Eager homebuyers and nervous sellers are often confused by conflicting news stories, most of which focus upon the more sensational aspects of the housing market and economy. With TV, major newspapers, magazines, and Internet sites bombarding consumers with ever-changing economic news, many are paralyzed in fear of taking action either too soon or too late.
Sellers want to know if home prices are still falling, and if they’ll be able to compete with foreclosures and short-sales. Buyers also want to know if home prices are falling; and if they are, how long they should wait to get the best deal.
Watching the evening news or reading the multitude of print articles only serves to amplify the confusion; one story advises consumers to prepare to be lifetime renters, while another describes the best time to buy a home in decades. There are stories providing data on why homes are a lousy investment, on the difficulty of selling in today’s market, on the changes in demographics that will forever alter the face of housing. And while there may be a kernel of truth in each feature, most articles paint with such a broad brush that much of the information has little bearing on local markets and is worthless to the average consumer.
Serious buyers need to know that there are great bargains available in most areas of the country; however, homes in those areas likely to experience further declines, must be more carefully evaluated. Those homebuyers with the financial stability to purchase and the desire to own shouldn’t be deterred by news stories often written more for shock value than to inform. In order for buyers to capitalize on today’s falling home prices while removing as much of the risk as possible, they should consider seeking the guidance of a professional buyer’s agent experienced in their local market.
Eager sellers need to know that while the market is difficult, with most areas having lots of competition, and in some an ample supply of distress sales, that appealing, competitively priced and aggressively marketed homes are selling. In order to compete they will need the advice of an agent familiar with local conditions and who is aware of current prices and the most successful marketing techniques for their area. Additionally, serious sellers must respect their agent’s advice on pricing their home—if they don’t trust them, they’ve chosen the wrong agent.
Finally, there are homes being bought and sold in all markets. Savvy buyers and hopeful sellers can achieve their goals—if they approach the process with a willingness to listen to the professionals, not the talking heads on TV.
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