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Shall I start the site whatdidyoubid.com?

By Patrick   Mar 29, 1:14pm   28 links   12,204 views   91 comments   watch (1)   quote      

It would be the place where people list their losing bid on a house, to try to catch realtor fraud.

Realtors routinely block bids which don't give their own agency both sides of the commission. This would be a way to expose that practice. Sellers would be able to easily see the real bids without their realtor being in the way. And rejected buyers would get a little bit of power to get around the seller's agent, at least after the sale is done.

But maybe the psychology is bad. Consider that people don't necessarily want anyone to know how much they can bid on a house. It might attract realtors, jealous relatives, or other unwanted attention. Maybe buyers just wants to move on after the sale is over and they lost, and sellers want to move on and take the money they did get.

Is this worth the, say, one month of effort it would take to get it going? If no one uses it, the effort is wasted.

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52   Strategist   Apr 1, 10:33am     ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

Patrick, you will be creating a more informed buyer and seller.
More communication between buyers and sellers.
Less control by Realtors, leading to less rip offs.
It will go a long way towards creating a system where the realtor is mostly dealing with the paperwork involved in a transaction, leading to more efficiency and lower costs for the buyers and sellers. The average realtor only does 2 to 4 transactions a year. You can't be an expert in real estate with such little volume. We need a system where a realtor does 2 to 4 transactions a month, gets paid a lot less per transaction, but makes up in volume.

53   Dan8267   Apr 1, 11:36am     ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

Patrick says

It might get good publicity to get attacked for not having a license when doing something as simple as recording bids.

I don't see why you would need a real estate license to record bids. If you are not acting as a broker of any sort and just recording data for the record, then your actions should count as freedom of the press. You are simply keeping and publishing records. That does not make you a realtor, but a bookkeeper and publisher.

54   someone else   Apr 1, 2:45pm     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

I agree, but laws are made to protect profits. Call me cynical, but I expect that if I manage to do something that benefits the public instead of realtor profits, they will find some way to call it illegal.

55   Strategist   Apr 1, 2:51pm     ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

Patrick will find this particularly interesting.

Is my realtor committing fraud? What do I do? | Zillow
https://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Is-my-realtor-committing-fraud.../584475/
Apr 27, 2015 - I just sold my house using the same realtor I used when I bought it. He was ... I am still relying on this agent to close my current house. April 27 ...

56   Dan8267   Apr 1, 2:52pm     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Patrick says

I agree, but laws are made to protect profits. Call me cynical, but I expect that if I manage to do something that benefits the public instead of realtor profits, they will find some way to call it illegal.

Unfortunate, but true. The solution to that is called The Pacman Defense. You attack your attackers by suing or counter-suing them. They have far more to lose, and you have far more to gain. Just make sure your incorporated first. That places the upper limit on what you can lose as your company's almost non-existent assets.

57   Strategist   Apr 1, 3:01pm     ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

58   someone else   Apr 1, 3:38pm     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Yes, some good stories there:

Then there was the real estate agent who bragged to our agent that he had counseled the seller to keep our $3,000 deposit after we pulled out within the first 10-day contingency period, because he does it "all the time and always get[s] away with it." This was the sort of thing we could have gone to court for, but it would have cost about $10,000 in legal fees if we had lost, and the pressures of my personal life made the prospect of a legal battle over $3,000 seem unbearable. Instead, we hired a lawyer, who wrote a letter to the seller, who agreed to give us $1,500.

In the world of real estate, the seller and the buyer are always kept at a distance, and it's difficult to know what information actually gets conveyed.

When the agent announced to the seller (against the lawyer's explicit written instructions not to) that Pera was now working with a lawyer, Pera fired the agent.
"The day after I fired her, I found red nail polish all over my car," she said. Later, Pera learned, from talking to other area real estate agents, that the agent had a reputation for being a "hatchet woman," someone who would push through a sale at all costs.

Her advice for prospective home buyers has the hardened taint of a veteran soldier: "Don't depend on your agent to represent your interest. The agent represents the sale. They want the highest commission possible with the least amount of effort. Go in cynical, and let them know you're watching, and know what they are supposed to be doing.

he also encountered unethical behavior on the part of the selling agent, who demanded an "exclusive listing" -- meaning he would not work with another agent, because he wanted a full 6 percent commission from the sale. After not getting a response to two offers, So approached the seller directly and discovered that the agent, in an effort to drive up the price, had never delivered the earlier offers.

