Sunday, October 16, 2005

RE Agents Are Actually Having to Work Now?

You want to sell that average town house in Novato, the "backwaters" of Marin? Well, you better throw in a Jaguar. And real estate agents actually having to do some work? Huh?! What's the world coming to? We've just jumped off the cliff, still rising upwards a bit, still feeling a bit euphoric but glancing down sure is looking scary.

Some choice quotes:
"To sell a Novato town home that's been on the market for nearly half a year, real estate agent Peter Nielsen lowered the price $50,000 and is kicking in his 1986 Jaguar."

"After a buyer for a SoMa condo failed to materialize in two months, agent David Jones and the seller decided to yank the listing and upgrade the appliances and lighting fixtures."

"Amid a perceptible cooling in the housing market and a jump in the number of homes for sale, Bay Area real estate agents find they must do something they haven't done in years: sell."

"Sales, meanwhile, have slumped 26 percent and 14 percent for single-family homes and condos, respectively, between September 2004 and September 2005."

"In Marin County, a similar report by Nielsen, an agent at ReMax, found prices have dipped 3 percent for single-family homes between the second and third quarters of this year."

"But neither does the market appear to be in the midst of a typical seasonal slowdown."

"At a weekly meeting of about 50 Prudential San Francisco sales agents last week at Fort Mason, several said they had been involved in transactions in the last month in which a property had changed hands at or -- gasp -- below the asking price. Later in the hour, some agents even questioned the long-practiced strategy of listing a property far below the desired sale price, much as shark hunters throw bloody chum in the water to incite a feeding frenzy."

""Sellers are sometimes the last to know," said Bodnar. "They think they're still going to get 20 percent or 30 percent over (the asking price), but now they may find that offer dates are coming and going with no offers.""

"Many new agents who flocked into the industry after the technology crash face the first "normal" market they've ever seen, Bodnar added."

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