Thirteen Damn Good Reasons To Use PocketListings.net & Six Reasons Not To

[Editor's Note: We posted this on our PocketListings.net BLOG, but felt it important enough to share here too.]

We’ve had a few people ask us what is the point in pocket listing and at what point does a pocket listing become a “listing”? Why should they do it, or not do it, and why should they use PocketListings.net?

As it is right now, each and every brokerage in the land has an internal email system. On that system agents can, and do, frequently send out emails along the lines of “I have a pocket listing, do you have a buyer?” Or “I have a buyer looking for X in this price range, anybody have a pocket listing?” The problem is, that email only goes out to however many people are in their company. There are other products attempting to capture this communication for just top agents, but that’s silly. Why limit your chances. Wouldn’t it be nice if each and every agent was able to market that pocket listing or buyer request with every single agent in their market, every single buyer and seller in the country, be able to search any market without being a member there, and use new and upcoming technology to do so? Wouldn’t your chances of success at either selling or buying a property increase? We think so.

The Multiple Listing Service’s online versions you see today are fashioned off of what they used to be when they were giant sized books (think phone books) that were delivered to different brokerages in each city/county. The thought process is still the same, but things have changed, and are getting a bit out of control. The internet and blogging have changed the game, as has the Department of Justice, because MLSs are required to share their data with sites like Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com. The problem with that is feeding data from MLS to other sites is not perfect. Details get screwed up. For example: if the property was previously listed, photos are often still on from the previous listing. Days on market can be off (again tied to the previous listing), open house times are often wrong, Zillow’s Zestimate…don’t get us started, and if you think you’re contacting the agent who has that listing, think again, you’re most likely not going to get them (unless they upgrade to some “Pro” plan, but that’s an entirely different topic). The long and short is, the “listing” information has been clouded, and in order to get the truth and actual information, you still have to go back to the source of that information, and it’s increasingly harder and harder to find that source….the licensed real estate professional who has the listing and put it in MLS. So why not simplify things?

Our intention is to create a marketplace for “not on MLS” real estate opportunities, and keep any and all leads going right back to the original source…the agent/broker that posted it. There is no feed to other sites, there is no DOM ticking down, there is no huge public announcement of price reductions (think about all the blogs that drool over these), and agents control what information they’d like shared. Perhaps the biggest piece of the puzzle we’re going to solve is on the buyer side. Allowing agents to share the needs of their buyers!

So why should you as a seller, buyer, or real estate professional use PocketListings.net?

Pros:
1. EXPOSURE! Many of our posts are already getting more “views” than when the same property was on MLS.
2. No D.O.M (Days On Market, which buyers are using these days to warrant low-ball offers.)
3. No public price reductions (Uh oh, they lowered the price! They’re getting desperate!)
4. Only qualified buyers (qualified by your agent) coming through your door.
5. No definitive price, only price ranges (makes it easier to negotiate.)
6. No publicized commission agreement (more room for negotiations.)
7. Agents control the entire process, and all inquiries are directed back to the person that actually did the post (Yes, agents are good at this sh*t, so let them do their job.)
8. A place to “list” your home prior to MLS, or a place to list it if it is unsuccessful selling on MLS (Wouldn’t that be nice?)
9. No agents knocking on your door to get the listing if your current listing expires, because it just vanishes from our site when it’s deleted, and the address was never public.
10. A place for banks to (hopefully) list their REO, Short Sale, and Foreclosure Inventory.
11. You could end up selling for MORE than you thought you’d get on MLS.
12. Potential for a quick sale.
13. Agents, you can reach more people on our site than any email (spam) you could ever send.

Cons:
1. Not as much exposure (This argument is moot, as stated above and will only get more obsolete as we grow.)
2. You’ll never truly know “market price” (Bull sh*t….a home is only worth what one person is willing to sell it for, and another willing to buy it, and you can run comps off of tax records easily, and online, not to mention the appraiser is going to have a say in the price as well. And if we get the exposure we hope to, you’ll have just as much interest as on MLS.)
3. Agents miss the opportunity to pick up buyers at Open Houses (True, but stay tuned for new features on that, and we never said you couldn’t have an Open House.)
4. Your neighbors won’t know you’re selling (Really? Is this a bad thing? What about knocking on their door and telling them?)
5. It’s a FSBO (Not on our site. We hate FSBOs. Don’t want them, don’t need them.)
6. You might leave some money on the table (See #2 above.)

Our site is only in the infant stages of existence and word is spreading. Of course, there are haters and non-believers, but they’ll come around. We have received nothing but positive feedback and comments about how “this is a brilliant idea” from countless real estate professionals. Agents, your colleagues are signing up and beginning to use our site. You should too.

