands-on cooking or the family organizer hosting all the cousins, big kitchens can make quite a difference.
These steals will sweep you off your feet and place you in your dream kitchen. From fancy granite countertops to eat-ins, November’s homes are perfect for family events and all priced below 250K! Find more homes
 
Sacramento, CA
$249,900
3br / 3ba / 1,664 sqft
 
Columbus, OH
$248,900
6br / 3ba / 3,451 sqft
 
  Raleign, NC
$196,500
4br / 2.5ba / 1,980 sqft
 
Detroit, MI
$139,900
3br / 1.5ba
 

Happy House Hunting
The best place to start your real estate search
Trulia Inc. 208 Utah Street #310 San Francisco CA 94103
2 comments