Thursday, October 9, 2008

Regaining the public's trust

Finally, this week not all of the home sales publicity has been a total negative. But it is more than just the news that needs to be addressed.

In my position of working with realty agents and mortgage lenders around the country on a variety of advertising and marketing campaigns, I also hear my fair share from consumers, and do my best to apply their input and feedback to my clients and via this blog.

Frankly, if the mortgage rates and home prices both dropped tomorrow and the stock market went back to normal, the realty agents would still face an image challenge from potential buyers and sellers. The trust still isn't there like it should be.

Let me illustrate my point. After I read this recent article about the Denver housing market, I read the reader comments below. I have no idea who these people are and had not seen this publication in recent memory, but those commenting echo what I have been hearing even more in recent weeks.

Those of you who are realty agents should take note of the comment about how they don't believe that a Realtor will find them a bargain deal because it would net him or her a lower commission.

This week, the problem is that everyone is "waiting to see what happens". With everyone waiting, nothing is going to happen.

If you are a potential home buyer, whether looking for a bargain or with a serious need to move ASAP, you shouldn't be waiting for anything. If I was looking for a bargain or for an investment right now, I would put a reasonable offer on the table with a deadline of one week to accept or to negotiate. I would want to get my "bargain" before the majority finds out "what happens".

If you are a realty agent, I'd be all over my buyers and contacting buyer agents about my fairly priced and most motivated listings. I would be asking potential buyers about moving their money from the stock market to real estate ASAP. A 3 bedroom Colonial style house with a yard and basement is going to be there for years to come. The company they own stock in that plummeted by 25% in the past week may not be there in six months. Waiting to see "what happens" could cost them a lot more than the downpayment on a "permanent" piece of real estate.

If you are a mortgage lender, you should be advertising to have local home owners contact you to review their current status. Get them help, whether showing them about downsizing to a smaller home to maintain affordable payments, referring them to a credit restoral service, or possible refinancing to consolidate expenses.

The longer you wait to see what will happen, the longer nothing happens for you. Here's hoping that changes............


Brandi Z said...

Dave - I agree 100%. I have been looking to move to a better neighborhood and to a condo that would lower my payments, but so far 3 realtors have tried to talk me into something more expensive. Not one, but 3. You can't tell me there is no inventory available now. If I have to find a place myself, I'm not interested in paying a commission.

Dave Kohl said...

Brandi - Thanks for your thoughts. You become another example of exactly what I am talking about.

I agree you shouldn't have to take your personal time to find another condo, but I would suggest driving around a neighborhood you like on a Sunday and look at a couple of Open Houses, or should I say, open condos. See how they are priced and how it compares with what you are looking for. If the realty agent listing the condo you are in has "another one" for you, then ask him/her to recommend an agent that could show you that property.

You do not want the same agent representing the seller's best interests. If he/she is truly a pro, he/she will have no problem recommending someone. If that person doesn't cut it for you, don't give up. Let me know how you come out, OK?