Showing posts from May, 2014

Using Drones for Real Estate Photography

People are still talking about using drones in real estate for photography of properties.  I'm all for high tech, but not for tools or time wasters that may not help sell homes. DJII Phantom from Hobby Wow Proponents of drones say they are particularly useful when photographing large estates, or giving a unique perspective of a large luxury home from above.  In real use, drones present issues with permission to overfly neighbors and license questions from the FAA. I'm not rushing out to buy a drone any time soon.  The amount of time necessary to learn to fly one, much less take a clear picture from one, is time diverted from other activities.  The value they bring to home sellers is still questionable, since most internet savvy buyers can use Google Earth to get a bird's eye on homes for sale.

Free Sarasota Real Estate Mobile App

More and more people are learning that #AccuracyMatters when it comes to searching online for real estate. Uninstall your inaccurate Zillow or Trulia mobile app and install my free, feature-packed Sarasota MLS app today:!mls-app-sarasota/c1l2 One of the best features is the ability to draw a custom shape on a map to search a particular area.  You can save your favorites and even ask me a question right from a property listing page. My MLS app is completely accurate and has up to date MLS information, unlike Trulia or Zillow's apps.  Don't drive to a home you found on Zillow's mobile app expecting an open house and find it's not even for sale:

#AccuracyMatters: Using Zillow's Mobile App

Today I got an email from a customer using Zillow's mobile app. As readers of this blog know well, I'm a avid crusader against the business practices of Zillow that negatively impact the public and the real estate industry. This home that was listed for sale on Zillow is actually under contract in our MLS: MLS M5845701, available on Zillow's mobile app but under contract in the MLS If you install the Zillow mobile app on your device and use it to search for homes, you'll be looking at out of date information.  Remember, #AccuracyMatters. Fortunately for my clients, I have my own mobile app that provides up to date information from the MLS.  Download it here: Follow me on Twitter @sarasota_homes and #AccuracyMatters.

Manatee County Raising Development Fee 22%

A recent Bradenton Herald article says that Manatee County development review fees are scheduled to increase 22% effective June 1. The county cites the need for increased oversight of land management plans due to the expansion of new home communities and planned future communities. Pat Neal, President of builder Neal Communities, says that government costs account for 12% of a typical $160,000 new home. New home in Lakewood Ranch Here's a link to the article: With increased prices for homes that are continually built further east, away from our area's biggest ttraction, our beaches, is this going to bite the hand that fuels much of Manatee County's recent growth? This is a perfect example of why you need a good buyer's agent, especially when buying a nturew home.  Economic factors such as government regulation can make the difference in good or bad fut

Englewood FL Has a New Real Estate Website

My Englewood FL real estate website is up and running. Like my main site, , features real-time MLS listings, user- friendly navigation, and help and advice for buyers looking for Englewood FL real estate. includes properties on Manasota Key, Placida, Rotonda, and Palm Island.

Trulia's Michael Corbett on Fox and Friends Update 3

I couldn't update Corbett's track record of his Friday Fox and Friends appearance but here's the gist. He profiled three homes.  When I searched for active listings on based on city, exact price, and bedrooms and baths, two of the three he profiled were not available.  One city, I believe it was Columbia, SC, had "zero" homes for sale matching the Corbett's criteria. This makes 5 out of 6 homes not available for sale that were profiled on Fox and Friends.  Misleading? Fact:  Zillow and Trulia do not have full access to MLS data.   On average they have 78% of the number of listings on  Even worse, up to 17% of Zillow and Trulia listings are scraped from tax records to boost their listing count, or are old or expired listings they don't take off their site. Study from Inman News: Trulia and Zillow will do anything to get vi

Sarasota FL New Homes for Sale

An informative article Florida Realtors economist Brad O'Connor about new housing permits shows what parts of Florida are experiencing a construction boom. The orange shaded areas show Hillsborough County in Tampa, and Orange County in the Orlando, with the state's highest number of building permits. What I found interesting is that Manatee and Sarasota Counties combined had basically the same number of new building permits as Miami-Dade and Broward Counties on the east coast of FL. You can read the entire article here, and use the interactive map: Buying a new home is not something to do on your own without the assistance of an experienced buyer's agent.   Competing new home construction can negatively impact the resale of your 2 or 3 year old property down the road.  Quality of life issues such as traffic congestion can also have a negative influence on the futur

Michael Corbett of Trulia on Fox News: Follow Up

Follow up to my blog post and Tweets about Corbett highlighting homes not for sale on Fox and Friends: I got a call from a Trulia representative around 7am PST.  I guess I hit a nerve. I stand by my assertions. The three homes he highlighted are not for sale on  He provides no MLS numbers and he provides no listing Realtor information. Trulia offered to send me and email with the MLS numbers.  I challenged them to rebut me on Twitter. Crickets.  I'm sure Trulia is now in the process of restricting my access to their website as Zillow has.  The Ministry of Real Estate Propaganda marches on. Stay tuned.  I'm sure Fox News doesn't want real estate misinformation on their air.

Michael Corbett for Trulia on Fox News

I've been writing for a while now about the true mission of Zillow and Trulia:  increase visitors to their websites by using unreliable real estate data.  And every time I see Michael Corbett for Trulia on TV, especially on Fox and Friends on Fox News, the misinformation really gets my blood boiling. Today Corbett, grinning former soap opera actor, featured 3 homes from Trulia: 1) Nashville, TN  3 br, 2.5 bath for $239,900.  The featured home is not available on using that exact search criteria. 2) Raleigh, NC  3 br, 2.5 bath for $285,000.  This featured home is not available on using that exact search criteria. 3) Plano, TX  4 br, 3.5 bath for $275,000. indicates ZERO homes for sale using that criteria. He then goes on to cite the "Trulia Price Trend" reports.  Unfortunately for Corbett, according to a study, Zillow and Trulia have 78% of the total listings for sale as, the only real estate portal that gets list