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Bringing Buyers and Sellers Together during Uncertain Economic Times

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Commentary by Charlie Young

RISMEDIA, Nov. 3, 2008-Without a doubt, the recent turmoil that has gripped our nation’s financial markets has underscored our country’s most-pressing issue-the health of our economy. Analysts and news anchors alike agree that the state of the housing market continues to play a critical role in overall economic recovery. In light of all this uncertainty, it’s understandable that many consumers have become confused and concerned about buying and selling their homes in today’s complex market.

These are challenging times. Times when leaders lead.

That is why Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC, franchisor for the Coldwell Banker system, embarked on a bold initiative to move the real estate market in the right direction and bring buyers and sellers closer together with our 10-Day Sales Event. Last month, following the federal action to sustain our economic and housing markets, approximately 1,500 Coldwell Banker franchise offices, which are independently owned and operated, including NRT LLC, worked with nearly 30,000 participating sellers who decided to reduce their home listings by up to 10%.

Before undertaking such a massive national effort, Coldwell Banker put its ear to the ground and listened closely to the counsel of our broker/owners and sales associates across the country. We received an overwhelming 3,400 responses to a survey on pricing; the results showed the majority of respondents agreed that many potential buyers perceived prices as a bit too high. But survey participants indicated a drop of no more than 10% on listing prices would move more buyers off the sidelines and into the market, making a critical difference in terms of satisfying both sellers and buyers. Ten percent, not the 20-30% some analysts are calling for.

But saying it and doing something about it are two different things. Rather than be passive, participating Coldwell Banker offices have created a “win-win” for buyers and sellers by generating additional exposure for listings and underscoring for buyers that now is truly a smart time to purchase a home.

In the interest of assisting their seller-clients, participating Coldwell Banker offices met the critical pricing issue head on. And maybe more importantly, Coldwell Banker sales associates were and continue to have discussions on marketing initiatives and pricing with their sellers.

All of us at Coldwell Banker believe we have reached a tipping point in the real estate market; one that has the potential to jumpstart the housing market and move our economy forward. With the help of our outstanding network of real estate professionals and our brand heritage spanning over 100 years of innovation, we hope that the 10-Day Sales Event (held October 10-19 and not yet begun at press time) will help bring buyers to those homes listed with Coldwell Banker offices and, in doing so, reinvigorate and move the market in the right direction.

Charlie Young is COO of Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC.

For more information, please visit www.coldwellbanker.com.

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