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Hearing from the silent majority

Posted by Rona Fischman October 29, 2012 02:09 PM

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I appeal again to the silent majority who read this blog, but do not comment. I know you are out there. I hear from you through email and I run into you by accident.

Most of the research I do for BREN has been by phone or email. I like it when I find a reader, by accident. Just recently, when I was seeking more information about lead in water, I got a return email from Liz. She is a public health policy expert at Health Resources in Action.

Hi Rona,
I knew I recognized your name from somewhere when I got the Facebook message. I read your blog often when we were buying a house a few years ago.

I have gotten similar emails from people in all walks of life. My impression (although I have no proof) is that a large percentage of the readership finds this blog when they are house-hunting or selling and drop it once they buy or sell. Are you here because you are buying or selling or hope to buy or sell?

Because this is my theory about who is reading this, I have to repeat basic information that buyers and sellers need to know. I have tried to do this without boring those who already know a lot about real estate. I get questions from current buyers and sellers who never comment. The questions that I get by email sometimes make their way to BREN, sometimes not. Some I just answer. Many, I answer by sending a URL to a past entry.

For example, this summer, I got a fairly specific question about marketing a condo. No single entry addressed all of her questions. So I answered her by email, but it never got to BREN.

The question had to do with selling a three-bedroom condo in an area outside Boston where the market for condos is slow. I wrote:

What I see in towns that I work in (which include Medford, Waltham, Somerville, Watertown and a handful of other not-so-stuck-up places) is that three bedroom condos are more desirable than two bedroom condos. I don't see people saying a three bedroom condo is too big. I do hear people say that they love having the extra bedroom for guests or future baby. So, compared to a two bedroom condo, your place is worth more. Compared to a two bedroom house, you are about even. Compared to a three bedroom house, you lose, price-wise. If you have an agent, ask him or her to do some marketing aimed at young families or couples who are family-oriented. For young adults, a three bedroom condo is a good thing and offers a lot more stability than a two bedroom place that they begin to grow out of the minute a baby is born.

I went on to word-smith her listing sheet which started "Not a short sale!!!" (I kid you not.) The condo sold three or so weeks later. However, I don't take the credit; I think it was just market timing.

Are you part of the silent majority? Can I hear from you?

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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