Delistings on the Decline

Yesterday’s conversation in the comments touched a little bit on homes that are being delisted (taken off the market without selling), so now seems like a good time to post another update to the listings and sales breakdown chart. Below is the breakdown of homes on the market and homes that went off the market last month in King County (SFH only).

For a full explanation of this chart, check out the post What happens to listings.

King County SFH Listings Breakdown

January’s 1,159 delistings came in 16% lower than the same month last year, a reversal of the trend that had seen dramatically increasing delistings throughout much of 2008. Last month even came in below the 2000-2006 average for January delistings, which was 1,767.

Delistings typically drop as we head into the spring, and there is no reason not to think that will happen this year as well. The number of homes being delisted is still exceeding the number of pending sales, which is still an indication of a slow market, but in January the difference between the two was only 12 (compared to an average difference of 746 the previous three months).

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About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market. Tim also hosts the weekly improv comedy sci-fi podcast Dispatches from the Multiverse.

69 comments:

  1. 1
    masaba says:

    Of course, if de-listings start to decline, we will see the inventory tracker on the right of the screen creeping up again.

    Does anyone have any guesses as to what levels inventory will reach this year? From what I understand, last year’s inventory numbers were unprecedented. Should we expect similar numbers this year, higher, lower?

  2. 2
    Dave0 says:

    By masaba @ 1:

    Of course, if de-listings start to decline, we will see the inventory tracker on the right of the screen creeping up again.

    Unless sales increase, or new listings decrease, to compensate…

  3. 3
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    By masaba @ 1:

    Does anyone have any guesses as to what levels inventory will reach this year? From what I understand, last year’s inventory numbers were unprecedented. Should we expect similar numbers this year, higher, lower?

    I don’t track active listings, but the first chart in the link above (what happens to active listings) gives some historical data that would suggest our current numbers are not all that high. It would be nice if that chart could be updated to include 2008. If that chart uses year end numbers, then 2008 wouldn’t show so badly. But even the peak of 2008 isn’t that high compared to the chart numbers for the other chart.

    BTW, Tim can correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m assuming a number of the “new” listings are really old listings that were either canceled or expired and then re-listed. Some agents like to do that to attract more attention to their listing, so much so that the NWMLS has some rules to prevent it (at least cancellations).

  4. 4
    Cris says:

    I wanted to share an email I received today regarding to some mortgage guideline changes some of you may be already aware of.

    “1-) Effective immediately, interest rates on condos will be higher when borrower’s are putting less than 25% down. FHA financing is still available with 3.5% down.
    2-) FHA Jumbo currently at $506,000, was just approved to increase back to 2008 limit of $567,000. The conventional loan limit is expected to increase $567,000, but is not available yet. We will provide an update as soon as this becomes available.
    3-) MI companies are changing their guidelines as of March 9th. Most of the MI companies now consider WA State a declining market which will have an impact on the LTV on both SFR and condos. Plrase talk to your Loan Officer for clairfication”

  5. 5
    deejayoh says:

    From a historical perspective the current numbers are quite high for this time of year.

    As far as them going higher I would not expect that to happen. I think the unsold/on market peaked last year and now with prices dropping we will see the market start clearing.

    you cant really compare the numbers from the previous post to this one. I used all listings (SFH + Condo) for that analysis. This analysis is just SFH.

  6. 6
    Hugh Dominic says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 3:Some agents like to do that to attract more attention to their listing, so much so that the NWMLS has some rules to prevent it (at least cancellations).

    I see this all the time.
    Luckily now that we have “cumulative days” you can at least see how long it has been on the market, although you do lose the pricing (decline) history with a new MLS.
    It seems obvisous this is just agents “refreshing” their listing. Is there an email or phone# to report this sort of behaviour?

  7. 7
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    By Hugh Dominic @ 6:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 3:Some agents like to do that to attract more attention to their listing, so much so that the NWMLS has some rules to prevent it (at least cancellations).

    I see this all the time.
    Luckily now that we have “cumulative days” you can at least see how long it has been on the market, although you do lose the pricing (decline) history with a new MLS.
    It seems obvisous this is just agents “refreshing” their listing. Is there an email or phone# to report this sort of behaviour?

