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January 20, 2006

Got homebuyers? GO FSBO

Gotsnow_2005Got snow?  In sharp contrast to blizzard conditions this time last year, people were driving around Boston today with their convertible tops down.  Wonder if the January thaw will create a spike in home sales compared to 2005, or at least an increase of new MLS listings.  Although MLS statistics reveal that unsold homes are up 54% in suburban Boston, NEW MLS listings across Massachusetts are up less than 8% over the same period last year:  January 1-15.  Does that suggest that sellers are waiting for the Spring market to list their properties, or that more people are thinking of selling outside the MLS to avoid paying traditional commissions?

If you're one of those homeowners who'd like to take advantage of the unseasonably warm weather to get ready, The Real Estate Cafe is planning a seminar on "Getting Organized to Sell For Sale by Owner."  Rather than formal classroom instruction, what would you think of meeting at someone's house to offer recommendations and pick-up ideas for your own home? 

Selling a home or not, the New England Chapter of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) has a variety of resources online for GO (Get Organized) Month (January 2006).  To register for our upcoming course, email us at [email protected], or record your contact information on our blog reader line:  617-876-2117.

Bill Wendel | 02:23 PM in FSBO: For Sale By Owner | Permalink


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I work for a prominent mortgage broker that handles a large chunk of the mortgages (re-fi's, etc..) in MA,NH,NY. Since the beginning of 2006 we have seen a sharp decline in all types of mortgages flowing through our office. Where we would normally see 40-50 (at my office alone) a week in 2004, we’ve seen 10-15 weekly in Jan 2006 (last week we did less than 10). This is far greater thatn the usualy winter dip.

There are some very nervous originators and agents who see what’s coming. They are already willing to take a loss (abet small) for the realistate they recently bought hoping to flip.

It's fairly obvious the bubble has popped and we are just at the beginning of the downward spiral. It’s my personal belief that the reports of a slow steady decrease in prices are simply to stop people from panicking. The fall most likely will be sharp and sustained for 2006 and most likely 2007.

Posted by: John | Jan 27, 2006 11:27:05 AM


Thanks for your prospective from the lender's side of the table. If one is a seller, the trend you mention is troubling. Four follow-up questions:

1. If 2005 sales volumes across Massachusetts continue to be down by about 10 percent from the 2004 volume, why do you think that sales prices have yet to fall?

2. Are lenders and the appraisers they hire beginning to factor softening or falling prices into their analysis of value?

3. Do you think that buyers and sellers will become more aware of transaction costs, and begin to seek out new money saving business models?

4. Will lenders / mortgage companies begin introduce innovative new business models that help reduce transaction costs on SALES, not just loan products? If so, will there be more lender-sponsored "for sale by owner" sites (like ISoldMyHouse.com), or will lenders simply begin to offer discount or full fee brokerage services? As you may know, Alan Greenspan wanted to make that policy change but Congress blocked it.

Posted by: RealEstateCafe | Jan 27, 2006 1:12:58 PM

Any forum for FSBO homesellers that provides guidance on how to effectively market their property is very welcome. I think an meeting in a home would be great as staging the home would inevitably be part of the discussion.


Posted by: Randal Wilson | Feb 17, 2006 9:12:44 PM

I'm sorry for off top but probably you could help me find some web resources with researches on inflation and property cost correlation. Thank you in advance.

Posted by: Ashley | Mar 13, 2006 3:06:57 PM


Do you mean what happens to sale prices if inflation is:

5% or more?

My guess is that the Federal Reserve Banks have done that kind of research, but it is probably very hard to isolate that kind of
correlation because other factors are often at play, too, the most obvious being interest rates.


Posted by: RealEstateCafe | Mar 13, 2006 4:06:32 PM

www.HomePriceMaps.com integrates how much homes SOLD for in your area as well as nationwide using the google mapping technology. If you don't see data for your area simply email [email protected] with your zipcode and or address and they'll update the site and email you within a few days.

Posted by: Abe Hoffman | Apr 12, 2006 3:11:30 PM

i believe the biggest reasons today for
so many homes going into foreclosure are
high unemployment, and predatory lending. the adjustable rates are way too high. they shut down some of the predatory lenders in my home state of massachusetts but our defaults are at an all time high this year.
if anyone wants to stop foreclosure and save their homes they can get more information on my site.

Posted by: denise | Aug 3, 2007 7:55:21 AM

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