Baseball, Real Estate and Critical Thought

I am a man of two worlds. There is the real estate agent who has built a business out of absolutely nothing in the course of the past eight years. And there is the sportswriter who has been hanging around press boxes for the past 24 years and often is stunned by the changes that have taken place.

In some places these world collide, not Fringe style, but still … Twitter, once the play thing of technogeeks real estate and otherwise, is mainstream to the point that it now is considered a news source. Everything you need to know available in 140 characters; just don’t think too hard about it because another Tweet is on the way.

The idea of critical thought, of questioning what we’re being told (without simply trying to out-shout someone else) are dead.

From the sports world …

Last year, Major League Baseball made a huge production of starting the season at the end of March. The “unprecedented” early start was needed to ensure that the World Series didn’t carry into November. Never mind that the 1998 season also started in March. Or that not a single World Series game ever was played in November until the schedule (oh yes, and the world) was turned upside down by 9/11. This change was the only way the goal could be accomplished.

This year? Throw out the two-gamer in Japan and the season starts on April 4 with one game. All others follow on April 6.

Funny how quickly MLB forgot what was so important. Or maybe someone thought of a better way.

In the NBA this year, teams are playing ridiculously compacted schedules in order to get the season done after a lengthy lockout. About seven weeks of the season were lost and 16 games were stripped from the schedule. To this point, I’ve yet to see anyone ask why, when teams averaged about 5 to 6 games every two weeks (meaning the time to play about 15 to 17 games was lost) the schedule had to be so compressed when the games stripped and time lost seemed to balance out.

And no one questioned how the Phoenix Suns could be forced to play multiple sets of back-to-back-to-back games but then had eight days off at the All-Star Break.

In the real estate world, my fellow agents tend to follow social media gurus and thought leaders without questioning much of what is told even though the people who are in these positions most often are like the guy being described in this song:

We are told the business is changing without demanding those assertions be proven with fact. We don’t demand accuracy or accountability. We just take it at face value and adjust accordingly, even when no adjustment was necessary.

Zillow and Trulia have told us they are necessary parts of the landscape and so we view them as such rather than questioning their value to the real estate space. Look beyond their own proclamations, and you’ll discover how little value really is there.

And all of this also carries over to this website.

You don’t have to believe me when I tell you there are few bank-owned homes in general and the numbers of foreclosed homes being held off the market are so small as to be nearly irrelevant in the grand scheme of things.

You don’t have to believe me when I tell you that with the current demand here in Phoenix, supply can safely rise. You don’t have to believe me when I tell you I’m seeing prices rise in some areas on the force of cash offers and aggressive pricing.

As a matter of fact, I prefer you didn’t. I’d much rather you continue to research what I say here and come to your own conclusions.

Needless to say, I’m comfortable enough in what I say here that I’m open for evaluation and verification. You’ll never hear me tell you that no argument will be brooked because I inherently am correct in all my proclamations. Only a delusional megalomaniac would say such things, actually.

Now … if your conclusions are diametrically opposed to mine, we may not be the best fit to work together because this business doesn’t really work when agent and buyer/seller work at crossed purposes. And that should be okay, too. There’s plenty of us out there.

Still, all I ask is that you think. We need more of that these days.

Jonathan Dalton

Jonathan Dalton is a 40-plus-year resident of the Valley and has been helping folks buy and sell homes since 2004. He can be reached at 602-502-9693 or info at