If you’re a real estate agent who struggled through 2011, you might be justifiably nervous about facing another year. What’s the market going to be like in 2012?
As you’ve probably noticed, analysts who try to predict an end to the housing downturn keep pushing the goalposts back: Some now say prices won’t start back up till 2013. And even then, they’ll only rise by an underwhelming three percent per year (through 2016). That’s the conclusion of the December, 2011 Zillow Home Price Expectations Survey.
And then there’s that ominous shadow inventory that always seems to remain—in the shadows. No one knows exactly how big it is—or how long it will take to unwind. But the CoreLogic Shadow Inventory Report for December 2011 states that for every two homes on the market, there’s another waiting in the shadows.
It all portends at least another year of sluggish activity for the industry.
How will you position yourself to prosper in such an environment? One thing is certain: If you don’t plan to succeed, you won’t.
Here’s a good new year’s resolution: Resolve to become indispensible to lenders and distressed homeowners. How do you do that? By becoming completely familiar with the one exit door that’s available to both: the short sale.