You are viewing category: Real Estate Education
Every Sunday, the San Francisco Chronicle posts weekly seminars on its bulletin board. Topics are mostly real estate related and range from “First time home buyers” to “Plumbing defects”. Some are FREE, some have a small fee. This week:
Home Buyer Seminar: Led by Matt Rohrbach of Stanford Mortgage and Martine Heyer of Keller Williams Realty, 7-8:30 p.m., First American Title, 431 Florence St., Palo Alto, free, reservation recommended, (650) 799-1662 or (650) 906-7935.
Plumbing Defects Seminar: Sponsored by the American Society of Home Inspectors, 5:30-6:30 p.m., Hs. Lordship’s Restaurant, 199 Seawall Drive, Berkeley, free, (925) 784-4845.
Home Inspection Seminar: Sponsored by the American Society of Home Inspectors, 7-9 p.m., Hs. Lordship’s Restaurant, 199 Seawall Drive, Berkeley, $45, includes dinner and materials, (925) 784-4845.
Lease Option Profits: Led by Jack Shea and presented by the Bay Area Wealth Builders Association, 7-10 p.m., Mill Valley Community Center, 180 Camino Alto, Mill Valley, $20, includes refreshments and materials, (707) 996-6411.
Purchasing a Home in the East Bay: Led by Bill Fletcher of Red Oak Realty and Alex Alexander of Lamorinda Funding, 7 p.m., Red Oak Realty, 2099 Pleasant Valley Road, Oakland, free, light refreshments, reservation required, (510) 292-2029.
Investment Cash Flow Analysis: Led by Enrique Villanueva and presented by EmeryNet, 9 a.m.-noon, 2350 Powell St., Emeryville, $29.95, materials included, (510) 654-0584.
- Mick Orton
… But then so does Craigslist.
The San Francisco Board of Realtors recently reported, “Zillow.com, the home valuation web site, is inviting real estate professionals to market homes they have listed on its site. Posting a home for sale involves creating a profile with a photo, writing a description of the property (which would include its special features and, perhaps, a message from the owners about what they love about the home), uploading photographs of the property and providing neighborhood and contact information. Because Zillow.com is an advertising-supported site, the postings are free. According to Hitwise, Zillow.com is one of the five most-visited real estate sites on the Web with three to four million people visiting the site each month.”
After reading this, we went up to try and use this service to list several of our properties. Instead of using IDX which is a link to information in MLS (multiple listing service) like Realtor.com does, information had to be re-entered by hand which was very time consuming. We also found that they required information not always available from public records. For example, one of the pieces of required data is square footage.
Some recent lawsuits in San Francisco have been based on misrepresentations of square footage. Several deals have been lost because square footage was quoted which turned out to be incorrect. So Realtors may not be eager to quote that figure when showing property, let alone by putting it in print. To post it in Zillow and then represent it as accurate could be quite misleading. This is also true with two other required statistics; year built and lot size. Again these are not always available or accurate, even in public records. So to require them to be entered before the listings can be published should be changed, in our opinion, or at least add the word “approximately” in the description to minimize agent liability.
Most Internet companies are hard to contact. But we let our feelings be known by e-mail. We will see if Zillow listens to our concerns. In the mean time, if you use this program to search for real estate, be aware that the information provided might not be accurate and should be verified before it is relied upon.
- Mick Orton
A reader asks:
I am currently living in a building that has two residential units and one commercial space. Does this count as a two unit building in regards to condo conversion?
- Janis Stone