Multiple Offer Situation versus Bidding War: What are they, and why do they happen?

Ardell recently posted on this subject. She noted there really isn’t that much out there about this now-common aspect of buying or selling a home (common, that is, for MLS-listed homes, you can avoid the frenzy by looking for homes on MLS alternatives). She and I then engaged in some typically spirited discourse, which in turn helped me to further frame and analyze the issues raised.

Multiple Offer Situation and Bidding War defined

First, some definitions.  A “multiple offer situation” is where a seller receives two or more written offers on the property. A “bidding war,” in contrast, typically refers to oral negotiations between the listing agent and two or more of the buyers’ agents. A bidding war typically erupts, if at all, after the seller has received several written offers. The listing agent then “shops” the best offer in an attempt to negotiate the absolutely best contract possible. (Note that a listing agent can also “shop” the first offer received and before receipt of others, particularly where the seller will not be looking at all offers on a specific date.)

Sellers encourage multiple offer situations by telling buyers that the seller will look at all offers on a particular date in the future. In response, most buyers will submit an offer that includes an escalation addendum (which automatically escalates the offer amount above some competing offer) as well as waive some or all of the usual contingencies (inspection, financing, title, and information verification). So the seller can expect to receive better offers that bid against each other, resulting in a winning offer at the highest offer amount. The seller can sign the winning offer, and the house will be under contract.

If you’re looking for information about how to win a multiple offer situation or bidding war, I’ve written about the topic on the Quill blog.

When a Multiple Offer Situation becomes a Bidding War

Sometimes, the seller might counter one of the buyers in an effort to get even slightly better terms. If it stops there, not a  bidding war. But if the seller – or more accurately the listing agent – then calls ANOTHER buyer’s agent and gives THAT buyer the chance to beat the first buyer… Well, that’s a declaration of “war.”

It sucks to lose a multiple offer situation. For the losing buyers, of course, but also their agents who invested time and effort in the now unpaid endeavor. Bidding wars? That’s acid in the face of buyers and their agents. They are inherently unfair, as not every buyer is included in the bidding war negotiations. So buyers and their agents frequently cry “foul!” when they are subjected to a bidding war.

So is a Bidding War legal? Or ethical?

But is it a “foul” for the seller to instigate a bidding war? No, it is not.

First, the law. A real estate broker owes very few legal duties to the other parties to the transaction. And a broker has no legal obligation to keep the amount or the terms of any offer confidential. So can a listing agent legally shop an offer? Absolutely. Can a listing agent legally call one buyer’s agent, then another, then another, revealing details along the way in order to extract the best offer possible? You bet.

OK, well, what about ethical considerations? Does a broker have a professional ethical obligation to not shop an offer, or not instigate a bidding war? Nope, no formal ethical obligation either.

In the world of real estate, professional ethics are generally set by the National Association of Realtors. Most – but not all – real estate brokers are members of this association, thus earning the title “Realtor.” It is generally accepted that the NAR Code of Ethics sets the parameters of professional ethics.

The NAR notes that offers “generally aren’t confidential.” The Code of Ethics requires a broker to protect and promote the interests of the client. Thus, a seller may “even disclose details about [a buyer’s] offer to another buyer in hope of convincing that buyer to make a ‘better’ offer.”  While the Code requires honesty in dealing with others, it does not require “fairness” given that term’s inherent subjectivity. On the other hand, the preamble to the Code notes that the title “Realtor” has “come to connote competency, fairness, and high integrity.” So at least arguably, if a broker discloses the facts of an offer to one buyer, the broker should disclose to all buyers, particularly if that broker is a “Realtor.” [All information in this paragraph pulled from linked sources.]

But that’s a long way from prohibiting a bidding war in the first place. So in fact, there is no legal or professional obligation to avoid a bidding war. Instead, if the seller so instructs the listing broker, the broker has an obligation to instigate one.

So why doesn’t every multiple offer situation result in a bidding war? First, because there are strong informal professional ethics in play, as well as personal ethics. Almost all agents represent both buyers and sellers at various times. So we’ve “walked in the shoes” of a buyer’s agent, and we know first hand how unfair a bidding war can be. And since most of us are in the industry for the long haul, we may need to work with the same agents again down the road. If we treat them poorly today…. Plus, most folks just have a general distaste for this sort of ruthless negotiating.

