Notes from Foreclosureville

Seb FreySanta Cruz Real Estate

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Just wanted to shoot a couple of anecdotes your way before I call it a night. I had a phone conversation with the nice listing agent of a house a few doors down from where I have an REO listing incubating, just waiting for the asset management company to give me the green light to list it. This listing agent had called me wondering what was up with the property, would it be coming on to the market soon? I told her I didn’t know (I don’t, I’m like a mushroom when it comes to this) – then she asked me how much she thought the asking price would be. I told her I don’t know, but that I imagine it will be somewhere in the mid-$200’s. Ouch. Her listing – virtually identical to mine, except with nicer upgrades – is on the market for just under $400k.

Yeah, I know. It really sucks, frankly. But the banks try to price their listings to sell in 60-90 days, that’s the idea – although many of them sit on the market far longer than that. When I look at what’s going on in Watsonville, I see that homes have to be really, really low priced to sell. This other listing has been on the market over 300 days, and that’s not acceptable to the asset managers. That’s why this new REO will probably come on so much less than the competing listing nearby.

Speaking of asset managers, I just finished writing up the monthly report on one of my properties. I was trying to convey the essence of the market to the asset manager – someone far, far away who probably until fairly recently had never heard of Watsonville and will probably never set foot on her fertile soil. So I was looking over the market stats…in the past 33 days since this particular listing has been on the market, nine single-family residences in the city of Watsonville have entered escrow. Of those nine, eight were bank-owned REO properties.

Ouch, again. G’night.

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