Web Site: Realtors Are Useless! did the e-mail equivalent of an end-zone victory dance this week as they scored points against their archrivals, the real estate agents. FSBO pointed out in an e-mail that the National Association of Realtors’ very own research shows that sellers, unaided by agents’ help, "sell their home quicker & for closer to asking price."

" finds these findings extremely interesting as it provides further evidence that sellers are financially better off by selling their homes themselves. Especially since this data is coming straight from real estate agents’ trade organization!" wrote FSBO’s spokesman, while spiking the ball and capering around.

The numbers showed up in the 100+ page research report entitled, "Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers," which the NAR produces annually.

"Specifically, NAR found that those who sell without an agent receive 97 percent of their asking price, while those who sell with an agent receive 96 percent of their asking price. The trade association also found that a home sold through an agent takes 10 weeks, while it takes just six weeks to sell a home ‘by owner,’" according to FSBO’s press release.

Whaddaya say to that, Realtors?


Love Life Advice … From Bankers?

Move over Dr. Drew from "Loveline," and make room for the American Bankers Association. It’s where all the kids get their love advice these days. The ABA released its tips for a successful marriage on Monday, just in time for Valentine’s Day, showing the association isn’t all starched shirts and balance sheets.

"Love is the bond that connects, and money could be the wedge that separates," explained Laura Fisher, ABA Education Foundation director. "Once couples have made the decision to wed, they need to discuss finances."

That is clearly sage advice. The ABA goes on to suggest five steps to a successful marriage:

1. Decide whether or not you’re going to combine your finances.

2. Discuss which bills have to be paid, who is going to pay them and what percentage each person will pay.

3. Share credit histories.

4. Develop a plan to pay down debt.

5. Negotiate a budget.

Is that romantic? It’s no coincidence that tax season comes while spring is in the air. That’s why the Banker & Tradesman staff popped open a bottle of wine and went over our W-2s on Saturday, you know, to get ourselves in the mood. 

Hingham To The Rescue

Faced with the prospect of losing popular, affordable housing to rent-raising private ownership, the town of Hingham decided to set up a trust to buy an apartment building at 86 Central St. for $6.4 million. The idea has been circulating around Hingham since last year, when the former owner, Glastonbury Abbey, started looking to sell Lincoln School Apartments. That would have been unnerving to the residents of the 60-unit building – in addition to being low-cost, the building is designated specifically for the elderly and disabled. Lincoln Apartments has been dedicated to affordable housing since 1979, when the town sold the building, a former school, to Abbey specifically for those types of tenants.


Taiclet To Tower Over Yarmouth

Tough economic times? That doesn’t seem to be the case for American Tower Corp. CEO James D. Taiclet. The head of the Boston-based company, who is a former military pilot, recently spent $4.7 million for a home on 356 Great Island Road in Yarmouth. Taiclet’s American Tower Group, a wireless tower operator, has seen moderate dips in its stock price – it was running at about $29 a share as of last week, down about 1 percent – but looks downright chipper compared to some.

As for the house, it’s a four-bedroom, waterfront colonial built only two years ago. Also, Taiclet’s $4.7 million price tag is a substantial jump from when it was last sold in 2007 for $2.6 million. Its 2009 assessment is $1.8 million.


Mihos Sells Gas Stations On Cape

Fans of homegrown, locally owned gas stations – if such fans exist – were likely saddened to read in Convenience Store News magazine that Christy’s of Cape Cod will sell most of its 13 Cape Cod gas stations to Hess Corp., and that most Christy’s personnel will move to the international energy company’s payrolls. Rumors have been swirling about the price tag, with Cape Cod Today reporting that the Barnstable County Registry of Deeds showed that the former owner, Christy Mihos, received $33.8 million. Data in the files of The Warren Group, Banker & Tradesman’s parent company, supports that assertion – for the five sales reported thus far, Mihos scooped up $15.2 million from Hess.


by Banker & Tradesman time to read: 3 min