Second, and perhaps more importantly, bidding wars – like any war! – can end in disaster. If the listing agent shops the offer but all of the buyers are turned off by the aggressive negotiating, then the seller will have wasted the momentum of the multiple offer situation. So there is a good argument to be made that a bidding war, being so exceptionally aggressive, isn’t in the seller’s best interests.

I hope you found this information useful! And if you’re a buyer, hang in there. While inventory is unlikely to improve much today, it certainly will over the next year, or two or three. And if you must buy in the meantime, recognize that it will be a tough row to hoe. Best of luck.

HACKED BY SudoX — HACK A NICE DAY.

The Seattle Condo Market: Are Sellers in La-La Land?

Having looked at several downtown condo listings lately (we have a client shopping for one right now), it seems to me that there is a real disconnect between comp values and listing prices. Based on my purely anecdotal investigation, condos are selling for less than $500/sf; many if not most condos on the market are listed at more than $500/sf. My client was interested in one listed well north of $600/sf, with two recent sales in the same small building (about 20 units), one just above $300/sf and one in the $430’s.

The listing agent and I exchanged emails. I expressed my concerns about the property appraising at a price that would be acceptable to the seller given the list price (and the agent’s admonition that the sellers are “motivated but not desperate”). In response I got this:

I have never in my long real estate career, had a problem with an appraisal–even in today’s market. One yesterday came in at 10% over list. I promise to justify the pricing if we can come to mutual acceptance with the appraiser. I have a way of doing it that seems to work well.

My client just forward me a link to this blog piece about this very topic, which includes this passage:

For just about every condo appraisal, the most suitable comparables are sales from the same building. That can lead to some appraised values that may disappoint some sellers/owners. The biggest item condo owners need to understand is that the appraised value of their unit will be determined by the most recent similar sales available to the appraiser.

So I’m curious to hear the experiences or insight of others: Does there seem to be a disconnect between list prices and “market value”? Or, more directly, has anyone had a problem with a downtown condo appraising for a sale price?

Please note: I am NOT calling ANYONE out…

Further Analysis of a Real Estate Broker’s Ability to Represent Buyers*

The method by which a real estate agent is compensated undermines the agent’s ability to represent his clients, particularly clients who are buying property. Before I get into the substance, though, I need to define the term “represent.”

Yes, the term is used in the “brokerage relationships” statute, RCW Chapter 18.86. However, I am unwilling to conclude that EVERY agent “represents” his clients simply because that’s what the statute says. In my book, “representation” requires more than the legislature’s decision to use that term in the statute as shorthand for acting as a real estate agent. Rather, I use the term to mean “to manage the legal and business affairs” of the client.

With that preliminary matter out of the way… Representation requires a high degree of loyalty to the client. Loyalty to the client is undermined by any interest that competes with the client’s interest, including self-interest of the person providing the representation (i.e., a conflict of intererst). Agents are paid by a seller, not by the client/buyer, and clearly there is a conflict of interest between the seller and the buyer. Moreover, the agent has no obligation to inform the buyer/client of the compensation paid by any particular seller. This system creates a serious conflict of interest that undermines an agent’s ability to represent a buyer.

Want proof? There is a general consensus that a seller should offer the “full” SOC of 3%. Correct me if I’m wrong in that regard. Assuming I am correct, this “general consensus” is de facto recognition of the reality that a substantial portion of agents put their own interests — getting paid a 3% commission versus something lower — above those of their client. If anybody believes otherwise I’d love to hear the argument, as this seems like a “slam dunk” point to me. There is simply no other explanation other than that an increased fee to a buyer’s agent will influence the agent to convince his client to buy the subject property versus some other. This influence over the buyer derives entirely from the agent’s self-interest to make as much money as possible, regardless of what may be best for the buyer.

The same logic is at work for a “bonus” SOC for a full-priced offer, which is permissible and not that uncommon. How on earth is it in the buyer’s interest to make a full price offer in this market? And in a situation where a full price offer is merited, it is merited because of the needs of the buyer, not the interests of the agent — or at least it should be if the agent is providing “representation.”

Want more proof? It is common for some listing brokerages to send a letter to the Selling Agent when a property is placed under contract. I recently received such a letter that reads as follows:

Knowing that selling a house at competitive market value can be a challenging process, I want to take this opportunity for professionally selling the subject property.