"It's like the vampire guarding the blood bank," said Pera of the Board of Realtors' ethical hearings. But most people seemed too overwhelmed and emotionally undone to continue the fight. "Devastated" was the word that popped up in every account.

59   someone else   Apr 1, 3:40pm     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

And from the Zillow article:

However we had established a relationship that neither of our agents knew about and talked 1-2 times/day about the property.
I called to tell him what my offer was and that it was coming in. We discussed the terms. 2 days later he still had not received it so he called his agent, who apparently had "missed the email".

60   someone else   Apr 1, 5:02pm     ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

Got a better name: whatdidyoubid.com

Less negative. Another $11 spent! Burning through my cash. :-)

Updated the original post to reflect the new domain name.

61   Dan8267   Apr 1, 5:42pm     ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

Patrick says

whatdidyoubid.com

watubid.com

Sounds more trendy.

62   someone else   Apr 1, 5:54pm     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

But will the public be able to type it correctly after hearing it pronounced, once, on the radio?

63   Dan8267   Apr 1, 9:41pm     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Patrick says

But will the public be able to type it correctly after hearing it pronounced, once, on the radio?

flickr, pinterest, grindr, tumblr, blendr, wikipedia, reddit

I think you're good. People will just Google it. Put in keywords with all possible spelling variations.

64   someone else   Apr 2, 10:14am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Went through some React tutorials and hated its obscurity, ridiculously complex build process, and the fact that "Hello World" creates a megabyte of javascript which the user has to download and parse to see anything at all.

So instead I'm going to do a minimal PHP framework and site, taking some of the ideas from React, like components. I'll make it its own github project.

65   TwoScoopsMcGee   Apr 2, 11:31am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Dan8267 says

watubid.com

Catchy.

66   Dan8267   Apr 2, 12:36pm     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Patrick says

So instead I'm going to do a minimal PHP framework and site

My advice: base your architecture on AJAX, JSON, the separation of content and presentation, and client-side DHTML. Don't generate HTML. Use static HTML in your pages and then use a framework like Knockout JS or Angular to dynamically manipulate the DOM using a model and bindings when you get back content from the server via an AJAX call. It's simple, easy to code, easy to debug, and cross-browser compliant.

The only server-side code you should need is to accept a JSON-formatted message, call your domain code, and return the result in a JSON-formatted response. That's it. Let the web browser or app do all the presentation.

And quite frankly, PHP sucks. It's an amateurish version of .NET and Java. And you get Tomcat free, and IIS is free for Windows Pro, even older versions of Windows.

67   someone else   Apr 2, 1:50pm     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

@Dan8267 While I can see the attraction of serving JSON and then formatting it in the browser, it seems much more complex than simply generating HTML. OK, I don't get a JSON API for free then, but PHP has a couple of great advantages:

* It is a templating language itself. PHP files are just HTML files with some code in them to do dynamic things.
* It has a very easy learning curve. Most people can pick it up quickly.
* It has proven able to run very large sites, like Facebook and Yahoo.
* It's single threaded, unlike Java, and does not use callbacks for IO, unlike Javascript. Callbacks just muddy the water if you don't really need extreme performance.

React deliberately mixes content and presentation, so you might say the trend is in the other direction these days.

I was thinking of creating small PHP functions to generate HTML components like the header or footer, each one composed of sub-components the way React does. Each component will be labelled with an HTML "id" defined by the name of function that created it and iteration number for that function. So the header would always be id="header_1" for example.

Then each page can open a websocket back to the server, and I can push out replacement or additions to the DOM that way when state changes on the server side, calling the same function that created that fragment of HTML to begin with. That's how I did the instant comments feature on this site.

68   FortWayne   Apr 2, 2:15pm     ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

Why not make a site where real estate is auctioned, and all bid summary are public?

Bid 1
$300,000
appraisal contingency
loan contingency
inspection contingency

Bid 2
320,000 - cash
appraisal contingency
inspection contingency

I don't know if it'll work, just spitballing ideas.