    It’s a problem (annoying) for agents because the activity shows up on their “hotsheets.” Small price changes similarly.

    But it can be hard to tell the reason for the activity. For example I had to cancel and relist all of my listings when we moved offices.

    The NWMLS has a phone number of (425) 820-9200. I’m not sure whether they take complaints from the public on this sort of thing.

  8. 8
    Ray Pepper says:

    In this environment cancel and relist is as helpful as posting a house or car for sale in the local newspaper.

    The public is far too saavy now and going forward the “games” played by Agents to get their homes sold are futile. Furthermore the ever increasing supply of short sales and foreclosures will force the education of sellers. I saw it happen in AZ and NV and the Gap Down is coming.

    This Spring and Summer will enlighten this state.

  9. 9
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    By Ray Pepper @ 8:

    I saw it happen in AZ and NV and the Gap Down is coming.

    Maybe this is the true cause of the fall here! It isn’t a 6 month or 9 month lag from San Diego, it’s a lag from the time Ray moved here! ;-)

  10. 10
    Tim says:

    “This Spring and Summer will enlighten this state. ”

    I fully agree. I can’t believe I still have to deal with friends who think it’s weird that we are renting and that “there are some great deals to be had out there”. I end up being the turd in the punch bowl.

  11. 11
    Me says:

    RE: Tim @ 10
    Remind me not to drink from your punch bowl…

  12. 12
    Ray Pepper says:

    RE: Tim @ 10

    Tim I spent 8 days at the Home Show talking with people. They remain clueless as to the problems ahead for our nation. “Oh I’ll just sell next year and it will be fine.”……….Good God!

    Too funny Kary but I moved here in 1986. When I began as an RN on my first job I had 2 people die on my 16 hour shift at Riverton Heights Convalescent. I was just out of nursing school and thought I was the Angel of death.

    17 years later I realize I’m just an Angel. ….Seriously I mean it. Just ask me.

  13. 13
    tomtom says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 3:

    BTW, Tim can correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m assuming a number of the “new” listings are really old listings that were either canceled or expired and then re-listed. Some agents like to do that to attract more attention to their listing, so much so that the NWMLS has some rules to prevent it (at least cancellations).

    Of course, the worst offenders are Real Estate Professionals selling their own properties. For example, this address is getting relisted every month:

    6509 37th Ave NE

  14. 14

    ACTUALLY, TIM’S DATA MAKE SENSE TO ME

    During the last recessions in the 70s and the 80s homeowners stuck with overpriced mortages were very reluctant to sell at a loss, so they just held on and waited it out and/or relisted later.

    Today, its apples and oranges, as the wages are much more stagnant and decreasing; than when we had far less foreign/federal deficit as a percentage of our horrifyingly shrinking GDP.

    We had an industrial base with manufacturing back then. Now, I hear California [Washingtom too likely] has a service job base that is approximately 50% RE related. Much of the recent RE job butcher axing does not show up on unemployment tracking either.

    There just isn’t time to wait, sellers are much more desparate today and delisting isn’t an option. They can’t wait. Watch for more massive price declines too, as about 70% of Seattle homes are 100% owned by the seller; so most of the hypothetical sales losses are on paper and not leading to foreclosure.

  15. 15
    JJL says:

    I can tell you that many of the cancels and relists are a direct result of:

    1. Out of Time – Trustee’s sale is next week.
    2. Changing Agents – Agents getting out of the business. NWMLS agent count is down15% for 2008 and expects another 15% reduction of agents in 2009. That tells you that up to 30% of the listings canceled were a result of the agent leaving the business.
    3. Expired listings coming back on as new listings, which counts as a new listing, which is ridiculous. I’ll be glad when the day comes that the NWMLS complies more acurate data, but won’t be holding my breath.

    SInce the NWMLS started charging automatic fines for canceling and relisting, which is a violation, there are really very few that continue to do this. The canceled and relisted properties are for other reasons. This is what my research is showing me.

    I tell you what’s driving me crazy…. with new construction. Almost all the new construction plats in Bothell have changed agents in the last 12 months. So all those listings were canceled and then relisted. It creates double the work for me to keep track of on my spreadsheet.

