NYTimes Article On Madison WI Real Estate Market

Services for Real Estate Pros with Union Street Media

A friend of mine forwarded along this article this article on the Madison market:


Here's why I don't think this is a model for the national market:

  •  Like politics, all real estate is local and Madison is a very unique community.  Here is the key line in the article: "FSBOMadison.com, the subject of a January 2006 article in The New York Times, charges $150 for an ad on the site and a yard sign. Taking advantage of antiestablishment sentiment in Madison, which has a highly educated and liberal population, it quickly grabbed a market share of roughly 20 percent."  Sounds a lot like the place I call home, Burlington VT, which I promise you is not like the rest of the country!

  • Selling your own home successfully requires two things: free time & financial sophistication.  Most people I've met who are financially sophisticated don't have a lot of free time, and vise versa.  Furthermore, many of those who are knowledgeable enough to successfully sell their own home can make more money in their day job then spending the time, effort and emotional energy selling their own home.

  • Real estate is all about information.  While I can certainly make the case that the national patch work of MLSes is far from perfect, FSBO information sharing is even worse.  It's all a numbers game: the more visibility a home receives the more likely it will find a buyer that will pay the asking price.  The MLS (in conjunction with IDX) provides a lot more exposure for a listing then a FSBO site can ever do.

Thoughts?  Comments?


Comments (2)

New Jersey Real Estate James Boyer Morris, Essex & Union County NJ Realtor
RE/MAX Properties Unlimited, Real Estate - Morristown, NJ

Nice post Ted,  everything is local.  I market to a very nice and very popular town of about 20,000 people here in New Jersey, named Madison.  The most popular google search for real estate for that town just happens to be Madison Real Estate, so anyone who wishes to compete for it here has to compete against agent in Madison WI.  In this case at least the second most popular search is Madison NJ Real Estate.

Have a great day.

and here FSBO's sell about 2% of the time, the rest list with a realtor or they rent it out, or they just do not sell.

Jun 08, 2007 01:46 AM
Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

IMO, professors of economics know squat about real estate.  I suspect that this was the typicall "output based study" where they determine the outcome and then look for the numbers to support it.  I could do that too but I know far to much about real esate to spend my time in meaningless stats. 

These "studies" will always be around and in the past 25 years, the numbers of FSBO homes are about the same. 

The more things change the more they stay the same.

Jun 08, 2007 02:05 AM