Buying and selling a property successfully is heavily reliant on information. Clients want, need and deserve applicable and accurate information for decision making. Period. In so many cases, people are excited into action based on what they believe to be good news. It must be correct, right?... It was on the news report... It was in the papers... It was on the Internet... so it MUST be right.
In fact, the difference between truth, hearsay, common understanding, educated guesses, misinformation and geographically sensitive information have become blurred in so many cases. Remember the party game called "Telephone"? after being repeated numerous times the story's last version is never the same as when first told. In some ways, the real estate stories ( be they accurate or not when they started) are often not the same when the client comes to the Realtor(R) to start the search or discuss listing.
We have all met prospects with impressions based on misinformation or incorrect interpretations of good information. Sometimes they have only part of the story. For example: some come to the table with the expectation of scoring big based on the concept that all properties can be had for way below the asking price because values are falling. did they have good information or were they at the far end of the "Telephone" chain? were they surprised to learn that frivolous offers were being dismissed and that many offers have multiple bidders and were highly competitive?... especially if the property was well presented and competitively priced to begin with.
Add to that the wealth of accurate information from the National Association of Realtors(R)s (NAR), statewide Realtor(R) associations (in my case it is the California Association of Realtor(R)s - CAR) and even county-wide sales numbers published in the huge metropolitan newspapers. While all are providing good information, the complexity of this industry frequently leads to misunderstanding of facts, and there you have the strong justification for using the services of a LOCAL Realtor to make things clear.
Let me put the some of the good and accurate information into perspective. NAR's vast resources and research are superb, as is CAR's. Both publish numbers and information that can identify trends, make sense out of macro economics and provide information that either gives hope or raises flags about the industry as a whole. Decision makers in real estate corporate offices, lending institutions, government agencies and legislators (among others) need these numbers and facts for policy and financial planning. This data is just what they need. Clearly, they would not make national decisions based only on what is happening only in Rancho Cucamonga, CA.
Conversely, a home buyer or seller with a specific interest in a home at 123 Any Avenue, El Somewhere, CA. needs to know what's happening LOCALLY. What is being accepted or rejected in the neighborhood? What are the local comps saying about this home's value? Should the client base their transaction strategy on what the national numbers on average for Atlanta, Boise or Bellingham? Absolutely not!
To show how good information may not apply at the LOCAL level, consider this one comparison, even though there are many:
"Months of Inventory" is an indicator of supply and demand. Generally, 6 months or more of inventory has defined a "buyers market". Good strategies should consider this number. But, the following May, 2010 "Months of Inventory" statistics for single family residences from different sources makes my point. My sources are Realtor.org (NAR's web page), car.org (CAR's internet site) and a compilation by me from the MRMLS of ten cities surrounding Upland, CA.
- NAR Reports 9.1 months of inventory nationally
- CAR Reports 4.6 months of inventory statewide
- 10 LOCAL Cities 2.7 months of inventory
This is still not the final consideration as inventory months vary within price ranges, withing individual cities and possibly within neighborhoods or zip codes.
The bottom line - contact a Realtor(R) and ask lots of questions before making assumptions based on what you read or hear. Maybe NOW is NOT the time to buy. Maybe NOW IS the time to buy. It all depends on your readiness, willingness and ability to buy... AND Proper use of even good information about the LOCAL MARKET.
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It's All About YOU! Brad Rachielles, REALTOR, Upland, CA
Brad Rachielles, REALTOR. Helping Inland Empire Buyers and Sellers with their Real Estate needs in the Communities of: Upland, Rancho Cucamonga, Fontana, Claremont, Ontario, Chino, Chino Hills, Pomona and La Verne, CA.
Web Page: http://www.BradRachielles.com