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Real estate agents following their own advice, capitalizing on Portland’s hot market by selling their own homes



Like all real estate agents, Shannon Montgomery knows the Portland subway hot market. The inventory of homes for sale has dropped to the lowest ever recorded. Sellers of sought-after residential properties receive quick offers, sometimes more than the asking price.

And the selling price continues to rise: a buyer paid an average of $ 15,000 more in May than in April, according to the latest report from the Regional Multiple Listing Service (RMLS).

Montgomery manages their role with their usual mix of professional skills and support for their clients. This time, however, she is the customer.

She has her house in 3885 NE Wistaria Dr. on sale in Portland’s Beaumont-Wilshire neighborhood for $ 1,995,000.

Other real estate professionals who tell their clients it is time to sell are also following their own advice.

  • 1234 SW 18th Ave. # 210 in Portland’s Goose Hollow is listed for $ 425,000 by owner Subramaniam Seetharaman of Mapa Realty NW. Built in 2008 in the Jefferson Complex, the contemporary-style apartment has two bedrooms, 1.5 bathrooms, 100 square meters of living space and a large, west-facing terrace.
  • 2225 NE Everett St. in Portland’s core neighborhood is $ 495,000. Built in 1923 on 4,791 square meters of land, the bungalow has two bedrooms, a bathroom and a living space of 2,252 square meters. There is “dormer room on the third level and a large unfinished basement,” said John L. owner and realtor Nick Rulli.
  • 6920 SW 7th Ave. at Portlands Hillsdale costs $ 599.00. The two-story home, built in 1871 on 4,791 square feet of land, has three bedrooms, a bonus room, two bathrooms, and 1,728 square feet of living space, plus another 450 square feet in the unfinished basement and patio, said owner and listing agent Alli Lindeman of the premiere Property Group.
  • 3233 NE 53rd Ave. in Portland’s Rose City Park neighborhood costs $ 639,000. The bungalow, which was built on 4,791 square feet in 1926, has four bedrooms, three bathrooms, and 2,096 square feet of living space with a family room in the basement, said More Realty owner and broker Huong Ta.

What is the advantage of real estate agents presenting themselves as sellers?

In contrast to a newbie doing a For Sale By Owner, real estate professionals have training and experience on the complex path from preparing a property for the market to the closing day when a deed legally changes hands.

Real estate agents can also collect around half of the commission minus brokerage fees or around 2.5% of the sales price if they represent themselves as the owner.

The downside of brokers selling their personal residence? Emotions. It’s hard to part with when a home shopper criticizes a place that is yours. And despite their experience, agents share the same doubts as any salesperson.

“What is it like selling my home as a real estate professional?” Asked Montgomery, who is supported by colleague Danielle Duggan from Premiere Property Group. “Gosh, do I mention the sleepless nights? Am I talking about obsessing over every detail before going live? Am I talking about crunching numbers? “

After staging the house for sale, she joked that she had a similar reaction to sellers: why wasn’t my house so clean when we lived here?

She said she doesn’t think it is easier or more difficult for a real estate professional to sell their home.

The realtor and the owner share concerns about whether it will be sold. There are also the same late night questions: is this the right time? Is this the right decision for our family? Are we ready to let go of the children’s home?

Buyers shouldn’t be concerned if the seller is a licensed real estate agent who follows the rules, said Jeremy Rogers, director of legal affairs for the Oregon Realtors Association.

“Real estate licensees have a legal and ethical obligation to all parties to a transaction to act honestly and in good faith,” he said.

Real estate agents who represent themselves must disclose this in all advertisements and in the first written agreement between buyer and seller. The sale must also be handled the same way as any other transaction, which includes monitoring by a broker and processing all documents and funds, added Rogers.

“From the buyer’s perspective, the experience shouldn’t be much different with the seller being represented than with the seller working with another agent,” he said. “That’s because the buyer will likely have their own agent to help them pursue their interests in the transaction.”

The decision to part with your own home, even in a seller’s market, is more than just financial.

Montgomery and her husband, Stuart Montgomery, bought their two-acre property on Northeast Wistaria Drive 16 years ago when their four children were young. The home has five bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, and 5,313 square feet of living space.

