Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Market Getting Better - Even If The "News" Isn't

Still another example of a realty association shooting itself in the foot with a "news" story it had control over:

The above story is based on a news release from the Minnesota Association of Realtors. The story begins with a most positive spin, statistically supporting how home sales were up, as well as home prices, for the month of October 2012. And this report was issued before the end of November, thus making it reasonably "fresh" news.

This should be a positive for current home sellers, as well as those thinking of listing their home. However, instead of continuing the press release with more positives, the next few sentences go on to reveal that almost half of the regions of the state covered did not show these positive results.

If this was an investigative report, or a story not provided by the realty association itself, I could understand these facts being provided.

However, if I was an agent, or a current home seller located within any of the six regions which "were flat or had fallen" in comparison, I'd be very steamed at the Association right now.

This story becomes the equivalent of going on a job interview with a superior portfolio, being asked back for a second interview, and then saying "although I missed 20 days of work due to various illnesses just last year".

In real estate these days, the saying "Any publicity is good publicity" does NOT apply, when millions of dollars and the economy of the nation are at stake.

Then we get news stories such as this one:

This story was done by a local reporter, but it puts realty agents in a bad light in the eyes of some consumers. Sure, one bad agent doesn't make the rest bad. But one more negative story at a time when there should be a lot more positive reporting, is bad.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Stats and Philosophies vs. the Housing Market

If more than half of your friends and family members bought a new car this month, would that make you go out and buy one?

I didn't think so.

But some unknown reason far too many people think this way about the real estate market, and therein lies at least some of the problem. Statistics and philosophies have become dominant. Not overly positive, and not overly negative (for a change). Just dominant.

If you want positive stores about the real estate market, you don't have to spend as much time looking this month as you did a few months back. Here is one example:

Although the above story provides encouraging statistics for the local Washington (state) market, I find one important element lacking in this story. Specific local market reasons why. The story fails to provide even one reason for the increase. It's as if they think that buyers and investors are going by the statistics from six months or a year ago.

Personally, I have not been to the area featured in the above story link. But after reading that story, I have no idea WHY those properties seem to be more in demand this month when compared to the recent past. Is there a lot of new construction? A new shopping development? A new expressway? Did the property taxes drop?

In other words, what is the cause? Now, I don't mean for this to be negative. What I do mean is that, just as the realty agents and associations should not be releasing negative market statistics (like they have been doing non-stop for the past three years), they also need to provide a positive slant.

I'll put it this way. Home sales in that area are clearly on the rise. But that also means more people are selling and getting out of there. Or does it? With nothing to indicate WHY people are getting out, it could negate the positives of why others are moving in. I don't have the answer. But that's my point.

Yet, it is not just statistics. There are those who are overly philosophical. Over the past three weeks, I had several potential clients (for advertising services) tell me that they "want to wait and see how the election turns out". The 'wise guy' in me wanted to call them on Wednesday morning (hours after the election was complete) to ask them if they are ready to move forward.

I'd love to have been able to ask them what they thought could change. Aren't they still going to be in business and needing to attract more clients after the election, no matter what?

All houses are not the same. Some are larger, some smaller. The number of bedrooms and baths differs, and so on. It takes a lot more than statistics and philosophies to get them bought and sold. If only that information was more readily available.