69   someone else   Apr 2, 2:21pm     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

I think that would be great for buyers, but sellers probably don't want it because it might expose lack of interest in their house when the public sees low bids or no bids at all. If sellers give away the info about bids, then they give away some power to manipulate perception.

What would make such a system attractive for sellers? One big advantage is knowing that their realtor is not able to block certain offers.

70   Dan8267   Apr 2, 2:52pm     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Patrick says

While I can see the attraction of serving JSON and then formatting it in the browser, it seems much more complex than simply generating HTML.

It's not. It's much simpler and easier. Here's an example of what the code for a loop would look like in Knockout JS. You don't have to do any formatting. Just use CSS as you normally would in a static HTML page.

Your model is just a JavaScript object. You populate that object by copying the data returned from the AJAX calls.

Using Fiddler or some other tool, you can see the exact content flowing from the client to the server and back. It makes debugging very easy.

71   Dan8267   Apr 2, 3:13pm     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Patrick says

PHP files are just HTML files with some code in them to do dynamic things.

It's server-side dynamic HTML. Essentially no different from JSP or ASP .NET except having an inferior implementation.

Patrick says

* It has a very easy learning curve. Most people can pick it up quickly.

The same can be said of JQuery, Knockout, and Angular. And you're going to want to use at least JQuery anyway.

Patrick says

It has proven able to run very large sites, like Facebook and Yahoo.

Ditto for JQuery, Knockout, and Angular. There is nothing you can do with server-side DHTML that cannot be done at least as easily, if not far more easily, with client-side DHTML. This didn't use to be true which is why server-side DHTML was invented. However, there are many things you can do with client-side DHTML that you cannot do with server-side DHTML.

Patrick says

It's single threaded, unlike Java, and does not use callbacks for IO, unlike Javascript.

JavaScript is single threaded, that crappy worker thread feature put aside. As such JavaScript frameworks like JQuery, Knockout, and Angular are also single-threaded. You won't do any multithreaded code, and don't need to.

Patrick says

Callbacks just muddy the water if you don't really need extreme performance.

Callbacks in AJAX are also single-threaded. The asynchronicity is not done for performance, but rather responsiveness, and it's real easy to do. But you can make synchronous callbacks at a flip of a switch if you want. Here's an example.

var Hello = (function ()
{
    try
    {
        /** Public functions and state. */
        var pub = {};

        pub.onClickButtonSayHello = function ()
        {
            try
            {
                var message =
                {
                    name: name
                };

                $.ajax
                ({
                    type: "post",
                    url: "/ajax?message=SayHello",
                    contentType: "application/json; charset=utf-8",
                    dataType: "json",
                    data: JSON.stringify(message),
                    success: helloOnSuccess,
                    error: helloOnFailure
                });
            }
            catch (ex)
            {
                exceptionHandler.handleException(ex);
            }
        }

        function helloOnSuccess (result)
        {
            try
            {
                model.domain.greeting(result.greeting);
            }
            catch (ex)
            {
                exceptionHandler.handleException(ex);
            }
        }

        function helloOnFailure (xhr, status, error)
        {
            try
            {
                exceptionHandler.handleAjaxError(xhr, status, error);
            }
            catch (ex)
            {
                exceptionHandler.handleException(ex);
            }
        }

        return pub;
    }
    catch (ex)
    {
        exceptionHandler.handleException(ex);
    }
}
());

And this is what your HTML looks like.

<!DOCTYPE html>

<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
    <head>
        <title>Hello World</title>

        <script src="/js2/jquery-2.0.3.min.js"></script>         <!-- http://jquery.com/download/ -->
        <script src="/js2/jquery-ui.min.js"></script>            <!-- http://jqueryui.com/download/#!themeParams=none -->

        <script src="/js2/knockout-3.2.0.js"></script>           <!-- http://knockoutjs.com/downloads/knockout-3.2.0.js -->
        <script src="/js2/knockout.mapping-2.4.1.js"></script>   <!-- https://raw.githubusercontent.com/SteveSanderson/knockout.mapping/master/build/output/knockout.mapping-latest.js -->

        <script src="/js/exceptionHandler.js"></script>
        <script src="hello.js"></script>
        <script src="helloPageModel.js"></script>
    </head>

    <body>
        <div>
            <span>Name: </span>
            <input type="text" data-bind="value: model.domain.name" />
        </div>
        <br />

        <input type="button" value="Say hello" onclick="hello.onClickButtonSayHello()" />
         

        <div data-bind="text: model.domain.greeting"></div>
    </body>
</html>

You can make very rich and sophisticated UIs easily with this approach. It gets even better when you start writing your own HTML tags and bindings.

