Realtor Rant

Home improvement Q&A, pictures and news fro Mid Century Modern Homes and Houses(NOT for Real Estate)

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sdmod
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Realtor Rant

Postby sdmod » Tue Mar 20, 2007 3:12 pm

I have to get these off my chest; thank you in advance for reading.

1. A house cannot be new and mid-century.

2. Retro and vintage are not the same thing.

3. There is a difference between restoration and remodeling (or remuddling).

4. Not all houses designed between 1945-1975 were designed by Frank Lloyd Wright or "one of his students" and that is really OK.

Thanks and feel free to add to this list.....

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Postby egads » Tue Mar 20, 2007 3:38 pm

Here in the Long Beach Ranchos, we have a realtor husband and wife team.
In the year I've lived here, they has "flipped" two houses. Both "featured"
new Tuscan kitchens and remodeled baths with travertine. He thinks he's a designer.
But wait, it gets better. In all his advertisements, he refers to these homes as "post modern" Does it get any more hick?

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Postby grh122 » Tue Mar 20, 2007 3:43 pm

This is funny, particularly #4. I especially hate it when I'll see a Neutra or Lautner for sale and they stress the "FLW disciple" thing too much.

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Postby Futura Girl » Wed Mar 21, 2007 1:47 am


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Los Angeles Cliff May MLS Posting from a CLUELESS realtor

Postby retrotravelgirl » Wed Mar 21, 2007 7:58 am

I saw this add for a CLiff May and I wanted to throw up when I read the last line!!!!!

First off why would you do anything to this or any Cliff May other than restore and enjoy the sheer pleasure of living in one. This is a dream home - stay away if you don't see otherwise...ha ha!

From MLS:

The Most Incredible View in Los Angeles is being offered for sale for the 1st time in nearly 40 years. This one-of-a-kind estate is perched above Sunset Strip behind a gated entrance and sits on an amazing hilltop parcel of nearly one acre. Surrounded by expanses of natural hillside, this Cliff May contemporary 3 bedroom, 4 bath home offers approximately 3,100 sf of living space complete with pool, front and back yards and 3-car carport with motor court. Restore or build a dream house.

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Postby Joe » Thu Mar 22, 2007 4:50 pm

Oh god!!

don't get me going on this one...

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Postby Dallasmodern » Fri Mar 30, 2007 9:37 pm


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Postby SDR » Mon Apr 02, 2007 5:11 pm

Don't you just love the bogus/unnecessary Wright references ?

At a party I heard a young realtor mention a "Frank Lloyd" house she had seen. :roll: I had another drink. . .

SDR
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Postby googieagog » Mon Apr 02, 2007 9:24 pm


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Realtor Rant

Postby ModernCharlotte » Sun Apr 08, 2007 3:13 pm

OK guys- I am a realtor and feel compelled to tell you- it is a tough biz and it is tough going in the MCM market. We have to deal with the general public and unfortunately FLW is the only residential architect most have heard of(we are talking NC here, not California, etc). I have a fab listing right now that some guy offered 25% lower than asking price so he can tear out the bathroom and put in granite as well as gut the kitchen which has the original laminate cabinets and atomic star burst back splash - all in fab condition.
All I can do is try to create a market for these wonderful properties and get them in good hands. And did I mention? get my sellers a good price and hopefully make a living doing something I love.
ModernCharlotte is the ONLY realtor in the greater Charlotte NC area that specializes in Mid Century Modern and Contemporary Architecture.

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Postby SDR » Sun Apr 08, 2007 3:50 pm

I salute you, and have no doubt that yours (like almost everybody's) is a tough business. :wink: We can all agree that a prime goal is the preservation of worthy architecture. Real property is always at the mercy of its current owner. There's no sense in wishing that an unsympathic buyer would go against his own perceived interests in order to please a group; "a man's home is his castle."

But inflating the apparent value of anything by making false claims for it -- intentionally or otherwise -- isn't the way to go. (I'm sure you don't do that; we are talking about those few who do.) "If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bull___" ? No; better to become more brilliant at discovering and disseminating the wonderful truths of our favorite builders and buildings, and the lifestyle that they promised then and still do today. There's a growing market for MCM, because there is more and more good publicity about the era and its attributes published every year. Find ways to connect with and advertise to that market.

And, there's always the "instant convert," if you can present the property in a sufficiently appealing way. I'd be interested to hear of your success stories ! When was your own conversion ?

