July 30, 2006

Realtor's attack on HP readers continues... "let them go to hell in their own way"

Boy, it truly is amazing, yet sickening, to watch a realtor try his hardest to spread disinformation and denial.

I'd take this as representative of the kind of unethical behaviour probably seen throughout America today in the realtor profession.

Deny, deny, deny. Sell houses by any means necessary. Lie if you must. Cheat if you can. But get that commission!! There just have to be more suckers out there somewhere. Go find 'em!!

They'll learn though. Liars will get flushed out of the system, and truthful agents (like Osman) will survive the meltdown.

Here's today's attack by the ethical, brilliant and witty folks at Bloodhound Realty. Have fun responding on their site - the HP'er replies on the last thread were hilarious.

The BubbleBrains swooped in en masse today, having only just now discovered my 21 reasons to bank on the Phoenix real estate market.

Courage, confidence and competence are often found together in a solitary soul, but cowardice, cowering and impotence — these are the attributes of character of men who run in packs.

I am more than libertarian enough to let them go to hell in their own way, but it seems only common courtesy to point the way.

So I sent them hither and thither — blithering Bubbleheads lathered up into a dither. Now that’s just good, clean fun.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

guess he never heard "when you find yourself in a hole, quit digging"

he's digging fast and furious now

Anonymous said...

Realtor. Requirements are to take one real estate class, pass one test and then take ethic classes. Then once a year go to an educational class where realtors get together over a served meal, make jokes, talk about how math works, the latest killing they made or making more money. Then they hand out their cards to other realtors, and otherwise try and look good.

Realtor - the only profession that is not a profession.

Anonymous said...

guess they hope their readers don't use the net or read the papers

idiots

David in JAX said...

Lots of good solid HP replies on his blog. I think he's going to be sorry that he started going after HP is such a vile way. If he would have done so tastefully, it would probably be a different story.

I agree with anon about RE agents as a profession. I am a licensed professional electrical engineer. To do this, I had to get a 4 year BS in electrical engineering, take a required tough national exit exam, do a four year apprenticeship under another electrical engineer, apply to take an exam, and then take the mind bogglingly hard PE exam in electrical engineering. It took about nine years to complete my training as a true professional.

I'm also a licensed RE agent (please don't flame me, I was forced to do it by Florida law for my new job). I started the process in February. I signed up for an internet course that took me one weekend to complete. I then took an on-line exit exam the next weekend which had the same questions that were printed out in the class. I then signed up and took a test. I now have to do some minimal continuing education credits. Thats it. It took about two months which was mostly waiting for the state to send me a letter. I never had to do any actual training. It's really a joke.

keith said...

he'll take down his posts soon, or not allow feedback

they always do

Anonymous said...

realtor .. the only profession that is not a 'profession' ....
got that right .. where else can you get a license as a 'professional' in two weeks by knowing just enough of to pass a multiple guess test. After you get through the license test the first thing you have to do is get the Lexus, BMW, Benz, Hummer because your just have to impress your clients. You may not have a clue about the property you are selling but you are impressive. Don't foget to stup a tacky website and get the business card with the retouched picture. Do some of these female agents put makeup on with a putty knife?

Anonymous said...

Maybe this ass-clown should move ALL of his investments into real estate if he believes the message he's spawning. Buy some Toll stock, Hovanian, Centex, some REITs, and some 50% overvalued homes in Phoenix to flip as well.

He's gonna crash and burn said...

One of the comments posted on that mutt's site reads: "But, I’m putting a note in Outlook. I’ll Google this site in July ‘07 and see if you’re still crowing. Or still here."

I bet that website is down by then.

Flying Monkey won't crash and burn. All my landings are soft and smooth. The mutt will be a smoking hole.

Jip said...

Reminds me of the music Industry back in 2000 blaming Napster (and other illegal downloaders) for the public not buying their glorified $20 singles. Never mind the fact that other entertainment items were cheaper, or the economic situation was in the toilet. As my brother likes to say; "When all else Fails, Carp".

Anonymous said...

>>> the first thing you have to do is get the Lexus, BMW, Benz, Hummer because your just have to impress your clients. You may not have a clue about the property you are selling but you are impressive.

-- I like to think of myself as a rational person, and in the past have experienced the same when dealing with sellers of real estate and cars.

I was looking at lake front properties around here, and the RE office that does the most deal is a small one run by two lady's who dress well, drive a large newer american car, etc. They tend to show good properties and know about them, even previous few owners.

I looked at one lower priced property and the broker for that one showed up with an old Monte Carlo, did not dress well, and yes, the place was a piece of crap. It was a mobile home dropped on the lot (I was looking at lot value), but he was pushing it as a buildable lot. I find out later that it was an illegally dropped mobile home, and the lot was not buildable, and was thus a fraud. As a matter of fact, it was a recreation only lot which if I bought I would be responsible for *removing* the illegal mobile home. I am not talking trailer here which may be legal for a short period of time (rec lot), but an all out no wheels "single wide" straight out of "cops".