That, our friends, is why PocketListings.net is going to be awesome and every real estate agent in the country is going to want to be a part, and every single buyer and seller is going to know about it soon enough, and this is only the beginning of what we’ve got cooking.

It’s F*cking Hot San Francisco! The (Un)official I Call In Sick (or not) On A San Francisco Heatwave Poll…

OMFG! The sun has finally come out (two days in a row), and it actually feels like summer in San Francisco. The beaches were more packed yesterday (Monday) than they get on a weekend. News helicopters were buzzing around town, restaurants (especially with outdoor seating) were packed, and we’re wondering just how many of you called in “sick” yesterday, and/or plan to call in “sick” today. Who can blame you after this wretched summer of fog we’ve been having.

We bring you the (un)official I call in sick (or not) on a San Francisco heatwave Poll:

I Call In Sick On A San Francisco Heatwaveonline survey

For more on the weather, perhaps Chopper can help brighten your day:

An Off Market Match (Could Be) Made In Heaven…Or Pacific Heights

This is how it works in the world of “off market” real estate:

Here we have a pocket listing in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights neighborhood:

Wonderful Pacific Heights Home on a tree lined street. Old World Details. Sunny back yard. Easy Walk to Union Street. 2 car garage

Here we have one buyer looking for just that:

Presidio Heights, Cow Hollow – Sqft: 3,500; My clients need a large family home with a space for a live in nanny.

…and yet another buyer looking in Pacific Heights:

Pacific Heights or Cow Hollow – Sqft: 2,500: Need a SFD in Cow Hollow or Pac. Hts. with some view. 3 BR 2.5 BA with Gdn & Pkg.
Buyer is ready to go.

…and look at that, yet another buyer looking in Pacific Heights:

Pac Heights, Lwr pacheights, Cole Valley – Sqft: 3,500: This buyer wants either newly done or remodelled, but well maintained might also work out.

Our plan is coming together perfectly. Just wait until the next version of our site, which is already in the works!

Changing Assessed Property Value In San Francisco Update: 1 Down, 6600 To Go

Remember those questions about how to lower your assessed property value in San Francisco? We still get them, and we also get other information from other people in the know going through the same thing. We thought you’d like to know about this:

I called the Assessor Recorder’s office to get help with the Application for Changed Assessment form. They were surprisingly helpful. However, they delivered some bleak news. He said that we can expect an acknowledgment that they received the application in 2-3 months at best. He also informed me that we can expect to have a hearing scheduled in 1 to 1.5 years. They normally receive 2,000 applications/year and received 6,600 applications last year. They are only 1/3 of the way through last year’s applications and must finish those before they start on the 2010-2011 apps.

Anybody care to bet that it’s only going to get easier from here on out. ;-)

We Have Manufactured A Cure For Your REPA (Real Estate Porn Addiction)

We came up with a new diagnosis and subsequent cure for the world of real estate, especially for all of you San Franciscans addicted to all of the great real estate blogs out there. That diagnosis is REPA, which stands for “Real Estate Porn Addiction”, and the cure is PocketListings’ Twitter Feed.

It used to be this here site provided a daily dose of real estate porn to drip into your veins and satisfy your soul, but lately we’ve been busy with our other venture that is absolutely taking off, PocketListings.net. The site itself is great and an excellent source of real estate porn (Just search San Francisco on the site and you’ll see), but the real cure for your addiction will come by way of our Twitter Page, which is a real time feed of all of the off market opportunities out there…the moment they hit our site.

The quality of pocket listings showing up and buyers looking for property is even surprising to us, and we’ve only just begun.

We invite you to join us at Pocket Listings any way you can: Twitter Page; Facebook Profile; PocketListings.net BLOG (We’re starting to ramp that BLOG up, so if you like theFrontSteps, you’re going to like that too), but if you really want the cure, the drip is your answer.

The Best Real Estate Blog In San Francisco!

We’ve been nominated as a candidate for the Zillow-sponsored “People’s Choice Best Real Estate Blog Award” in San Francisco.

San Francisco Real Estate

Go to Zillow, or click on the badge above and vote for theFrontSteps.com. Anyone can vote once per 24 hours. Voting ends at noon (PDT) on Aug. 25, 2010. Once the voting is over, the blog with the most votes will be declared the winner in each city.

Having run a few contests of our own (You know, the Sexy Kind, we’re all too aware of the voting process, so we’re going to ask you to set a little reminder on that there iPhone of yours (CrackBerry if you have that), and go vote every 24 hours for your favorite blog in all of San Francisco real estate. That would be theFrontSteps.com.

On a different note, how nice of Zillow to include us, even with all of our rantings about them.

The Off Market Opportunities Are Piling Up…..

