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The Cape House Show: Episode 83

Today we’re gonna talk about iBuyers, and it’s kind of a conversation about why we do things the way we do on Cape Cod. And why it’s really important to work with someone in real estate, who knows Cape Cod really well. Here are my thoughts on the topic:

So, I’m not saying that iBuyers won’t make their way to the Cape and for all I know they’re already here. But what I do know is that things like AVMs, automated valuation models, like Zestimates and iBuyers, which are corporations who buy and flip homes quickly, they buy them for cash and flip them, they do best where the inventory is homogenous and dominated by year-round primary homes. I’m thinking, suburban areas of like Arizona, California, Texas, Florida, etc. because those markets can provide reliable consistent data. Which is easy for them to make valuations with and predictions and all that sort of stuff.

So, Cape Cod is none of that. We are not predictable, we have properties that can range from $19 million, we had one in Dennis last year, down to $19,000 for a little seasonal one bedroom or studio condo. In the same town, we have 15 different local governments, we have 57 different zip codes and all of this, on only 339 square miles of land. It’s kinda crazy, we have 300 year old homes, we have new construction, we have water all over the place. 

Good luck iBuyers, is what I’m saying, and for that matter, honestly, good luck to agents who’re trying to come from over the bridge, who do business off Cape, try to come over here and list a house on Cape Cod. 

It’s just, like, are you even a member of the Cape and Islands MLS? We have our own MLS, I bet you didn’t know that. There’s a Cape and Islands MLS and then there’s a larger MLS PIN, which is what the rest of Massachusetts is on and there’s a couple other small ones out in Western Mass. But like, did you work at summer camp with the admin of the building department like I did? Did you lifeguard on that beach in front of the house that you’re about to sell? Tell me, how many years of local government and community boards have you been on? And do your kids even go to the school in the district you’re trying to sell in? Or you for that matter? All that stuff is true for me and for the people on my team. 

We all have this innate knowledge from spending the time it takes to get to know what it means to live and work on Cape Cod. And I know, I get super fired up about this but I feel so strongly about it, the Cape is a special place because it’s hard to get here. And it’s ever harder to stay. It’s inconvenient in so many ways and the people who choose to live and work here have chosen to forgo easy things for peaceful things. They’ve chosen to forgo convenience for community. These are the things that happen when you live in a place that’s hard to get to. It’s even more true when you get out to the corners like, P-town and Chatham and Woods Hole and don’t even start talking to me about the islands, they don’t want any part of us.

And you know what? I get it. I respect it. I don’t try to do business on Nantucket. I would never dream of it. I would call one of my friends on Nantucket and say, Kenny, I have some business on Nantucket for you, can you help me? And he would totally help me out.

It takes a long time to get to know a place like this, or the islands, or wherever it is. And the privilege of doing business here should go to the folks who take that time, contribute to the community and respect all that the place is and accept all that it isn’t.



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