Showing posts from June, 2014

0 for 3: Trulia's Michael Corbett on Fox and Friends June 20

On today's June 20th edition of Fox and Friends, Michael Corbett again appeared for his regular Friday "report" on affordable homes from Trulia. The problem, as I have documented in the past, is that few if any of the homes Corbett profiles on Fox and Friends are actually available for sale.  Fox News may finally be getting it; the segment seemed noticeably shorter today. Here are the homes Corbett profiled on Fox and Friends: 1) Charlotte, NC: $199,000, 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 2000 sq ft colonial style brick front. shows zero homes for sale in Charlotte with these exact parameters. 2) Huntsville, AL: $200,000, 4 bedrooms, 2 baths, 2000 sq ft brick front ranch.  Once again, zero homes found for sale in Huntsville on 3) Tyler, TX: $187,500, 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1600 sq ft, cottage style home.  Zero homes in Tyler are for sale fitting this description on As I have previously outlined on this blog, a study by Inman found Tr

Follow Up: Zillow's "Coming Soon" Feature

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) issued a warning on "coming soon" marketing, since the issue was raised by Zillow's new "coming soon" feature.  NAR says brokers who do not act in the best interest of their clients by informing them of the limited nature of coming soon marketing could face liability. "Coming soon" marketing is another form of pocket listings, where a Realtor has either a verbal agreement with a homeowner to sell their property, or has a written agreement.  The MLS I belong to, MFRMLS, is the 2nd largest in the country.  MFRMLS rules require a listing to be input in the MLS within 48 hours of completing a written listing agreement.  A "coming soon" listing could only be in effect with a true written  agreement for 48 hours, using Zillow's "coming soon" feature. In my previous blog post, I outlined how "coming soon" listings have the potential for abuse.  A Realtor could technically have a

#AccuracyMatters: Another Customer Asks About a Zillow Property

Readers of this blog will know that I am a fervent advocate for accuracy in real estate, especially when it comes to Zillow and Trulia. I had yet another customer ask me about a property they found on Zillow that was not available for sale. The customer says she found 141 Spanish Point Drive, Osprey, FL for sale in Zillow.  Google Maps does not show a home at that address, and there is no Sarasota County tax record for this address. Zillow does show a property at 121 Spanish Point Drive for sale on their site:,-82.487342,27.198166,-82.495335_rect/16_zm/1_fr/   That property is not for sale in the MLS. For more about how Zillow and Trulia do business please visit my wesite:!debunking-zillow-sarasota/cftb

Zillow Now Offering "Coming Soon" Listings

Zillow is starting a new "feature" that allows agents to post what we in the industry call pocket listings:  Properties that are supposedly for sale before they are listed in the MLS. Pocket listings are prevalent in some markets, and no doubt a lot of buyers see agents negotiating pocket listings on popular real estate TV shows on Bravo or HGTV. Unfortunately for consumers, pocket listings are full of potential legal and accuracy issues that will add more headaches than necessary to the home buying process. The MLS I belong to, Mid Florida MLS, the 2nd largest in the country, requires that a property must be listed in the MLS within 48 hours of receipt of a signed listing agreement by the seller.  Zillow's "Coming Soon" will not be much of a benefit. Zillow's "Coming Soon" feature opens up a lot of opportunity for agents to abuse it.  In the absence of a signed listing agreement, agents could post a property for sale without a signed list

Sarasota Owner Financing

Homes offering owner financing are becoming a more popular niche.  I have been concentrating in  specializing in owner financing negotiation. You don't have to have bad credit to benefit from owner financing.  Many home buyers and sellers are refusing to deal with the hurdles involved in getting a bank mortgage.  But, a conversation I had today with another agent brings up the issue of Fair Housing law. No one offering mortgage financing can legally ask about the status or demographics of a buyer.  There are protected classes of buyers which include familial status, race, gender and sexual preference.  As Realtors, we should be counseling our sellers and buyers about the law and basing sales and purchase decisions based on buyer qualification for the mortgage only. Visit my website for owner financing homes for sale:!owner-financing-sarasota/chfb

Trulia's Michael Corbett on Fox and Friends: #AccuracyMatters

I've been following this "Trulia real estate expert" on Fox and Friends for a few weeks.  Today he showed up again today with his best deals segment. I noticed a couple of changes in his segment since I have started monitoring him on this program.  Today, the prices of the properties he profiled were displayed on screen for milliseconds, presumably to make the listings harder to trace back on   Despite my previous challenge to him and to Trulia, they display no MLS numbers for potential buyers to find the homes Corbett profiles online. I also noticed he threw in a home in Sarasota (my primary market area) with no price displayed except for the anchor saying it verbally.  Below is what he profiled: 1) Atlanta   $300,000  3/3 red   2 story   2700 sq ft colonial  corner lot pre-wired for electronics: According to, this home is currently for sale. 2) Sarasota FL  3/2  1900 sq ft  stone front  $300K:  No homes in the local MLS (of