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Trulia Houst…, Other/Just Looking in Houston, TX

Do real estate agents ever say, "now isn't a good time to buy?"

Asked by Trulia Houston, Houston, TX Tue Nov 27, 2012

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Rene Castillo’s answer
It is ALWAYS a good time to buy. When you deal in real estate, there are no "inventory clearance" or "black Friday" deals. We do not have balance sheets, budgets, or inventory tax. We cannot predict what the market will do, we can only speculate. When interest rates were at 4% everyone said BUY NOW interest rates cannot possibly go lower! But they did. If the interest rate was climbing they would say buy now before interest rates go higher. Same for property values.....if the value is dropping, buy now before it rebounds, if it is going up, buy now and gain equity. The right time to buy is when the buyer is ready. Real estate is a necessity to some and a business opportunity to others. Your real estate agent is just there to advice you with experience, knowledge, and a whole lot of speculating!
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 27, 2012
BEST ANSWER
Rrright. You don't have an agenda, but we do.

Uh huh.

Look. Understand something. It is always a good time for somebody to buy real estate, which why savvy investors are always - always - looking to buy.

When the market crashes, it's a bad thing; however - there are a lot of people who are glad that they bought, even at the peak, because they can go about living their lives in their own homes. We could have told people with toddlers, "wait it out, it will get better," and sometimes we did; should they have really sat on the sidelines while the kids went from three to nine bouncing from rental to rental?

I do have an agenda. I bought my last house in 2006. Would I have preferred to pay less for it? Of course. Would I have preferred to wait it out in the old place for six years going on seven until prices came down? There's a special kind of "No" for that.

Oh, and by the way - you are right about one thing, blue wicked burner - it is good to get paid.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 3, 2012
What the real estate agent is actually saying is "it is always a good time to make a commission". Ask anyone selling anything if it is a good time to buy and they all say yes.

When houses where selling for prices that were unsustainable and at the height of the irrational buying time (bubble) real estate agents were telling everyone it was a good time to buy. The real estate agent industry has never acknowledged or accepted any responsibility for it's role in the housing market disaster although they were complicit in it. I was lucky and got out just near the top of that market so it isn't like there is an agenda here but really, anyone making a commission in a sale is the wrong person to ask.

When houses sold and resold within weeks for double digit price increases, agents said it was a good time to buy. If real state agents didn't know what was going on, then what about all that professional training, experience and skill they always talk about? It didn't matter because commissions were flowing like gangbusters and that is what really mattered.

When someone makes a commission from something you are buying or selling (buyer or seller agent) never trust anything you are being told unless you verify everything you are being told.

Trust is okay but only after verification. Accepting things at face value in the hopes that someone else if actually looking out for your best interest in the fastest way to disappointment at least and a financial hosing and legal liability at worst.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 3, 2012
I mainly lease and have been a real estate agent since 2006. I'm unsure if the prices of the homes is what destroyed the housing market. Maybe it was the lenders? Yes, approve somebody who only makes $2000/month for a $200,000. I believe that was the time of balloon loans? Of course, there was definitely some negligence with real estate agents as well. Loan approval has become much more strict since those years. There are good honest people, there are liars, crooks, thieves.... but how about ALL of the wonderful individuals in this world? I believe in God. My morals hold me accountable for my acts. Thanks you Jesus.
Flag Mon Dec 3, 2012
Debbie is right on point ... again. It's an individual set of circumstances, rather than overall conditions, that determine whether it's time to purchase a home. As often as not over the past few years, I've advised people to wait ... save some more for a substantial down payment; work on improving your FICO score; ... and I always end with the question, "Do you want to settle only for what you can afford right now, or would you rather hold off until you can buy what you really want and need?" Most folks on the bubble are disappointed in what they can buy at the moment, and generally wait a bit before seriously looking. Buying the wrong house, low interest rate and minimal down payment notwithstanding, makes no sense.
Web Reference: http://www.har.com/algeffon
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 27, 2012
You bet ... hope you've recovered from Sandy. Enjoy the blessings of the holidays.
Flag Wed Nov 28, 2012
thanks for the verbal high five!
Flag Tue Nov 27, 2012
Trulia,

It is not a question of "now" VS where and when? There is always a buying opportunity, it just depends if it fits my clients needs. Maybe one area has low inventory with prices up...not good for a buyer you would say. My job is to look around and see if there is another area with homes that might meet the criteria of my client.

