Saturday, March 04, 2006

Playing both sides

While the monthly market stats continue to deteriorate in MA, they are inevitably accompanied by reassuring words like "normalizing" or "soft-landing". These words are surely aimed at buyers hesitant to commit to a housing purchase at what may be a significant market peak. But the market doesn't function, and realtors don't get paid, if sales don't happen. So what are sellers hearing from realtors? In the latest release of "Bay State Realtor" available at the MAR website, you can get a glimpse. Some highlights:

Pricing in Massachusetts has enjoyed an explosive decade-plus run. The result is not only vastly higher prices, but high expectations embedded in sellers. Having been conditioned by a market that virtually guaranteed unimaginable appreciation, many sellers are reluctant, at best, and unwilling, at worst, to accept this inevitable shift in buyer behavior.

How should Realtors confront the daily challenge of persuasively managing clients with pricing demands not in step with the market?

Unrealistic Expectations
“Their expectations aren’t unrealistic,” says Chuck Lemire, regional director for RE/MAX of New England in Natick, about sellers’ pricing. “They’re just based on the information they have at the time.”

“The agents are having a really rough time with them,” says Margie R. Richard, vice president and broker/owner of RE/MAX First Choice Real Estate based in Northborough, about sellers with high price points. Agents are under pressure both from sellers to maintain high prices and the competition from other Realtors to acquire listings, according to Richard.

The Price Factor
For clients thinking about pulling properties and waiting for the spring market, Montalto advises against it. She cites increasing inventory and rising interest rates as factors that will make those sales even more difficult.

Jack Attridge, sales associate with Carlson GMAC Real Estate in Marblehead also suggests using nearby over-priced homes that have lingered on the market as ominous examples to a client. He includes a warning to sellers that initial high pricing can eventual end up with lower offer prices than correct pricing would originally attract.

No mention of "soft-landing" and "normalization" here, just a hard-nosed and realistic survey of a changing marketplace.


Boston-Real-Estate-Watch said...

Well that was very interesting, looking forward to your nest posting.

Beacon Hill apartments

willydog66 said...

I tried to make a reasonable offer at a reasonably lower price to two different sellers, and they wouldn't even counter! Hello McFly, Hello? Everyone is waiting for the $pring market and the allure of top dollar. I'll sit on the sidelines thank you very much, and let the market speak.