These four headlines were just collected from today’s news (alright, the last one about Fiat is, although true and undoubtedly frightening confirmation of our impending status as a Third World country,, mostly included as a joke). Just as gloomy news was around last week, for those who bothered to look, but you’d never know it from current real estate prices. I was working this morning on finding some reasonably priced properties and was struck, yet again, with how many sellers are still convinced that their houses and land have increased dramatically in value since 2006. What are they drinking?
I would guess that these people are just holding on, part of the mass-hysteria that believes that the Obama will pull the country from its economic malaise and return us right quick to prosperity. Last through the spring, the reasoning goes, and we’ll be back where we were when times were good. Even the EU itself seems to believe this – its depressed forecast for 2009 is followed by a stated belief in a come-back in 2010. This might be more encouraging if today’s communication hadn’t been issued to correct its more optimistic forecast made just two months ago. If they can’t get it right over 60 days, do you trust them to predict accurately what conditions will be like in 450?
I don’t wish to add to another hysteria, the one that fears the sky is falling, but if I were trying to sell my house now I would price it based on an assumption that property will be worth less a year from now, rather than more. Certainly, that’s what buyers are figuring. If you and the buyer aren’t on the same page of that expectation, there will be no meeting of the minds and no sale. So either reduce your price and sell, or pull your place from the market and wait for the rebound that will prove buyers wrong.
Or just keep your house in showroom condition and let tire-kickers disrupt your schedule. Some would-be sellers are happy with seeing that kind of activity because it lets them pretend that something’s happening. It doesn’t work for me, but we’re all different.