Remember when JFK said we would go to the moon? Remember the excitement of being part of something new!? Let’s create a big, fat wish today that we, in the Seattle area, want to constantly be the prototype for the Country with regard to an MLS and how it functions.
We are the trendsetters (we being Seattle) as to The Internet and how people use it.
Here’s a “workshop” post. I think “the mls” is “broke” and it needs fixing. You decide for yourself after reading this. We all “accept” that people start their search on the Internet…right?
Let’s all take a good, hard look at HOW they start their search on the internet.
OK…I’m Average Joe and I think I want to move to Kirkland. I go to the internet and I Google “Kirkland” and I find this super-duper site provided by The City of Kirkland. It tells me:
It gives an an “on demand” video stream of all of the Kirkland Council meetings and provides the minutes of the meetings, so I can see if it’s the kind of place I might like to live.
There’s even a link to Kirkland TV on every topic I might be interested in…WOW! I like this place called Kirkland. They certainly care about keeping everyone informed, and they clearly embrace new technologies. My kind of place.
Bur where in Kirkland might be the best place for me? OK…lets Google “Kirkland Neighborhoods”. I find this great link to everything I ever wanted to know about Kirkland Neighborhoods. I find the cool Explore Kirkland site and even Walking Maps sorted by the various Neighborhoods. Wow! Every Neighborhood in Kirkland has it’s own Association! What a wonderful sense of community, and they certainly take their Neighborhoods seriously!
Isn’t this Super-Cool!!! I can figure out everything I need to know in my jammies, without leaving the house…at 1 a.m! That’s the kind of place I want to live in! They have embraced Technology! Woohoo!
My world’s a better place because the City of Kirkland cared enough to make everything they do, and everything I need to know, accessible on the Internet! I’m going to buy a house in Kirkland! YAY!!!
SO JOE TAKES THE KIRKLAND NEIGHBORHOOD MAP (that he found on the Internet) TO A REAL ESTATE OFFICE, because he doesn’t know which Neighborhoods of these he can afford to live in.
BEFORE looking at houses on the Internet…he has a few questions.
Agent: Can I help you?
Joe: Can you please hit a button on your computer over there, and tell me the median price of a home in each of these neighborhoods?
Agent: What’s your price range? I’ll be happy to show you some homes right now!
Joe: Well..no…I really just want to know which of these neighborhoods on this map here from the City I can afford to live in. I’m not ready to look at homes yet.
Agent: Do you have a pre-approval letter? I’ll be happy to get our lender over here and tell you how much you can afford.
Joe: (starting to get angry) Lady, I just want to know the median price of these neighborhoods! Can you help me or not!? OK…let me make this easier for you (you idiot). Just tell me the median price of this neighborhood. This one. Here on the map of Kirkland Neighborhoods. “Lakeview” Just go over to the computer and hit a couple of buttons and tell me what the median price of Lakeview is, PLEASE!
Agent: Well, you don’t need to get angry, sir. I am more than happy to help you, but you OBVIOUSLY don’t know what you are doing, because the mls doesn’t HAVE a neighborhood called “Lakeview”, (Mr. Smartypants).
Joe: Hmmm? How about this one over here…”Norkirk”?
Agent: “We” call that East of Market. kindof. When you get down here some agents call that “Downtown”. Some agents just put in Kirkland for all of it. Would you like me to do a search by Zip Code?
Joe: NO! I don’t want you to do a search by Zip Code! According to this great map the City “gave me” there are a dozen neighborhoods! I don’t want TWO zip code answers! I want TWELVE median price answers you freakin’ moron! One for each of these REAL Neighborhoods!!!
(Joe leaves in a huff. Agent says to agent next to them in the office, “one of those Microsoftees. Boy are they a pain in the ass” They think they know everything.)
Joe goes into a different real estate office:
Joe: Can you please hit a button on your computer over there, and tell me the median price of a home in each of these neighborhoods? Joe hands the agent the same great map the City of Kirkland “gave him” on their cool site.
