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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.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Reality Disconnect

I've been fortunate enough to do some local traveling recently and it's caused me to focus in on a fundamental hurdle the Brookline market is facing.

How many Brookline buyers are current Brookline residents?

How many Brookline sellers are staying in Brookline?

Where are our buyers coming from and where are our sellers going?

In discussing these questions with people in my office it's clear that only 10%-20% of the clients we work with are "second-time" Brookline buyers. It makes sense that someone who lives in the "average" condo in Brookline - a $475,000 two bedroom - or the "average" house - a $1.1 million 3 or 4 bedroom needs somewhere to "step-up" to. These two average properties point to some of the fundamental difficulty. How many buyers can move from the average condo to the average house? Very few, if any.

So, the difficulty buyers and sellers are having right now is the realities they live in are in a disconnect. Buyers coming into Brookline are coming from a real estate environment VERY different from what we have here. They might hear the stats from qualified and experienced agents, but they still have to go home and experience the reality of their own neighborhoods. In most cases those other realities are stagnant sales and crumbling prices. Somehow, speaking as an agent, we need to rebuild the trust in buyer agency as a highly experienced and trusted resource. Buyers also need to do their homework and find someone they can trust to work with. Yes, there are so many internet resources out there to help introduce home buyers to the property in their search area, but nothing can substitute for the experience of a well versed professional.

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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.