Charlotte real estate not as rosy as media reports
Realtor magazine senior editor Wendy Cole was recently surprised by the reaction of real estate agents in Charlotte, N.C., when she traveled there with the intention of reporting on the "upbeat news out of … a major financial hub committed to smart growth."

The Charlotte market has "stayed strong and steady" through the downturn, Cole said, but the media has made such a big deal about it that agents "say they feel enormous stress about meeting the expectations of sellers who have also read those same cheery headlines. It seems all the positive buzz is making it harder for practitioners there who say the market really isn’t as rosy as it seems."

Veteran Chicago Tribune real estate reporter Mary Umberger took note of irony of the situation. "More than once, I have conversed with frustrated members of the National Association of Realtors who genuinely seem to believe that there’s a media conspiracy to suffocate the housing market by publishing the data its own offices churn out monthly," Umberger wrote on her own blog.

Umberger’s tongue-in-cheek promise to go along with the request to stop reporting good news generated another response on the Realtor magazine blog, Speaking of Real Estate. Realtors aren’t trying to have it both ways, Stacey Moncrieff insists. "Our seemingly insatiable desire for ‘best’ and ‘worst’ lists … doesn’t really offer us much in the way of meaning," Moncrieff posits. "When attention is focused on any market — be it a local real estate market, a stock sector, or some other investment — that attention has the potential to oversimplify reality and even cause a psychological shift, either creating new demands or causing people to wonder ‘how long will it last?’ "
Speaking of Real Estate

Sacramento to star on HGTV’s "House Hunters"
HGTV’s "House Hunters," which focuses on "the emotional experience of finding and purchasing a new home" and takes "viewers behind the scenes as individuals, couples and families learn what to look for," is coming to Sacramento, Calif. While Sacramento has become known as one of the hottest areas for distressed property and foreclosure sales, HGTV is actually looking to produce a show on a "green home" or a million-dollar-plus property, blogs RE/MAX Gold Associate Broker Gena Riede.
Sacramento Real Estate Voice

Trolling for FSBOs
Robyn Hardy, a "real estate technology strategist" and the former owner of Prudential Aegis Realty in Tucson, Ariz., is preparing to launch a system where she’ll use buyers as bait to troll for FSBOs on the Internet.

If you have "a ready, willing and able buyer," why wouldn’t you show them all the homes on the market, including FSBOs? Hardy asks. Beginning Aug. 1, she’ll deploy a system where buyers and agents post their needs on the Web, allowing potential sellers to look for a match before they even put their homes on the market. Buyers will be prequalified and assigned to agents who will also send out "House Wanted" postcards.

"All requests for contact info regarding the buyers must come through my business development team, which generates an opportunity to share with my agents," Hardy says. She hasn’t decided whether she’ll require a buyer broker agreement — she has "not found that approach to be effective in the past."


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