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Bidding Adieu to 2010

… needless to say, this has been an interesting year. It began with a hectic first quarter and never slowed down, proving there’s still life in the Phoenix real estate market. By the numbers here … nearly 50,000 visitors to, 20 closed escrows, a half-dozen new tenants placed in rental properties, two newly repaired heart valves and one decidedly different outlook on things. Many thanks to everyone for making 2010 memorable. Tobey and I wish you all a happy, healthy and prosperous 2011!

Humility, Technology Out of Context Style

When it comes to sportswriting, I'm still a pen and paper kind of guy. I mean, I'm not Jim Tom Pinch with his geezer-codger typewriter, but I'm certainly not working to keep up with new developments in audio recordings as they mean almost nothing to me. This is the kind of thing I try and keep in mind as I tweak my online presence and try to create a quality experience for my clients. Just because something might seem technologically cool to me doesn't mean anyone else not in the consistent context of the real estate world will give a damn. And so I focus on more minimalist upgrades, including what I think will be some wicked cool search abilities once I've got the time to sit down and work out the kinks. About the last thing I want to do to folks already somewhat overwhelmed by the thought of spending six figures in the Phoenix real estate market is make them even more overwhelmed by beating them over the head with technological bells and whistles.

One More Thought on Eliminating Short Sales from the Real Estate Markets

This morning's RE/MAX update included an article from founder/chairman Dave Liniger. The headline was that there needed to be more short sales in 2011. The gist was there needed to be more successful short sales and for this to take place loan servicers need to have better processes in place. It's rare I find myself disagreeing with Dave - he has forgotten more about real estate than many of us ever will know - but I do believe he's wrong here, if only because I've reached the conclusion that lenders and loan servicers are fundamentally incapable of becoming adept at processing and approving short sales.

A Change in Scenery … or … If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em

On a cool January morning a hair under four years ago, the Phoenix real estate blogging community came together for a sit-down meeting at the Phoenix Public Library. This wasn't like a meeting of the 5 Families, though knowing now what we only suspected then, maybe we ought to have treated as such. Rather, we were curious to put faces with the names we had been reading in what was then a fledgling medium. It's instructive that the entirety of the Phoenix blogosphere fit comfortably in a small conference room. Some of those folks have stopped blogging, some are no longer in the real estate business. And still others, along with the second generation and beyond, have come together under Jay and Francy Thompson''s shingle at Thompson's Realty.

Want to Get Serious Buyers Back in the Phoenix Real Estate Game? Eliminate Short Sales Once and For All

Let's start with a quiz ... when does a sale take place in the Phoenix real estate market? Simple answer ... when a ready, willing and able buyer and ready, willing and able seller agree upon a sales price, terms and conditions and successfully complete the escrow process and the deed to the property changes electronic hands. Without a ready, willing and able buyer and without a ready, willing and able seller, there can be no sale. As of yesterday, there were 26,000-odd single-family detached homes listed for sale in the Phoenix real estate market. Of those, nearly one third are being offered for sale by sellers who may be ready, who may be willing but aren't able to sell. Aren't able to sell, that is, without approval from the lender(s) who had financed the purchase of the property.

Closing Up Shop For a Couple of Days

The final presents have been purchased, though it required two trips to the mall the week prior to Christmas, and the egg nog IV drip has been set up. We're going to take a day or two, leave the home office and see who the people are living in the front of the house just in case I might know them. I'll still be answering e-mails and the phone, at least through tomorrow around 3 p.m., and then I'm shutting things down until Sunday. Even your friendly real estate agent and his beagle(s) deserve a couple of days off this time of year.

Tis the Season to Write Some Checks, Fa La La La La La NAR AAR PAR

Let’s start with a brief aside, just so everyone knows they’re in the right place. Early this morning I awoke from a recurring dream. I was driving to the university to take my final exams, which would have been fine except I couldn’t remember having attended any of the classes. In fact, I couldn’t remember what some of the classes were or if I’d ever seen the instructor yet somehow I was going to have to fake my way through lest I not pass the course. I’m not alone on this one, right? That it came last night was coincidental […]

A Pre-Christmas Phoenix Real Estate Surprise

My children are in a lather this morning. Thanks to the vagaries of the weather - it's easy to forget Christmas is approaching when it's 85 degrees and the air conditioner is still running less than a month ahead of the winter solstice - the joy of a two-holiday house and a commission-based lifestyle, there were precious few gifts under the artificial 4-foot pine the past week or so. All of that changed over the weekend when the first of just three shopping days began. It was a strategic strike in the finest sense - wait until the evening when the crowds at the local Walmart were thinned, get to the presents we wanted and get out without suffering any collateral damage. Nixon wasn't that effective back in the day.

Design Upgrade, Part Two

As the tinkering continues, the template for what the individual city pages will be has been completed. Simply click on the Avondale link in the header or click right here since you're here, and you can see what I'm talking about. My goal is for these city-level pages to be one-stop shops for information on these featured cities - market statistics, to answer the question of how the market's doing; the latest listings at the bottom updated as they happen; a map to help those of you out of state figure out where the community might be (for instance, two clicks of the minus button on the map and you can see where Avondale is compared to Sky Harbor airport, answering the universal question of how far a city is from the airport); and a search-by-neighborhood platform, soon to be augmented with a search-by-price. For the time being, only Avondale is active. The other city links will take you the latest listings. Give me a couple of days and a couple more quarts of egg nog, though, and the rest soon shall be live. And then it will be on to the next project.

Design Change Number One is Live

No, I didn't do anything different with my hair. But the banner's got a decidedly different look if you'll take a moment and look up. Those cute little pictures will take you to the latest listings in the cities listed. In time, they will take you to a page not only with the latest listings but also some other cool information about the communities and (possibly) direct search possibilities by price, etc. Yes, there are more than nine cities in Maricopa County - we're the size of New Jersey, after all. And no, not every city in the Phoenix area is going to be getting the same photo treatment. Sorry, Youngtown. Space is limited so space was reserved for the places that people seem to be searching more often. Doesn't make them better - we're all about the participant ribbons when it comes to rating Phoenix real estate.