Why FSBO’s Don’t Work

January 5th, 2016


1. Statistics prove that agents consistently get over 5% higher prices than FSBO Sellers (For Sale by Owner) for their properties. This takes care of the extra expense that homeowners incur with paying agent fees.

2. FSBO sales take much longer. Statistics prove that days on Market are much shortr for properties marketed by Agents. Therefore, the Seller who markets a property on his/her own pays more in Mortgage/Upkeep costs during the longer For Sale period.

3. Because I am a certified Luxury Home Specialist and Global Marketing Specialist, I have over 175 websites available for advertising properties of my clients. None of these are available to You, the FSBO Seller.

4. The Ormont Group does professional photos and a floor plan that gets better visibility for the property. Buyers are known to do most of their shopping looking at floor plans and photos on the internet. In addition, we send out postcards advertising the property.

5. Statistics show that more buyers work exclusively with agents than alone because they do not have the time to do the research.

6. FSBO sellers miss all of the buyers who work with agents because most agents do not want the aggravation of working with FSBO sellers, when they have properties with guaranteed commissions for their efforts.

Susan Ormont





November 5th, 2015



There are no schools near by this property.


July 15th, 2015

Below are terrific charts on the Brookline real estate market as determined by Trulia. THE BROOKLINE REAL ESTATE MARKET WILL ALWAYS BE STRONG for numerous reasons.  Brookline is a town encircled by Boston towns including Boston, Jamaica Plain, West Roxbury, Roslindale, Brighton, and Allston.  Brookline’s Public Schools have an outstanding reputation and very high academic ratings in MA.  Because of Brookline’s proximity to major Boston hospitals such as Boston Children’s HospitalBrigham and Women’s Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital, Mass General Hospital, New England Baptist Hospital, Boston Medical Center, etc. as well as numerous colleges and universities such as Boston University, Boston College, Berklee College of Music, Northeastern University, New England Conservatory, Boston Conservatory, MIT, Harvard, etc., many of the professionals working in these institutions live in Brookline.  Also, the quality of life in Brookline, cannot be surpassed!

    BROOKLINE median sales pricesBROOKLINE median sales pricesBrookline median sales prices

BROOKLINE, MA   [/srpmap]

Susan Ormont’s Listing in Newton Center is Recognized

September 23rd, 2014

Call Susan Ormont, of The Ormont Group, 617.669.2000, to view this unique property.

A new MA Solar Program with Savings for Residents

September 23rd, 2014
ATTENTION EVERYONE.  There is a new MASS solar program with massive savings.  Go to:
Apply online for your FREE quotes for home solar savings offers several advantages.
  • It only takes 3 minutes – they screen providers for you
  • There is NO COST for this quote
  • And There is NO Obligation to buy



Brookline Buyers – Get Yourselves Ready!

June 26th, 2014

Attention Brookline Buyers:  The summer is moving along at last.  As we are approaching the Holiday Weekend of July 4th, the market will start to slow down and fewer properties will become available.  Please read ahead to understand what you can do to prepare to buy.

​Buyers can be classified into 3 categories: READY, WILLING and ABLE.  When a buyer can say yes to all three categories, it is time to reach out to an agent to help you see properties and move forward quickly and with minimum amount of stress and inconvenience. 

Most Buyers cannot say yes to all three categories of Ready, Willing and Able. A competent agent can help you prepare without pressure and​ more anxiety.  The process is never easy but our job is to be there for you and make your ​process easier and more organized.

Sometimes a buyer needs help connecting to a good mortgage broker to get “Ready” to buy. Today all offers need to be accompanied either by proof of funds (for cash offers… only the last four digits of your social identifies you.) or a pre-approval from a competent Mortgage Company.  Again, this is where the agent can help set you up with the right mortgage broker.  A good mortgage broker is patient and informative about the process, and helps you figure out what you can really afford given the monthly costs of your investment (including fees taxes and insurance).  If you would like, I have excellent names for you.