    I am currently compiling statistics to show this for all listings with a Bothell address. How many Short Sales, How many Bank Foreclosures/REO properties, How many upside down, etc. I am weeding out all the repeat listings and matching them up so the data will be accurate. This will tell you exactly how many are NEW listings only, how many failed sales, how much in price reductions, how many of the new listings coming on are upside down in comparison to those with positive equity.

    I hope to be finished with the data next week.

    This will be a 18 month market study.

    Also: Think about this one. The new sales prices being set are based on what the bank is accepting in relationship to the mortgage debt, like 80 cents on the dollar. With no relationship to market value, whatever that is anymore.
    This would be a good discussion!

  16. 16
    Hugh Dominic says:

    RE: JJL @ 15
    Thanks JJL. These seem like some semi-valid reasons.
    But why does the NWMLS erase the listing price history when a property is relisted? It hides the total price decline from original offering price that in my neighboorhood (Noth Seattle) has been huge.

  17. 17
    JJL says:

    Hugh,

    NWMLS doesn’t “erase” the price history when the property is relisted. However, the DOM “Days on Market” ticker starts over if the relist is at least 90 days apart. If you have any particular examples that you have a problem with I would be happy to research them for you.

    Listings are matched up by the tax id# regardless of how many times it has been relisted or cancelled. Thus the importance of using the correct tax id# when inputting a listing, which doesn’t always happen.

  18. 18
    vermillionsky says:

    RE: JJL @ 17, Hugh Dominic @ 16

    Redfin puts a disclaimer on their listings that says:

    “*Per MLS rules, we cannot display prices from inactive listings. ”

    I just assumed that meant the info is there, but the MLS won’t let them share it with the riffraff.

  19. 19
    vermillionsky says:

    oh, and redfin will tell you the “cumulative days on market,” for listings that have been re-listed multiple time, and show you how many times the price has changed, even if they’re not allowed to tell you what that price change was. At least that gives you some idea of how stale the price is.

  20. 20
    Herman says:

    Did you guys see that the mortgage deduction is going to be capped at 28%? That’s going to take effect in two years. When do you think it will hit the high end of home prices?

    For more on this: http://money.cnn.com/2009/02/27/magazines/fortune/obama_budget_tax.fortune/index.htm

    Another way to soak the high-producers for the bailout.

    I think the home mortgage deduction should be abolished completely, BTW.

  21. 21
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    RE: vermillionsky @ 18 – Agents can get complete listing price information going back many years. So yes, the information is there.

  22. 22
    Hugh Dominic says:

    By vermillionsky @ 18:

    RE: JJL @ 17, Hugh Dominic @ 16

    Redfin puts a disclaimer on their listings that says:

    “*Per MLS rules, we cannot display prices from inactive listings. “.

    Yes, V, that is exactly what I was referring to.
    And per Kary @21, good to know the info is available through and agent.

  23. 23
    DaveyDave says:

    I’m sure you’ll all look at this eventually, but here’s an article that acts as a platform for the NAR saying that now is a good time to buy. Really…
    http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/401784_realtors28.html

    From Lawrence Yun:

    “The momentum is rising and is rising much faster than I ever anticipated,” he said. “Once some people decide to enter the market, other people who had been sitting on the fence did not want to be the last ones sitting on the fence.”

    The cutback on new construction in the Seattle area means buyers could quickly soak up existing inventory once the market picks up, he said. “There could be a potential for a housing shortage immediately, until builders start ramping up production.”

  24. 24
    Fazu says:

    This will really kill the RE market in Seattle and all major cities – a phasing out of interest deductions for couples making over $250,000. Good going O!

    http://money.cnn.com/2009/02/27/magazines/fortune/obama_budget_tax.fortune/index.htm?postversion=2009022717

  25. 25
    98115_Renter says:

    RE: Herman @ 20

    Did you also see that 14/15 states with the highest % of those earning >$200K voted for Obama? (The only exception was TX). You know why? Because a majority of those earning over $200k voted for Obama! Why is it that those earning over $200K don’t care as much about their taxes being raised as republicans who make less?

    http://finance.yahoo.com/taxes/article/106659/Where-the-200K-Crowd-Lives

    Finally someone is eliminating the mortgage interest deduction. FWIW, the truly rich don’t finance anyway.

  26. 26
    EconE says:

    By 98115_Renter @ 25

    FWIW, the truly rich don’t finance anyway.