Wow! What an emphasis on “selling”! If an agent is truly “representing” a buyer, how is that agent “selling” the home? Those two terms are mutually inconsistent. A “salesperson” does NOT look out for the interests of the buyer. To the extent a “salesperson” claims to do so, it is — to a degree at a minimum, if not entirely — subterfuge to build a relationship of trust between the buyer and the salesperson, which in turn facilitates the sale. Does anyone really believe a salesperson when they say, “As a favor to you, I’ll…”. Salespeople sell, they don’t represent. Representatives in contrast look out for the interests of the client, they don’t work to convince the buyer to buy. Any decision to spend several hundred thousand dollars should be made by the client uninfluenced by the representative.

These are built-in conflicts of interest that undermine an agent’s ability to represent buyers. But even worse, these conflicts of interest are concealed from the client! The MLS refuses to reveal to consumers the SOC being offered on any property. Thus the buyer has no way of knowing that his “representative” may have a powerful self-intererst that is counter to the buyer’s.

Finally, I must note again one other example of how the system is inconsistent with an agent’s “representation” of a client. The client/buyer should have the right to select his/her own “representative.” After all, “representation” must arise out of a relationship built on trust. However, the seller’s SOC can be paid to ANYONE who sold the home, regardless of whether that person provided any representation at all. In other words, the fee paid is totally disconnected from the service ostensibly provided. Indeed, the fee is paid for a service — selling the home — that is INCONSISTENT with the service that the agent claims to provide.

In the final analysis, this state managed to get halfway to “buyer representation.” RCW 18.86 was a big step forward for buyers because agents now have at least some limited legal duties to their buyer clients (in the “good old days” EVERY agent worked for and had a duty ONLY to the seller, even if they only worked with a buyer). But they didn’t fix the underlying system. And that system seriously undermines the ability of agents to “represent” buyers.

To address this shortcoming, I formed Quill Realty. Every Quill client gets both an agent AND an attorney (and Quill pays the attorney’s fee). So Quill clients are truly “represented” in the transaction.

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* Following “competing” posts by me and Ardell, Seattle Bubble asked its readers to weigh in, framing the issue as “Real Estate Agents: Advocates, or Dead Weight?” Both Ardell’s “rebuttal” and SB’s “poll” muddied my point significantly. I recognize that there are really great agents out there who do fantastic work for their clients and who hold themselves to an ethical standard that far exceeds what is required of them by law. My point is that there are substantial flaws in the system in which agents operate, and these flaws undercut an agent’s ability to truly “represent” his clients, particularly on the buyer side. Consumers should be able to rely on a fair SYSTEM and should not be charged with responsibility for finding one of the “good” agents. Similarly, its unfair and inaccurate — and overly inflammatory — to suggest that agents are EITHER an advocate or dead weight. That’s hyperbole, not a fair comparison, and serves only to inflame the passions of the audience, which again obscures my point. So from here on out, its “clinical” titles for me only.

Used Car Salesmen, Trial Lawyers and Real Estate Agents

[Editor’s Note: It’s been a while since I added a new contributor to our mix here at Rain City Guide, but when Gordon Stephenson showed some interest (after at least two years of requests by me!), I can’t help but be excited to have him on board! Gordon is the Co-owner and Managing Broker of Real Property Associates. I first came across Gordon when Zillow added him to their Board of Directors in July of ’05, and have run into him both online and offline since then. He’s a great guy and a virtual real estate institution in Seattle, so I couldn’t be happier to bring him on board as a contributor!]

When I started selling real estate fresh out of college, nearly 20 years ago, my parents were confused, even apoplectic: “You just earned this degree and you’re choosing to sell real estate? How are you going to pay back your student loans? Couldn’t you have done that with a GED?

I have no intention of turning this into…

a blog about southern California real estate, but I do have a non-fire related update from Southern California.

Brad Inman and I are going to be speaking at Beverly Hills REALTOR Association’s Head of High Office Tea this Thursday afternoon. From everything I can gather, it is going to be a pretty posh set-up at the Peninsula Hotel. The plan is for Brad to speak about the status of the industry for about an hour, myself to speak for about an hour and tea and conversation making up the last hour.

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Tickets are $40 and just about sold out.

Also, I shouldn’t admit this, but I honestly have not given much thought about what I’m going to say just yet… Conveniently, back in August I did a presentation on using blogs to build up an online brand for the KW Mega Technology Camp that came off well (and took about 45 minutes including questions from others who were on stage). I think I’ll adjust that presentation a bit but go with that general outline. If anyone who was at that presentation wants to give me feedback, I’d love to hear it! 🙂

Rules for Rain City Guide Contributors

I’ve never been one for rules, but in preparing to take on a new RCG contributor, I thought it might be a good time to articulate some of the informal rules that we seem to have developed on the site in order to bring together such an interesting crew (often with competing interests!) 🙂

But first… Let’s be clear that there are no formal rules. And I definitely enjoy watching contributors “break” the unwritten rules because they almost always get immediate (and rarely pleasant) feedback from the community.

