Two years ago, The Real Estate Cafe graphed summer sales versus expired listings in Massachusetts across a ten year period: 1996 to 2005. It’s too early to update the graph but the current tally of 8,628 expired listings during the past seven weeks exceeds the 7,457 peak in 2005, the highest of any ten week summer period graphed above (click on image for larger view). In addition to expired listings this year, there have been 4,455 canceled listings and another 2,455 withdrawn listings. That’s a grand total of 15,538 unsuccessful listings, compared to 10,136 sales during the same period.
So, for every two sales over the past seven weeks (6/30/07-8/20/07), three listings failed. That’s about 2,000 expired, canceled, or withdrawn listings per week. Unless sellers hold their properties off the market, the unfolding credit crunch could create a higher rate of failure in the final weeks of 2007.
What does that mean for potential home buyers? Two money-savings opportunities:
Expired & canceled listings: If you have had no previous contact with the former listing agent or attended any of their open houses, buyers may save money — approximately 5% of the asking sales price — by contacting owners of expired and canceled listings directly. If you’re interested in that do-it-yourself opportunity, The Real Estate Cafe would be glad to provide assistance "a la carte" on a fee-for-service or flat fee basis.
Proactive house hunting: There are thousands of homeowners getting ready to list their homes this Fall. The Real Estate Cafe would be glad to tell you how some of our recent home buyers have saved money by identifying homes BEFORE they are listed with a traditional listing agency.