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Welcome to your constantly updated resource for news and views on the Brookline Real Estate market. Here you will find commentary and statistics to explain the daily changes in the Brookline specific housing market.

Whether you're looking for an estate in Cottage Farm, a condo in Brookline Village or are just stopping by please feel free to read along and comment at will. If you are interested in speaking about renting an apartment, buyer representation or listing your home please feel free to contact me.

Friday, September 14, 2007

The dangers of The Globe Real Estate section

Every week I see it. The top searches box in the upper right corner of The Globe's homepage. "Open Houses" is always at or very near the top. It's great in theory that you can just go to your local paper, enter your search criteria and not have to worry about being contacted by an agent. I mean, it makes perfect sense. I want to by a home, I go to an advertising section in a paper. I want to buy food, I can find that in the Globe too, same with clothes, or stocks, or furniture. OF COURSE NOT!

Yes, there are a lot of real estate agents out there, and sometimes contacting them will cause one of them to call you back. It's amazing that consumers like to complain about how little agents do for their money, but these same consumers go to great lengths to avoid all of the efforts those very same agents are doing.

Here's the scenario: I am a listing agent for "Property A." Before signing the listing contract I went out and did a thorough market analysis sifting through over 1200 homes which have recently sold. I've compared square footages, amenities, finishes, styles and proximity to the things we all want to be close to. I've now presented my case to the sellers. At that moment, I am the most knowledgeable person about that property and its place in the market. What gets overlooked is I can also tell you about the 5-10 closest "competitors" to this listing as I've already analyzed their square footages, amenities, etc...

Now, Mr. & Mrs. Buyer, you give me a phone call, and I determine with you that you're qualified to buy "Property A" and it seems like it might be a good fit. We arrange a meeting to go see Property A but we also take a look at the three most similar alternatives currently available. There are over 400 homes on the market, how much time did you, the buyers, have to spend researching and sifting through to come up with those alternatives? None. It's my job.

Here's the other danger with searching the Globe. It's an advertising section, and therefore only has the listings which each company has chosen to put in on that specific week. There are many properties which never have open houses (they don't really lead to property sales) and the Globe doesn't let you see that inventory.

Call an agent. They are working hard every day to preview the market, determine what the best values are, and weed out the ones that don't fit.


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The views expressed on these pages are the opinion of the author and any public contributors. They do not substitute for the advice of a legal or financial professional. These opinions are not representative of any firm or business. Please always consult an attorney, financial professional or sign a contract with a Buyer Agent or Seller's Agent for specific advice.