The other skill set that you need from your agent is the ability to help you “Win” the property.  When a property first comes on the market, there are often multiple offers and a skilled agent knows how to make your offer the most desirable one.  Also the agent must be strong and competent in negotiating to win the deal. If a property has been on the market several weeks, there may be problems which the agent must identify.  These skills require intelligence and dedication to you to get you what you want at the best and lowest price.

​Please contact me and discuss where you are in this process and what I can do to get you Ready.  You can find me through TheOrmontGroup.com!

Susan Ormont

Top Producing Agent

Keller Williams Realty, Chestnut Hill



February 18th, 2014


There are specific Expectations of Your Real Estate Lawyer, that you as a Buyer in the Boston Metro Area, should have.   It is extremely important, that a Buyer hire a lawyer to represent him/her and assist in the creation of the appropriate Purchase and Sale and Closing documents.  Too many issues can go wrong throughout the process: from a lien on the property, a glitch in the title, or a dispute on boundaries or a shared egress to a property.  It is certainly worth the lawyer’s fee, hopefully reasonable, for this service.  Most important is that you hire a lawyer who specializes in the purchase and sale of real estate because there is a series of expected practices that inexperienced real estate lawyers may not anticipate, whereas, experienced real estate lawyers know to look for them.


Below is a list of practices you can expect from an experienced Real Estate lawyer.  There are exceptions to every rule.  It is up to you to decide if the lawyer’s qualifications and experience fit within your needs for your purchase.


1.    HOW TO SELECT YOUR LAWYER:  If you don’t already have a real estate lawyer, often your agent can recommend several highly respected lawyers.  You should be able to interview your lawyer without charge, either in person or on the phone before you hire him/her.  Again, it is preferable to have a lawyer who is skilled in real estate transactions and specializes in this.


2.    If you are getting a mortgage, it is helpful to hire a lawyer who is also approved by your mortgage company so that you incur fewer lawyer’s fees.  This lawyer would be able to explain other fees you will incur at closing that relate to mortgage expenses.  Your agent or mortgage broker should be able to recommend lawyers for a specific loan.


3.    FEES:  Most real estate lawyers do not demand full fees up front. A lawyer should ask you to sign a contract and may demand a deposit, but a request for full fees up front is rare.  You should request a set fee for closing, not charges by the hour. Ask your lawyer to explain what is and is not included in this basic fee:  for example, the fee will not include title search, title insurance, perhaps unusual office expenses such as processing fees or delivery fees, etc.


4.    QUESTIONS: A lawyer or his assistant should be available for relevant questions (within reason) throughout the process. Of course, your agent should also be of help.


5.    PURCHASE AND SALE: In the Boston area (not necessarily true on Cape Cod) the lawyer helps generate the P&S Document with the Seller’s lawyer. Your lawyer is making sure your interests are covered in the document.  It is expected that you, the Buyer, will pay the down payment at the signing of the P&S.  This fee usually amounts to 5% MINUS the deposit that you gave with your offer.  If the closing is in 4+ weeks, usually a check will suffice.  If the closing is sooner, often the Lawyer or Seller’s agent will want a certified check or money order to secure the funds since theoretically, uncertified checks could be cancelled within a certain timeframe.


6.    MOVING TO CLOSING:  Since October of 2015, there have been changes in the policies regarding closings that involve mortgages. The new policy is casually referred to as TRID, which is an acronym for TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (sometimes referred to as the TILA-RESPA Rule) and applies to most closed-end mortgages secured by real property. (The rule does not apply to HELOCs, reverse mortgage, and a dwelling not attached to real property (i.e. mobile homes).)THREE DAYS before the closing, YOUR LENDER is required to send you a document, called the Closing Disclosure (This document replaces documents that previously existed, known as the Truth in Lending Act and HUD), which discloses your anticipated monthly payments and all the closing costs you will incur.  It is a projected settlement statement. Because of this new requirement, agents will encourage you to do your 1st final walk-through about a week before you close, even though the property will likely not be vacant.  A second walk-through will still happen immediately prior to closing. You should review this statement for any questions or fees that you will incur that you may wish to dispute.  If there are questions, then speak with your lawyer. You then must prepare a certified bank check of these funds to cover your closing.


