Follow you on Facebook? Sure! Wait … why?

Follow you on Facebook? Sure! Wait … why?

I must confess, most solicitations to follow a local business on Twitter, Facebook or any other recently-sprouted head of the social media hydra are met with the same level of enthusiasm I once harbored for an extra trip to the orthodontist.

Sure, I’ll “like” your fanpage! And maybe later we can head over to Dr. Evil’s office for a superfluous tightening!

While following another’s social exploits is comparatively painless, it is often every bit as pointless. Today’s consumer is besieged with invitations to like, follow, connect, kneel and kiss the rings of businesses across the myriad social platforms. It’s not enough that you subscribe to the blog or sign up for the newsletter, they must own you everywhere their online profile intersects with the public.

But to what end?

Why must you “follow” someone here if you already “like” them there? What additional benefit do you gain from this demand for universal allegiance?

Social media efforts tend to be a cross-pollinated mess. Good little worker bee that I am, my own marketing “campaigns” in this forum are no exception, having devolved into a black hole of pithy renduncy. A blurb on twitter, a joke on Facebook, links to new listings and blog posts on each … I have really provided no compelling reason to follow me or my business across multiple venues.

Until now.

Henceforth, I will be using the Scottsdale Property Shop page on Facebook to exclusively promote the “Scottsdale Foreclosure Value of the Day” and other daily property bargains that catch my eye. Not really blog fodder, it’s more at home on our fan page than within the confines of this site. While you, the consumer, can continue to perform your own home searches and sign up for listing alerts here, you’ll want to fan up our page to follow along with these pre-screened daily property selections.

You can continue to comb through the MLS for the best values yourself, or you can let us do it for you. Your choice.

Sure, there will still be a little of the humor and observation that tinges everything we do, but the page itself will be purposeful, not just another outlet for promoting this site.

So what are you waiting for? Now that there is an actual reason to do so, go ahead and “like” us on Facebook. You won’t feel a thing.

Oh, but the Twitter handle? @PaulSlaybaugh is still reserved for nonsensical shenanigans. Follow at your own intellectual peril.

What Do You Mean It’s Under Contract? The Listing Says “Active”

What Do You Mean It’s Under Contract? The Listing Says “Active”

That is the G rated version.

The working title was initially more along the lines of:

What the &^%$ Do You Mean the &^%$#&^ House Is Under &^%$^&# Contract? The &^%$#$@ Listing Says It Is &^%^&#%$ Active!

There is little more frustrating to the do-it-yourself consumer than outdated data. It’s hard enough to navigate unfamiliar territory with an accurate map, but it’s downright infuriating when that map is hopelessly obsolete. Like punching in the street address to the nearest Starbucks and being warned that there be dragons beyond the intersection of Hayden and Shea. A modern expedition requires modern cartography.

And yet, with the technological onslaught that has shifted the landscape of Real Estate practice, we still suffer from the “garbage in, garbage out” axiom that stifles growth in all human endeavors. All too often, an online home shopper comes across that perfect home that is everything he or she has ever wanted in a house … or rather, it would be if it were actually available.

Son of a &^%$!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Before converting your Nissan Murano into a makeshift scud missile and driving it through the listing brokerage’s plate glass window, humor me for a moment.

Once a buyer and seller successfully negotiate a purchase contract here in Scottsdale, with all terms and conditions agreed to and ratified by each party, the listing agent has two choices: change the listing status to “Active With Contingency” or “Pending.” Whether the home remains visible to the consuming public depends on which selection is chosen.

If the home is updated to reflect “Active With Contingency” status, the home remains on the market while the transaction is shepherded through the escrow process. Whether the contract is subject to the buyer’s financing, inspection, ability to sell another property, etc, there are certain contingencies in place that must be satisfied prior to closing. During this time, the seller can market the home for backup offers if he or she so desires.  By essentially keeping the home in active status, but disclosing the presence of an existing contract, a seller does exactly that.

If the home is listed as “Pending” once an offer is accepted, it is removed from the market while the escrow is processed. In essence, the seller and listing agent are telling the Real Estate community to cease showing the home and that backup offers are not being solicited at this point.

With those two primary options serving as the choices for listing agents and their clients, you can imagine why many opt to go with the former. With the challenges buyers face in obtaining financing, in addition to typical inspection and appraisal concerns, some consider keeping the home available for possible backup offers the biggest no-brainer since all-you-can-eat ribs.

