In an otherwise-sympathetic posting, a commentator suggests that this blog isn’t helping the market because I report actual information, rather than permitting buyers to dream. The reader is out of touch with the realities of today’s marketplace.
There was a time when realtors held the key to all information concerning listings and selling prices and I’m sure they loved that monopoly because if a buyer wanted to know about a house, he was forced to come to an agent. By the time I entered this business 6-7 years ago, the Internet was shoving that business aside and that transformation is now complete (in a plug for my current employer, the main reason I switched to his firm is that he saw this, and began building up a fantastic website years ago – it improves all the time). Today, buyers prowl the internet when they begin their search and by the time they contact an agent they already know what’s for sale (except for Sotheby’s listings – Soetheby’s for competitive reasons, refuses to release its listings to the Internet – if I were a Sotheby’s customer who wanted my house exposed to as broad a pool of potential buyers as possible, I’d fire them, but that’s just me). They know what’s for sale, what’s sold, what the average price per square foot is in any particular neighborhood (and in no neighborhood does it even approach $1,000 – sorry, Monkey) etc. So what can an agent offer today to justify his pay? More information. At the very least, he or she should know at least as much as his customer – many don’t – and ideally, much more, by virtue of staying ontop of the market hourly or daily.
It’s obvious, judging from some comments, that some of what I reveal here is news to sellers – I assure you, buyers aren’t surprised. Here’s the Monkey again, answering his own question, funny enough, in another post explaining his view of the world:
I had my property on the market for 180 days and buyers repeatedly low balled my asking price by $3mm-$5mm! Do I look stupid?!?!?
Imagine, in this market, having a house that actually attracts multiple bids over time your house must be remarkable indeed. But if every single buyer tells you that your house is worth $3-$5 million less than you think it is, you have a choice: you can accept what the market is saying and adjust your price accordingly or you can stubbornly inisist that the market is wrong and that you’re right. Guess which path will result in a sale?
I’ve been advising readers for months that this is not the time to sell their house if they don’t have to or don’t want to. Certainly, the price of anything you might want to buy as a replacement will also be down, but if you’re trading down, rather than up, you’re going to feel pain. What I will never advise is that you list your house at a dreamed-for number and then complain when buyers don’t share your dream. As Monkey admits, that’s just stupid.
So I plead not guilty to causing any part of the drop in prices. The Buyers decide, I report. Period. If your own agent isn’t giving you the same information, perhaps you should ask her to.