Thursday, August 31, 2006

Good Market? Bad Market? It All Depends on Who You Talk To

In the past week, and especially on the radio show last Sunday, I've been talking with people about the current real estate market. Ask the man who just sold his house, and he'll say the market if fine. Ask the woman whose house has been listed for almost two months and she'll tell you the market is terrible. The truth is they're both right.

These days a house has to be priced right in order to sell in a reasonable time. The homes that are not selling are the ones that haven't had any improvements. Not long ago I talked with a man who bought his house two years ago for $345,000 and wanted to list it for $525,000. I thought, "Terrific! He must have made some great improvements. Maybe there's a new kitchen or a pool with a hot tub." But he hadn't - all he had done was paint. I had to tell him that the market simply will not support that kind of price bump these days.

But a house that is priced right with a fair profit for the seller and a good value for the buyer – that kind of house will sell in any market including today's. Good professional Realtors® are busy listing and selling, and calming the jitters that the public gets from reading scare stories in the press.

This is always a slow time for real estate. It's the last week of August. People are stretching out the final days of summer vacation, doing everything they can to avoid returning to "real" life. Children are starting school, and parents are concentrating on class schedules and new wardrobes, not on finding a new home.

So I tell my sellers, "Don't panic. Relax and enjoy the Labor Day holiday." Next week we'll all be refreshed and ready for the good market that is still out there.


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