We read the papers and we hear the news. 2008 created records in real estate; unfortunately, they were not the type of records that we get excited about. The question now is will 2009 break records or level out. Are we at bottom?
What goes up must come down, right? For those of us in the real estate professional to those of us who bought and sold real estate there were some phenomenal years of gain. We saw appreciation reach unbelievable percentages in some states, we saw bidding wars hundreds of thousands over list price in other states, and we saw contracts being sold for thousands more than the contract was written for. We saw people buy a house today and sell it the following day for thousands more. We saw lending loosen to standards that meant almost anyone regardless of credit history and income could obtain a loan to purchase a home.
Times have changed! Don't we all know that we pay dearly for our mistakes? Honestly, did anyone really think that someone who has a history of paying no one will actually pay their mortgage? In the realization that lending was too liberal lending has been brought to being too tight and we are gradually seeing the choke hold loosened. They will eventually find balance. The increased inventory of homes has prices in a decline thanks to the law of supply and demand. They will eventually stabilize.
Real estate has returned to what it has always been. A solid long term investment. Long term being key. The days of owning property for one year and making 25% appreciation are gone. But there are still huge benefits to owning a home. And real estate over time builds substantial wealth. We have reverted back to the days where you actually need some money to buy a home. Imagine one actually needed to have a little money to buy a home? And the day has arrived once again where you need to have a history of paying your debts before you receive one of the biggest loans you will ever receive.
All of these steps are necessary to protect us in the future. Foreclosures hurt everyone! Declining values hurt everyone! Through this lesson there is opportunities for us all!
For Realtors, it is our opportunity to show our skills because skills are needed in a declining market more than any other market. Skills are needed to properly price property. Skills are needed to get a contract to closing. This market separates those that truly know how to sell a home from those that rode the ride of appreciation.
For Sellers, it is your opportunity to sell your home to move on to the next. Great prices and low interest rates make it an unbelievable time to move into a home where you want to spend the next 10 years of your life. Hire a great agent and you will come out ahead! Sellers who think about the purchase of their new home know that they will wash their losses and gain on the new home.
For Buyers, it is your opportunity to buy in the best buyers market on record... and with unbelievable interest rates. It is your opportunity to buy more home than you could two years ago and buy it for less.
The bottom line is that there has never been a better market for buyers period... and that means all buyers even those that need to sell. There are two types of people in the world... those that react when opportunity strikes and those that freeze from fear of failure. The saying goes when everyone else is buying, don't buy. When everyone else is frozen, buy. Warren Buffet is buying right now, Allan Greenspan is buying right now, are you?
Keller Williams Realty Atlanta Partners