    What constitutes “truly rich”? 200k a year? 500k? A mil?

    Should we assume that they wouldn’t be prone to taking on debt that is commensurate with their incomes like most people?

    I see plenty of million$+ homes with NOD’s currently. Even more with tax liens.

    Too many “richly” priced homes. Far more than there are “truly rich” people…or even “just rich”

  27. 27
    Mikal says:

    RE: Fazu @ 24 – Then it does. That article was nuts. How many deli owners do you know that make $250,000 a year in sales much less gross profits? Ummm ZERO. One statement like that negates the rest of it. I typically have voted republican, but when Warren Buffet is sarcastic about his taxes in that what he pays is silly, then you have no point. The tax structure has been tilted the wrong way for years.

  28. 28
    Angie says:

    Oh, god, the HENRY guy. Yeah, go read that original HENRY article that he so helpfully linked to in that article and you can cry yourself to sleep about those poor, hardworking people who are being so terribly, terribly used. I seem to remember one of the families profiled saying that they only saved $40K/year in retirement savings. Now, what is the median household income in the United States again? Oh yes: $42K.

    Those poor, poor HENRYS.

    Loved the hard numbers that he ran in this current article, too. Another $4K in income taxes. Oh woe! That’s a whopping $333 per month. People making $250K/year can lose that in the couch cushions each month and not even notice. Boo freaking hoo. Notice also that this calculation assumes paying $50K/year in mortgage interest. A quick spin on a mortgage amortization calendar suggests that someone would pay about $50K/year in mortgage interest in the early years of a $1,000,000 loan at 5.5%. Yep, those poor devils are soooo deprived.

    Finally, Fazu, this proposal doesn’t involve anything being “phased out” in the sense that the phrase is commonly used, i.e., there’s no indication that it will eventually go to zero.

  29. 29
    Mikal says:

    RE: Angie @ 28 – Agreed. Maybe we could live wothout police and fire departments. After all we don’t need taxes.

  30. 30
    kfhoz says:

    RE: JJL @ 15
    Thanks JJL, that is very interesting, as I have seen many houses get relisted. What are you planning on with the results of your intensive research?

    To EconE: there is real research in the book “The Millionaire Next Door” that indicates that many well-off people live moderately.

  31. 31
    Mikal says:

    RE: Herman @ 20 – But why would that bother you. You only spend some $30,000 a year on all your spending a year. That will not affect you at all.

  32. 32
    EconE says:

    By kfhoz @ 30:

    To EconE: there is real research in the book “The Millionaire Next Door” that indicates that many well-off people live moderately.

    Some do…some don’t. I don’t need a book to tell me that.

  33. 33
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    BTW, part of the reason “delistings” are apparently on the decline is the relatively large percentage of vacant properties. Those sellers typically are not in a position to give up–other than through renting.

  34. 34
    Andy says:

    Intersting, Tim could you provide Pierce County figures?
    My wife and I are looking there – you’d be in complete shock at the variance of prices. Our agent keeps telling us to buy, then 15 days later, the bank or homeowners are reducing in $100K increments

    If the NAR had any sense, they would urge homeowners to reduce pricing by 30-50%; that would certainly move markets and help us find the “REAL” bottom

    The NAR are just a bunch of crooks – Obama should regulate what they say to intice their prey.

    Consider, Wall Street brokers are reprimanded or thrown in jail for falsely telling people that stocks will appreciate – the exact same thing should be true for RE agents…

    Real Estate “professionals” – more like idiots..are crooks…

  35. 35
    Cris says:

    RE: Angie @ 28

    @Angie
    Why would HENRY pay off your home debt? Yes he is a POOR HENRY obliged to live with people buying houses for 12 times higher than his gross salary and still seeing it a right STEALING that money from HENRY’s pocket.

    If this is the way, let’s gear up a “Workers Party” and give up the capitalism eh?

  36. 36
    Fazu says:

    >> Loved the hard numbers that he ran in this current article, too. Another $4K in income taxes. Oh woe! That’s a whopping $333 per month. People making $250K/year can lose that in the couch cushions each month and not even notice. Boo freaking hoo.

