Seemingly Conflicting Headlines Can Confuse Today’s Buyers and Sellers

Industry Observer CalBRE #01165532

Seemingly Conflicting Headlines Can Confuse Today’s Buyers and Sellers


Yesterday, I wrote a post Believe Me! I Know A Lowball Offer When I Submit It…. which told the experience of an offer from my buyer clients on a property which had been listed for sale in a very active market for about sixty days.  The property is Seemingly Conflicting Headlines -- Real Estate Newsin a terrific location and clean but no significant updates made by the longtime owner.  According to the listing agent, no offers have been submitted and there have been no adjustments to the original list price.   


Today, I look at the front page of the Los Angeles Times and see a story with the headline:  Price cuts point to a shift in Southland housing market where it is “revealed” that price cuts are indeed back in the active SoCal real estate market.   A couple of quotes, a graph and some anecdotal insights seemingly prove my point.  Then on the front page of the Business section the story of a newly built Beverly Hills spec home(yes, no buyer) at $85Million.  Yes, the timing may be right for such a home and the developer has more planned.


Two very different stories.


Yet both can be right.   Or are they?


Well, it depends.


Remember the old real estate axiom of Location Location Location -- well it goes beyond that...


In my market of Pasadena, the San Gabriel Valley and adjacent NELA(NorthEast Los Angeles) communities, we are seeing the same thing.  Multiple offers and properties selling for more than the list price -- lots more in some cases as well as an increase in the number of price reductions on properties that have not yet sold.


What’s a buyer to do?   What about the sellers?


The differences in pricing can be very subtle --- even in the same community, on the same street and when the property is a condominium --- sometimes in the same complex.    


If you are a prospective buyer or a homeowner thinking of selling in today’s real estate market, let’s discuss your needs, your wishes and your dreams with relevant, current information along with the emotional side of a real estate transaction.   I can be reached at 818.516.4393 cell.

Seemingly Conflicting Headlines Can Confuse Today’s Buyers and Sellers

Posted by

Michael Jacobs


CalBRE # 01165532

2065 Huntington Drive

P. O. Box 587

Pasadena, CA 91102

Call/Text:  818.516.4393




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Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Michael, I agree with Alexandra! Newspapers printing that would get the attention of consumer coupled with companies throwing out numbers and calling them values are not to be taken serious. There are so many factors that goes into pricing, well beyond location. Working with a local, knowledgeable Realtor® is a must. In Pasadena, the San Gabriel Valley and North East Los Angeles, that person is Michael Jacobs.

Sep 12, 2014 10:58 AM #13
Noah Seidenberg
Coldwell Banker - Evanston, IL
Chicagoland and Suburbs (800) 858-7917

That is the media for you Michael. They have to write about something in their area of "expertise" and they sure get creative. It is so hard to generalize like that too. 

Sep 12, 2014 11:26 AM #14
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Michael- Anyone could get confused trying to make heads of the headlines.  Sellers and Buyers should consult with a professional in their area.

Sep 12, 2014 12:37 PM #15
Lou Ludwig
Ludwig & Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC


So true . . . . the media is full of mixed messages to both the buyers and sellers.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Sep 12, 2014 12:46 PM #16
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Making a sweeping generalization about a region's real estate market is never good, but the papers need to report something.  Want to know about the Pasadena market?  Call Michael Jacobs 

Sep 12, 2014 12:50 PM #17
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Laura - thank you very much for your very thoughtful and nice comment.  The headlines get attention but those boots on the ground can prove or dis-prove market generalities that people can read, see or learn from Aunt Gertrude.

John - you're right --- I receive some many mortgage alerts on a daily basis --- I'm sure buyers or those homeowners who have not yet refinanced must feel overwhelmed.

Roy - good idea for the media to self-report.  

Beth - the devil's in the details...or so they say.

Noah - at least they are pointing out some of the trends we are seeing --- I never expect a full story -- they provide the concept for us to run with.

Lou - always has been, always will be

Chris Ann - thanks, I appreciate that.


Sep 12, 2014 03:52 PM #18
Bob Ratliff
Robert Ratliff Realty - San Antonio, TX
"Sold with Bob"

Good morning Michael, this is why consumers need to find a local real estate agent to go over comps and discuss their desired market. Consumers tend to believe what a friend said or something they read in the news. OH Joy for us. 

