The Houston Association of Realtors’ promised Harvey temporary housing mini-site went live yesterday. Unlike HAR’s main site of MLS listings, the new Harvey site allows anyone to post available properties — or at least to attempt to do so; each one must be approved before it is posted.
The association with Hurricane Harvey relief efforts provides a charitable aura to the site, but that may or may not be reflected in the by-the-week rental listings that show up: There’s no requirement that rents on listed properties be reduced — or not elevated over expected levels. You can sign up to post a property here. They can go up for a week at a time or for up to 90 days.
We’ve embedded a portion of the site above so you can get a quick sense of the locations and pricing of the listings that have populated it already, but the main site is more functional — it includes a sidebar you can use to filter results or show detail on individual properties.
Prior to Harvey’s arrival, Airbnb suggested to property owners that they might want to offer their homes as shelters to those fleeing the storm at little or no cost. The company waived its service fees for the homes, and provided a section of its website to list them.
DON’T WORRY, YOUR LISTING IS STILL SAFE Police arrested 4 individuals on the scene early this morning after a break-in at the Houston Association of Realtors “SuperCenter” at 3693 Southwest Fwy., west of Edloe. The suspects were not believed to have made off with anything, but are being investigated for possible involvement in another organizational crime: The Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council Building across 59 and Buffalo Speedway at 3110 Southwest Fwy. was also broken into overnight. [KHOU] Photo: Andrew Horansky
COMMENT OF THE DAY RUNNER-UP: WHAT THE HOME LISTING STATUS CODES REALLY MEAN “For those of you that think you know about real estate, but donâ€™t, you will find a breakdown of HAR statuses at the bottom of this post. Pending Continue to Show (PS) means that the seller is still willing to have the house shown. It does not mean that there are necessarily any contingencies, it just means that they *might* still allow showings. They still have the right to decline a showing when an agent tries to schedule an appointment, and many sellers do choose to decline the showing, or at least donâ€™t tend to be as flexible as they may have been before the home was under contract. The reality is that most agents donâ€™t show homes that have a PS status anyway, unless the listing agent makes it a point to specify that the seller is willing to accept back-up offers. Many agents donâ€™t use Pending (P) unless the seller absolutely insists on no further showings.
OP — Option Pending: Listings that are under contract and the seller and buyer have agreed to use the ‘Termination Option’ in paragraph 23 of the standard TREC contract, effective 1/1/03;
PS — Pending Continue to Show: Used for listings currently under contract but are still available to show. Listings having a contract with a contingency and taking back-up offers should be Pending Continue to Show;
P — Pending: Used for listings under contact and are no longer available to show;
S — Sold: Used when a property has funded and closed. All sales closed must be reported to MLS. Listings should not be changed to Sold status before the actual closing.” [HoustonRealtor, commenting on Restocking a Converted Grocery Store in the Houston Heights] Illustration: Lulu
HOW HAR AGENTS GET THOSE GLOWING REVIEWS ONLINE HAR’s pioneering ratings program for real-estate agents gets a bit of scrutiny from the Wall Street Journal’s Smart Money magazine. Among the amazing stats: A mere 1.4 percent of all ratings on HAR come in at less than 4 stars; meanwhile, on Angie’s List 5.9 percent of real-estate-agent reviews have equivalent “mediocre to poor” scores, and on Yelp the number is 18.5 percent. Agents participating in the Houston Association of Realtors program earn an average rating of 4.94 out of 5. How do they chalk up such glowing reviews? “In reality, that 4.94 represents the average score of just 12 percent of the association’s agents. Another 7 percent participate in the rating program but don’t make their results public. The rest — some 17,000 real estate pros — don’t get rated at all, either by choice or because they haven’t completed enough transactions. The group surveys only customers who have closed deals, leaving out everyone who, satisfied or not, walked away. Those qualifications help explain why fewer than 0.3 percent of the Houston agents have been awarded a low one-star rating by their clients — a figure that seems to defy reality, given all the things that can go wrong in a home deal. (The association says low-rated agents often opt out of the program.)” Reporter Alyssa Abkowitz quotes Katy agent Patricia Gant about the one black mark that brought her overall rating down to a comparatively low 4.4 out of 5 stars: “I would’ve never sent [a survey] to her,” she says, “if I’d had any idea that she’d give me one star.” [Smart Money]