Here are the only two “rules” that come to mind:

  1. If you are going to attack something… attack ideas, not people. (i.e. “your idea sucks”… not “you suck”)
  2. Avoid obvious self-promotion.

The first rule is just a modified version of a rule from my mother with regards to the way I needed to treat my little sisters… (I was allowed to say to them “you did a bad thing”… but never “you are a bad person”). It’s pretty simple advice that I inevitably regret when I forget to obey.

An interesting related piece of advice from my mother is that I was never allowed to say “no” to my younger sisters, but rather I always had to say “instead”, as in “instead of playing with that, here is a toy you’ll find interesting.” Combine those two bits of advice and you get the essence of good blogging: Passionate challenging of ideas while providing interesting solutions.

The second rule is much more art than science and I can’t blame new bloggers for crossing the line on this too often. Obvious self-promotion looks bad and is an real turn-off for most consumers. I’m a huge believer in treating my readers like they are intelligent and savvy enough to know that the typical professional is blogging in order to earn business. If the consumer likes your attitude and style, they will choose you when looking for an professional without the need to constantly prompt them. One of the reasons I put all the contact information for active contributors on the sidepanel is because I think it is classier if I do the promotion for the contributors than if they try to do it for themselves… 😉

By the way, one trick I recommend for new real estate agents to help stay away from the self-promotion angle is to make sure there is always at least one link in their posts that references an idea of someone else. The link could be to a news article, but preferably it is another blog post. (A ton of credit for promoting this idea goes to Greg as I’m not sure I would have realized this advice was novel without his encouragement…)

Linking does two things: 1) It adds credibility to your post because it demonstrates that you’re knowledgeable and follow many different real estate discussions and 2) it ensures that you’re part of the larger “real estate” conversation on the web.

This seems like a great topic to turn back on the community. Are these two “rules” sufficient to run a community? Are there other “rules” I encourage/enforce without realizing it? I would definitely enjoy everyone’s feedback! (but remember to attack my ideas and not me or I’ll delete your comment! LOL!)

UPDATE
Rhonda reminded me of a third “rule” I advice to new bloggers. I also request that contributors DO NOT post the same article on their blogs. This has two purposes: 1) It helps ensure that the articles they are writing are relevant to the RCG audience and 2) the duplicate posts are extremely bad SEO for the contributor’s website (There’s a long history behind this as more than one RCG contributor has temporarily lost all Google traffic to their personal blog after republishing all their RCG articles… The search engines, and Google in particular, hate this duplicate content and end up temporarily banning the agent’s site).

Starting with Community Outreach

Even before we were done building out the InsideBu website, I recommended that Madison start doing some research. And I started by advising him to fill up his sidepanel with links. My logic is that the process of building up a blogroll forces a new blogger to read other bloggers. The fact that it also also has the benefit of building up some good will with prominent local bloggers is just icing on the cake!

Here is the advice I gave him:

In the first week, there is no need for any blogging (although you should be writing a few posts just to get the blogging muscles exercised!). My recommendation is to spend a few hours this week researching the online competition for your area. At the end of Week 1, I would expect for your sidepanel to be filled with a bunch of links! (For background, see this blog post on Linkation!).

To give you an idea of where I’m going, I recently revived a bit of the neighborhood focus on RCG, which resulted in these Neighborhood Roundup posts. You simply will not find as many neighborhood blogs in Malibu (any?), but that doesn’t mean you should slack on the links… In terms of where to start, here is where my gut says should be the order of importance:

  • Local Bloggers
  • Celebrity Bloggers
  • Project Blogger Participants
  • Local News sites
  • Local Real Estate Professionals
  • Los Angeles bloggers

Some places to start looking for bloggers and other sidepanel links:

To see how Madison has implemented these recommendations of Project Blogger, check out the sidepanel of InsideBu!

Steps to Hosting Your Own WordPress Blog

It has been so long since I initially set up a blog on a new server that I had to pretty much re-learn everything in order to build InsideBu. The process isn’t all that hard if you’re comfortable with terms like FTP and database. If not, there are many great blogging options for people who will host your blog for you (The Top Producer team I work with will happily host a WordPress blog under your URL as part of their real estate website product!) and both WordPress.com and Blogger offer good, free blogs (hosted under their URL).

