Is there really a Crystal Ball in Real Estate?

By
Real Estate Agent with The Griffin Team @ Keller Williams Realty Associate RE Broker

Last night Laurie Manny and I had a great discussion about a post that Caleb Mardini put out the other day - Why Buy?  She started me thinking, I got up early this morning to reread that post because it was on my mind.  In it David Podgursky made an excellent point the cost of not buying a home and his advice was "If you're buying a home - buy a house you LOVE.  If you have this many regrets causing you to keep from purchasing then maybe you just don't LOVE the house.  Don't, though, let a good deal or the right house slip away from you because you're betting on the market.  Know what is controllable and what isn't.  The right house could disappear as quickly as it came on the market and you could miss out on the right property while trying to figure out the right time to make your move".   

Awhile back I wrote Help - My Crystal Ball is Cloudy in it I wrote " There are many factors that affect us all across the country - Baby Boomers, Generation X, the economy, insurance, taxes and disasters to name a few.  How they will affect us will be dependent on many local things.  But there are things that point out that now is the time to buy.   Mortgage rates, lifestyle decisions, and the like play into the decision as importantly as are we heading for an upswing in prices.  You may purchase in the downswing while prices go a bit lower, but you run the risk of higher interest rates later on.  If you are planning on keeping the property for long term, this setback is temporary.   If you are too slow you could miss out on that perceived "better opportunity" only paying more and with a higher interest rate.  Because that is also a possibility!"

As Realtors we are here to assist buyers and sellers obtain a dream.  That might be to relocate to a new location, which means selling their current property, helping them find another qualified agent in the new area.  Buyers we have to be part Banker, part Parent, in addition to helping them find a home.  We have to wade through the massive amount of information that is now available to the consumer.  With Web 2.0 that information has expanded tenfold.  No wonder the consumer is sitting on the fence.  It was a lot of information to process when you were looking at two or three neighborhoods.  Now people are exposed to a lot of extra information, information that may not be relevant to the buyer or seller.  They get stuck in analysis paralysis.

A perfect example of the information over-load and how things can get lost is Allison Stewart's post What to do when cloudy ball buyers demands fall of deaf ears the day after the one I posted.  In it she talks about affordable housing, or the lack thereof.   She brought up an important point.  When I commented on it, the word passion was there for me to pass the human test.  It started me thinking, as Realtors we need to be passionate about our areas, we need to be promoting it and sharing our knowledge of the area.  We need to create the reason for being in these communities! 

If all that is out there is the negative why would someone want to purchase?  I am not saying that we should lie about these communities, but let us focus on the good.  The media seems to do well enough on the negative.  Remember that is what gets ratings and newspapers sold.  It makes great headlines, remember corrections and retractions are usually buried somewhere in the paper.  The media forgets that Realtors advertise with them, and what they are doing is hurting us.  It is no wonder that Blogging and self publication has taken off.  We are  now empowered to do something.

For example here on Marco Island, I happen to believe that one of the best values of Beachfront condos is The Gulfview.  So from time to time I write a market update and I share something about this condo, be it photographs, interesting information or the makeup of the area.  The different floor plans, the difference of being on the North or South side of the building -- pros and cons.  Things that consumers need to make a decision if they want to live in The Gulfview.  That is the power of Localism, start using it to your advantage.  Stop worrying about how it might change in the future, use it now and learn from it.

Mark Eibner wrote a great post about Crystal Balls his advice in the market if for the Colorado area, but he probably says it best for the whole country "For those of us that have been in this business long enough, we know that there is no such thing as a crystal ball.  The only thing that is certain for sure is change.  Change will be the biggest news item for the next five years. The Crystal ball says get ready to CHANGE."  Those of us here at Active Rain are masters at change. 

Perhaps all those changes that the creators of Active Rain and Localism are making are an added bonus to our ability to adapt rapidly.  So what does that mean for us and our clients?  Well I believe that we need to be able to change our direction a lot faster.  If things are not working as we think that they should, do something different.  Like Donald Trump said "Part of being a winner is knowing when enough is enough. Sometimes you have to give up the fight and walk away, and move on to something that's more productive." and "What separates the winners from the losers is how a person reacts to each new twist of fate. "

So how are you going to react to the changes in your market?  What changes in your plan are you going to make?  What tasks have not been productive?  What ones have?  How are you going to implement new technology into your plan?  How are you going to be one of the winners?