I actually prefer to utilize the “Pending” status as it shuts down the Days On Market accumulation that can stigmatize a property in the event that the transaction explodes, but that is another post altogether.

The truly baffling thing is that the public is not generally privy to the “With Contingency” part of “Active With Contingency” status. Take your pick amongst several possibilities and/or conspiracy theories as to why the listings displayed to consumers online will show up with no differentiation between the two entirely different categories, but the upshot is that you often stumble upon interesting properties that haven’t really been available for weeks, if not months. Just be aware that it’s no trickery being undertaken by the agent whose site search you are utilizing. While some industrious types might theoretically thrive on creating such confusion to create their own clarifying need, most of us are just as annoyed by the data disconnect as you are. We’d much rather the information that is disseminated be 100% correct and up to date than to field calls that lead to inevitably frustrated consumers. It’s simply a limitation of the information that is parsed out by the local MLS.

So there you go. Every home you come across online is available to purchase. Except those that aren’t.

On behalf of the industry, my apologies for rewarding your self-directed internet search for new construction in Scottsdale with a map of Pangaea.

Give me a call or shoot me an email if you want to request current availability on any and all “active” listings you come across online.

No, That Is Not My Listing. Yes, You’ve Come to the Right Place.

A disconnect that will sometimes occur when a Scottsdale Real Estate consumer lands here on the Scottsdale Property Shop site, not all of the properties you see listed for sale here fly under the banner of Realty Executives.  Matter of fact, of the forty some thousand home listings that you can trawl in our home search engine on a given day, only a handful are likely to boast a Ray and Paul Slaybaugh sign in the front yard.

So what gives?

When you land on an individual Realtor’s website, the home search results display the feed from what is referred to as an “IDX” solution.  Technical aspects aside, this is essentially a streamlined version of the local MLS for public consumption.  Brokers have the option of opting out of the IDX agreement, thus not allowing their listed properties to be displayed on the sites of competitors and aggregators (Zillow, Trulia,, etc).  As such posturing would be tantamount to internet marketing suicide for a brokerage on behalf of its seller clients, however, few and far between are the active brokers who do not participate in the open proliferation of their listing feed.  There are rules and prohibitions in regards to what information can be displayed, etc, but by and large, this allows the consumer to visit most any Real Estate site with a capable IDX solution to view inventory.

Where misunderstandings can crop up is at the intersection of convenience and marketing.  You go to Google.  Type in the street address of a property you saw (forgot the name or number on the sign) or some specific criteria such as “3 Bedroom Homes For Sale in McCormick Ranch.”  If an agent has a search engine friendly IDX solution (such as yours truly), you land on his/her site.  Plastered next to all of the property information you seek is the agent’s smiling mug and contact information.

This is not necessarily, and most likely not, the listing agent.

If you scroll way down to the bottom, you will find the slightest nod to the brokerage that has the home listed for sale, but all of the contact information will be directed to get you to pick up the phone and call the agent that owns the site upon which you just landed.

For some of you, this is neither here nor there.  You just want the property information and don’t give a fig who provides it.  If the property looks interesting, Bigfoot himself could show it to you for all you care.

Where it can become an issue is when the consumer has specific reason to approach the listing agent directly.  There is typically an awkward silence, followed by a mild rebuke at a perceived misrepresentation.  To this house hunter, I say you found me just in time.  Why?  Because if left to your own devices, you would have unwittingly blundered right into the lion’s den with no representation.

Perhaps you think the listing agent will be a more direct conduit to the seller.  Perhaps you think the listing agent will have more information to provide regarding the property.  Or perhaps you think the listing agent will willingly cede a portion of his commission with no other agent involved in the transaction, ultimately saving you money on the purchase.

Were I better at HTML coding, neon lights would illuminate this next sentence.


I repeat.


Whatever seemingly helpful information the agent provides, make no mistake that it is his fiduciary obligation to separate you from as much of your money as possible on the seller’s behalf.  And he does this for a living.

When shopping for a new home in Scottsdale, it is not possible to overstate the value of the internet.  In addition to the tools and resources that are more available to the consumer than ever before, it could just be the chance encounter with a local agent’s IDX search that proves most fortuitous.  Contacting the floating head next to the listing that interests you might be the thing that saves you from overpaying or getting embroiled in transactional hell on your purchase.

No, the listing you are looking at is most likely not mine.  For that you can thank your lucky stars.  I’m quite adept at squeezing money out of buyers for my sellers.  Since the shoe is on the other foot, let’s go get you that house for a price that will make the seller limp for a month.


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