“Buyers just want price,” says Mike Morgan, a Stuart, Florida-based lawyer, real-estate broker and consultant who researches property markets for hedge funds and financial institutions. “Buyers have become educated and they can easily cut through the fluffy incentives.” 

“On one $429,000 home a client wanted me to sell, the seller wanted to give the broker a $30,000 bonus on top of the commission. I told him it wouldn’t help. I told him to just drop the price.”

Then there was this advice about marketing strategy:

Morgan suggests you sell exclusively through Internet-based property sites and local Multiple Listing Services. He has found that newspaper ads, signs and open houses don’t work as well as the Internet.

“If you don’t get any calls on your listing price after a week, drop your price $10,000 or about 2 percent of your original asking price,” Morgan says.

“The market will tell you what the price of your home is. You better be priced 10 percent under your competition — and then be prepared to think about accepting offers under that.”

This isn’t news, or at least it shouldn’t be. It is an inconvenient truth many agents won’t speak. In the spirit of the upcoming election season, I have this message for sellers and agents: “It’s the price, stupid.”

Old marketing methods no longer work, if print advertising worked, thousands of Boston condos would be advertised in the local paper. But instead of being flush with real estate advertising dollars, newspapers are cutting back or shutting down because ad revenue has moved online. Incentives and bonuses to agents don’t work as well in the Boston condo   today like they did in the 90s.

The reason – the Internet.

Once the real estate industry woke up and realized that the Internet was winning the war for the eyeballs of consumers, and yes, prospective Boston Beacon Hill condo buyers, they allowed listings to be shared online. Buyers are often now the first to identify the Beacon Hill condos they want to see, taking agents out of the role of gatekeeper of MLS information. The listing information made available online does not include the commission amount and any bonuses offered to the buyer’s agents, so these agent incentives rarely play a role in selling a property.

Offer any bonus to the buyer in the form of closing costs or an interest rate buy down and you will get the attention of those who matter – the buyer and the agent who has their buyer’s best interests at heart (that concept is called fiduciary, and it’s actually the law). If you really want to leverage a monetary incentive and trump the neighboring competition, offer to lower your asking price on the property. It will save the buyer more money every month.

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Author Profile

John Ford
John Ford

Over the course of 20 years in the Boston downtown real estate market, John represented and sold numerous, condominiums, investment and development properties in Greater Boston and in the surrounding suburbs

In addition to representing Boston condo buyers and sellers, John is currently one of the most recognized Boston condo blog writers regarding Boston condominiums and residential real estate markets. John's insights and observations about the Boston condo market have been seen in a wide variety of the most established local & national media outlets including; Banker and Tradesman, Boston Magazine The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald and NewsWeek and Fortune magazine, among others.


For over 24 years, John Ford, of Ford Realty Inc., has been actively involved in the real estate industry. He started his career in commercial real estate with a national firm Spaulding & Slye and quickly realized that he had a passion for residential properties. In 1999, John entered the residential real estate market, and in 2000 John Started his own firm Ford Realty Inc. As a broker, his clients have come to love his fun, vivacious, and friendly attitude. He prides himself on bringing honesty and integrity to the entire home buying and selling process. In addition to helping buyers and sellers, he also works with rental clients. Whether you’re looking to purchase a new Boston condo or rent an apartment, you’ll quickly learn why John has a 97% closing rate.


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John Ford and his staff can be reached at 617-595-3712 or 617-720-5454. Please feel free to stop by John's Boston Beacon Hill office located at 137 Charles Street.

John Ford
Ford Realty Inc
137 Charles Street
Boston, Ma 02114



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