Now the kids have grown up and moved away and the couple have decided to sell their stately home in the English Tudor Revival style with large rooms, wooden floors and history.

When you leave the 1931 Yaws Mansion, also affectionately known as the Wreath House, memories will take with you: of children flocking to the modernized kitchen, end-of-season sports parties, fundraising drives for Grant High School, and family evenings in the media room or around the back yard the gas fire.

“Pumpkin carving competitions and biscuit baking marathons took place on the oversized kitchen island,” she recalls. “An old favorite memory comes from a November night when we had dinner for 30 at round tables with only candles to light.”

With a six-burner gas hob, two sinks and two large dishwashers, one specially designed for large pots and pans, it was easier to prepare meals at home.

Likening her home to “holding a memento in her hand”, she spoke of the advantage of renting a storage room instead of making difficult decisions on site about which items to keep or give away.

In the end, she and her husband believe it’s time to sell. “Our children have grown up,” said Montgomery, “and we are ready for the next adventure in life.”

– Janet Eastman | 503-294-4072 | @janeteastman

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Scott A. Wolstein, real estate developer, dies at 69 | Local News



Scott Alan Wolstein, a real estate developer and CEO of The Wolstein Group since 1979, died May 26. He was 69.

Wolstein and his late father, Bertram “Bart” Wolstein, a legendary developer, created Developers Diversified Realty in 1992.

Scott Wolstein joined Developers Diversified Realty and helped take the privately held company public, solidifying its standing around the country as the leading real estate investment trust company, with ownership of about 500 shopping centers. As a result, he was considered a leader in the real estate industry, developing retail, office, multi-family and mixed-use projects, including being the principal developer of the Flats East Bank in downtown Cleveland. His mother, Iris, also is involved with him in the downtown project.

In a 2018 Cleveland Jewish News story, he said, “We’ve transformed downtown and we’ve made Cleveland a place that is an acceptable alternative for a young person to start a career. They can live here and have fun and I don’t think that was true for a long time. For my mother, the Flats has been the opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream for my late father. She was devoted to him alive and now to his legacy. She’s embraced this as more than a real estate deal and it’s honored my father’s memory.”

Wolstein, who was born June 24, 1952, said his father, who built more than 1,000 homes in Northeast Ohio and then moved into building Kmarts across the country before he died in 2004 at age 77, had a profound impact on his life.

“Everything I ever did in my life was to try and make my dad proud of me,” Wolstein said in a 2004 story in the CJN.

In 1979, Wolstein convinced his father to buy the Cleveland Force, a fledging team in an even more fledging sport – indoor soccer, according to Cleveland Magazine. The first year they owned the team, its revenue was $55,000, but 10 years later they sold the team for $3.8 million, the magazine reported.

Wolstein, a member of Park Synagogue in Cleveland Heights and Pepper Pike, has an affinity for Cleveland and giving back to the region.

In a 2006 CJN story, he said, “I am a product of my parents; giving has always been a way of life for everyone in my family. Even before my parents’ business success, they always gave whatever they could. Although it might embarrass my four children at this point in their lives, it is an honor to drive through the community and see the Wolstein name on a number of social service, medical and educational buildings and worthy scholarships and endowment funds.

“I’m proud to be part of the Jewish community that has distinguished itself for philanthropy. My philosophy, like my parents’, is to spread the wealth around. I also believe in quid pro quo – if you want people to contribute to the causes you believe in, you must be equally supportive when personally asked to support theirs. I’ve follow my parents’ philosophy that as both Jews and as citizens of the world, we must support Jewish and non-Jewish causes. It is wrong to be insular and isolated. Jewish charities serve the needs of non-Jews, and community agencies like the United Way, support many Jewish agencies.

“What is important is the cause or the organization. United Cerebral Palsy is one example that immediately comes to mind. To not support these causes because the organization is not Jewish is misguided. I also believe that charitable organizations are in a better position to provide services than governmental agencies. I wish we could designate a portion of our taxes to go to charitable organizations, instead of letting the government administer social service programs.”

