It seems like when you work in the real estate field, you are bombarded with real estate news. Half of the email in my inbox every day is real estate news. I wanted to share with you how one real estate agent in St. Louis approaches real estate news because I think you might be surprised. Below are 7 thoughts.
1. Real estate news from other communities is seldom a benefit to me. Headlines say, “The Housing Market is Booming in Atlanta”, or “New Mexico Sees Double Digit Sales Growth Month Over Month”. This does very little for me. My market is the homes for sale in the St. Louis metro area. We have our own market factors as a community that is much different than New Mexico or Atlanta, or even Jefferson City. It’s best that I pay attention to our own market and not try to extrapolate too much from other places.
2. Predictions are silly. I once had a buyer send me a MSN article that said commodity prices would raise in 5 years and so houses would be more expensive 6 or 7 years from now. I’m working with buyers and sellers now. This is what I do every day. I need to know that repairs in a home we are selling are complete, and I need to know that my buyers have been approved for a mortgage. Worrying about commodity prices or expensive homes in 5 years isn’t the most pressing concern.
3. Three real estate agents will have three different opinions about the real estate market. The market is super hot, or the market is super cold, or the market is changing. I’ve noticed that this is entirely dependent on how the agent feels they are doing in any given period of time. For example, an agent who hasn’t had a sale in three months is going to say the market is awful, but picking up. The agent who has been selling homes for 6 months straight and might be tired says that the market is changing, getting more challenging.
4. It’s rare that the market is actually as bad or as good as someone says. Real estate news is typically written for the consumer and not the practitioner. For example, when house prices go sky high and become “unaffordable” for buyers, there are sellers that are making serious returns on their investments when they sell. In contrast, I’ve never seen news that says that home prices are too low. I can remember in 2008-2009, real estate agents were leaving the industry, but those of us in the industry still kept selling houses. Prices were lower, and buyers asked for more, lending was a challenge, but real estate was still being bought and sold.
5. Is this news or advertising? In real estate, it seems like there is a ton of crossover between actual news and advertising. For example, an article written about a national brokerage getting into an iBuyer program isn’t all that newsworthy. Knowing this information doesn’t do anything for me. It would allow the reader to know that there is more than one option in the iBuyer space. Similarly, there are always new products to buy in our industry. An article may report on how great a new piece of technology is, but if the writing doesn’t have any critical analysis, I do wonder if it’s a slick way to sell me something. While we should always question real estate commercials, I sometimes wonder if I’m seeing a commercial or an actual piece of news.
6. When a buyer is buying their home, I want to know any news related to that home. We get property disclosures from the seller for most houses, but they should be taken with a grain of salt. As an example, an older person who’s lived in a home for 40 years and hasn’t been in the basement for 6 months might not know there is a crack in the foundation. Yes, they should know, but my point is that we can’t read minds and we shouldn’t hold up the real estate disclosure form as some sort of unassailable document. There are also things that don’t have to be disclosed. For example, there’s nothing that requires the seller to disclose someone was murdered in a horrific way in the home. You can use google and type in the address though. Or talk to a neighbor. As a buyer’s agent, the last thing you want is the buyer to be surprised about an event where you could have had information. I can remember a home that we sold in south city where I found a news article from 1923 that the original owner fell down the front steps outside, hit her head, and died.
7. Agents usually weight experience or intuition over published news. Let’s assume you have a house that has granite countertops, beautiful kitchen cabinetry and tastefully updated bathrooms. I know that many buyers are looking for these things and that we can probably ask a little more than if we have a house that doesn’t include any recent updates or that the style isn’t exactly what people are looking for. I don’t need real estate news to tell me that. I experience it every day. To sell real estate, you have to know the product. In another example, you can usually tell how the real estate market is doing when you walk through a very large real estate brokerage. If there are a lot of people at the office, and it isn’t meeting day, market isn’t too hot. If everyone is gone and the few agents you see are smiling and happy, market is going very well.
Real Estate News Conclusions
If you are looking to buy your dream home in St. Louis, don’t get too caught up in the news. The good news might cause overconfidence while the bad news might keep you from making the purchase in the first place. Emotions can run high during a home purchase or sale, and it’s best not to add more information in these instances. At Deerwood Realty, you have an advantage. When you call us, you can stay focused on the transaction and not the general noise.