7.    AT THE CLOSING: At the closing you will have many pages of documents to sign.  If you are paying “Cash”, there are fewer documents, but still it is a long process.  Your lawyer should explain each page before you sign it so you understand what you are doing.  Once this is completed and both the Seller and Buyer have signed, you are about to be the proud owner of your new home.


8.   TRANSFER OF DEED:  It is the responsibility of the lawyer’s office to register the transfer of your Deed with the proper authorities ASAP.  Until these documents are registered, the ownership of the property is in limbo.  Today, some law offices actually have the means to go online during the closing and register the transfer of deed before you even leave the office.


9.   WHY MUST REGISTRATION OF THE DEED BE DONE IMMEDIATELY????  Just imagine, there are numerous problems that can result if the transfer is not registered immediately.


A. You may possess keys to a property that you do not as yet legally own and are therefore trespassing.


B. A lien on your property that is recorded against the previous owner while he is still the recorded owner, could appear out of nowhere and this would need resolution prior to recording the transfer of deed.


C. Numerous other unexpected problems could happen during that limbo period such as the death of the original owner, a fire, a robbery, etc. that would, in essence, affect the sale or transaction.


10. The bottom line is that you do not own your property until your lawyer announces that the Deed has been Recorded.


11.  All is well that ends well.  When all of this is done, you do indeed own your new house and can cross that threshold with pride and trust.


Best wishes for a successful and easy transition into Your New Home.

Susan Ormont 




January 31st, 2014

Zillow just published its hottest 2014 markets.  Most interesting, and yet not surprising, is the prediction that the Boston Area, including Brookline, remains one of the hottest markets, and will continue this spring.  Below is a quote from the Zillow article “10 Hottest Local Markets in 2014” sent out today.  Brookline Real Estate Remains Strong.  See www.BrooklineStrong.com

2014’s Hottest Local Markets

To determine which markets will be the hottest in 2014, we combined data on unemployment rates, population growth and the Zillow® Home Value Forecast. Markets determined to be ‘hot’ are characterized by lower than average unemployment, population growth of greater than 2 percent during the past two years and are forecasted to have home value growth of more than 2 percent during the next 12 months. The list is intended to give an early view into housing markets that are likely to experience heavy demand for homes, as well as increasing home values.

Top 10 Markets

1. Salt Lake City

2. Seattle

3. Austin

4. San Jose

5. Miami

6. Raleigh

7. Jacksonville

8. San Diego

9. Portland

10.  Boston



January 23rd, 2014

I know it is difficult to think about the Fall Real Estate Market when the temperature is an unbearable 5 degrees outside. However, to all homeowners of Brookline, Boston, Newton and Needham, if you are considering to Sell this Fall or in early 2015, this is the time to start preparing.  I may be one of those people, and I cringe to think about preparing for it.  However, THIS IS STILL A SELLER’S MARKET BECAUSE THERE IS INSUFFICIENT INVENTORY FOR THE ENORMOUS NUMBER OF BUYERS.  So if you are one of those lucky people who wants to Sell this Fall or early in 2015, you should do Very Well.

It may be an overwhelming thought to anticipate a new chapter in your life, but at the same time, it is healthier if you treat it as an exciting adventure and challenge. Planning ahead is half of the secret, and yet there are five major points to keep in mind.

