What one phrase has done more damage to the housing industry – consumer and practitioner alike – in the last two years? “I’m waiting for the bottom.” Buyers have been sitting on the sidelines, waiting for prices to hit their lows. Those REALTORS who didn’t just quit (200,000-plus of them did) similarly stuck their heads in the sand, waiting for everything to just blow over. “When the market changes,” was the favorite phrase of meetings, workshops, articles and convention speakers. A few out there – the Harneys, the Stavers, even yours truly – continued to plead for sanity. Nobody has Read more
Why is it impossible for anyone – REALTORS, banks, media or economists – to accurately describe what is going on in the marketplace? If buyers are going to feel confident about moving back into the market, we should expect all of these groups to be providing clear, verifiable market facts that back up the “best time to buy” sloganism thrown at consumers. Yet most of the punditry has left consumers – especially skeptical Gen X’ers and impressionable Gen Y’ers – more confused than ever. And with a few trillion extra dollars sloshing around the economy and gas prices already moving Read more
Like a three ring circus, the housing bill distracts the American taxpayer with shiny baubles. Behind the scenes however, the bill will likely destroy the housing industry and the careers of millions of REALTORS. Yet the moths continue to fly toward the fire, praising the insidious federal policy of giving away down-payments to buyers, forcing banks to write down mortgage principle, and protecting non-paying borrowers. All this , and more, just to set the stage for the big act: Commission caps for REALTORS. Really. Haven’t Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac done enough harm already? Remember Barney Frank’s “roll the dice” Read more
For some months, REALTORS have been fretting that buyers are “sitting on the sidelines” waiting for the market to “hit the bottom.” We constantly hear news reports with interviews of “savvy” sellers who are trying to “time the market just right” to get the most for their home’s sale while getting a “bargain” for their next home. Timing the market – to sell high, and buy cheap – is a strategy for buying and selling stocks or bonds. But when it comes to housing, it’s the entirely wrong market model. It’s time REALTORS started saying so.
Real estate professionals should be upset today. A terrible blow for the integrity of the real estate industry – for housing as a foundation of personal equity and wealth, for the rule of law in mortgage lending, for simply doing good for ordinary Americans – has just been dealt by the government. A so-called “great compromise” has just laid $300 billion – financed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – in bad debt at the footstep of the taxpayer. According to the Wall Street Journal: The legislation combines the regulatory reforms for government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac with Read more