    @Angie – Its not “just another” – its nearly 40% in total and climbing apparently – try living in a state with income taxes..

    at what point is someone making over $250K a year paying a fair amount tax? 40% 50% 65% 80% – clearly, from your comments, someone making that amount of money is here to subsidize everyone else, right? Basically, they work for you?

    Should someone making $150K only pay 25% but someone making $250K pay 40%?

    I’m not talking about people that have millions in assets that can effectively retire today without ever worrying about where the next meal comes from – I’m talking about the person that can end up losing their house if he/she loses a job.

  37. 37
    Fazu says:

    By 98115_Renter @ 25:

    RE: Herman @ 20

    Did you also see that 14/15 states with the highest % of those earning >$200K voted for Obama? (The only exception was TX). You know why? Because a majority of those earning over $200k voted for Obama! Why is it that those earning over $200K don’t care as much about their taxes being raised as republicans who make less?

    http://finance.yahoo.com/taxes/article/106659/Where-the-200K-Crowd-Lives

    Finally someone is eliminating the mortgage interest deduction. FWIW, the truly rich don’t finance anyway.

    You don’t actually know how the people voted by income, so there’s no proof of anything. Plus, I don’t think anyone really concerned about the truly rich – they have ways to hide income – the people that care about these tax changes are those stuck with W2’s and work 9-5 jobs.

  38. 38
    Ray Pepper says:

    RE: Andy @ 34

    Andy……..I’m perplexed by your statement.

    “Our Agent keeps telling us to Buy”
    “houses are dropping in 100k increments”
    “the NAR are a bunch of crooks”
    “real estate professionals (idiots-crooks)”

    Yet, you stated “Our Agent”. Why would you engage the services of an Agent when:
    they are crooks, idiots, give 100k bad investment decisions to you yet you STILL engage their services.

    Seems to me if you hire an idiot or a crook you will get whats expected. Do you know that you don’t need an Agent to buy a home. Do it on your own…Thousands do.

  39. 39
    Herman says:

    I’ll restate my position before getting back to my question:

    1. There is a cross section of families (incl mine) which have been labeled “rich” and excluded from the label “working”. We are targeted by angie’s stereotype that we live comparably to the likes of Warren Buffet. In fact we work our asses off and do not live exuberantly. The injustice is in the sense of moral privelege and entitlement to take the fruits of our labor.

    2. This is coupled with a new bailout/handout culture that rewards overconsumption, poor risk assessment, and risk unpreparedness. This culture is being promoted by our government.

    3. The combination of 1 and 2, which is served by it’s proponents with an extra helping of venom and self-righteousness, will lead to a backlash from the productive and the responsible. The effect will be a reduction of output by the overproducing class, for example the leave of absence that I have now worked out with my employer.

    Or we can live in Mikal’s world where we report our annual consumption and forfeit all excess income, because it has “no impact”.

    My question is how and when this set of policies and attitudes will affect high end home prices in Seattle. Clearly it will have a depressive effect. When I run the numbers on my true cost of housing, the new policy adds an impact of something like $60,000 over the life of a 30 year loan. Like most people on the blog, I want to buy after this impact has been “priced in” and not before.

  40. 40
    Fazu says:

    @Herman: Right on. I was thinking today that maybe I can take unpaid leave for a couple months a year to drop below the new tax threshold and enjoy more time off.

    Its ironic and sad the incentive these taxes will create to lower productivity.

  41. 41
    Scotsman says:

    Comrades Herman and Fazu- it is clear you have not correctly interpreted the directive from our glorious leader. A team of fellow citizens will soon be at your door to escort you to the training facility. Please be ready, as your understanding of the new policies is essential to the country’s future.

  42. 42
    jon says:

    RE: Herman @ 39

    The capping the deductibility at 28% will reduce the affordability of high end homes, however, the overall raising of rates makes the use of a house to defer capital gains tax more valuable. The higher that the inflation rate eventually goes, the more valuable that becomes.

    So people will put more money into houses to avoid higher taxes elsewhere, even if the deduction is capped. HENRYS’s will just put more money down on their house and less in other investments. I think this is what is driving the higher sales in California (investors buying up foreclosed properties), and will pick up in Washington also once the recession flattens out.

