Sunday, October 5, 2008

Surprisingly Savvy

For the last year and a half we have attended open homes when we don't have something scheduled on a Sunday afternoon.

Up till recently, I haven't been all that impressed with the Realtors we have met (yes I know, usually the junior folks looking to bring in business). Normally we get the typical "it's a great time to buy" routine. Sadly I often feel I know more about the local market forces than some of these professionals.

However at two recently open homes, bank owned homes in Serrano, we met very savvy and knowledgeable Realtors. It was so very refreshing to hear their take on the market.

In the past, maybe I was just looking for Realtor's that validated my world view......but these two guys, seemed to know the details of the broader market, and had some facts and data to back up their opinions. I am happily swayed by opinions that are backed with sound theories and data. Up till now, many of the Realtors I met rarely had much to back up their claims.

Perhaps its a sign of the times, maybe all the soccer mom Realtors have left the market, leaving only the seasoned veterans and business savvy. In any case, I was really pleased to have a real and honest conversation (up till now I only smiled and nodded, not wanting to argue why now is not really a good time to buy, especially at the price they were asking ).


Buying Time said...

Another thing I just realized, neither of their cards have their picture on it.

I never quite understood why Realtors had to plaster their picture everywhere. If you know your stuff, you don't need marketing gimmicks.

Patient Renter said...

Yes, this would be a good and welcome change. The thing that everyone tends not to realize is that Realtors are ultimately sales people, not economists. As bad as we've seen real economists' forecasts to be, the opinions of salespeople pretending to be economists can be that much worse.

I never quite understood why Realtors had to plaster their picture everywhere.

Seriously!!!! That has got to be one of my biggest pet peeves ever. I figure it's just one of those things that one Realtor did a long time ago, then others felt they needed to do as well, setting off a big stupid chain reaction.

BTW: This American Life had another great show about the economy (from the same reporters who did the Giant Pool of Money broadcast):

Jacob said...

I have started to notice this as well, somewhat. A few months back I had one tell me that I could get a $7500 credit to buy, I told her that it was a loan that had to be paid back and she asked me what I knew about it. I gave her the info lol, but isnt that something she should know.

I was at an open house on saturday and asked a realtor for her business card and she didnt have any. Forgot them, or ran out, or whatever. Didn't impress me...

Doolin said...

So, what was their take on the current situation?

Are there any Realtors that are advising not to buy now?

Buying Time said...

One advised us to wait till winter, the other told us interest rates go up when a new administration is sworn in.

Patient Renter said...

interest rates go up when a new administration is sworn in.

Is that supposed to be like conventional wisdom or something? I'm pretty sure a look at the charts would discredit this.

Buying Time said...

I was pretty skeptical as well....but once again, I don't bother to disagree....I just nod my head.

Wasn't saying they were perfect, but they were head and shoulders better than many others I have met.

I was more impressed with how he quickly sized us up and knew the type of home and neighborhood we were looking at. In my experience, not few actually listen to what you want...instead they often push what they like.

Paul said...

Pretty sad when the state of the competence in the industry is so bad, that we consider competency a rarity and are so surprised. The more agents that go back to working at Home Depot, the better for everyone.

Jacob said...

It is always a great time to buy... The first realtor that actually tells me it isnt a good time to buy and that I should just look for homes but definitely not buy fot at least a year will probably get my business.

Aidian said...

Just bought a (beat-up, foreclosed on, starter) house for the first time. I started doing my own screen scrape when I first started looking at buying, and between that and google I knew way more about specifics of the market than he did.

When I sold things for a living I knew this kind of information about my product. But this guy didn't, and, for the record, he's not just competent but better than average for a realtor.

It's helpful to remind yourself once in a while that Realtor is just a made up fancy name for used-house salesman.

radiophilejapan said...

Dear AB,
I've been snooping your site from time to time over the last few months, and I will start tracking it regularly as I approach my reconaissance trip to the area mid December. Thanks for the wealth of data and intelligent insights into the local real estate market. They will for sure help me a lot to choose right when time comes (second half of 2009 at this point).
radiophile, renting in Tokyo