Thursday, September 27, 2007

Foxtons Bites the Dust

Realtors have been predicting for some time that the first casualty of a Real Estate downturn would be that not so big "Green Monster."

Foxtons, a Long Branch-based real estate company that made a splash with its discounted commissions, said Wednesday night it is shutting down.

With a backlog of 4400 active listings, the 8 year old company said it is contemplating bankruptcy for an orderly shutdown, and it will continue only with a skeleton crew, laying off 350 of its 380 employees.

As The Asbury Park Press put it:
The decision marks the latest casualty in the softening real estate industry, and it brings a stunning end to a company that was a lightning rod among real estate agencies.

The unresolved question is the fate of the 4400 sellers who remain legally tied to Foxtons until their listing agreements expire. These long term agreements may be considered "assets" in a bankruptcy filing. Their homes can only be shown by appointments made by the few remaining employees. That's about 130 sellers per employee.

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