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Broker BlogWrap: Smudging, Short Sale Scams and Germans Invade Malibu

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It's another edition of our irregularly scheduled look inside the blogs of our realtor friends. If you're a SoCal Realtor with a blog we should be reading, drop us a line.

[Engel & Volkers office, Beverly Hills]

1) Home Sellers Trying Everything: If you've chopped the price, curb appealed your credit card to its max and you still can't sell your home maybe its time to look into Native American mysticism. Fran and Rowena recommend "Smudging". "What's "smudging" you ask? It's a Native American ritual used to cleanse spaces, clear the "energy"... calls it "spiritual house cleaning". In today's real estate market, home sellers and real estate agents are looking for new ways to market a home, and for ways to "re-energize" their marketing efforts." [The Real Estate Blog]

2) The Short Sale Scam: Realtor Judy Graff reports on another nefarious scam targeting those poor miserable lenders responsible for the housing bubble. "A seller lists his home for a short sale price. The buyer is a relative with a different last name -- so as far as the bank knows, it is certainly an arms-length transaction. The seller goes on living in the property after close of escrow, making much lower payments, through the relative on title, on the same house. The lender is none the wiser." [SFV Real Estate]

3) Germans Set Up Shop in Malibu: The Malibu Real Estate blog reports that German based Engel and Volkers have set up shop in Malibu, hoping to get a piece of the real estate pie. "The PR release this morning describes them as a ”a high-class property shop” and their first office was planted in Beverly Hills this year." They're so German, the map of California on their web site even misspells Pacific Ocean as "Pacific Ozean." Update: The office is not open yet, but will be opening soon. [MREB]