At the end of the day, there will always be stupid answers (and even stupid questions) that might as well be ignored. I've often wondered why Trulia allows obviously incorrect answers to remain posted, but I think to some extent we're all big girls and boys and we should be able to decide what is right or wrong.
Many questions are ethically transferable from State to State. Other answers should be Qualified with "in my area"...
Because, i have learned (ESPECIALLY IN N.Y.) that in some parts of N.Y. all bets are off! Some parts are not even a part of the MLS system! And some of the typical ways of doing real estate Bus. in other states absolutely do Not apply in N.Y.
Maybe not necessarily Wrong or Right... -just different!
John and Phyliss are correct: "many questions have to do with REALTOR(R) ethics or federal law and could be answered by anyone."
I don't understand what's up with the recent flurry of "VIP badge" envy related comments, but I think it detracts from the dialogue. A good answer is a good answer whether or not someone has--or doesn't have--a badge. Shouldn't the goal of answering questions be to help someone? Is it a sin to help someone an to expect nothing (including message points [which didn't even exist a few years ago]) else in return?
I have not recalled seeing anyone answer specific question or make a comment that would suggest they were speaking outside their scope of knowledge or expertise. Many questions on Trulia are generic and broad enough for vast inputs from many areas. just my two cents....
It's not that I am territorial, but the process of selling real estate in Brooklyn is very, very different that in most cities across America. It upsets me when I see wrong information being given and most of the time (in my humble opinion) it is due to agents answering questions outside of their area of expertise. I am not saying that they shouldn't answer questions if they have helpful and correct information to offer consumers. All I am saying is that unless you are 100% positive your answer is correct, I do not think you should post it.
It is true that some questions such as "Should I paint my house before I sell?" can be answered by just about anyone because they are opinion based questions that do not necessarily have a definitive factual answer. When it comes to questions about the actual process of buying or selling, that is where knowledge of the local area is an important factor, along with state law and local tradition/protocol. As an example, here in Brooklyn, real estate agents cannot draw a contract of sale, that can only be done by an attorney. Also, in Brooklyn, real estate agents do not set up the escrow account on a deal, that is also done by the attorney, and you do not have 3 days after the signing of a contract to change your mind. Once the fully executed contract is delivered to both parties, you are bound by that contract immediately.
Often times I see a question on Trulia that my 8 year old daughter can answer. My concern are not for those questions but for the questions that really do require someone to be knowledgeable about real estate in a particular area. Annette, I even noticed on your Trulia bio you state "When your questions are about Palm Harbor or Dunedin, you've come to the right place!" It does not say "When your questions are about any place in the USA, you've come to the right place?" I assume that is because you are an expert in those areas.
I am not telling anyone what they should or shouldn't do, to each his own, I am merely making an observation.
and Akil... Your points are well taken, I appreciate that!
"As you can see in my question, I specified "unless you actually sell real estate in an area."
The real issue: "Is the question the consumer presents about the transaction or property?"
There are question a Brooklyn homeowner can present such as, "Should I let my dog run free when an agent is showing my home?" Seriously, do you actually need to have sold homes in brooklyn to respond to that question? Or the question, "My home was formerly a chicken coop, and on certain days it is still obvious. Do you think anyone will notice?" Having sold real estate in brooklyn does not endow special knowledge in chicken-coop remediation. A brooklyn practitioner may be able to present local resources...if so inclined.
I do appreciate from reviewing your Trulia history, that YOU are restricting your comments to the brooklyn area. That is wonderful and you should continue to do so.
Whether a response is appropriate is not dependent on the location but the nature of the question. How many times have you observed a question posted actually connects differently according to what the reader is sensitive to? Some respond to QR implementation while others challenge the need for technology. Who's right?
Best of success.
I do answer questions that are outside of California ONLY if they have to do with fair housing and ethics, those two subjects are not regional.
Agreed, laws regarding a transaction vary, however REO sales are also a different animal. While working with REO sales, our asset manager was in Maryland, the lender was in New Hampshire, we're in the SF Bay area, talk about confusion!
Does the material composition of the bricks, mortar, wood, glass, concrete, or other building materials differ between local markets (or from state to state)? (I can assure you as an investor, who invests in multiple areas, that the material composition doesn't differ.)
Mitchell, I'm originally from Cleveland (and continue to invest there); have worked (and continue to work) on deals in Brooklyn, Bronx, and other ares of NYC; have lived in Florida (and continue to invest there); have worked (and continue to work) on deals in California; and I could go on.
I know several agents (and attorneys for that matter) in NY who also have FL licenses, because their (typically high-end) clients buy properties in both areas. Plus, many agents in D/M/V have multiple licenses; I know several who have licenses in D/M/V and 1 or more of the following: CA, FL, NV, NY, or PA. So while that might not be commonplace to you, it really is the norm in other areas.
Besides, even if that weren't the case, anyone could hire the right, local pros whenever working on deals remotely. Many people have stocks for non-local companies that are managed by non-local portfolio managers. So why does it seem like it's such a big deal--at least to some agents--to grasp the fact that others can do something similar with real-estate?
So you have a point, and it is a good one, and it's never going to change.
All the best,
Licensed Associate Broker
2008 Realtor of the Year
Prudential Douglas Elliman
I totally agree with Jo. Answering out of area questions is all about getting points.
My question was rhetorical and not directed towards any particular individual. Based on your answer I would think that you would be qualified to answer some questions in the areas in which you have purchased, sold and/or otherwise done some form of real estate business in.
However, quite often I see answers given that are completely wrong and I know the reason is that the answerer is assuming that process of buying and selling real estate is the same all over which it simply is not. I do not give answers unless I am 100% certain that the information I am providing is correct. I also do not give answer regarding the material composition of homes as I do not build houses.
As you can see in my question, I specified "unless you actually sell real estate in an area." If an agent or consumer purchases or sells real estate in multiple areas, hey, all the power to them, they should be qualified enough to answer some questions about those areas. My grip is simply about people giving innocent consumers wrong information. Seems like the vast majority of the answers posted here agree with my sentiments.