Turning housing bust headline into win-win-win for expired listings

Readers of this blog may recognize that the lead story today in today’s Boston Globe — Home of the housing bust: Central Mass. towns reel; no recovery in sight — reflects ongoing research The Real Estate Cafe has been doing regarding expired and canceled listings across Massachusetts. During 4Q2011, there were more than 20,000 expired and canceled real estate listings statewide. Those failed MLS listings represent an estimated $250 million dollars in lost commissions to real estate agents — that’s right, a quarter of a billion dollars in one state, during one quarter alone!!!

From our perspective as consumer advocates, a portion of those lost fees could be converted into consumers savings for both DIY home buyers and sellers.

As housing advocates and others have preached, a crisis is a terrible thing to waste.  Our goal is to help turn those 20,000+ failed listings into a win-win-win opportunity, for sellers, home buyers, and local communities like those described in the Globe article.  We’re eager to find out if any of the high-credibility sources in the article — Tim Davis, Barry Bluestone or any of affordable housing advocates — are involved in any ongoing responses to the problem or organizing anything new, and how we might collaborate with them.

  • OUR GUESS is that real estate investors will be the first respond to the “give away” housing prices that some Boston Globe readers say exaggerate the magnitude of the problem.
  • OUR BELIEF is that the conventional real estate industry is not offering enough options to homeowners, particularly those who may be forced to try selling “for sale by owner” because they cannot afford traditional full-service, full-fee listing agents (watch this 3 minute video).
  • OUR HOPE is to collaborate with others, including investors, who are already organizing or would like to explore alternative solutions that drive sales to achieve housing goals or some other social good.

At this point, we’re sharing our proposal privately with real estate and technology innovators who are ready to “think outside the box.” If you’re one of them, or if you own an expired or canceled listing anywhere in Massachusetts, or if you’re a DIY home buyer or renter interested in a win-win-win opportunity, we’d like to hear from you.  In the meantime, we invite you to share this blog post or our Twitter post above with your social network and download our “Insider’s Guide to Approaching Owners of Expired & Canceled Listings.”


PS. Earlier today, we were surprised to find that the Globe headline story was NOT one of the most frequently shared by email. Our initial thought was maybe the housing bubble is old news.  Five hours later, the story had been shared on various forms of social media over 400 times and generated over 200 comments.  That confirming that the crisis represents an opportunity to win-win-win solutions.  Want to join us in that quest?

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