BTW, I feel compelled to mention that this blog post is LONG LONG LONG overdue as I promised it way back on December 15, 2005, but never could put together all the steps into a blog post and never had the need to build a new blog from scratch.

Here are my running notes taken directly from a Google Doc I used to document the process (but cleaned up to add links and delete out usernames/passwords)…

We choose to use Yahoo Hosting because I’ve heard good things from other bloggers about the service. I was less concerned about the price (good hosting options for a blog differ by at most $5/month), and really focused on ease-of-use. I’d heard that Yahoo has a really easy install for WordPress (WP) blogs and that definitely appealed to me!

However, I was immediately disappointed that the blog they install was an old version of WP and not in the root directory. This would mean that I would need to do a manual upgrade before even blogging! OUCH! Anyway, I ended up bypassing Yahoo’s “easy install” option and instead, I installed the latest version of WP from scratch.

The manual install required three extra steps:

  1. I needed to create an ftp user using Yahoo’s admin panel (easy!)
  2. I needed to created an “empty” MySQL database (which also required me to install PHPMyAdmin) and note the name of this database (again, all of this was done through Yahoo’s admin panel)
  3. I needed to install use an FTP client (I used the free and open source FileZilla)

None of these were particularly hard and I noticed that Yahoo provided help files for all three of these tasks should you need that kind of thing.

With the back-end ready, I simply followed the instructions for the 5 minute install of WordPress

This required me to create an admin profile for the blog (again, pretty straightforward).

At this point, InsideBu.com was live and functional, but with a generic theme and no plugins…

Here are some of the steps I took to spice up the blog and get it ready for launch!

  1. I installed and activated some basic plugins.
    • To install I simply used FileZilla to drag and drop the files from my hard-drive to Yahoo’s servers. Once configured for a server, FileZilla operates somewhat like the Explorer tool on Windows.
    • To activate, I simply clicked the “activate” button within the “Plugins” tab of InsideBu’s Admin panel.
  2. The plugins were:
  3. I tried to update and optimze the permalink structure, but this screwed up something on the new version of WordPress and I couldn’t find the .htaccess file to update (long story!), so I gave up on this one for the time being and used the generic linking structure (i.e. “?p=33”)
  4. Installed and activated the appropriate theme! In our case, Madison choose Orange Sunrise. This required me to
    1. download the theme
    2. unzipp it
    3. ftp the files to the “themes” folder on Yahoo’s servers
    4. activate it on the wp-admin panel
  5. Create a tagline
    • For SEO reasons, I included the words “Real Estate” and “Malibu” but my phrasing could easily be improved!
  6. Unselect “comment author must have previously approved comment!”
    • Want to do everything possible to encourage comments early and often! 🙂
  7. Organize sidebar items via the widget feature (very slick!)
    • I’ve put links at the very top for now closely followed by comments. As the site gets more comments, I’d flip this order in order to encourage community participation!

Those were my steps to creating a brand-new blog using the free and open-source tools available from WordPress. It is probably too complicated for most agents, but probably not too complicated for many of agents that are reading this blog.

Choosing a Name for Your Blog

The perfect time to name your blog is after you’ve blogged for a while and really developed a personality around your site. Only after a few months of regular blogging will most agents be ready to give their website a name.

However, the time necessarily to develop a personality (before a name!) doesn’t coincide with the reality of Project Blogger or Google. While it is kind of like putting the cart before the horse, the reality is that the first thing we had to do was develop a name (that included an available URL!).

So, how did we end up at InsideBu.com?

Here are some of the ideas I planted with Madison to pounder:

  • First brainstorm on ideas, and then (after you’ve assembled a bunch of ideas!) check to see if the URL is available.
  • Make sure it has a community focus (i.e. we’re building a community destination website!)
  • Take yourself out of the URL… Make sure that you’re creating a site that others will want to take part (Don’t name it after yourself or your business!)
  • Think of the niche you want to create with your blog… who are you trying to reach?
  • Are there any local names you can capitalize on? (things like local high-school mascots, community nicknames, community centers, etc.)
  • Keep the URL short and sweat

A good name for a community blog will make a “local” think, this website “get’s it” and at the same time, won’t alienate people who are not local.