  43. 43
    Andy says:

    RE: Ray Pepper @ 38

    Ray: You are right; we can negotiate by ourselves; time to cut her ass loose
    We might as well bid on our own – we usually utilize her only when we want to see the homes (inside + out) – tough to do in gated communities
    Quick question, if we have a pre-offer – can we just bid by ourselves and negotiate a cut off the sales commission?

    Time to cut the NAR out of anything….

  44. 44

    RE: Andy @ 43

    Andy,
    The typical contract calls for a 3% selling office commission , so if there is no “selling office”, no agent representing the buyer then that commission will not be paid, so the seller would be saving 3%, so I’d make my offer knowing that you are essentially giving the seller an extra 3%…You can also use a real estate attorney if you don’t feel confident doing it yourself, or find an agent who is not a member of the NAR, and ask them to give you back some of the commission.

  45. 45
    Pierce Anon says:

    A question for our real estate gurus. I see websites that claim they have exclusive listings on foreclosures and REO property. Does this type of property show up on the MLS? If no, why?

    How much negotiating room is there on REO property?

  46. 46
    David Losh says:

    RE: Pierce Anon @ 45

    Let’s start at the beginning. A property in default has a legal Notice of Default. Some Investors or companies track these. Kary has been mentioning he tracks bankruptcies, some investors do that.

    Then there are people like Dean Street of John L Scott who tracks foreclosures for clients and investors or people like George Pergones (sp?) with Windermere or Keith Brown of Keith Brown and Associates who work directly with banks to list REOs on the NWMLS.

    There are however millions of REOs. All foreclosed properties are a matter of Public Record. Foreclosure companies, there are two in Bellevue, keep track of these properties and help people buy at auction or negotiate with the banks.

    Each bank, investor group, has a department for properties they own. You can talk with them, but they have their own people they deal with. They will refer you.

    We’re talking about a lot of work. Most of the banks don’t talk to each other, and the different groups have sweet heart deals that they stick to.

    If you want a deal on a property pick an area or location you like. Stay within a mile or up to three mile radius and drive it. Do your own research on pricing, I use price per square foot, plus add for view, location, and condition.

    Especially now look for empty houses. Look for properties in disrepair, long grass, or obvious signs of abandonment. Real Estate agents do this all the time. Then look the property up in Public Records and see who owns it.

    It’s simplier to work a location than to chase “deals.”

    Once you have a deal you need to negotiate. I have gotten nice letters from people who want to buy a property. You can make a deal. You can make a deal on a cocktail napkin and close it at a reputable Escrow Company. I use John Wagner Escrow. He is an attorney who will help with transactions his company can escrow.

  47. 47
    Herman says:

    RE: Fazu @ 40
    Word to the mother, Fazu. I already have my beach time lined up for next winter. Three months off. Overall a better quality of life, and it should bring my family in under the threshold.

    Jon @ 42. If I follow your logic, you are presuming that the expansionary policies of the Fed will overcome deflation in about two years, ushering in an era of abnormally high inflation.

    And in that era, the value of the home as a shelter against inflation will replace its value as a tax shelter (deduction). Anyone with spare bucks will want to plow it into an investment in a more expensive home as opposed to, say, a high-yield CD, stock, or bond. They can rely on the $500k exclusion to protect the inflation-driven gains.

    I almost buy what you’re saying… but I’m not so sure we’re in for an era of inflation in housing prices so soon after this debacle. Sniglet would certainly disagree with your premise. I have a feeling that the deduction impact will be priced in sooner than anticipation of inflation gets priced in.

  48. 48
    vermillionsky says:

    RE: Mikal @ 27

    Warren Buffett pays a lower tax rate than his secretary because corporate dividends and capital gains are taxed less than earned income. Most really wealthy people get most of their income from their wealth (investments, interest, etc.), not from their “job”.

    My personal opinion: we shouldn’t tax people who earn income from work more than people who gain income from wealth. If we treated all income the same, gave everyone the same tax rate (so everyone was paying the same percentage of income) and eliminated all deductions except one standard deduction to zero out at the poverty level, the overall tax rate would be somewhere between the capital gains rate and the earned income rates (lower for income gained by work, higher for income gained by wealth). Of course, this limits the government’s ability to influence social choice (like encouraging home ownership, charitable giving, etc.) and would make the “truly rich” (as defined by 98115_Renter) “care as much about their taxes”, so it’s not likely to ever happen.