As you know, we launched a new website for off market real estate not too long ago, and it’s growing beyond our expectations and the quality of properties being posted, and buyers in search of are nothing short of cool. If you’re interested in San Francisco real estate (the site’s largest market so far) you, and everybody you know should be on there.

Here are a couple examples of what you’ll find:
-A Pocket Listing In Pacific Heights: “Wonderful Pacific Heights Home on a tree lined street. Old World Details. Sunny back yard. Easy Walk to Union Street. 2 car garage”

-A buyer looking for building in NOPA or Inner Mission: “Need a 4 unit building for a TIC group. Or 2 SFR’s side by side”

-A pocket listing in Noe Valley: “1918 Beautiful Edwardian Condo near 24th St and Dolores park. Remodeled kitchen and bath, shared garden and spacious storage room.”

That’s just a sample. We’ll be bringing you more San Francisco real estate opportunities as they come up. The best thing you could do (especially if you’re a Realtor) get on the site and use it…then tell 100 of your closest colleagues and friends.

Oh…and we got this email last night from a client (they’re browsing it too):

Just noticed this post on your pocket listings. :D
What is the info on this? Seems like they are looking for our condo..heh!

San Francisco, CA – 94115 – Condominium – $850,000 – 2 bed – 2 bath – Parking: 1 Japan Town – Sqft: 0
Must be east of Divisadero St. Motivated buyer has put in 2 other offers in same neighborhood and currently there is no inventory! Must be turn key – no fixers.
Thanks!
Posted: 7/27/2010 10:38 AM
Contact info

There is a real estate revolution going on, and we’re a BIG part of it.

You can keep updated if you like via the new BLOG, blog.pocketlistings.net.

Wife Swap, House Swap, It’s All Porn, Stephen Fowler Is At It Again In Noe Valley

It was on September 25, 2009 that we informed you of Stephen Fowler’s San Francisco real estate foibles (you all informed us of his Wife Swap antics), and it is today that we get word of his next people pissing off project:


Elevation PDF


Elevation 2 PDF


Floorplan PDF

Plans for a vast expansion of the Douglass house were filed in April, and the neighbors are currently contesting Fowler’s plans. The proposed project calls for a horizontal rear extension with a roof deck above the addition; a music room; guest room; new kitchen and vanity; three new bathrooms; and a master bedroom on the third floor, among other plans.

As one neighborhood group opposing the project objected in a letter to the Planning Department: “It is a massive project that will severely impact adjacent homes by blocking out light, air and privacy…This house would be so much taller, deeper, and bulkier than neighboring homes…We are asking that the project extend less into the mid-block open space and have major setbacks on the second and third floors. We are also asking that the placement of some of the windows facing neighboring homes be reconsidered, as they will destroy the privacy of these neighbors. It is understandable why the adjacent residents are freaking out. We would be, too, if this was proposed next door to us.”

Thanks to Inside SFRE for the post, and that good ‘ol thing called “anonymous” for the renderings. If you see these anywhere else (yes, that includes SocketSite), they poached ‘em from us. Curbed…go ahead, you have our permission.

-Next Monster Home in the Works for Noe Valley Wife Swapper [Inside SFRE]

Things Are Again Looking Up For San Francisco’s Market…Says Rosen Consulting

San Francisco! Can you hear it? It’s a pulse. Your pulse is coming back. You can put the defibrillation paddles back (for now). Today we get the Rosen Consulting Group “Market Focus” delivered to us by way of email, and dammit if it isn’t a welcome bit of good news:

Confident that the housing market is in the early stages of recovery, we expect a sustainable and modest rise in San Francisco home prices from this half-way point in 2010. Rising affordability levels, aided by already reduced housing prices, low mortgage rates, and tax credit incentives gave rise to a growing demand for housing units, particularly, at the low and middle ends of the market.

-As the year progresses, distressed properties will likely add to the for-sale inventory, restraining price appreciation through the remainder of the year. While the city’s level of distressed housing inventory is less concerning particularly in comparison to other parts of the country, we expect distressed sales to continue to weigh on homes prices. The total number of homes at some stage of the foreclosure process rose to 458 in May 2010 from 415 in May 2009, according to RealtyTrac. The increase in mortgage delinquency rates among prime borrowers observed in recent months should continue to restrain improvements in the market.The market’s eventual full recovery is dependent on improvements to the job market. And while the elimination of government incentives, as well as stricter availability of credit will test the market during the second half of this year,the anticipated rebound in job creation into the end of this year and the resulting rise in demand combined with the pent-up demand for affordable, for-sale units in the market should counterbalance these two trends and result in an overall positive year for the San Francisco housing market.

It all sounds good to us. Let’s just say we’re very cautiously optimistic given some of the latest events in our little world of representing buyers and sellers here in this fabulously cold in the summer city of San Francisco.

Market_Focus_Report_07_2010