When you’re hearing news about home prices remaining high, and mortgage rates skyrocketing, you might wonder how a real estate agent can possibly claim it’s a great time to buy. Or, on the other hand, you read that sales prices are coming down and it’s taking longer to sell because rates have gone up, it may make you question how agents can claim that it’s a great time to sell.
You might feel like agents always seem to be constantly putting a positive spin on the current real estate market and think they’re doing it out of self-interest. After all, they only make money if and when someone buys or sells a house, so of course they’d want people to feel like it’s always a great time to buy or sell real estate.
While there’s likely some truth to that—because agents wouldn’t be human if they weren’t concerned about their livelihood and industry—it’s not really true. If only it were that simple for agents to safeguard their career and earnings! But it isn’t.
The reality is, even if the field was full of the slickest salespeople in the world, agents couldn’t possibly sell people on buying and selling real estate merely to ensure they’re making money. All they can do is facilitate and help people who are buying and selling do the right thing for their circumstances within the current market and help them achieve the best results possible when doing so.
But in case it’s still hard to believe that agents aren’t just putting a positive spin for their own good, let’s break it down a little more:
1. They don’t create the market conditions
The real estate market is driven by the decisions of buyers and sellers, which are in turn driven by larger economic conditions, like supply and demand, mortgage rates, and how confident they are in their jobs and earnings.
When times are tough, like a recession, it changes things. But that doesn’t mean nobody is going to buy or sell; there are always people who need to do so. For example, you could say it’s a horrible time to buy a car because there’s a shortage of cars, and demand is high, so it costs more to buy one. But if your car breaks down and you need a new one, it doesn’t matter what the market is doing, you’re going to buy one.
Same with real estate. Sure, it isn’t usually as cut and dry as a car that stops working, but people have to sell or buy a house for many solid reasons in any given market, because their current situation isn’t working for them.
For instance, their house is too small, or they need to downsize to save money, or they’re being relocated out of the area for a job, etc. The people who need to buy or sell (for whatever reason) then collectively create the current market conditions.
Buyers and sellers determine market value by what buyers are willing to pay, and sellers are willing to accept, at any given moment in time. All the agents helping those buyers and sellers can only help each one of their respective clients make the best decisions for their personal situation at any given time.
2. There’s no such thing as a “good” or “bad” real estate market
The market is never good for everyone. That said, it’s never bad for everyone. But it is always good for some people, and bad for others. The job of an agent is to help people who need to buy or sell a house figure out if they’re in a position to do so, determine what their best move is, and get them the best results.
3. Why focus on the negative?
You can focus on the downsides of any market, but people who need to buy or sell at any given time don’t want (or need) to hear about why it’s not a good time to buy or sell. They need to know why it is a good time for them to buy or sell so they can feel good about their decision.
What’s the alternative? A universal statement that the market stinks and nobody should buy or sell? A complete standstill to the market? So of course they tend to sound like they’re always putting the positive spin on things. That doesn’t mean they aren’t aware of the negative aspects, or are entirely ignoring them.
Real estate agents may seem like they’re just putting a positive spin on the market to protect their own interests, but they’re not doing it simply to convince people to buy or sell a house so they can make a quick buck.
The real estate market is driven by people who need to buy or sell a house at any given moment, and there are too many other factors at play for agents to simply sell people on doing so.
They focus on the positive messages for the sake of those who do need to buy or sell no matter what the market is like, and then help those people make the right decisions and get them the best results when they buy or sell.