    RE: kfhoz @ 30

    You’re right, many millionaires do not live high on the hog. Warren Buffet, the richest man in America, “still lives in the same house he bought three decades ago for $31,500” I think if you really crunched the numbers, many, if not most of those million dollar homes were bought by people who really couldn’t afford them.

  49. 49
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    By Ira sacharoff @ 44:

    RE: Andy @ 43

    Andy,
    The typical contract calls for a 3% selling office commission , so if there is no “selling office”, no agent representing the buyer then that commission will not be paid, so the seller would be saving 3%, so I’d make my offer knowing that you are essentially giving the seller an extra 3%…You can also use a real estate attorney if you don’t feel confident doing it yourself, or find an agent who is not a member of the NAR, and ask them to give you back some of the commission.

    This is incorrect. If there is no buyer’s agent then the listing agent is the selling agent and the listing office would get the entire commission (6% in the example). For it to be different that would be a variable rate commission which requires disclosure.

    Now if you do go in without a buyer’s agent, the listing agent might be more likely to cut their commission to get a deal done, but nothing is automatic. When were were looking for our own home, the only offer we even considered reducing the SOC on was one where the seller was the agent.

  50. 50
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    RE: vermillionsky @ 48 – The biggest difference in tax rate is due to the fact that there’s a cap on social security taxes and some types of income isn’t taxed at all for SS.

    Also, depreciation expenses on buildings provide a pretty good tax shelter, although that eventually gets recaptured.

  51. 51

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 49

    Yes, I did misstate.
    Commissions are negotiable, so theoretically one could negotiate 0% as the selling office commission, couldn’t they?

  52. 52
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    RE: Ira sacharoff @ 51 – Subject to the ethical rules, yes. And an unrepresented buyer (or one going through an attorney) is not subject to ethical rules.

  53. 53
    what goes up must come down says:

    Or better yet Kary don’t use any agents, I see more and more FSBO listings all the time.

  54. 54
    Mikal says:

    RE: Fazu @ 36 – The nominal rate for most people that don’t file W-2’s is 17% according to my accountant. So show me the rates again. It really isn’t going to matter as our country is going broke. This country needs to raise taxes on everyone.

  55. 55
    Mikal says:

    RE: Herman @ 39 – Explain your definition of my comments. Can you do it under the $30,000 a year you spend while making $250,000 a year?

  56. 56
    Herman says:

    RE: Mikal @ 55
    You said that person A, who earns $250,000 in income, would not be bothered by additional taxes if he had chosen to consume only $30,000 of goods and services in a year. “It will not affect [person A] at all,” you said.

    By extension of your logic, any amount of taxes will not affect person A at all until it reduces his income to $30,000 or less, at which point he would be forced to modify his lifestyle. So, person A would not be affected by up to $220,000 in taxes.

    Meanwhile, suppose person B desires or requires $100,000 in consumption – maybe they own a big house, or have medical bills, or like nice cars, boats, and trips. And suppose person B earned only $20,000 in income that year. Maybe person B is retired, sick, or simply prefers not to work. Person B is bound to be bothered and affected by any taxes, and might be in dire straits even with no taxes at all.

    By extension of your logic, person A could forfeit $80,000 via the tax system and it could be provided to person B directly in cash or in equivalent government services. Person A would have no impact to his chosen lifestyle, and would not be bothered by the loss of $80,000. Person B would have his lifestyle fully supported and his dilemma would be solved. This appears to be an ideal solution, right?

    The only missing piece is that both individuals need to declare their need/desire for consumption to ensure that the government does not take too much, nor provide too little in its annual reallocation. Today the government only requires us to report our income.

    That was my interpretation of your comment.

  57. 57
    Herman says:

    By Herman @ 56:

    The only missing piece is that both individuals need to declare their need/desire for consumption to ensure that the government does not take too much, nor provide too little in its annual reallocation. Today the government only requires us to report our income.

    I guess that’s not entirely true. The government does require its citizens to reports some of our needed/desired consumption. For example, to qualify for mortgage benefits and deductions, we have to report our mortgage consumption. Presumably if we want health benefits we will have to report our consumption levels for medical care (so it can be provided by the government). I report my day care consumption levels to the government through the FSA I participate in. So, the government is making progress on getting us to report our consumption levels, but does not yet capture all of it.

