I love technology. I think that the more tools people have to ease the stresses of moving and creating wealth are generally a good thing for our society. HOWEVER!!! Uberizing moving for most Americans may just line the pockets of the companies in Silicon Valley. Tech companies don’t always know or care to know all the housing laws. This last week, The Housing and Urban Development Department sued Facebook for housing discrimination through willful ignorance of filtering ads, targeting specific markets, and filtering newsfeeds. For the last decade, 99% of real estate agents have advertised listings on Facebook unaware of how they were not complying with the Fair Housing Laws of the US.
RUListing is trying to disrupt the For-sale-by-owner market by “privately” connecting buyers and renters to sellers. Fair Housing Laws apply to For-sale-by-owner once they advertise. “Explore the by-owner market with RuListing, or read more about how to buy, rent or sell a home privately.” Any real estate agent would be in violation of that tagline. It’s on the front page of RUListing. Selecting the choice “Advertise My House” from the website gives you the subscription fees there is zero mention of fair housing laws and how not to discriminate. It is just a matter of time before RUListing gets hit with unfair housing violations. Their tag line is What could go wrong? Without regulations in place, this is the fast-track to redlining and blockbusting. Zillow has been accused of allowing sellers to racially discriminate though they have yet to be sued.
Buying and Reselling Homes Disruptors
These companies inflate the traditional market costs to make themselves look cheaper and dimish the value of real estate agents. How often do you get better service from a company where you have to call an 800 number, check FAQ’s, or watch a video how-to before you can have your issue solved?
How many real estate agents are going to go out of their way to show homes that offer little or no fees to the buyer’s agent?
If you look at home sales of the last couple of years, how effective at negotiating were the Redfin and Zillow agents? Did those sellers really get a good deal if the buyer negotiated once in a contract?
Market Data for Performance of the Disruptors.
In my market of Benicia, California in the hot of 2018 to warm seller’s market of 2019. The data is from 01-01-2018 to 4-5-2019. Here are some statistics*
68 withdrawn or canceled from the hot market
Traditional Brokerages sold 373 with 66 withdrawn/canceled
Disruptors listed and sold 8 with 2 withdrawn/canceled
Traditional Brokerages SOLD 97% of the homes! The withdrawn/canceled rate of 17%.
The Disruptors sold 3% with a 25% withdrawn/canceled rate. Of the 8 sold 1 sold for $100 more and 2 for a total of $60,000 less! THOSE ARE POOR NUMBERS.
*Averages are based on information from the Bay Area Real Estate Information Services, Inc. (BAREIS) for the period of 1/1/2018 through 4/5/2019. Information has not been verified, s not guaranteed, and is subject to change.
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