I have also found this with car salesmen. The ones at the better dealers that sell cars with a good history tend to appear as professionals, while the shady ones who sell rebuilt wrecks tend to look like they are scraping by for the next deal...

I know someone can "fake it" for a while to fool someone, but there does appear to be some truth to how someone presents and whether they are successful longer term in their field by knowing their stuff and not screwing people with bad product.

This type of stuff was outlined in a book called "Blink" about how we are humans make such snap judgements. Something internal to use we must logically think through to understand when we are making a "Blink" judgement, vs. reality. I know it can steer us wrong, so that's why we have to balance it with thought.

Anonymous said...

I also want to add the realtors try to make themselves a profession and a professional by saying it again and again to us. It's why they have their national advertising.

If they say it often enough, we will unconsciously think it. It's not that there are not true professionals in the field, but they must earn it over time. Most of the freshly minted RE agents are basically trainees who have a long way to go to earn professional status.

Anonymous said...

Rehabilitation of Osman:

I would like to say that I appreciate Osman's comments and how we have evolved our thinking towards him.

It started out that "he was a realtor troll", but by his consistent open mindedness and discussing facts of his market, he has earned our respect as a valuable information provider.

Now he shares stories of people overextending and getting into trouble with his customers so they are fully informed... That is unheard of in most RE circles!

I will say if I ever had to buy RE in his area, I would look him up and he defines the term "professional".

Anonymous said...

this guy is hugely entertaining. love some of the shots he takes -- should have been an editorialist. but he's better at using the thesaurus function in MS Word than he is at debating the actual issues. And the whole "my enemies run in packs while I am a lone courageous soul speaking truth to power" is just hilarious, given that he is basically towing the line of the REIC, which has a magaphone a thousand times louder than all the housing bubble blogs put together.

Alan P. said...

First sublimely eloquent, then insanely hateful, finally waxing poetic. Me thinks Mr. Swann doth protest too much.;-)

Anonymous said...

Look, we can all accelerate the coming real estate crash, and we all know the sooner the better because it's already gotten so out of hand already, and here's how:

Despite our amazement about it, there are still prospective homebuyers out there still looking to buy a home, who are unaware that they are being led to financial slaughter, and it's these people who are postponing the inevitable, so here's what we do:

Post links to this housing bubble site and a dozen others "ONLY" where prospective homebuyers are looking because that's the only way they'll find out. Post all over Craigslist and every other real estate listing site you can get into and use tinyurl.com links so they won't know where they are being referred to. Explanations to those links should be preceded by caveat emptor warnings like "Don't buy any real estate until you've read what's happening to the real estate market" or "Here's why you'll be able to buy real estate for 25% to 60% less in the next 12-36 months".

The few idiot buyers still out there (I know they deserve it, but let's get this over with already) will disappear and then we'll have a pricing freefall, initiated by lender REOs.

I've been told lately by many people how surprised they are at how many REOs they are seeing or how many neighbors they now know are in trouble for having bought in the last 3 years and who HELOC'd on top of an exotic or no down payment loan.

People, this giant boulder of a coming crash is just teetering on the edge of a cliff. If we all join together and give it a big push, we can make it happen sooner and get our economy back on track - What do you say? Heave Hoooooo!

keith said...

I second the comments on Osman, and when I get to Boulder, he and I will have a chat about representation

The corrupt and dishonest realtors out there could learn by his example. Honesty gets you places, and it earns you business for the long term.

foxwoodlief said...

I agree a lot of folk in Phoenix have become too Californianized. Like Californians they become numb to numbers. Numbers mean nothing to them only that Californians kept their ponzi going for half a century and so if you can buy a 1 million dollar California house in Phoenix for 4 hundred thousand you must be shrewed. Having left California in 1972 at 17 I've always been amazed that someone will go into an 800 sq foot dump listed at $800,000 and say, "Wow, what a steal." My friends in Phoenix thought me nuts to sell my lovely home upgraded to the max in the spring of 2005. I'm sorry but when I looked around and saw 800 sq foot dumps selling for $200,000 I knew it Phoenix had been Californiacated and time to leave.

The other night Phoenix was on HGTVs "House Hunters" and the price of the homes were a joke. One house for $680,000 shouldn't sell for more than $300,000. Of course compared to the homes they show on that program for California it looks like a mansion but hey, we are talking real fiat dollars here! Fiat or not unless we hyperinflate a $580,000 mortgage with 20% down at 6% is still a lot of fiat dollars.

They blog you referenced gave a positive light on Phoenix from the Realtor's perspective but the main issue is still affordability. People moved to Phoenix because homes were cheap in relationship to incomes. Three years ago two people making $8-10 an hour could still buy a starter home. Now? Two teachers would have problems if they are just out of College.

