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KAI RYSSDAL: Sales of those homes that FICO scores are so closely tied to continue to plummet. The Commerce Department reported today sales of new homes dropped to the slowest pace on record last month. Prices plunged by more than 9 percent from a year ago. So try to imagine a more frustrating job than real estate agent, somebody who lives off commissions from homes that just aren't selling.
We sent Marketplace's Mitchell Hartman out to talk to one of those brokers in a development of high-end homes outside Portland, Ore.
CARMEN MAZZIA: My name is Carmen Mazzia and I'm with Prudential Northwest Properties.
MITCHELL HARTMAN: And why don't we go on inside.
MAZZIA: Excellent. . . . So this home is 2,600 square-feet. It's four bedrooms plus a den. And we are throwing in landscaping and window blinds. It's a great deal. And we're going to go to value-range marketing. So it's going to be between $429,000 and $489,000, which is a new way to price to attract more buyers.
Because, to be honest, this price point has been a little bit difficult. I sold one similar to this back in July. And why this is such a good bargain . . . we sold that for $530,000.
HARTMAN: What is it like to be a realtor right now through this?
MAZZIA: Well, right now it's a great time to be a realtor. Because people who weren't serious about real estate have left. So the professionals have stayed.
Has it gone down a little bit? Well, some things were overpriced. I mean, I'm not going to lie. I think, I'm sorry, but the media has caused this frenzy, and so a lot of buyers are fearful. But people who wouldn't be able to get into a home before, can now get into a home.
Now, do they take their time? Yes. Do we negotiate? Yes. Do we make sure we're getting them the best deal? Yes. So it's just a different market. It does take more patience. It does take more skill.
RYSSDAL:That was Prudential broker Carmen Mazzia at the custom-built home she's got listed near Portland, Ore. She was talking to our Mitchell Hartman.