I've been talking to a lot of people this year about when they are planning to move. I get the feeling (and have been told by many) that many of our clients and potential clients are getting their real estate facts and advice by watching the 5 o'clock news, local and national. Is this a good idea?
We have a responsibility to educate ourselves and others about the realities and fallacies of our local markets. It's easier said than done-especially when the news media may get it wrong or overstate the negatives. A challenge to say the least.
One question I've started asking myself and others is "when your car breaks down, who do you call?" Interestingly enough, most would call their mechanic or auto club. When they need tax advice, they'd call their accountant. When they want to fix a broken pipe, they'd call a plumber.
We are the professionals in our local markets. We have fiduciary responsibilities to represent our clients with our utmost care. We work hard at it, sometimes even at a financial risk of loss. We know what homes are selling for because we sell them. We know what will sell and what won't. We even know what the seller can do to get thousands of dollars more out of their home if they'll just listen to us. Yet, when it comes to most of the ‘knowledge' the public gets, I think it comes from the media.
Let's make ourselves available and put ourselves out there with the truth about what's going on! For some people, it's an excellent time to move. For others, they should stay put. Some should remodel, some should refinance, others should rent. Some should buy, buy, buy. When we're sick, our doctor asks us to come in the office for a prescription. As similar professionals, let's help people diagnose their specific situations and make the appropriate, well-guided decisions that will be best for their real estate health.
So the next time someone says, "I heard on the news that it's a bad time to sell", ask them who they call when their car breaks down. Then be professionally prepared to offer them specific advice that will benefit them. Let's take the reins back from those that aren't the physicians of real estate!