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Best of 2007

Page history last edited by RealEstateCafe 11 years, 10 months ago

Add your thoughts, in concise bullet points, about the "Best of 2007" from a real estate consumer's perspective.  Use this Retrospective from 2002 to measure how much progress has been made in the past five years.  You can also help coauthor the "Worst of 2007".

 

Consumers win some, lose some

Guest perspective:  (Bill Wendel, Real Estate Cafe, see mini-bio below)

Home buyer advocate gives industry middling score for 2002

 

(Similar version originally published in Banker & Tradesman, slightly edited version republished by Inman News and is shown below.)

 

Trends and events in real estate last year were a mixed success for home buyers and sellers, according to an informal group of real estate rebels who champion a consumer-centered view of the industry.

 

This group, of which I am a member, includes buyer-only agents, fee-for-service consultants, discount listing services, for-sale-by-owner publishers and a few anonymous e-commerce types. We've been written off by some as being no more than misdirected self-proclaimed consumer advocates whose views are upside down and backwards. But we view our own perspective as a competitive advantage.

 

We've put together what one industry leader called an "appropriately provocative" list of the most and least favorable developments in 2002 for real estate consumers.

 

The most favorable trends and developments were:

 

1. Best of 2002:  The lowest interest rates in 40 years stretched purchasing power for a record number of home buyers and the refinancing boom carried the post-9/11 economy.

 

2007 Update:  (Email to contribute to wiki)

 

 

 


 

 

2. Best of 2002 The Federal Trade Commission's October hearing on barriers to e-commerce convinced the National Association of Realtors to make its proposed policies for virtual office Web sites known as VOWs more consumer-friendly.

 

2007 Update:  (Email to contribute to wiki)

 

 

 


 

3. Best of 2002 Proposed legislation that would have implemented designated agency was withdrawn in Wisconsin.

 

2007 Update:  (Email to contribute to wiki)

 

 

 


 

 

4. Best of 2002 The financial press from The Wall Street Journal to Consumer Reports and with Kiplinger's, SmartMoney and Fortune in between ran feature stories on the housing market bubble.

 

2007 Update:  (Email to contribute to wiki)

 

 

 


 

5. Best of 2002 Some cities and states enacted laws and regulations to protect consumers from predatory lending practices.

 

2007 Update:  (Email to contribute to wiki)

 

 

 


 

6. Best of 2002 The National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents focused its convention on improving the profitability of buyer-only brokerages instead of infighting.

 

2007 Update:  (Email to contribute to wiki)

 

 

 


 

7. Best of 2002 Some former Homestore execs were busted by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice for their involvement in the company's allegedly fraudulent accounting practices.

 

2007 Update:  (Email to contribute to wiki)

 

 

 


 

8. Best of 2002 ForSaleByOwner.com, the leading FSBO Web site, rose to the fifth most-visited homes for-sale site overall, according to Alexa.com, in part because of the FSBO service's marketing agreement with Alta Vista and data sharing arrangement with Lycos.

 

2007 Update:  (Email to contribute to wiki)

 

 

 


 

9. Best of 2002 A dual agency lawsuit in Alaska that awarded $200,000 in damages to one home buyer sent a wake-up call across the industry.

 

2007 Update:  (Email to contribute to wiki)

 

 

 


 

10. Best of 2002 Housing markets across the country are peaking in terms of sales and price appreciation, ending an eight-year sellers' market in some regions.

 

2007 Update:  (Email to contribute to wiki)

 

 

 


 

11. Best of 2002 The Consumer Federation of America after a long hiatus from real estate issued a study revealing that credit reporting errors and delays in implementing credit score reforms cost mortgage applicants an untold amount of money. This group first called the residential brokerage industry a "cartel" in 1991.

 

2007 Update:  (Email to contribute to wiki)

 

 

 


 

12. Best of 2002 The National Association of Real Estate Consultants hosted its first annual convention, signaling that the fee-for-service movement has come of age.

 

2007 Update:  (Email to contribute to wiki)

 

 

 


 

13. Best of 2002 Yahoo!'s alliances with eRealty and ZipRealty catapulted the real estate buyer rebate model into the mainstream.

 

2007 Update:  (Email to contribute to wiki)

 

 

 


 

14. Best of 2002 Competition for listings, shrinking for-sale house inventories, rising house prices and discount brokerage models combined with the Internet and other factors continued to squeeze brokerage commissions. Falling prices could create even more downward pressure in 2003.

 

2007 Update:  (Email to contribute to wiki)

 

 

 


 

15. Best of 2002 NAR seems to be getting serious about housing affordability and opportunity under the leadership of 2002 President Martin Edwards Jr. and 2003 President Cathy Whatley. Will the rank-and-file Realtors follow suit?

 

2007 Update:  (Email to contribute to wiki)

 

 

 


 

16. Best of 2002 The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is getting serious about consumer rights. An early statement about HUD's proposed revisions of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) estimated that consumers could save $10 billion annually!

 

2007 Update:  (Email to contribute to wiki)

 

 

 


 

17. Best of 2002 The title insurance reform debate is heating up and even landed on page one of The Wall Street Journal.

 

2007 Update:  (Email to contribute to wiki)

 

 

 


 

18. Best of 2002 Handheld and wireless technologies are taking real estate applications beyond the Web browser into the field where they belong. Although these devices for the most part are still in the hands of practitioners rather than consumers, there will be some stunning innovations in this area in 2003.

 

2007 Update:  (Email to contribute to wiki)

 

 

 


 

Bill Wendel is a pioneer of fee-for-service real estate brokerage and founder of The Real Estate Cafe. April 2003 will mark the 10th anniversary of "Consumer Revolution in Real Estate," a two-day national conference Wendel produced and hosted at the World Trade Center in Boston. The conference featured keynote speeches by Ralph Nader and Stephen Brobeck, executive director of the Consumer Federation of America. Wendel's RealEstateCafe Web site is under reconstruction.

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