Nearly 15 years have passed since the groundbreaking book Freakonomics, in which they suggested the days of real estate agents were numbered because of the then-emerging trend of “For Sale by Owner” (FSBO) transactions conducted online. While the book raised some very good points about whether Boston real estate agents are really able to boost property values, some of the concepts and predictions underlying their argument were either flawed or didn’t materialize. The bottom line for Boston condos for sale transactions in 2019 is that both buyers and sellers are better off retaining the services of agents, particularly if they’re dealing with real estate in downtown Boston. Here are a few reasons Boston downtown real estate agent representation is crucial in 2019.

Getting the Desired Boston Condo Price

According to the Profile of home Buyers and Sellers published in 2018 by the National Association of Realtors, only 7 percent of home sales in the United States were completed as FSBO transactions. The average selling price in FSBO transactions was just over $200,000. By comparison, the national average closing price in transactions conducted by agents was $265,500. According to FSBO sellers, the most difficult aspect of their transactions involved getting the price they were hoping for. More than 40 percent of listings that start out as FSBO transactions end up closing with the assistance of real estate professionals.

Navigating a Boston Condo Buyers’ Market

Owners of Boston Seaport condos have enjoyed several years of favorable market conditions, but this situation won’t last forever. When the Boston downtown real estate tide turns, sellers are often put in a precarious position if their Boston luxury condos for sale aren’t being actively marketed. In a pure buyers’ market filled with house flippers and investors, low-ball offers can multiply and frustrate Boston Midtown condo sellers, and this is a situation that can be countered with proven strategies such as open houses and staging, which are better handled by seasoned agents.

Negotiating Purchase Terms

Boston downtown real estate brokers with sharp negotiation skills will never be out of work because they provide true value to buyers. Getting a better deal requires knowledge of what can be negotiated, and that isn’t limited to seeking bargains. In some cases, agents are able to negotiate contract contingencies, upgrades, and closing costs.

Completing the Boston Condo for Sale Process

There’s something the Freakonomics book certainly got right in 2005: these days, finding a condo you like is as simple as installing the right app on your smartphone. You don’t even have to browse. You can always define your criteria, set filters, and wait for a notification to arrive. You can even complete a mortgage pre-qualification worksheet online before meeting with the loan officer, but there will come a time when you realize an agent is required to complete the process. Depending on market conditions, sellers might not consider bids unless they come from agents.


The most intelligent choice is to work with Boston downtown real estate professionals who know the ins and outs of the real estate market in your area.

Boston Condos for Sale

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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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