Monthly Archives: August 2008

FLASHBACK

Link to Trulia thread with 113 responses so far, including a few posts from The Real Estate Cafe about fee-for-service options:

Buyer Agents wanted on a fixed price basis.
http://tinyurl.com/64wz73

Hard to believe that the former chief economist, of the National
Association of Realtors made this prediction more than a decade ago:

"The next major revolution in real estate will be fee based services
replacing the blanket commission pricing that has dominated the
industry for so long."

We use it as a tag line on each of our emails, and have offered
consumers a menu of fees & rebates since we opened in 1995.  Wish
the Boston Globe had mention in their story, as we blogged a year ago
in this post:

Real Estate Rift or Rebate Envy?
http://tinyurl.com/6985su

Posted in Uncategorized

Real Estate Games

Olympics fever has everyone writing about, Granted, Boston.com, the tag for Boston.com’s real estate blog has been "Everything you need to know about Boston’s other spectator sport" since it launched.  Yesterday’s blog entry was entitled "Real estate games."

Perfect timing for FSBO open house this weekend at TogetherInMotion.com in Arlington, MA.

Posted in Uncategorized

“Real Estate Olympics” Redo: Call for Best “Do-it-yourself” money-saving tools at each step in the home buying / selling process

A leading group of real estate technology innovators is using a sports metaphor, the "Real Estate Olympics", to launch a compelling, timely competitive for the "Real Estate Pacesetter of 2008."

However, the first nomination (Zillow.com) and next week’s run off between eight companies to pick a single winner suggests that this competition will be a battle of the GIANTS. Compare that with Seth Godin’s presentation on "Small is the New Big" to the same group of innovators at ConnectNYC07 and  Time Magazine’s Person of the Year in 2006: "YOU".

If you translate those MEGA-trends into an Olympic metaphor, you get a different kind of competition and a different call for "Best of Breed." Just as the Olympics have 302 events, there are hundreds of steps in the home buying and selling process and real estate innovators empowering consumers with money-saving, do-it-yourself tools at EACH STEP in the process.

For more than a decade, The Real Estate Cafe’s has maintained a list of "Best of Breed" innovators at each incremental step, and we are eager to share them with our clients and others.  Real Estate innovators, if you think you should be on the list, please send us an email:

1. Nominating yourself for the appropriate step in the home buying and selling process, and

2. Explaining how you help do-it-yourself home buyers or sellers save money (or time).

Any nominations we receive before this weekend from innovators, or consumers who rave about them, will be showcased at our first "FSBO Trade Mart," tentatively scheduled this weekend at TogetherInMotion.com, One Broadway, Arlington, MA.  Watch Twitter & FriendFeed for more details.
http://Twitter.com/RealEstateCafe
http://friendfeed.com/realestatecafe

Posted in "We" companies, Change Agents, Do-it-yourself, Fee-for-service, FSBO: Best Practices, FSBO: For Sale By Owner, RECALL: Real Estate Consumer Alliance, Savings & Rebates, Tech Trends

Respond to Sweet Spots!

http://tinyurl.com/6dejhy

Posted in Uncategorized

CARPE DIEM: Expired & canceled listings create “commission-free holiday” for buyers & sellers

Maoffmarket_junejuly10yrs
Massachusetts home buyers, if you have been waiting for housing prices to slide into your acceptable range, this could be time to "carpe diem."  As shown in the graph above (click for larger image) of MLS activity during June & June over the past 15 years (1994 to 2008):

  • The number of off-market properties — expired, canceled & temporarily withdrawn listings — surged to a new record of 16,319 properties just after midnight.*
  • In contrast, sales have fallen from a peak of 19,180 in 2006 to 12,335 in 2008 (as of 12:30am, August 1). 
  • That means that sales are down by about a third, while off-market listings have nearly doubled since 2005 when we first wrote that expired listings were a leading indicator of the real estate bubble.
  • Over the past three years (2006-2008), more properties have been pulled off the MLS than sold during June & July.  For every three listings closed in the past two months, four were pulled off the MLS statewide in Massachusetts.

What do these raw numbers mean to buyers and sellers?  Think of expired and canceled listings as a two-sided window of opportunity, or the real estate equivalent of a "tax-free holiday."  Sellers can accept an offer about 5% less than their last asking price and still net the same profit because they are no longer obligated to pay a traditional real estate commission.

Will this "commission-free holiday" be enough to motivate buyers to make offers, or will motivated sellers in Greater Boston begin making offers to well-qualified buyers as is happening in other markets? 

The Real Estate Cafe is advertising buyers on Zillow to make it easier for motivated sellers, particularly those who have received pre-foreclosure notices, to find them. If none of our buyers wants to purchase your home, we offer seller services "a la carte" on a fee-for-service basis.  If you’d like to learn more about how to sell your home "for sale by owner," we’re organizing a FSBO support group and invite you to see our "FSBOs on Steroids" presentation.  If you’re not interested in selling on your own, we’d also be glad to do a Listing Agent Report Card to help you select a new listing agent and try to negotiate a reduced commission.  Email for more details.

* Technical note:  Includes all residential property classes in
MLSPin:  single family, multi-family, condominiums and land.
Temporarily withdrawn listings available for 2008 only.

Posted in Do-it-yourself, Fee-for-service, FSBO: Best Practices, FSBO: For Sale By Owner, Savings & Rebates, Timing the market
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