Steve's 2011 Real Estate Wish List

(Note to our three readers: Steve wrote this. Kris did not write this; Steve did. If Kris had written this, her name would appear under “author” above. It is not that she doesn’t think this is a really fine post or anything. It’s just that Steve doesn’t come around these parts much, and it really annoys him when his semi-annual installment is met with a bunch of “Great post, Kris!” comments. You don’t have to live with him. I do.)

You can’t always get what you want. The Rolling Stones know it and so do I. But, as Mick likes to remind us, “if  you try sometime, you just might find, you get what you need.”

It has been a favorite song of mine for decades and, when my daughters were younger, I used that theme to try to teach them a valuable lesson – the difference between “want” and “need.” (Try as I might, I just couldn’t find any meaningful fatherly lessons in “Jumpin’ Jack Flash.”) And, I failed miserably, of course. They need everything they want, unable to make the distinction between items to support basic sustenance and really cute designer jeans, but I digress.

Since I rarely get what I want (because that honor goes to my children), I can only hope that I get what I need. In that spirit, here is my wish list for 2011.

1.     Our Multiple Listing Service (MLS) will actually be enhanced so that it will plot the correct map location of the home I am attempting to list, sell or evaluate, thereby eliminating the need to use my special agent decoder ring – or Zillow – lest I show up on the wrong doorstep.

2.     Bank of America will go on a hiring and training spree for employees manning the short sale department to reduce the process timeframe to something more reasonable like, maybe, six months. (Hint to B of A: Perhaps you could hire some of the thousands of real estate agents who have been bitching about you and who are now unemployed, thereby quelling all of the criticism and simultaneously putting these folks, who are now laying comatose atop their fax machines waiting for a negotiator to be assigned, back to work.)

3.     No more homebuyer tax credits! Like the second time getting drunk on tequila shooters, it feels great for a while, but you know (from the first time) that you are going to pay a big-time price in the morning. Unfortunately, the hangover will last for nine months.

4.     When introducing myself to guests at my open house, I will no longer be treated with the kind of contempt typically reserved for real estate agen…  Wait. Never mind.

5.     Wikileaks hackers, in a case of misguided anger, will take down the B of A web site. Eight months later, B of A notices.

6.     Congress will pass a law reducing the number of times FHA can change their lending guildelines in a single year to 219.

7.     Appraisers, in a bold act of practical and rational thinking, will actually start talking to the listing agents again, recognizing that despite the new laws that make each appraiser his own independent and sovereign nation, discussing factual data like comparable sales and “how to get back to the freeway from here” does not constitute collusion.

8.     The term “low ball offer” is officially banned from the English language. Meanwhile, “Bola Baja Oferta” becomes a favorite term in Latin America and, within three months (about half the time it takes to process a B of A short sale) their housing market begins to collapse.

9.     Realtor health insurance adds coverage for surgically removing smart phones from hands.

10. Case and Shiller finally agree to get into my car with a buyer and learn the realities of the real estate market. Soon after, reports surface that Case was seen in a Swiss consulate begging for asylum while Shiller, who subsequently tried to sell his home, was last seen being led away in handcuffs and mumbling something about matched pairs and “that bastard buyer’s low ball offer.”

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