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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, July 23, 2008

A refreshing view of "do-it-yourselfers"

A Buyer’s Perspective on the Pitfalls of FSBO | Redfin Boston Sweet Digs

Pam Reynolds, one of the bloggers for the new Redfin website here in Greater Boston, posted a refreshing perspective (link above) on FSBOs (For Sale By Owners). Her points are the arguments that many of us in the brokerage community try to make to sellers on a regular basis. The properties she uses as an example are in very high traffic areas and the amazing thing is 95% of the home-buying public does not know about them. In fact, one of the properties happens to be directly across the street from where I live (I even park in that building) and it wasn't until I did a specific site by site search for FSBOs that I found out about it.

To pick up where Pam left off. I have had more than a few conversations with some do-it-yourself sellers (and buyers, surprisingly) this year after they were able to put a property under agreement. With all of the new difficulties in the mortgage market and the fears about declining prices, buyers are asking for more between offer and closing. This makes navigating the path to the closing table increasingly more difficult. While we all take pride in being able to accept a challenge and tackle it individually there are numerous reasons to leave this one to the pros.

  1. As negotiations get more and more intense, there is that invaluable middle-person to take the heat for each side and leave the raw emotion of the negotiation aside. It's amazing how hurtful discussions can become when a buyer begins harshly criticizing the home that a seller has built countless memories in.
  2. When your appraiser (last I checked there were absolutely zero appraisal firms who focus exclusively in Brookline) walks into the door fresh from appraising a house in Dedham or Natick they are suddenly exposed to a polar opposite marketplace. While it might be inappropriate for the appraiser to listen to the arguments of the buyer or seller, they do work actively with the listing agent to explore the comparable market conditions.
  3. When a mortgage deadline is fast approaching, brokers can quickly use their network of lending professionals to troubleshoot the issues. Set aside the two major firms who have lending arms, the volume each brokerage firm does with the individual lenders allows us to get calls answered sooner and problems taken care of the fastest.
These are many reasons, but they only scratch the surface. I never begrudge someone who feels a desire to try to sell on their own. One of the many reasons we buy property is so we can do with it what we desire. That being said, if it was easiest to sell on your own we would see well more than 1% of the properties on the market as FSBOs.

I'm off to Broker Tours today where there happens to be a $2 million FSBO on the market! To the FSBOs out there, I'd love to invite a dialog here on your view of the process. Agents, what frustrates you about FSBOs, and buyers let's hear your experiences.

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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.