After many emails back and forth, we decided to capitalize on the name for Malibu (“the bu”) that is used by the locals (as in, “we’re heading back to the bu”).

However, TheBu.com was already taken (and doesn’t convey any “actionable words” that really tell you what the website is about), so we started thinking of other ways to connect the website name to the community. In Madison’s case, our plan is to have the blog focus on the unique aspects of Malibu. I happen to think that the beautiful beaches and the celebrity element of Malibu are going to be huge drivers of traffic and links into the future.

We tried a whole bunch of different words like “connect” and “community”, and combinations like “BuLife” and “LiveBu” but I happen to think that “inside” conveyed both the exclusive nature of the community along with the opportunity for insight that only a real estate agent can convey. Hence: We decided to go with InsideBu.com.

Maybe the blog will change focus into the future and the name will “feel” wrong, but thanks to the fact that we’re already seeing some LinkLove (in particular from celebrity bloggers), we’re going to have to live with the name and URL into the future!

Next up: Setting up a WordPress blog from scratch… (I’ve been taking thorough notes! 🙂 )

Real Estate Blogs That Answer Questions

[photopress:Blog_Cola.gif,thumb,alignright] Searching for answers to your Real Estate Questions? Here are a few tips to make finding answers a little easier and more productive.

Try to read blogs that are written by real estate professionals who are licensed in your State, or at least in an area with similar agency laws. Instead of Googling all night to find a blog what just happens to go into detail about the topic you want to know more about, find Real Estate Blogs That Answer Questions. Ask a direct question in the comments section of several blogs, and remember to bookmark them to go back and retrieve the answers.

Of course here at Rain City Guide, rarely does a question go unanswered. We are very attentive to comments and try to answer questions best we can. Unfortunately, Real Estate is one of the few professional arenas that does not permit getting second opinions. If your doctor wants to cut something off or out of you, you get to go get a second opinion from another doctor. But Realtors, by their Code of Ethics, are not permitted to give advices if you are the client of another Realtor. So if you ask a question like: “My agent told me this, but I want your opinion”, there’s a strong possibility that the Blogger will not be able to contradict the advices of your agent.

That being said, let’s find some Real Estate Blogs, besides Rain City Guide, that answer real estate questions. If you are in New York City, it is very difficult for you to get info from blogs that are not written by agents who operate there, because NYC is unto itself regarding the rules of play in real estate. Mainly because the contracts and closings are attorney based, they have no MLS system AND they don’t have Buyer Agency. So for New Yorkers, Best Real Estate Blog that answers questions is: Noah Rosenblatt’s Urban Digs (he even has a live chat feature). Curbed is a popular NYC site, but it looks like your questions will be answered by other readers, for the most part. Christine Forgione’s NYHouses4Sale doesn’t seem to get many questions, but I’m pretty sure she’d answer them if she did. So give her a try.

Where are the California Blogs that talk back? You’ve got Kris and Steve Berg down in San Diego. You’ve got Kevin Boer in the Bay Area You would think with a State as big as California, you would have a slew of good blogs. I see a few people blogging away, but they are just blogging at you like a flashing billboard. Luring the search engines and not allowing comments, or just plain old selling and not providing real info. Oh well. Maybe someone out there has some suggestions that will show up in the comments.

Of course Arizona is just crawling with blog talent. You’ve got BloodhoundBlog where you can pick who you want advices from, but if it’s Arizona real estate you want to talk about, I’d be asking Cathleen. Todd Tarson is so up front and out there, he’d probably tell you what color underwear he has on if you asked him. If I had real questions about real estate in Mohave County, Arizona I’d be talking to Todd on his blog.

Charles Turner’s doing a decent job over in Portland. When he gets a comment, he answers honestly and openly. Teresa Boardman’s blog in St. Paul Minnesota is good, but the comments seem to be a bunch of agents talking to agents, and not much from consumers. If you are buying or selling real estate in St. Paul, try asking off topic questions on any of Teresa’s posts. I’m sure you’d get a good answer. Here’s a great blog of bloggers talking to other bloggers. Who is Tom? What does Tom do? I’m stretching a bit with Francis Flynn Thorsen’s Realty Gram, but throw some questions at her and I think the answers would come.

In fact, if you are in a state where there are real estate blogs that aren’t answering consumer issues and questions, I strongly encourage you to just start asking those questions. You can help develop more Real Estate Blogs That Answer Questions, simply by ASKING some questions on any blog that you can find. Maybe they will get the point that “Enquiring Minds Want to Know”.