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A Crisis of Confidence . . . and what we can and should do about it

By
Real Estate Agent with Ridgway Real Estate 40037375

We all know that negativity and sensationalism is what sells, and that is definitely what is selling in this tense economic climate.  It's clearly having an adverse effect, as we see panic-stricken consumers and investors sell off stock and remove deposits from banks, which only adds to our economic woes.   Because of this, I and several of my fellow Realtors, mortgage brokers, title companies, and even our local radio station, have been on a mission to boost consumer confidence in our local Montrose area economy, where we have not experienced the same real estate downturn as in other parts of the country.  As I've said to several people lately, if I weren't reading and listening to the news, I'd actually think we were doing quite well based on how well I've done throughout the summer and into this fall.   Fewer buyers may qualify now to buy, but in Montrose, our local lenders confirm they still have plenty of money to loan and good loans for the qualified buyer.   Real estate values have remained fairly steady since the decline began nationally around mid-2006.  It's actually a terrific time to buy real estate in Montrose.  And if one has to sell to buy, then it's a good time to sell, too. 

Just to make sure I'm not fooling myself, I have been reading and researching a lot.  I found some glimmer of optimism in Jason Zweig's article in the Wall Street Journal, What History Tell Us About the Market, which suggests investing now rather than waiting till we hit rock bottom will have its rewards.  This morning, on Face the Nation, I listened to an interview of Dr. Fred Bergsten, Director of the Peterson Institute for International Economics.  As he points out, we are in a "crisis of confidence."    Consequently, it will be crucial for our government, and those globally, to respond together, quickly and adequately to address the current crisis to boost consumer confidence.  So, my challenge, and plea, to all of you, my fellow real estate professionals , affiliates, and all business owners, is please help combat the negative media and  boost consumer confidence in as positive, realistic, and responsible manner as your real estate market  and economy dictate.  After all, so often perception is reality.

Posted by

NINAH HUNTER, REALTOR®

(970) 318-0086
Ninah@RidgwayLiving.com
RidgwayLiving.com

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Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

I can judge by my own market.  Our agents are writing contract, getting loans approved and folks are closing.

In smaller than historical numbers, but closing.

One thing I don't need anyone to tell me is that prices are very, very low.  We're back to 2003 levels and it is, indeed, a good time to buy.

 

Oct 12, 2008 08:54 AM
Ryan Shaughnessy
PREA Signature Realty - www.preasignaturerealty.com - Saint Louis, MO
Broker/Attorney - Your Lafayette Square Real Estate Partner

I agree with your assessments that prospects are scared and scared prospects don't buy.  The buying cycle on our projects has gone from 3 weeks/2 showings to 6-8 weeks/5 showings.  The buyers are still there but they are proceeding in a cautious manner.  Smart prospects need to stop listening to the pundits and the ill-informed.  I can't wait to meet the brother-in-law's best friend's friend whose ex-wife has a neighbor who used to work at a bank.  How idiotic is it take advice from a person whose sole qualification is that he or she can read the local newspaper or watch the 10 o'clock news and regurgitate some story about the Southern California, South Florida or Las Vegas markets.  Our submarket has grown in terms of total sales and median price for each of the past 10 years. The average per year increase in median prices is 18% - that's even with last year's paltry 6% increase.  And yes,we are up 16% this year.  So the simple fact is that not all markets are created equal.   If you want to see a good campaign to combat the negative news, see defythetrends.com.

Oct 12, 2008 09:17 AM
Konnie Mac McCarthy
MacNificent Properties, LLC - Cobb Island, MD
Broker/Owner - VA & MD "Time To Get A Move On!"

I also agree....I actually have stayed away from the news on purpose....trying not to get sucked into the negativity.... :

Oct 12, 2008 09:35 AM
Joe Adams
Major Mortgage USA/Branch Manager - Montrose, CO

Ninah, as you know from the little flyer that I sent to those unfortunate Realtorson my distribution list..... positive energy and a postive message is what all our clients need right now.....

Oct 13, 2008 03:56 AM
Associate Broker Falmouth MA Cape Cod Heath Coker
https://teamcoker.robertpaul.com - Falmouth, MA
Heath Coker Berkshire Hathaway HS Robert Paul Prop

I am moving this to a featured spot on the positive real estate news group!  Positively!

Oct 17, 2008 04:05 AM
Alonzo W.
Primetime INVESTOR - Alta Loma, CA
Mortgage Broker

Hey thats great , we should network, let me know thank you

Oct 23, 2008 06:22 PM
Toni Dorigatti
Jette Youngblood Real Estate - Logan, UT

This is a great blog! good work!

Nov 21, 2008 10:24 AM
Maria Morton
Platinum Realty - Kansas City, MO
Kansas City Real Estate 816-560-3758

Ninah, the Kansas City market is also still healthy. Slow but steady. Our prices are down only slightly in most areas. Enough to get a bargain if you're buying but not so much that someone selling is hurt badly. As you say about Montrose, this is a great time to buy. We will most likely not know that we have "hit bottom" until after the fact.

Nov 22, 2008 12:12 PM
Tracy Miller
Canton, MS
S. S. Specialist

Ninah, this is a great post.  You provided some excellent advice and you provided some useful links here.  Also, I agree with you here wholeheartedly.  There is just way too much negative talk on the news today, and it only helps to make us all feel worst, more depressed, and less confident about the markets.

Dec 07, 2008 12:18 PM
Harrison K. Long
HomeSmart, Evergreen Realty - Irvine, CA
REALTOR , GRI, Broker associate, Attorney

Ninah .. Thanks for this article. It's true tha we as Reaaltors and agents need to be positive, realistic and responsible, especially during this challenging time .. and help to lift consumer confidence.

Sounds of Irish .. Celtic Fiddle Fest .. Happy St. Patrick's day greeting to you.  http://blip.fm/~32l5r

Mar 17, 2009 04:39 AM
Kim Cameron, CRS
Better Homes & Gardens Preferred Properties - Town and Country, MO
Broker Salesperson, CRS

Ninah, well thought out...nice reading suggestions!

Consumer confidence is improving, 10 months after your post.

Jan 04, 2010 03:04 PM