Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Realtor’s Follies (A Slight Return)

Some of you may recall a post I wrote in September 2006 that chronicled the details surrounding the then President of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), Thomas M. Stevens, inability to sell his own home.

At that time, the house had an unchanged listing price of $1,450,000 and had been sitting on the market for just over 350 days.

Obviously, this was a bit embarrassing for both Stevens and the NAR as was made perfectly apparent during both a Washington Post article and a subsequent CNBC interview.

"Who knew last September how long this down trend was going to continue, … You need to adjust the price. . . . But I didn't do that. And my house is still on the market."

"What I should have done, was listened to my agent and cut the price by $50,000 to $100,000 early on, and the property would have sold last October. … I should have listed it a month earlier,"

Stevens, who is also the Senior Vice President of NRT, the nation’s largest residential real estate brokerage, continued to leave the price unchanged for months afterward which, combined with an obviously declining housing market, kept the property sitting vacant and unsold until sometime in early 2007 when the listing was pulled from the MLS.

At that time, I had assumed that the property had simply sold but was unable to verify that fact.

Now though, and thanks to the super astute fellow blogger AUA of DirectCurrent who recently found the house again on the market, it appears that it DIDN’T SELL… EVEN AFTER SIGNIFICANT PRICE REDUCTIONS!

Yes… You heard right… the house is STILL on the market (click for... listing, zillow, video, etc.) and now with a listing price of $1,285,000.

That’s roughly 766 days on the market and $165,000 of price reductions and STILL NO TAKERS!

This has got to be one of the best indicators of the truly phenomenal downturn the nation’s housing markets are experiencing.

Furthermore, if a sophisticated and leading residential real estate broker and former president of the National Association of Realtors can’t accurately price and sell his own home, then how can any member Realtor be trusted to “evaluate your situation?