Austin is one of the most expensive cities in Texas and for $400,000 you can still buy a mini-mansion and only a cracker box in Phoenix. People in Texas think homes are affordable but I think even here they are overvalued depending on neighborhood and cost to build. The homes next door being built will cost $120,000 just for lot and site preparations before construction even begins. They just spent three weeks grinding solid rock down 20 feet where the homes will sit on the side of the hill we live on. Then the homes will be a minimum of 3,000 sq ft with real rock and brick on all four sides and then what ever upgrades those families do inside and they will pay between $450-500,000 and sit on 1/2 acre lots with views. Wake up Phoenix but your $500,000 boxes are over-valued and will go down at least 35%.

Anonymous said...

This guy sure knows how to pick a fight! He better take the blog down before it hurts his business even more. Comments like this don't help his cause:

"I sold out of CA and moved to AZ, have been renting because of the overpriced trash on the market. I am sooo glad I didn’t buy because one year in this place is one year too much. I was talking to a group of snowbirds last week that said they are not going to buy here because of the ever increasing temps and start wintering elsewhere. The state and county services are horrible, illegals grow in numbers daily, the water quality is terrible, hot beyond belief, crime! serial killers, etc.. etc.. Keep Dreaming, Phoenix is a great place to live"

BubbleShanker said...

I went over to his blog and gave him a well deserved shank to the side, I sliced and diced him with facts and figures.

Osman said...

Aww shucks. Well, I appreciate the compliments and look forward to a pint with Keith when he gets here (or any of the rest of you, for that matter).

I've also had a bit of a change of heart about HP. While I don't always agree with Keith's opinion, he's doing a great job of highlighting bubble areas and right to point out the need for higher standards in real estate. HP is damn entertaining as well.

So, I recently added HP to my blogroll and yes, today credited Keith with a hattip for the Republic story. It's important people hear both sides of the story.

p.s. I visited the Bloodhound Blog and was a little surprised. There's some good stuff there but the investor spreadsheet (pdf) he touts has bad basic math, glosses over the negative cash flow, and has unrealistic assumptions for holding period and appreciation rates (especially in a post bubble market like Phoenix). I will say it's presented nicely, perhaps more intuitive than my own buy/rent/invest excel model (similar concept). However, it strongly suggests that real estate is always a great investment and, while it might fool a naive investor, it's quite obviously doesn't pass the sniff test.

Anonymous said...

He sounds like a total dork.

Garth Farkley said...

Greg is well on his way to becoming the newest internet verb.

As in, "Greg really Swanned himself when he decided to take on the housing bears by calling them all cowards and Nazis."

Anonymous said...

One of the comments posted on that mutt's site reads: "But, I’m putting a note in Outlook. I’ll Google this site in July ‘07 and see if you’re still crowing. Or still here."

"I bet that website is down by then."

=======

Why wait a year? Here’s what our friend Mr. Swann wrote in his blog back in November of 2005.

“Chicken Little can rage on, but it’s a great time to buy a house. There are plenty of sweet homes to choose from and sellers are ready to negotiate.”

Boy, looking back, that was a great time to buy a house in Phoenix, back in November last year. I wish I’d jumped in, used an I/O mortgage to get myself into a house, paying 50% more than what it was worth in 2004, knowing I could refi before the reset, and take some cash out to buy myself a new SUV. Everyone who ignored the “bubbleheads”and bought themselves a home back then is just as happy as can be, as today’s article in the AZ Republic confirms.

Why are we bothering to argue with this character? He’s no different from the rest of the slimeballs that infest his profession (not Osman), except he’s got a bit of literary flair. It’s a shame poets can’t make an honest living anymore. He’s been right about one thing — we’re looking at each other from opposite sides of a sewer grating, but we’re the ones breaking out the sunscreen, and he’s the one up to his waist in sewage.

I propose Keith post a "Swann Watch" with a day counter, showing how many days it takes this bottom-feeding English major to remove the posts and threads in which he foolishly took us on.

David said...

I proudly stand with Keith as he defends himself from the assualt from this Phoenix Realtor. I will be launching my own crticism of Gregg. Keep up the great work Keith.

David
Bubble Meter Blog

Robert Coté said...

Swann has been attacking The Arizona Republic for of all things trash talking the Real Estate market. I'd say 6-800 letters to the editor could raise some eyebrows both among his customers and the realtor board.

AnonyRuss said...

>>>Boy, looking back, that was a great time to buy a house in Phoenix, back in November last year. I wish I’d jumped in...

Exactly :)...that is when I jumped out (well, the last day or two of October). There are over a dozen examples of the house model that I sold (in the Phoenix area) for sale in my old subdivision. Some are listed for 10% to 15% lower than mine sold for, and they still sit longer and longer. In recent months, only one actually sold (several cancelled), and it sold for 12% less. That was back in the good old days of March...I think it will take at least a 20% below peak price to move one today. Of course, that reduction will have to be even more by Fall.

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