  58. 58
    cheepseats says:

    Mikal @ 54

    or spend less

  59. 59
    Fazu says:

    @Mikal – I agree – everyone needs to pay more taxes. Everyone should be against the idea that 5% of the population pays for the rest.

  60. 60
    what goes up must come down says:

    Herman, cheapseats, Fazu — take a break — you make a lot and you seem to whine a lot — were you whining some much when Georgie decreased your taxes and dollar wise you put more in your pocket than others — NO.

    A loaf of bread costs the same for every one.

    Herman you say you will be taking time off just to change your tax bracket I call BS on that. Fazu the 5% you care about so much were the ones that benefitted the most under George what goes around comes around move on.

    I had to finally comment on this because the topic was DELISTINGS ON THE DECLINE then it was hijacked to whining about taxes, and before you whine some more go back and read who started the tax rant.

  61. 61
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    By @ 53:

    Or better yet Kary don’t use any agents, I see more and more FSBO listings all the time.

    Where? They are very rare right now.

    In a hot market a seller can go FSBO and get activity. No so in a cold market.

  62. 62
    cheapseats says:

    @60

    I am not sure how you would think you have any idea how much I make?

    I am also not certain how it is considered whining to say that if we are in a financial crunch we should spend less. Maybe you don’t agree with the spend less approach, but that it is not the same as me whining.

    I am all for raising taxes, if every person bears the same percentage increase. And I am not in the earning catagory that is affected by this latest tax increase, I just think that it is pandering by the politicians to to pit lower income earners against higher income earners.

    And for the record, I am an Obama supporter, well I at least thought he was the least worst choice.

  63. 63
    what goes up must come down says:

    basically what I meant Kary is I don’t see the need for an agent in todays world, just like the horse and buggy time has moved on

  64. 64
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    By what goes up must come down @ 63:

    basically what I meant Kary is I don’t see the need for an agent in todays world, just like the horse and buggy time has moved on

    Well that’s fine, but the fact remains the vast majority of people (even attorneys) don’t know much, if anything, about selling houses, or valuing them. I’ve had some very educated very intelligent clients, and they tend to ask just as many questions, if not more, as the ones who are less educated.

    It’s a specialty. Back in my prior profession (bankruptcy attorney) there were people that thought they could do their own bankruptcies, and even attorneys who didn’t specialize in the area who thought they could dabble in them. The thing was, they didn’t know what they didn’t know,. and sometimes that got them into big trouble.

  65. 65

    Having read through this entire read, the only three words that cheapseats had uttered prior to his last post was ” Or spend less.”
    Many of us at one time or another go off topic, and I’m as guilty as anyone, but to label someone who has uttered just three words as a whiner who makes a lot of money?
    Delistings may be on the decline, but thoughtless posts, on topic or off, don’t appear to be going extinct.

  66. 66
    lilypad says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 7 – When I called the NWMLS to complain about them giving out my unlisted phone number to agents on some sort of dropped listing report (resulting in a deluge of really annoying calls from agents), I was told that I am not their customer, my agent is. The woman who answered the phone wouldn’t take any info from me and obviously wished I’d just hang up and stop bothering her. I also complained about agents not giving me the required 24 hours notice before a showing (the most egregious examples being 22 minutes notice before a weekend showing, and 45 minutes notice before a 9:15 a.m. showing) and was again told that she could not accept my complaint. She said I should have my agent write a letter and submit the complaints. As if that would happen. So apparently, agents’ unprofessional behavior goes unpunished and the NWMLS operates without oversight.

  67. 67

    RE: lilypad @ 66
    Lilypad,
    If you know who those agents are, you should at the very least complain to their brokers. Brokers have responsibility and liability for their agents.
    Also, the State Department of Licensing is another avenue you could pursue.

  68. 68

    […] last Friday’s delistings update post, a reader requested that I provide a view of the data showing cumulative year-long […]

  69. 69
    lilypad says:

    RE: Ira sacharoff @ 67 – That’s good to know, thank you. I do have the cards of all of them and some of them REALLY stood out in my mind, so I could pursue that option.

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