Sep 12, 2014 09:35 PM #19
Roger D. Mucci
Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092 - Euclid, OH
Lets shake things up at your home today!

The media strikes once again, to confuse everyone and everything.

Sep 12, 2014 09:35 PM #20
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Michael, buyers will read the story about the price cuts and sellers will read the story about the spec homes.  Each group will be convinced that the market is shifting to their benefit.  

Sep 12, 2014 09:47 PM #21
Joy Daniels
Joy Daniels Real Estate Group, Ltd. - Harrisburg, PA

Because there is confusion, buyers and sellers can be easily overwhelmed.  They need Michael Jacobs to explain and guide them through the "mess" that media creates because of their lack of true knowledge.  Buyers and Sellers need to get their information from a real estate professsional!  Thank you Micahel for this post.  

Sep 12, 2014 10:51 PM #22
Joanna Cohlan
Fresh Eyes For Your Home - Chappaqua, NY
Designing, Decorating & Staging Westchester Homes

Michael, it is so important that prospective buyers and sellers hire a knowledgable Agent to explain the nuances of the market-only an experience Agent like you can really understand these market conundrums.

Sep 13, 2014 05:11 AM #23
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Bob - numbers can be interpreted in many ways -- sometimes we need to take a step back and reflect.  It's not purely numbers(science-based) or art(intuition) but a combination of factors.

Roger - I look at it as an opportunity to explain my views on the subject...hey - it provides yet another blog post topic.  

Gabe - and isn't that the truth?

Joy - a mess?  Ahh, it's a journey --- a real roller coaster sometimes.

Joanna - in any profession we need to separate and sort out all types of information that is "out there" ultimately, the principals in the transaction will decide whether there will be a conclusion between the parties or not.  



Sep 13, 2014 05:19 AM #24
Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

There are parts of the Nashville area still experiencing a buyer's market. I tell buyers that real estate is local and that means the same city, neighborhood or even price. They can't judge our market by something going on in another.

Sep 13, 2014 05:23 AM #25
Fred Griffin, on leave of absence from ActiveRain
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

     Agents complain about Zillow and their zestimates - but the News media does much more harm.  

     For example, here in Tallahassee, half of the listings in the MLS expire; half of the Listings that go "under contract" never make it to Closing.

     But when you meet with potential Sellers, they tell you "But I heard on NPR... but I saw in the Newspaper... prices are going up, there is a shortage of Buyers."


Sep 13, 2014 06:53 AM #26
Sharon Lee
Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance - Jonesborough, TN
Retired and loving life

Michael-Trouble with the media is that they are often time biased. The best way to know the market in a particular area is to find an experienced and knowledgeable realtor and in my estimation for your areas there is NO ONE better qualified and that is just a fact.

Sep 13, 2014 07:56 AM #27
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Tammie - and in some subdivisions of seemingly "alike" and "identical models" -- there can be differences in a view or an upgrade(or any number of reasons that are not so subtle).

Fred - 50% expireds --- that's an incredible number -- I've never worked the expired listing market to any extent but in Talahassee I bet that is a huge business.

Sharon - some people will only read the headline but if you read carefully you can see there is often a chance to read between-the-lines -- smart buyers and sellers(and those thinking about it) will stop and say -- "there's more to the story"... not just in real estate but everything, right?





Sep 13, 2014 01:29 PM #28
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Michael I never focus on the headlines, rather I focus on the rest of the story...and then I do my research...Just recently I did a Market Analysis of Bel Air and nothing like what the media or even I perceived. Prices still increased and Days on Market decreased in the 90077 zip code...So this might motivate me to do  a Market Report of Beverly Hills as well...

Sep 13, 2014 04:51 PM #29
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Endre Barath, Jr. - you make an excellent point regarding pulling together the data, background information and statistics for market reports.  There are sometimes differences occurring that may not be as easily noticed as we may think.   I feel compiling market reports/updates on a consistent basis provide something to always talk about when people ask -- how's the market?

Sep 13, 2014 06:14 PM #30
Susan Haughton
Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545 - Alexandria, VA
Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results.

I have read headlines that were contradictory of the article itself!  Reporters (what an oxynoron these days) interpreting stats and info about which they have no knowledge sometimes can cause this confusing effect. 

Sep 13, 2014 10:17 PM #31
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Susan - the reporter, as I understand it, does not necessarily and rarely writes the headline which is rather unbelievable in itself.  

Sep 13, 2014 11:42 PM #32
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