Inman's top 25 most-read stories of 2017

Coverage of Zillow Instant Offers, social media faux pas, tax reform, net neutrality and agent branding rules all made the cut

In what’s been a big year for politics, technology and real estate news, Inman’s most-read stories for 2017 touch on a wide range of topics pertinent to the industry.

1. Keller Williams branch fires agent over controversial Facebook post

Photo: Rami Al-zayat / Unsplash

Our most read story of the year covered Keller Williams Realty Black Hills’ decision to part ways with South Dakota Republican State Rep. Lynne Hix-DiSanto, who also worked as a licensed real estate agent, over a Sept. 7 Facebook post of a meme that depicted protestors being hit by a car.

2. Realtor finds two dead bodies inside home for sale

Google Street View

In October, a 911 call placed by an unnamed Realtor detailed an encounter that no real estate agent ever wants to imagine: “I just walked in this house to preview it for a client and there’s a dead person in the bathroom…”

3. Homes with this color bathroom sell for $5,400 more

Gelpi JM / Shutterstock.com

A $50 gallon of blue paint can result in a huge return on investment for homeowners, according to Zillow‘s 2017 Paint Color Analysis study. Who knew?

4. Brad Inman live blogs Keller Williams family reunion

Inman’s publisher reported from the franchisor’s mega conference, which he described as “one part rave, one part revival and two parts crazed enthusiasm.”

5. Realtor fined $450 for marketing violation warns colleagues of mistake

A Facebook post from an agent who received a fine for lack of brokerage disclosure on his website sparked conversation over NAR’s ad rules and how they are regulated.

6. Zillow launches Instant Offers pilot program for homesellers

In May, Inman broke the news that Zillow had launched a pilot program allowing prospective homesellers to receive all-cash offers from a hand-selected group of 15 large private investors along with a side-by-side comparative market analysis (CMA) from a local Zillow Premier Agent.

7. 8 things homesellers risk when they sell without a real estate agent

aastock / Shutterstock.com

Ultimately, unguided decision making when handling the single largest transaction someone makes in a lifetime can result in a rocky process, Inman contributor Cara Ameer explains.

8. Real estate agent uses self-defense training to escape assault

In October a real estate agent shared how previous self-defense training kicked in and helped her notice that a man posing as a homebuyer was acting strange to escape a dangerous situation. Agent safety remains a top industry concern.

9. NAR comes out swinging against Zillow Instant Offers

Photo: Unsplash

Zillow Instant Offers hasn’t been without its detractors, chief among them the National Association of Realtors, who noted that Zillow “was not created to protect the interests of real estate professionals,” in response to the real estate giant’s launch of an iBuyer marketplace pilot.

10. Why the best real estate agents are the ones no one hears about

Photo: Aashish R Gautam / Unsplash

“Arguably the biggest problem the industry has is the agent that will do anything or say anything to secure a listing,” writes certified appraiser and associate broker Hank Miller in an April column that struck a chord with readers.

11. Zillow Group nixes manual listing entry

Photo: Kai Pilger / Unsplash

In February Zillow nixed the ability to manually post listings on Zillow or Trulia and doubled down on direct feeds, which caused a stir in the industry.

12. Realtor finds backyard shed covered with agents’ headshots

katherineheintz / Shutterstock

We can all agree — real estate agents deserve more appreciation than they currently receive, but one Abilene, Texas, man appeared to have taken his “appreciation” too far, putting the real estate community on guard, Inman reported in July.

13. The best month and day to put a home on the market

Photo: Scott Webb / Unsplash

If you’re thinking about putting your home on the market, you may want to consider a Saturday in May…

14. 9 signs it’s time to quit your real estate career

Photo: Brian Gaid / Unsplash

Your pipeline is dry, deals are falling apart more than they’re staying together and you’re broke. Hmm, you might want to consider an exit route, writes Inman contributor Erica Ramus in this column from August.

15. Your $1 pricing mistake just cost your sellers thousands

NeONBRAND / Unsplash

“People searching for homes priced at $500,000 to $550,000 will never see your $499,999 listing,” writes Bernice Ross.

16. Is Trump’s tax plan good for homeownership? Nope, says NAR

David Everett Strickler / Unsplash

Responding to the first glimpse Americans had into Republicans’ tax reform plan (the bare bones of the first version were released in April), NAR launched its lobbying fight to protect real estate interests, stating “major reforms are needed to lower tax rates and simplify the tax code but shouldn’t come at the expense of current and prospective homeowners.” Inman went on to cover an array of updates and analyses as the bill made its way through Congress and passed the legislative branch this week.

17. 33 high-return promotional ideas clients will love

There are better options when it comes to promoting your business than koozies and pens. Inman reported on a multitude of tested-and-true ideas from real estate superstars in March.

18. Special Report: How to turn Facebook into a lead generation machine

How many of Facebook’s 1.86 billion users could be a real estate agent’s next lead? Inman explored how real estate agents can leverage the social media giant to their advantage in our top Special Report of the year.

19. My top 10 predictions for real estate in 2018

Eric Didier / Unsplash

If publisher Brad Inman’s crystal ball is any indication, next year the economy and housing market will grow like crazy.

20. ‘But my Zestimate is higher than that’: 11 ways to respond

best pixels / Shutterstock.com

“Has Zillow been inside your house…?” and more.

21. Trump’s tax reform plan is a mixed bag for real estate

Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock.com

“Before the parsing, pissing and politicalization of President Trump’s nine-page tax reform proposal gets hot and heavy, here are some essential features that might help or hurt real estate,” wrote Brad Inman in September as the bill was picking up steam.

22. End of net neutrality could spell doom for real estate

In November, U.S. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai released a plan to repeal “Net Neutrality” regulations, a move with far-reaching implications for mom-and-pop brokerages and real estate services across America. The FCC voted to end net neutrality on Dec. 14, 2017.

23. Real estate regulators crack down on individual, team branding

Mictoon / Shutterstock

What constitutes misleading consumers? It could be as simple as an agent using a fictitious business name ending in “Real Estate” or an agent branding him- or herself as an “independent” real estate professional, Inman reported in April.

24. Remodel or replace? Top 10 ROI opportunities for popular home improvement projects

Samuel Zeller / Unsplash

The 2017 Cost vs. Value report by Remodeling magazine documents the national and regional costs and ROI (return on investment) for 29 popular home improvement projects.

25. 7 repair requests buyers should never make

Igor Ovsyannykov / Unsplash

You give a little here, and they concede a bit there. But what do you do when you have a buyer who demands unnecessary repairs after a home inspection? Inman contributor Missy Yost explores this very question.

Email Inman