Thanks for finding us. SDR :cheers: :cheers:
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Postby Futura Girl » Sun Apr 08, 2007 6:16 pm

RE #1. A house cannot be new and mid-century.

hi modern charlotte... i hear you... real estate is not an easy business, especially these days as a seller's agent. but i think the rant is not so much about realtors like yourself. or for that matter ANY person who would even consider looking at this website.

it's about the realtors who just think that mid century modern is just another buzzword they can use to sell stuff that isn't really modern.

it would be kinda like putting "eames era" on a 1980s lamp from mervyns on an ebay ad.

-------------------------------------
RE: #3. There is a difference between restoration and remodeling (or remuddling).

oye veh - i hear you. new granite counters can be nice and all, but that is remodeling NOT restoration. for the record - we are restoring our home, BUT we have remodeled our kitchen with NEW ikea cabinets. there is a difference.

-------------------------------------
RE: #2. Retro and vintage are not the same thing.
AND #4. Not all houses designed between 1945-1975 were designed by Frank Lloyd Wright or "one of his students" and that is really OK.


you know - i'm actually okay with the retro/vintage/frank lloyd wright thing And actually - i have used that exact FLW language to help educate folks who don't what modern is yet... his images are in enough border's bookstores so that even lay people know what "That" style is. so keywords can help people who are interested in the style, but don't know the whole language yet. and that is really OK!

i regularly use retro/vintage for key search words on websites.

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Postby googieagog » Mon Apr 09, 2007 8:14 am


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Realtor Rant

Postby ModernCharlotte » Thu Apr 12, 2007 8:51 pm

ModernCharlotte is the ONLY realtor in the greater Charlotte NC area that specializes in Mid Century Modern and Contemporary Architecture.

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Postby 84Design » Mon Apr 16, 2007 6:04 am

Your frustration is well understood, just keep fighting the good fight! :wink:
"Architecture as craft, not merely a container."

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My two cents...

Postby 5280mod » Thu Apr 26, 2007 3:35 pm

The whole "guilt by association" concept regularly prevents me from divulging that I am a Realtor. Sadly, it is an industry and not a profession...consequently there are very few real estate professionals. NAR (The National Association of Realtors) is very stern about its members not making disparaging remarks about each other...because, frankly, it's like shooting fish in a barrel. So I'll be biting my tongue from here on out (don't mind the blood.)

I came to real estate because of my love of architecture, so it was baffling to discover that the majority of real estate agents don't have a clue about the subject. As an agent working to help buyers, particularly mod enthusiasts, find their ideal home, I can tell you what an aggravating and time consuming task it is to locate mod homes in our market. (I never list homes - there's a whole conflict of interest/double dipping greed thing, but that's a soapbox rant for another day)

The main buzz words in our MLS system are:
California Contemporary
Frank Lloyd Wright Inspired (which can be anything with stone or wood in the interior)

Once in a while "Eichler" and "May" will show up. I do see "mid-century modern" and about half the time it is used correctly. The rest of the time it usually means 50's era house with recent updates.

More often than not, there is no mention of those features that would appeal to a mod enthusiast for fear that they would deter the majority of agents from showing the house to their more "mainstream" clients. Because of this, I spend hours examining the MLS system and driving neighborhoods. Then I share my findings to let consumers know that we do have awesome mod homes in my area...and not just a handful of pricey ones.

Which leads me to my biggest "Realtor Rant"...after I spend all this time and effort locating homes, other agents call and expect me to hand over all the information I've collected because they can't find it for their own clients. Grrrr!
Shannon Stanbro
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Another pet peeve word

Postby modfan » Fri Apr 27, 2007 6:11 am

Realtors seem to like to use in the real estate listing description that looks like it means something but for the most part is just meaningless marketing puffery-
'architectural'

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Postby roxy500 » Fri Apr 27, 2007 8:35 am

That Frank Lloyd Wright reference drives me absolutely crazy. When I found the listing for our house 2.5 years ago, the preview flyer read, "Large super cool rambler reminiscent of Frank Lloyd Wright." I knew what they meant, sort of, and knew it was the type of house we were looking for, but you are correct, 5280mod, we have wood and stone in the interior. Sadly, they also use that description around here for anything that has clerestory windows (?).

It's exactly like the "Eames" label on any piece of mid-century modern furniture on eBay. You know what they mean, but they are SO WRONG!

:roll:

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Postby SDR » Fri Apr 27, 2007 5:29 pm

THANK you. . . :cheers:

and Bender seconds that :cheers: :cheers:
"I laugh in the face of danger! Then I hide until it goes away." Bender

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Postby SDR » Fri Apr 27, 2007 6:00 pm

[Now watch somebody come to the defense of all eBay merchants. . .! ]



SDR :h:
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A classic example!