DECLUTTER:  OY VEY!!!!!  My Mother’s rule of thumb was, “If you haven’t used it or worn it in two years, Give it Up.”  So buy four large storage Boxes and a ton of huge Garbage Bags and label them:

1. Keep and Store for new Home.  

2. Donate/Give away  

3. Tag/Garage Sale 

4. Consignment  (There are several good shops in the area. I keep a list for my clients.)

and then a Huge Garbage Bag to



1. Start inside the house in the cold weather and make a list of everything that does not work or is visually disturbing to the naked eye.  Hire a fix-it person, plumber or electrician to fix these issues.  I compile a list for my clients, but you can also check on Annie’s List or through friends.

2. As the season warms up, do the same outside so you are ready for the selling season.  That list can be prepared now but reserved for later. 

Remember, everything you can see or test that is defective, will probably be discovered later in an inspection and possibly used against you in negotiations.  IT IS CHEAPER TO PAY FOR IT NOW THAN TO PAY FOR IT IN YOUR SALES PRICE NEGOTIATIONS.


Ask for Recommendations. Check the Internet. Interview a few Agents until you find the Agent you believe is the right one. The Right Agent is someone who has experience, who knows the local market, whom you believe you can trust, who seems open, sincere and communicative, who has great Internet assets and advertising skills (not all agents are savvy with respect to this), and whom you believe will work very hard for you.  It is often NOT the Famous agent.  It is most often the Energetic, Intelligent, Internet Savvy one who is Up with the Times, not the old-fashioned agent who thinks it all comes to them.


Studying the present market will help you not over-price your house.  If you have time, get hooked up to MLS (the Multiple Listing Service) through your agent to understand the market for YOUR house as well as the new home you wish to buy.  ONLY MLS is 100% accurate.  All other sites feed out of MLS so their information is delayed and inaccurate.  Be aware that agents often  keep listings on Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com after they are under agreement so that they can advertise themselves.  I get countless calls from buyers about listings on these sites that are no longer valid.  


The markets in Brookline, Newton, Needham, Jamaica Plain, and Cambridge are STRONG.  THIS IS STILL A SELLER’S MARKET BECAUSE THERE IS INSUFFICIENT INVENTORY.   This means that WELL-PRICED properties that are UPDATED go very quickly, often within the first two weeks.  The majority of Buyers want a home that is ready to go and needs little work.  Those who want a home that needs work expect, regardless of the price, to pay less than asking.  Your agent can explain more about this as you prepare to sell.

When you are selecting a price with your agent, remember the rule of thumb.  If you have time to spare and are in no hurry to sell,  you can price your house too high and see if there is some fool out there who will buy it.  Unfortunately, in this scenario, you property will often get stale quickly and see no action.  Then the Buyers looking for a bargains, surface and start negotiating much lower prices.

However, if you trust your agent’s value for your house, the best and fastest way to sell your house or condo is to price it accurately by or a little below value to attract buyers and allow for negotiations over asking price.  The first two weeks on the market is crucial.  It must be timed to include Broker open houses and a well-designed weekend of open houses.  A WELL-PRICED home in Brookline should sell fast and have lots of interest.  This is bound to happen because there is simply too much demand and too many buyers out there.

Susan Ormont

Luxury Homes Specialist





Would You Hire These Agents to help You Sell or Buy in Brookline?

January 23rd, 2014

For all Brookline or Boston Area Buyers & Sellers, not just those of you who are new to the Real Estate Market, this Video from Youtube will be extremely enlightening.  Some of the business practices of agents are not what one would expect to see from a top sales person, and yet it exists.  Watch Barbara Corcoran, a major Broker in New York CIty, reveal “Inside Secrets of Real Estate Agents” and formulate your own conclusions. This video is as true for Brookline and the Boston area as in New York City with less of the gloss.  Buyers & Sellers be aware when you select your agent that you want to choose an honest and communicative sales professional who works for YOU!  Brookline Real Estate is only as Strong as the character of the agent with whom you work. Be Aware and seek only ethical realtors.

Inside Secrets of a Real Estate Agent

Susan’s Voice for the Day

For a Great Brookline Site, check out: www.BrooklineStrongRealEstate.com