72   Dan8267   Apr 2, 3:19pm     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Patrick says

I was thinking of creating small PHP functions to generate HTML components like the header or footer, each one composed of sub-components the way React does. Each component will be labelled with an HTML "id" defined by the name of function that created it and iteration number for that function. So the header would always be id="header_1" for example.

Way too complicated. Make a Knockout JS control and register a custom tag. Your HTML will look like

<header data-bind="navigationMode: headerModel.navigationMode, loggedInUserId: userModel.userId, displayName: userModel.userDisplayName" />

73   FortWayne   Apr 2, 3:54pm     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Patrick says

I think that would be great for buyers, but sellers probably don't want it because it might expose lack of interest in their house when the public sees low bids or no bids at all. If sellers give away the info about bids, then they give away some power to manipulate perception.

What would make such a system attractive for sellers? One big advantage is knowing that their realtor is not able to block certain offers.

I would think it can create ebayish kind of competition, I haven't seen anyone try that in real estate outside probate auctions. I don't really know if it'll catch on. Just never seen anyone do this.

74   someone else   Apr 2, 3:58pm     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

It looks like such a thing does exist: https://www.auction.com/residential/

Dan, I'll try out knockout.

75   Strategist   Apr 2, 5:07pm     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

FortWayne says

Patrick says

I think that would be great for buyers, but sellers probably don't want it because it might expose lack of interest in their house when the public sees low bids or no bids at all. If sellers give away the info about bids, then they give away some power to manipulate perception.

What would make such a system attractive for sellers? One big advantage is knowing that their realtor is not able to block certain offers.

I would think it can create ebayish kind of competition, I haven't seen anyone try that in real estate outside probate auctions. I don't really know if it'll catch on. Just never seen anyone do this.

I have seen many try auctions in So Cal. I don't see it anymore, so it may not have worked.

76   Dan8267   Apr 2, 5:42pm     ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

Patrick says

It looks like such a thing does exist: https://www.auction.com/residential/

Until the seller's reserve price is met, Auction.com may counter bid on behalf of the seller. Counter bidding gives buyers and sellers more flexibility to find a mutually agreeable price. Counter bids do not occur after the seller's reserve price is met.

Unless the reserve is public, that's a scam. If the reserve is public, then just start the bidding at the reserve. Auctions that aren't completely honest discourage participation.

77   someone else   Apr 2, 8:01pm     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Dan8267 says

Auctions that aren't completely honest discourage participation.

Lol, that's the normal state of real estate!

The auctions are already dishonest in ways, like bogus asking prices secret bidding, blocked bids, etc. Anything different would be an improvement.

78   someone else   Apr 10, 5:28pm     ↑ like (3)   ↓ dislike   quote    

I've been super-busy developing the beginnings of whatdidyoubid.com over the last two weeks.

Hopefully will have something presentable within a week or so.

@Dan8267 I'm going with node and the new ES6 templating abilities. It's going reasonably well. You can see the source code so far here:

https://github.com/killelea/whatdidyoubid.com

79   Strategist   Apr 10, 6:53pm     ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

Patrick says

I've been super-busy developing the beginnings of whatdidyoubid.com over the last two weeks.

Hopefully will have something presentable within a week or so.

Whatever you please identify your goals.
Suggestions of some goals:
Reduce real estate fraud.
Reduce real estate commissions.
Increase fair play for buyers and sellers.

80   APOCALYPSEFUCK_is_ADORABLE   Apr 10, 10:12pm     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Whadjabid.com: The Website That Stuffs REALTORS in Jail So They Can Die of AIDS, Like God Wants!

81   someone else   Apr 10, 10:59pm     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Strategist says

Increase fair play for buyers and sellers.

I love that!

82   PockyClipsNow   Apr 11, 12:16am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Patrick, so far the internet has FAILED to disintermediate realtors. total failure.

Your website idea likely will never catch on because you have no way to even verify these bids are real. Once trolls take over, its over.