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Rainmaker
363,855
Colleen Kulikowski
The Griffin Team @ Keller Williams Realty - Buffalo, NY
Creative Real Estate Solutions...

Tony-- Thanks!  I am rather proud...  especially because it was inspired by my interaction here at Active Rain.

David -- great!   I look forward to reading your post just after this...   I am so happy that I inspired you to write more!

Mitchell -- Wow -- yet another thing to go read about!  Way to go Kristal!!!!

John -- we agree to agree!  Nice to be on the same side!  Glad you liked my post!

Ann -- won't it be great to have them start buying?

Laurie -- Thanks for the inspiration!  I am so thrilled with this and it all started from our conversation!   Thank you...

Feb 11, 2007 03:26 AM #22
Rainmaker
363,855
Colleen Kulikowski
The Griffin Team @ Keller Williams Realty - Buffalo, NY
Creative Real Estate Solutions...
Everyone -- Go read David's post Analysis Paralysis, he makes some great points...
Feb 11, 2007 03:32 AM #23
Rainer
41,968
John Klassen
M & T Bank - Kingston, NY

Buying a home goes beyond the market. They bought at 14% and they bought at 5%. Each deal is unique between buyer and seller and achieving the American Dream is great for everyone involved.

Thank goodness they are coming back.

Feb 11, 2007 04:09 AM #24
Rainmaker
302,799
ARDELL DellaLoggia
Sound Realty - Kirkland, WA

Yes, we are the ones with the crystal ball, at least one less cloudy than the ones consumers have.  Like brand new home in power line area not as a good of a choice as great location house that needs a little updating.  Especially if you are handy and can do most of the work yourself. 

Depending on the market to always go up to stay afloat?  Crystal Ball says...Maybe.  Or is that a predictor eight ball?  Something like that.

Feb 11, 2007 04:19 AM #25
Rainer
51,447
John Hruska
Homes Charlotte, LLC - Charlotte, NC

Colleen,

Thanks for the post.  We all need to be awre of changes around us.  Those who adapt, I believe will benefit more.

Feb 11, 2007 05:40 AM #26
Rainmaker
363,855
Colleen Kulikowski
The Griffin Team @ Keller Williams Realty - Buffalo, NY
Creative Real Estate Solutions...

John -  you are so right -- each deal is unique...

Ardell -- What are you trying to say?  

John in Oswego --Very true...

Feb 11, 2007 06:27 AM #27
Ambassador
2,942,535
Jeff Dowler
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad

Some great thoughts here, Colleen. There are no guarantees, but we can at last provide consumers with the best information for they can make informed decisions, and assist them to understand what that information means.

We have to constantly be aware of what is going on and the changes that are occurring, and know how to best respond to those changes. Now is a good time to buy for many, but not everyone because of personal or financial circumstances. Some good links and comments to boot. Thanks for getting this started.

Jeff

Feb 11, 2007 08:10 AM #28
Rainmaker
363,855
Colleen Kulikowski
The Griffin Team @ Keller Williams Realty - Buffalo, NY
Creative Real Estate Solutions...
Jeff -- Thank Caleb he started the ball rolling, and then Laurie challenged me!   This is important discussion, and I am glad that so many have shared!
Feb 11, 2007 08:14 AM #29
Rainer
14,597
Sharon L. Daniels
Coldwell Banker Premier Properties - Front Royal, VA
ABR,e-PRO, Broker Associate

Colleen~

Great information here! I appreciated the insight.  We as agents can do a lot by keeping the positive spin on Real Estate.  Prices are great, lots of inventory, and interest rates are holding.  We need to spread these good seeds! Get our buyers back in the game so they'll thank us later!  What better representation!

thanks again!

Sharon L. Daniels

Feb 11, 2007 08:16 AM #30
Rainmaker
363,855
Colleen Kulikowski
The Griffin Team @ Keller Williams Realty - Buffalo, NY
Creative Real Estate Solutions...
Sharon, so true.  So many realtors focus on the negative that they forget that it shows in everything they do.  So it is important to be upbeat and positive.  There are good things to a down market -- choice and negotation power of the buyer.   Just how you choose to look at the situation!
Feb 11, 2007 08:37 AM #31
Rainer
6,676
Berta Smith
RealtyUSA - Liverpool, NY

The one thing I have learned in life is, if you are not willing to accept change you will never advance in anything you do.  Great Blog!  Thanks!

