We all know that the media has had a field day with REAL ESTATE for a while now. While things are down, it's never as bad as the media portrays, and I feel that the newspapers are the worst. Big articles when the news is gloomy and a 2 line mention on page 16 when things are good.
With all of that said, here are some misconceptions in the marketplace. This is primarily for buyers as you are out looking at homes.
HOMES ARE ACTUALLY SELLING: Don't assume that if you find one that you like, that it will be available in a week or two. The good ones go quickly. In a market that is down 20%, remember that 80% of the people are still buying. Know the market well enough to recognize a deal and pounce on it when you find it.
CAN YOU GET A STEAL?: Many buyers feel that they have the power to negotiate way below asking price. This can be true sometimes, but not usually. Many people are not as desperate as the media makes it sound. The homes that look like true "steals' are most likely going to need lots of repair and work. There's usually a reason that the house is priced at $100,000 in a $200,000 neighborhood. (it's because the house needs about $100,000 in repairs)
NOT ALL HOMES FOR SALE ARE "DISTRESS" PROPERTIES: With all of the hype about FORECLOSURES, don't assume that they all are. Talk to your agent about tjhe difference in Pre-Foreclosure, Foreclosures and bank owned properties. Many people are still "testing the market" to see if they can get what they want. They don't need to sell, but would like to.
NOT ALL HOMES THAT HAVE BEEN ON THE MARKET FOR A WHILE ARE WILLING TO DEAL: It's interesting how many people associate "DAYS ON MARKET" to "LEVEL OF DESPERATION." They say things like, "It's been on the market for a year, so they must be really ngotiable on this price!" The truth is that many times the opposite is true. The house has not sold because they WOULD NOT NEGOTIATE. They may have had multiple offers and not willing to discount the home by a dollar, and lost the sale.
That's all for now. If you see a deal, buy it fast. Don't over-analyze the market. Look for the deals, but know what you are buying.