Before ever reading the "recommendation" as a Hidden Gem, I saw HV's hotlinks online asking me if I wanted to get an appraisal of my house. Sure, I wouldn't mind getting an up-to-date appraisal of my house, but I'm at least smart enough to know that no computer program is going to generate it. So, that's why I didn't hit the link. If I did, and ended up with a realtor calling me, I would have been pissed. I was happy when all those irritating spam calls were stopped. If a realtor had called me because I was looking for a free appraisal, I'd be pissed. And even if I were in the market for a realtor, I'd be irritated if that's how he made contact. Therefore, calling me would be a waste of the realtor's time.In short, I wouldn't find any value in the service HV provides, either as a homeowner or a realtor. From what little I know, it doesn't sound like a workable game plan for HV.That doesn't mean that it's not a great stock investment. It's just that when I've disliked the product or the service of a company, investing in it has never worked out for me. Should I think there are sufficient homeowners and realtors that would think differently from me to make HV profitable? I guess so, but I'm not willing to bet my money on it.Just my two cents.
I see your point totally as far as wanting to be harassed when u are just curious about something...If you haven't looked yet, check out www.homepages.com. Really sweet interface (very GoogleEarth'ish) and it doesn't try to get personal info out of you right off the start. If they change their main service pages, this might really be good for them.
I'm going to stick my neck out here and make a prediction i.e. this stock is going to perform poorly for HG and will be dumped before 12 months are up. I have been in the real estate business (admittedly in New Zealand but the principles are similar) and by far, homeowners do business with realtors they now and trust. The system as I understand it with Housevalues has as first point of contact a cold and impersonal internet experience. It's doomed to failure. I am guessing that the business is generating a decent cash flow from attracting new people in the industry who have not built up a large and reliable contact base and are desperate to generate leads. They will either see the light and pull out of Housevalues or exit the industry as their efforts in turning these contacts into listings keep failing. I'm a big fan of Hidden Gems and at present have taken positions in 6 of their recommendations, overall doing well. Not with this one though.
Maunga,But don't you think that the industry could go the way that the local stock broker went? My feelings go like this: a home is one of the largest investments that the average person will ever make (at least in the US) so they will want to maximize the returns that they can get for it. I think people will want to feel more in control of any deal that they would make with they're most valuable possession. On the other side of selling a home I'll leave you with a quote from my grandfather, "Buying right is selling right."What do you think?Thanks,MLH
Sorry about the delay in replying to your question, I have just returned form a summer (southern hemisphere) holiday. I don't feel qualified to comment on the American real estate industry but I do understand the gist of your statement on sellers and their desires. The same applies in our local market but even though there have been several attempts to set up competing systems that avoid real estate agents and their "high" fees, all have failed to make much of a dent. Most sellers are after "top dollar" and most buyers are looking for a "bargain". Here is where a good agent is a valuable contributor to a successful conclusion. They are able to take the emotion out of the negotiation and draw both parties to a middle position that both can live with. Sounds simple I know but in the end results matter. I would be interested to hear if you have attempted to sell your own property and how it went.Regards, Maunga
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