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Real Estate Broker/Owner with Ballard & Associates Realty, L.L.C.

After 22+ years of working in residential Real Estate who would have thought that I would have to learn the nuiances of the REPO. housing market to survive?  I happen to live in the economically challenged area of S.E. Michigan.  Our region has been decimated, in the recent past, with the continued loss of Auto Industry jobs and its related subsidiaries.  Our current job market and local economies are barely able to function.  This economic "pressure cooker" is just in the midst of exploding.  Our housing markets are a direct reflection of this downturn.  We have approximately 2 1/2 to 3 times the typical number of properties currently on the market with some local sales prices falling as much as 20 - 30%, or more, in the last year alone.  I have lived in this area nearly all of my life.  I have experienced the economic boom times of the 1960's and early 1970's.  I have also experienced the dreaded times of the first oil crisis and the closing of multitudes of auto plants in our region.  Economically we have been able to stay afloat, but just barely at times.  I'VE HEARD THAT THIS IS JUST THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG FOR THESE DISTRESSED TYPES OF SALES.

As we all have experienced, houses do sell even during difficult times.  However it seems that in our current market the large majority of the activity and sales are taking place on foreclosed and short sale properties.  What is that phrase, "if all you have are lemons...then make lemonade?" or something like that.  I have found it necessary to "squeeze a few lemons" and take a refresher course on these distressed types of transactions.  I pray that this market phenomonon does not last very long.  The Seller's are sick that much of their home equity/investment has eroded so quickly.  While many Buyer's are not totally happy with their "once in a lifetime" home-buying opportunity.  I mean the Buyer's are somewhat happy, but always seem to wonder if they had just waited a little longer, a better house or a lower sales price could have been found or negotiated.  The end results are ultimately less home sales at lower sales prices, with Buyer's and Seller's who are both somewhat disappointed or just angry with the world... everyone just seems to have a somewhat bad taste in their mouths when everything is completed.



Daniel Sundberg
Crystal Springs Real Estate - Kentwood, MI

Working as a Buyer's Agent in this Market will drive anyone to pull out all their hair.  It is still plausible to survive as a typical Real Estate professional, listing and selling homes, but you have to be very firm and blunt about what a home is worth.  As Far as buyers go.. I give them my credentials as someone who is a Study of the Foreclosure market, but ask for a buyer agency before i give them more than generic advice or show any properties.  If they really want to buy, they will... and with a signed buyer agency, they'll buy from YOU!

I have worked for 4 years in the West Michigan Area, and my father has worked for 32 years in the same area.

ps.. If you don't like a Buyer.. You can always FIRE THEM! =)


Aug 23, 2007 11:40 AM