Are You Talking Yourself Right Out of Real Estate?

Real Estate Agent with Dockside Realty VA 0225142975

What do you do when you receive a call from a potential client and they ask you how the real estate market is? 

Recently I had such a call from a lot owner here at Lake Anna.  I told him the truth.* 

I told him few lots are selling especially non-waterfront, what we call access lots.  (We are selling a good number of homes on access lots.)  We have a very large inventory of access lots and the prices have come down to the point that he would probably be lucky to sell for $xx,xxx even though his lot has an assigned boat slip.  He would have been able to get perhaps $20-30,000 more for it when the market was hot.

This evening I received a call from a potential buyer looking for investment property at Lake Anna.  Helake anna waterfront homes only wanted to buy a waterfront home to rent out.  The requirement was that the rental income cover his monthly expenses, mortagage and taxes.  Putting the minimum down, the mortgage payments would be quite high. 

Waterfront homes begin around $500,000 and go up to over $2,000.000. The caller was looking for a waterfront foreclosure thinking we might have a number of those and they would now be priced very low.  Well, thank goodness, that is not the case. 

There are a number of beautiful waterfront homes now on the market priced well below what they could have sold for when the market was very busy.  However, they are still nowhere near "fire sale" prices.  I do not know of any properties here that will fit his requirements and I told him so.**

There are certainly investment possibilities here if the buyer is able to take the long view.  Buying now at reduced prices and holding it until the market peaks again will net them a fine return but it is not going to happen overnight.

  • How is the situation where you are and how do you respond to sellers?
  • When buyers ask you if the bottom has hit yet what do you say?
  • Do you find yourself talking yourself out of listings?
  • Or working with buyers?

I believe I am very optimistic about real estate.  I could not have been in it all these years through this downturn and the others I've experienced if that was not the case.  Nevertheless, I do not want to give a false impression either.  Sometimes that means turning away "business."

*At the end of our conversation, Mr. Seller thanked me for my honesty and said for me to call him when I thought it would be a good time for him to sell. 

**Mr. Buyer said he would save my number and call me when he is able to buy a waterfront home for his family.




If you or someone you know is thinking of buying or selling property at or near Lake Anna, please contact Kathleen "Kate" Elim.  Kate lives at Lake Anna, knows Lake Anna, loves Lake Anna, and specializes in Lake Anna area real estate. 

Call Kate at 540-226-1964 or by e-mail at Be sure to check Kate's Web sites  and blog at or

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Adam Brett
The Adam and Eric Group - Fullerton, CA
The Adam and Eric Group, Fullerton's Finest

I never predict the market only try to find out if it is the right time for each client.  They all have different needs and capabilities.

Jun 19, 2008 10:41 AM #1
Rich Mielke
REMAX Results, Frederick MD - Frederick, MD
REALTOR, Frederick Maryland Real Estate

I tell buyers that interest rates are good, inventory is high, sellers are willing to help with closing costs, it is a great time to buy. For sellers, if they have equity in the property and are willing to get the property in the best condition to sell and price it to sell, it is a good time to sell. If they are short on equity or upside down and don't need to sell, then this is not the time to sell.

Jun 19, 2008 10:48 AM #2
Carol Perez
Tarbell Realtors - Upland, CA

Everyone has different needs so it might be a good time for one person to sell and the other to buy.

Jun 19, 2008 10:54 AM #3
Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

Every market is different and fortunately for you and Lake Anna the reality of what is happening other places in Northern Virginia is far away.

Jun 19, 2008 11:01 AM #4
Bill C. Merrell
Merrell Institute ~ Appraisal Education Network - Bohemia, NY
Ph.D. - Merrell Institue

Each market is unique. Keep up the good work!

I like your honesty.



Jun 19, 2008 11:07 AM #5
Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

Kathleen, I am like you and just present the facts, good or bad. The market is what the market is and is always changing.

Jun 19, 2008 11:32 AM #6
Cynthia Tilghman, Realtor® Onslow County NC Home Specialist
Kingsbridge Realty, Inc - Hubert, NC

Hi Kathleen,
The truth is what our clients deserve, whether it is what they want to hear or not.  Good for you, sounds to me like you gained this person's respect with your honesty. 

Jun 19, 2008 01:21 PM #7
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

I believe that honesty is the best policy.  If someone has a problem with the truth, then they should  work with someone else. It will not be a good fit.

Jun 19, 2008 03:15 PM #8
Debi Ernst
St. Charles County, Missouri - Prudential Alliance Realtors - O'Fallon, MO
GRI, e-PRO, Broker/Sales Associate

I like what Rich said.  That is what I try to say.  I think he said it better, though.  :)

Jun 19, 2008 03:44 PM #9
Joan Mirantz
Homequest Real Estate - Concord, NH
Realtor, GRI, CBR, SRES - Concord New Hampshire

Kathleen...The saying all RE is local would definately apply in a vacation area...they just don't make new waterfront...most people aren't going to sit around and wait for the price to drop!

Jun 19, 2008 04:06 PM #10
Sondra Meyer:
Star View Real Estate - Colorado Springs, CO
See It. Experience It. Live It.

Kathleen, I agree with you.  Honesty is the best policy.  The type of buyers and sellers I want to work with will appreciate that.  You never know, but he may tell someone else about his experience with you and you could end up with a referral. 

Jun 19, 2008 04:25 PM #11
Alyce Martin
The Realty Group, LLC - Albuquerque, NM
Albuquerque - THE Place To Be!

Kathleen - "Just the facts ma'am" - I tell people the truth, why do anything else?  I have, however, suggested to people that if they don't have to sell their home and they do not wish to adjust their price to meet the market that they say put.  You sound like a good egg.

Jun 19, 2008 04:39 PM #12
Adam Waldman
Westcott Group Real Estate Company - Hauppauge, NY
Realtor - Long Island

KATHLEEN - There is no point in being anything but honest with people.  If they still want to list in the current climate, at least their expectations will be realistic.  As far as the investor is concerned, all you did was provide truthful information about what the investor was looking for.  It's all part of finding motivated buyers and sellers.  Why waste time pursuing transactions that are unlikely to happen?

Jun 19, 2008 10:01 PM #13
Nannette Turner
Keller Williams Lynchburg - Lynchburg, VA
Online Marketing Home Ownership Advocate Specialis

Kathleen our markets are simular.  Folks call asking me for forclosures and etc... Sorry we just don't have a lot of fire sales. There are some but you must move quickly and have the capital to do so.  Real estate investing is not for the faint hearted and it is not as easy as the late night tv shows make it out to be.

Jun 25, 2008 10:34 PM #14
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