I recently came across a web article, or more correctly a sales pitch, for a new company that has developed a support system for the unrepresented seller (I choose not to call them by their cutesy name.) The dateline was Westport, CT. and the piece started with a reference to a Wall Street Journal assertion that home sales were down 25%, over a year ago. It went on to say that REALTORS® had claimed it was the worst market in 17 years.
I haven't taken the time to confirm the veracity of the WSJ figures, but I'll assume they are accurate, nationwide. However, in my market, which happens to be Westport, CT, the number of homes sold in 2007 was actually up 2%, compared with 2006, and the median sales price rose 8%.
The piece went on to point out how, in these bad times, there is a soaring popularity, up to 20%, of homeowners trying to sell their homes, on their own. It correctly reported that most of these homeowners eventually end up calling upon the skills of a real estate agent. Of course, it goes on to say, these homeowners could now sign up for this new system, which would teach them the skills they need to sell on their own and thus save the REALTOR® commissions.
The public reads these articles and buyers wonder why we encourage them to make a realistic offer, if they really want to purchase the home or why we don't show them the homes at the bargain basement prices. Sellers question whether they really need to pay a full service commission. After all, they could quickly learn how to price, stage, market, negotiate and close the sale, on their own.
It is reporting and advertisements, such as this one, that make it all the more important for us to know our own self worth and believe in it, so we can convey our value to the home buying and selling process. It is also incumbent on us to know our local market statistics, so that we can dispel the false impressions that nationwide averages often create.
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