In a 2014 CJN story, he said that he finds the theology of Judaism “fascinating,” and says it has a lot to do with how he conducts himself.

“Being Jewish is an important part of my life,” Wolstein said. “I’m proud of my heritage and my people.”

Wolstein received the King David Award, presented by The Jewish Heritage Commission of the United States and Aish International, in 2016. Other winners included Kirk Douglas, Ronald Reagan, Steven Spielberg and Margaret Thatcher. The commission promotes critical projects supporting Jewish heritage and identity, focusing on Jewish education, campus life and the United States-Israel relationship. The award, launched in 1994, recognizes those who, according to the commission’s website, “have made dramatic contributions to American society and Jewish heritage.”

He also received the Malden Mills Corporate Kindness Award in 2007, being recognized for building a company that emphasizes communication, inclusion, openness and opportunity for its employees. He was also singled out for contributing to the communities, especially Cleveland, where he does business.

Wolstein was named the Cleveland chapter of American ORT man of the year in 2006.

He has served on multiple board, including at Park Synagogue, Case Western Reserve University, University Hospitals, Israel Bonds, United Cerebral Palsy, Greater Cleveland Partnership and Cleveland Development Advisors.

He also co-founded with his former wife, Jillian, Help Malawi, a nonprofit that educates thousands of children in rural areas where people live on an income of $1 a day and are born with a life expectancy of less than 40.

In addition to being CEO of The Wolstein Group, he started his career as an associate at Thompson Hine LLP from 1977 to 1981, then founded Diversified Equities from 1981 to 1993. He served as chairman and CEO of Developers Diversified Realty from 1992 to 2011, a company he started with his father in 1992. He was CEO of Starwood Retail Partners LLC from 2011 to 2018.

A graduate of Hawken School in Chester Township, Wolstein played lettered in football, basketball, soccer, track and golf.

He graduated from The Wharton School in Philadelphia with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1974 and from the University of Michigan Law School in Ann Arbor in 1977.

Wolstein is survived by his mother, Iris; former wife, Jillian; children, Harrison, Ilana, Shelby and Merrick; and sister, Cheryl Faigus.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

This is a developing story.

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Texas appraisal district may have received unauthorized access to private real estate data



AUSTIN (KXAN) – The Austin Board of Realtors says the Hays Central Appraisal District violated its terms of service by using proprietary “multiple listing service” real estate data without authorization. The board sent a cease-and-desist letter Tuesday morning to the district instructing it to stop using the information, according to records obtained by KXAN.

It is not clear how the Hays Central Appraisal District gained access to ABOR’s information, which is called the Austin/Central Texas Realty Information Service, or ACTRIS. Cord Shiflet, president of ABOR, said the board is “investigating the source(s) of the unauthorized data access and how MLS data may have been inappropriately used in the appraisal of Hays County properties,” according to a letter sent to ABOR members.

Travis County Appraisal District got ‘unauthorized access’ to home price data, ABOR says

ABOR’s CEO, Emily Chenevert, told KXAN government entities like Hays Central Appraisal District aren’t allowed to access the board’s MLS data. The MLS system is comprehensive. It blends public tax records, information specific to each home, and even photos of houses, she said.

“If they’re accessing the information through unauthorized use, we’re not okay with that, and that would be covered under the cease and desist and the action that we’ve asked them to take: to stop using unauthorized access to MLS data ,” Chenevert said in an interview Tuesday morning. “It’s our job to ensure that we’re maintaining the database in a way that is both accurate and efficient for the marketplace and in a way that ensures the privacy and confidentiality that is expected within a proprietary system.”

Texas law requires county appraisal districts to assess property values ​​each year. State law does not require the reporting of home sale prices to the government, which means appraisal districts must use other means and research to determine property values.

Licensed appraisers with access to the MLS platform are prohibited from sharing the information “beyond the purposes of providing appraisals for consumers,” according to Shiflet’s email.

In 2019, a similar occurrence happened in Travis County. That year, ABOR said the Travis Central Appraisal District purchased its MLS data without authorization from CoreLogic Inc., a vendor that operated the board’s database. CoreLogic stopped sharing the data.

