A few days ago The New York Times had a featured article in the Real Estate section about my area in particular entitled "Renting Is All the Rage" by Elsa Brenner.
"Brokers these days, wrestling with dwindling sales, would have their clients believe that there is no better time than the present to buy a home. Prices are down, they say, and mortgage rates are at all time lows.....Unfortunately for the brokers, many clients are not persuaded by that logic. Instead, in increasing numbers, they are choosing to rent - unconvinced that the housing market has yet hit bottom"
Whether or not we are at the absolute bottom of the market - the brokers are correct. This is when people should be snapping up properties right and left. This IS the best time to buy. The deals are so sweet they are ripe for the picking. But buyers continue to walk away from a market that hasn't been so affordable since Eisenhower was POTUS.
In my market this includes buyers who are secure in their jobs, and have credit to die for. They are wealthy, well-heeled and completely capable of making a major dent in our large inventories. They take their agents and lenders on a wild goose chase before deciding that it just isn't sweet enough….so they continue to rent for the what seems like the national debt.
ActiveRain helped show me that I was not alone. Recently there have been a flurry of blogs on AR about fickle buyers. They were referred to as "opportunity buyers", lookie lous, "the other shadow inventory", "fence sitters" and "future pipeline." The names may be different but the posts paint the same picture. The problem is neither one individual agent's nor is it market specific - this issue has tentacles into every single market.
In many ways, it seems as though the public is blindly following a trend. We do that in America. We will follow the latest trend even it leads off a cliff. Like automatons, we play follow the leader. In 2004 and 2005 we went nuts buying super-sized homes with no money down using teaser loans. Now renting is all the rage even it costs hundreds more a month than owning. It doesn't matter that we are shooting ourselves in the foot. If everyone else is doing it, it must be good!
So how do we break the trend? How do we make buying a home chic again? How do we use the power of the ActiveRain community to get buyers off the fence and into a home they can call their own?
Well, what about a blogging contest that specifically aims at getting buyers off the fence?
There would be a minimum of six blog posts required:
1. A minimum of two posts that would explain to buyers why the time to buy is NOW.These should be aimed at the general public. You can point to any factor you want. Such as...
- The cost of buying vs. renting.
- The impact of low interest rates on cost.
- The affordability factor being better than it has been in 50 years.
2. A minimum of two posts on addressing buyers concerns and misconceptions during difficult markets. This too should be aimed at the general public. Issues could include...
- What if prices continue to decline?
- Why a buyers market doesn’t mean you can have a mansion for a song.
- Why buying what you can comfortably afford isn’t “settling”.
3. A minimum of two posts on how you deal specifically with fence - sitters and chronic lookers. You might want these to be members only in order to encourage free dialogue. Tell us what rocks and what flops! Such as...
- What kind of scripts do you use?
- What type of reasoning works?
- How do you deal with the uber-picky buyer who is looking for perfection?
1. The contest begins October 5th and ends at midnight on October 26th.
2. You need to post your links in the comments section below. A new page will be added for comments to continue should this post fill.
3. You will also have to take one extra step when you have finished all six posts: Email the posts and links to Ruthmarie.Hicks@gmail.com and include your AR user name. I will forward these to ActiveRain and that will complete your entry.
And of course you get points!
2000 points for completing all six posts. There will be a prize of 1000 points for the best set of posts overall.
There are plenty of ways we can help each other and possibly, just possibly make a dent in this very depressing market by using the power of AR to create a buzz about why now IS the time to buy!
As of now, I am shutting down comments to this blog - here is the link to the CONTEST UPDATE: You can put your posts in on that comment section....