Postby 5280mod » Thu May 03, 2007 9:44 pm

Here's a perfect example from our MLS of a 50's ranch home being described as "mid-century modern"...



This isn't the first time this particular listing agent has described an updated 50's ranch as "mid-century modern" I think she means "modernized" mid-century home.
Shannon Stanbro

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Postby mr. and mrs. meow » Tue May 08, 2007 10:59 pm

an interesting read - a real estate industry writer's take on "How To Appreciate And Sell The Ranch-style Home." it's an old article (originally published in June 2004), but mentions Cliff May and Eichler.
it's good. ...for now.

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Postby Perks » Wed May 09, 2007 6:36 am

Andy Perkins, Broker/Owner

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I never

Postby modfan » Wed May 09, 2007 7:04 am


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"Tear it down..."

Postby AlcoaMCM » Sun May 20, 2007 6:30 pm

Yep, I see it all the time here, too. Check out this listing...1956..."tear it down or complete the project."


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Postby txmod » Sat May 26, 2007 7:35 pm

Oh where do I start...

As a Realtor who works in the MCM market the thing that drives me crazy is when another Realtor gets an MCM listing instead of me b/c they are a family member or a neighbor or whatever, and then do absolutely nothing to promote the house as an MCM. Since Houston is tear down central, most are advertised as tear downs.

There was one here by a very prominent Architect that was featured on a home tour just a couple of years ago. When the agent listed it, there was zero mention of the Architect's name. There was, however, plenty of discussion about the LOT.

On the other side of the equation, I could choke a few so-called mcm buyers too. Every one says they want one that is not remuddled, that is original, but not in too bad of shape. Fine, but Houston is not Palm Springs. The inventory of these homes is limited here. Many that were built have been lost to tear downs or remuddled beyond recognition so the inventory continues to shrink.

So when that original pristine jewel does show up, you would think people would be all over it. But noooooo. I get a litany of excuses...."Memorial Bend is too far out!" "Glenbrook Valley is too transitional" "I want something closer in" Often times asking me if there are any in areas of town that were developed in the 1910's - 1930's. Um...no. MCM buyers here can be so picky, to the point that they are unrealistic regarding the limitations of the market, resulting in houses that should go to sympathetic, knowledgable hands, ending up going to people who really are not MCM enthusiasts. Sometimes that ends up being okay, other times not so much...

Here is an example, this one was great, but I have been told the first thing the buyers from Dallas did was RIP OUT bathrooms! Possibly the kitchen too, but I am not sure.



This one faired better, the people that bought it have been overall pretty careful with it, but they were not MCM enthusiasts particularly, they just liked the house. But it goes to show what I am talking about, an mod purist should have jumped on this one.



There have been others that jump on them when they come available, but it seems like they are the exceptions to the rule.

That is my rant for the day. 8-)

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Postby kjansma » Tue May 29, 2007 10:13 am


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Postby SDR » Tue May 29, 2007 5:28 pm

Bravo, and well said. You can always do modern later !
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Postby rockland » Wed May 30, 2007 8:44 am

...and you can certainly live a modern or MCM appreciation just about anywhere. my chair collection looked great in a new orleans shotgun, a
ny brownstone, and two bklyn lofts. never thought they would live among
clearstories. that was just lucky...

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Postby rockland » Wed May 30, 2007 9:50 am

not a realtor rant per se. our house is considered kinda ugly by buyers in
the area. (and realtors). listed as contemporary ranch. thats ok. after an
exausting 5 months of open houses and viewings, our previous owners posted on craig's list on their own, aided by an artist daughter.
after looking at maybe 200 houses all over the ny area, count maybe
5,000 on line, we stumbled on our new home, affectionately called
ugly 'brown betty', (after my english teapot).
realtors can find buyers if they know what they are selling and who might
want to buy it! AND where to list it. we struggled for months with the brownstone idea in BED-STY bklyn. skinny footprint. and the giant staircases take up hundreds of square feet of real estate. and 900,000 with no parking, re-fuddled interiors, (way beyond re-muddled), just can't
oh and ah over crown molding when your life may be 5 years of camping out while you remodel and bask in the glory of re-sale. and not to mention the stress of trying to buy something that is double your budget.
i still go back and look at listings. i'm good at it after that miserable year.
oh, i'm ranting....
moral of the story, the realtor didn't find us our home. the original owners who built and loved their home ,found us. we love it, as they did.


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