Chenevert said it does not appear CoreLogic sold data to Hays Central Appraisal District. Shiflet called the district’s use of the information “unacceptable.”

KXAN began inquiring about Hays Central Appraisal District’s access to MLS data Monday. In response to our questions, Laura Raven, the district’s chief appraiser, acknowledged her office has used MLS data for its appraisals.

“In its annual effort to satisfy both its constitutional and statutory mandates to determine market values ​​for properties within Hays County for tax assessment purposes, Hays CAD has utilized MLS sales data when provided to us and relevant,” Raven said in an email to KXAN Monday . “Under generally accepted appraisal guidelines, groups of sales occurring within a region of the County and within appropriate time frames are widely considered to be the most useful information in establishing market values.”

Raven said the appraisal district is in a continuous search for the most up-to-date property value information, and it “routinely” asks property owners, brokers and tax agents for information, and it uses public records and internet research for accurate data.

Raven did not respond to questions asking where the appraisal district obtained the MLS data or if she would sit for an interview with KXAN.

KXAN first learned of the possible MLS data issue Monday from local real estate agent Bill Loeb. This year Loeb said the Hays County Central Appraisal District raised his home value “by 30 or 40 percent.” Loeb protested that the value had risen, and he asked the district to provide evidence showing how it arrived at that price.

“They gave me five sales from 2021. So, being a Realtor, I pulled up the MLS data and saw that they were exactly right. They were straight from the MLS,” Loeb said.

Loeb said he asked the appraisal district where they got their information, but he didn’t get a response. He felt certain the district’s data came from the MLS, so he reached out to KXAN.

The MLS is paid for by Realtors, Loeb said, and people entrust Realtors and the board to protect those records.

“Hays Central Appraisal District has no right to MLS information. It is private, like medical records that are protected by HIPAA,” Loeb said. “Every taxpayer needs to demand that their properties be reevaluated without this improperly obtained, private information being considered.”

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Akins HS students take part in real estate program



Through the program at Akins Early College High School, the students can get their associate degree and their real estate license before they graduate high school.

AUSTIN, Texas — With the continued growth expected across Central Texas, more and more people are going to be looking for places to live.

Some local high school students hope they can be the ones to help people find their new homes in this demanding housing market.

Sophomore Anthony Villegas is one of the students in the real estate program at Akins Early College High School. On Friday they took a trip to the Austin Board of Realtors headquarters to learn more about the industry and what the board does.

“We’re talking to a lot of people trying to understand more about real estate and how ABoR is,” said Villegas.

Students, like Villegas, will earn a two-year Associate of Applied Science degree from Austin Community College and can become certified real estate agents all before they graduate from high school.

“We take business courses, we take computing, then we also have our real estate classes,” said Villegas.

“So once they turn 18, if they’ve met their requirements, they can test, then they will sign up with a real estate brokerage to be sponsored and then they will join the Austin Board of Realtors and become real estate professionals that become realtors ,” explained Kelea Youngblood, with the Austin Board of Realtors.

The ABoR worked with Austin ISD to launch this program back in 2020.

“The beauty of this program is it’s not just about the classes that you need to take to get your license,” shared Youngblood. “It’s about the real-life education, the hands-on experience. We will provide you with shadowing opportunities and internships. And so, they will be very well equipped once they graduate to enter the real estate industry.”

Both the ABoR and AECHS teachers say these real-life experiences are extremely valuable.

“We want to make programs and classroom spaces that are for the child’s needs and wants in the future because we only had them in high school for four years. What’s the next step,” said John Rodriguez, an Academy Coordinator at AECHS.

In this program, the students get their associate’s degree and training at no cost.

“They don’t pay a single thing for themselves,” said Rodriguez. “So, the college courses are paid for, the transportation, the textbooks, you name it.”

Now with the experience he is gaining, Villegas will be ready to help find people homes in Austin’s busy housing market when he graduates in just a couple of years.

“I know people from even Chicago that want to move down here,” said Villegas. “So, it seems like it’s going pretty fast. And hopefully, when I’m into real estate, it stays like that.”

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