Sonoma Housing Bubble

Pulling the cork out of Sonoma's bubbly housing foolishness

Friday, December 29, 2006

Desperate Times for Sonoma County Sellers

"Cutting prices, paying closing costs and crediting buyers for needed repairs, homeowners have been doing more to get homes sold. But buyers continue seeking good deals, knowing sales are down more than 25 percent from a year ago and many homes languish on the market for several months or more."

"Home sellers desperate to make a deal during the slowest housing market in a decade have embraced St. Joseph as a sacred real estate agent of sorts. Sales of St. Joseph statuettes have soared across the United States as the housing market slows."

"In Santa Rosa, sales of the figurines have doubled this year at Interfaith Books & Gifts, Santa Rosa's largest Christian book and gift store. The store even ran out of them for several weeks this summer. Most popular are eight-inch painted plaster figurines selling for $25 to $40. There is a taller, more elaborate wood-carved figurine selling for $120, although to bury it would require a far deeper hole in the ground. Many who buy statuettes also purchase the book, "St. Joseph, My Real Estate Agent."'

"Burying the St. Joseph figurine from their family's nativity scene was a desperate decision for the Sifuenteses after months of sensible moves to make their home attractive to buyers in a crowded market."

"Her real estate agent, Belinda Andrews, quipped that she once buried a St. Joseph statuette on one of the Santa Rosa housing lots she was trying to sell in the early 1990s, another desperate time for sellers."

"Before listing the home for sale, they put in new kitchen counters, floor tile and carpet and painted the outside.They began cutting the price when no offers came in after two weeks. Starting at $569,000, they reduced it to $559,000, then $539,000 and finally $529,000 over the next three months. But still there was nary a buyer."

p.s. They received a greater fool a few days after they buried their statue. They said they are not digging him up until after the sale closes. I figure if things are this desperate, sellers may as well toss in a statue of St. Jude as well, as he is supposedly the Patron Saint of Lost Causes. ;-)

The following advice was shamelessly stolen from Imploder (poster at Ben's place)

Comment by imploder
2006-12-28 18:10:28

“Home sellers desperate to make a deal during the slowest housing market in
a decade have embraced St. Joseph as a sacred real estate agent of sorts.”

I said it before, now I will say it again…
Sellers, Sellers,

“Don’t put poor Saint in
grass, Pull own head from A$$…”


At 12/29/2006 05:05:00 PM , Blogger Lisa said...

All eyes are on Spring 2007. If we have a repeat of the 2006 "non Spring" RE selling season, folks will start to realize what they're in for. That there won't be a quick fix.

I'm just amazed at how much we're hearing about it will all be back to normal by Spring. Just wait for the avalanche of properties to hit the market. Even if some buyers do get off the fence, there's no way all that inventory is getting absorbed. And mortgage rates could be a tad higher by then as well.

At 1/01/2007 03:17:00 PM , Anonymous TS said...

A lot of people are planning to sell this spring,and I expect that the rise in foreclosures will make lenders a lot more skittish.nothing like tight money,exploding inventory and desperate sellers to get a market moving.

At 5/24/2007 10:43:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ha ha, we were anxious to sell last year and read about the St. Joseph craze -- a craze that has been going on for many centuries, but is newly popular during this housing bust.

My wife and I enjoy rituals and history, so we followed the instructions and buried our little friend. There were conflicting rules about what to do after the sale, and most said leave him there and get another for your new home.

Did it work? Well who knows. But it was fun for us, the kit cost $4 and we managed to sell the house in the cold winter a few weeks before our job transfer moved us out of state.


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