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Feb 11, 2007 11:14 AM #32
Ambassador
745,526
Jeff Belonger
Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc - Cherry Hill, NJ
The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans

Colleen..... good post. One thing that I read that Laurie wrote.....  interest rates aren't on the rise, even when homes were going up. You still have rates in the high 5's and the low 6's.....  we are now in February. I could remember when in October that rates were a tad higher....  it is the best time to buy.... and in any case, it's what the media makes us believe when and where. Prices have come down. It just hasn't been a great sellers market because they might have lost 5% to 10% of what their house was once worth.

Colleen.... I have a crystal ball that I can sell you...   ;o)  But what you repeated in your first paragraph on what David P. wrote.... that is write on the money. Don't play the market.....   especially now, of all instances. Even the mortgage market.... 

Feb 11, 2007 12:22 PM #33
Rainmaker
449,733
Dena Stevens
Rocky Mountain Realty - Canon City, CO
Putting The Real Into Realtor Since 2004
Today at church we talked about Perception vs Realty and the Power of Now.  It falls back on what do we "think" we have control of? No crystal balls, just do the right thing.
Feb 11, 2007 01:28 PM #34
Rainmaker
453,099
Allison Stewart
St.Cloud Homes - Saint Cloud, FL
St. Cloud Fl Realtor, Osceola County Real Estate 407-616-9904
Thanks Colleen for the mention and link.  I liked your article and congrats on your gold star!
Feb 11, 2007 09:10 PM #35
Rainmaker
363,855
Colleen Kulikowski
The Griffin Team @ Keller Williams Realty - Buffalo, NY
Creative Real Estate Solutions...

Berta -- Thanks!

Jeff -- Very good point...  As for the crystal ball, I think I am putting mine on a top shelf and start to deal with reality!

Dena -- so very true!

Allison - You are welcome! 

Feb 11, 2007 11:20 PM #36
Rainmaker
209,404
William Collins
ERA Queen City Realty - Scotch Plains, NJ
Director of Property and Asset Management

Colleen,

Thanks for the post. I have been writing articles for the local papers. I needed to put the truth out about the real estate market, as it relates to my area. Far too many commentators outside of the profession, were writing about doom and gloom for both buyers and sellers, which simple is not the case. I have just picked up two listings as a result. Yet five open houses yesterday, in a five block radius generated one couple, who did not see all five. So, it will take some time. However, we must be diligent in taking on the responsibility to define OUR market and what is actually happening in it. We cannot defer to some wanna be authority working on outdated information or half truths.

Feb 11, 2007 11:58 PM #37
Rainmaker
363,855
Colleen Kulikowski
The Griffin Team @ Keller Williams Realty - Buffalo, NY
Creative Real Estate Solutions...
William -- it has been my experience if the media is reporting it the information is at least 6 months old.  They are very quick to report the negative, it is the positive that they are very slow to report...
Feb 12, 2007 12:29 AM #38
Ambassador
789,678
THE REFERRAL NETWORK Asheville NC Properties
NARRIN REAL ESTATE REFERRAL NETWORK - Asheville, NC
Let Us Know What's Most Important to YOU

As I read your BLOG tonight, one thought absolutely buzzed in my head. You said, "...we are here to assist buyers and sellers obtain a dream..." I spent some time with that assertion. It speaks of the successful dance between sea and mountain...air and fire...because sometimes helping our clients to realize a dream is just that challenging. Thanks for the thought and for taking the time and energy to share.

Feb 13, 2007 11:59 AM #39
Rainmaker
581,039
Neal Bloom
Premier Associates Realty LLC - Weston, FL
Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate

Colleen,

Great post.

Our main problem here is that the buyers are worried about the high property taxes and all the insurance issues.

I do not think it has much to do with interest rates.

If you look at past history...when interest rates were higher during the boom...buyers were still buying.

If the legislature can change the tax issue as they are in the process of discussing..maybe the market will take a u turn back in the favor of the sellers..I do believe the appraisal process is changing as well...most homeowners only look at the small picture...when they over price..they do realize the appraisal might not make it...

It is a big problem here and I bet you if they removed the property tax...all of a sudden we will see the saturated amount of inventory reduce dramatically...you watch and remember I said this.

Apr 19, 2007 11:28 PM #40
Rainmaker
363,855
Colleen Kulikowski
The Griffin Team @ Keller Williams Realty - Buffalo, NY
Creative Real Estate Solutions...
will do!   You definately make a great point for now...  thanks for the added insight!
Apr 20, 2007 01:10 AM #41
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