Should brokers give it away free?

If you don't ask, no one needs to tell. (Flickr photo by cbsparklane)

Like physicians or lawyers at a cocktail party, real-estate brokers can be handy targets for consumers who want free advice.

I’m sure I’ve been guilty of asking impertinent questions, too.  Everyone seems to handle them in different ways, and I know I don’t have a consistent response.

Sometimes, the person asking the question is considering which broker to hire to sell a property.  What the owner invariably wants to know is how much it is worth and for how much it should be listed.

Frankly, I don’t like to give that information away free, not Continue reading

Blogger flirts with false economy as a FSBO

I’ve been following the hopes, dreams and frustrations of a FSBO (For Sale By Owner, pronounced “FIZ-bow) in one of my favorite blogs for months.

As a broker always eager to list a property for sale, I must admit a large part of me was hoping that “Kathy” would be unable to chronicle in BrickUnderground a successful sale process.

Not long after they were married, Kathy and Rob realized they needed a bigger place than their studio on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.  Having pored over books, searched on the Internet and visited open houses, they had a good understanding of what would be required of them.

In March, they priced their apartment at $439,000, Continue reading

The Times offers no clear answers on FSBOs

Posed by the New York Times today, the question is a fair one:

Are real estate brokers — like travel agents and other middlemen coping with the increasingly digital culture — in danger of becoming expensive anachronisms?

My answer to the question is probably not.

Although though I have to concede that the article makes some valid points, it overlooks some important ones as well. Continue reading