Agent: Here’s “our” map. This is the one “WE” use. It’s broken down by all of these code numbers that only agents know.
Joe: Can you give me a few minutes to study this thing, because all of my research so far geared me to searching by the neighborhoods. The real neighborhoods. The one’s the City and the people who live here use. (Joe realizes he’s not going to get anywhere until he figures out this stupid “code map”, so he gives it a quick study.)
Agent: Do you have a pre-approval letter? Do you want to go see some houses today, because it’s really a Great Time to Buy! Can I make some appointments while you study “our” map? How many bedrooms do you want? Do you have children? Pets? Where do you work? Here’s some testimonials from some of my clients who love me. Here’s a link to my website with lots of useful information. Here’s a Buyer’s Guide to help you understand all the things I’m going to be doing for you.
Joe: (I wish this agent would shut the fck up, so I can look at this map.) You know what. I think I’m going to go get something to eat. Can I borrow this code map to read while I’m eating?
Agent: What’s your price range? I’ll line up a few houses to see while you’re eating lunch!
(Joe leaves with the secret code map and never returns. Agent says to agent next to him, “Well…what the heck is wrong with that guy? Where IS he? I’ve made five appointments to see these houses. What am I going to do?” Other agent, “You know what they say, “Buyers are Liars”.)
Joe tries to decipher the secret code map.
Joes’ Wife: Honey, did you figure out which neighborhoods we can afford in Kirkand?
Joe: Well, I’ve spent all day in two different real estate offices, and I can’t get a straight answer out of anyone! This stupid realtor code map doesn’t help at all!!! They are calling ALL of Kirland, Area 560!
Joe’s Wife: Honey…I know you’ve wasted a whole day with this stupid real estate agent stuff. We don’t need an agent! Let’s just go Google “mls Kirkland”and look at some houses and calm down, OK?
Joe: OK. Sorry. I didn’t mean to take it out on you. I’m just SO FRUSTRATED!
Joe Googles “mls Kirkland”. He finds Kirkland Home Search – The MLS Online He clicks “home search”. He changes the drop down to “King County”. He clicks on “Kirkland”. He puts in his real price, not the lie he told the agent to get the heck out of that office. He puts in minimum of 3 bedrooms. It says “10 Actives Found”.
Joe: This site says there are only 10 houses in Kirkland priced between $500,000 and $525,000. I thought there was a record number of houses for sale? This can’t be right!
Joe’s Wife: Try $450,000 to $550,000.
Joe: OK. That’s better. It says 58. Still, not as many as I was expecting based on what I’ve been reading in the paper. A whole City only has 58 houses in our price range? Let’s see if I can figure out which of these Neighborhoods they are in. (He clicks “View Actives List”.) Honey? What do you think “active” means? Can’t they just say For Sale!?
Joe’s Wife: Now down’t get started. Just get to the houses, OK? What do you see?
(Joe says FCK…it’s starting at the most expensive house at $550,000. I don’t want her to see this. Good, here’s a re-sort button from lo to hi.)
Joe: One second, honey. OK…here’s a really nice one for $450,000.
Joe’s Wife: That looks nice. What’s a “split-entry”?
Joe: I don’t know. Can’t these G’damn agents speak English!!!
Joe’s Wife: Calm down. What neighborhood is it in?
Joe: I’m looking at the pictures. It has wood floors. Those look like new windows. Looks pretty nice.
Joe’s Wife: What neighborhood is it in?
Joe: It doesn’t say. It says “Kirkland”. Here’s a map of where it is…I can see a train track. FCK…THIS ISN’T WORKING!!!
Joe Wife: Honey, I think we really DO need to get an agent.
Joe: NO! Fck that! That’s why they are doing this! They are making it impossible for me to do anything! All I wanted was the median price of the neighborhoods in Kirkland. Is that too much to ask!?!? No. No agent. They are not going to win! NO!
Joe’s Wife: (Crying)
Joe: (turns on the football game.)
I think it’s broke and needs fixing. What do you think?