Are people going to upload a NAR contract to you to verify ? nope. You cannot verify these bids are real. This is a deal breaker isnt it?

In order to end the practice of gate keeping agents, you would have to pass laws to force all bids to be entered somewhere public, without that, waste of time and rotsa ruck fighting the NAR - you have a better chance of stopping all wars. ha.

Your problem is not a technology problem but a legal one.

The best recent example of technology in real estate venture was forclosure/property radar. Sean O took the non accesible public records and put them on a website. It was like 2008 or so, very very late to the game, but he changed it forever. Now all the flipers u hate can just look it all up. Sean even had individual investors offer him HUGE MONEY to 'not' list thier little counties on the net, they wanted to horde the deals and be the only guy who could or would suffer through papers at at the courthouse. Sean ended that era.

That guy Sean Otoole is smart because he offered a site FOR AGENTS/FLIPPERS and not against them. Join the beast Patrick, maybe you can use your site so the loser buyers agents can use it to fuck with the crooked listing agent, it cannot be used by public because they are idiots. You could get lawyers to advertise on it to sue the listing agent when they flushed a valid offer (good luck proving it, but it can be done)
Example of common buyer 'duh i called and left a voicemail with my offer and they never called me back, im posting on patrick' youbidwhat site'. THATS NOT AN OFFER.

83   someone else   Apr 11, 9:53am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

PockyClipsNow says

Your website idea likely will never catch on because you have no way to even verify these bids are real.

They don't have to be verified, because merely tipping off the seller that there is/was a bid that he did not know about is the goal.

The seller can chat with the buyer on the site, or maybe by private chat or email and nail down the details to catch the agent. That is all that is necessary.

Sure, people can lie and post troll bids that never happened, but if they don't reply to the seller with details, the seller will just ignore them.

PockyClipsNow says

You could get lawyers to advertise on it to sue the listing agent when they flushed a valid offer

I tried to make money by advertising real estate lawyers at one point, but was informed that that is illegal for some obscure reason.

84   PockyClipsNow   Apr 11, 11:22am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

The missing element of your site is how to monetize. Ad revenue not likely.
I suppose if you have it working and its slick and some people like it you could sell the site/idea to trulia or some such company - that should be your goal.

Anyway good luck.

85   someone else   Apr 11, 12:20pm     ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike   quote    

PockyClipsNow says

sell the site/idea to trulia

Lol, that's pretty funny. I used to work at Trulia.

86   TwoScoopsMcGee   Apr 11, 1:17pm     ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

Arabic Version:

"Bidjihad.com"
"SecretBidsHaram".com

87   someone else   Apr 17, 2:14pm     ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

OK, very first version, fragile, lacks most functionality, but is live now:

http://whatdidyoubid.com:8080/

It looks similar to patrick.net, but that's deceptive, since it's completely re-written in node instead of php.

There are a million things to do yet:
* get an ssl cert and drop the :8080 from the url
* get email working for the whatdidyoubid.com domain
* get registration and lost-password functionality working
* get search working
* ...

But at least I got something out there. Check out https://github.com/killelea/whatdidyoubid.com if you want to see how it works.

Feel free to add new addresses and comments on those addresses. There is no validation yet that addresses are real, but I'll get to that. Not much spam control yet either, but will get to that too when needed.

88   someone else   Apr 17, 8:34pm     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

And now I have the ssl certificate:

https://whatdidyoubid.com/

89   someone else   Apr 21, 11:39am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

added first comment about a real property which just sold:

https://whatdidyoubid.com/address/4/383-60th-street-piedmont-ca-94618

90   someone else   May 6, 3:37pm     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Here is a site that claims to actually publish all the offers on a house, instead of hiding them like most realtor scum do:

https://www.faira.com/listing-search

91   RealtorScum   Jun 16, 8:02pm     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

"Here is a site that claims to actually publish all the offers on a house, instead of hiding them like most realtor scum do"
When you are in a multiple offer situation, bidders are not typically aware of the details of the other bids. In order to disclose details of a bid to other bidders, the sellers agent (or buyers agent) must have both the buyers and sellers permission to share that information with another party. Offers are considered confidential. That is real estate law, at least in my state and I assume in other states as well.
On a side note, given your obvious acrimony for real estate agents, I find it interesting that you worked at Trulia.

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