Funny thing, that same low inventory and prices on the rise area might look like a great place to buy for a person thinking this area will appreciate in the future and it must be a good area because "everyone is buying there" VS the low priced community.

It is not always a question of the best finanical decision (although it should be up there!), but a combination of that with other factors. The "best time to buy" might be 3 years from now, but this client needs to move now! The actual question hardly comes up except for true investors. My job is to make sure my client is not overpaying the current market. We will try to predict the future trends, but also strees the economy will have the biggest influence on if they purchased at the "right time".

Mark McNitt
m 832-567-4357
Bernstein Realty, Inc.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 27, 2012
Ok, Trulia, I'll bite and answer this one!

Yes..........any agent with integrity, intelligence and honesty will say that if the buyer's individual financial situation calls for it.
Whether it is, or isn't, the "right/good time to buy" soley depends on that person's needs........ the timing........ and their circumstances - financial and otherwise.

It's not just about low interest rates or inventory or lower prices.

Seeing agents state, as a blanket statement......... "now is the best time to buy" annoys me...........
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 27, 2012
In general no, however that advice delivered to an individual on a particular home or particular financial situation is absolutely the right thing to do.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 2, 2014
The answer is no, real estate agents have never in the history of real estate, under any circumstances, ever said that now it not a good time to buy. Despite all the fluff that most agents will spin like "it depends on the individual" the realty is that if an individual is able to buy (in other words a bank will do the loan) then an agent will always say now is the time to buy.
An agent gets a commission on every transaction, so as soon as a real estate agent says, "now is not a good time to buy" they are no longer a real estate agent.

It's important to understand this because most buyers/sellers think that the only person they need is an agent and the agent is also going to give them good and accurate advice. Savvy buyers know when to buy. There are good times to buy an there are bad times to buy, the good and the bad refer to whether or not you are going to make or lose money on your investment in the short to medium term.

Depending on who you ask, the great "Real Estate Cycle" cycles every 12 to 18 years. Markets vary a little, and individual circumstances vary a little, but not that much. Basically prices go up, and then they go down. The most important thing to know is where we are on the cycle, and again don't ask a real estate agent because they will always say buy.

When a price for something like real estate goes up, there is a lot of optimism. The "value" of a property is essentially the price someone is willing (and able) to pay for it. Supply and Demand. As prices rise because of optimism, the market is on the "up" swing of the cycle. This is the time when you hear real estate agents say "buy now or be priced out forever!" bascailly insinuatiing that prices will continue to rise forever so get in now and get rich. During this time, now is ALWAYS a good time to buy, right?

Ok so then the market gets to a point that is unsustainable, people only make so much so unless wages rise with house prices (which they don't) it will get to the point that people cannot afford a house, the bank simply won't lend them the money. At this point you enter the down cycle, buyers won't (or can't) pay the high price tag, sellers who just bought at the top of the market refuse to loose money on their investment and you have a stalemate. In the stalemate, the sellers will always loose, because eventually people will have to sell their house (loss of job, moving etc) and in order to sell they lower the price.

This is the stage that real estate agents fear the most. As house prices start to fall, owners are forced to stay in the homes (ride it out) or sell for a loss. So what happens when the seller goes back to the real estate agent and says "I thought you said it was a good time to buy?" Well we all know what the agents say, they act as if there was no way to know this was coming etc etc. It's fueled by greed, greedy agents looking for big commissions, and greedy buyers looking to make big profits with no risk. But now is ALWAYS a good time to buy, right?

On the down cycle sellers go through all the stages, first denial, then fear, then desperation, then panic and finally despondency. At this point owners say "how could I have been so wrong". Well the answer is they didn't know where they were on the cycle, and they didn't know how the cycle works.

Unfortunately. you would think this would only have to happen once and people would learn never again to buy close to the top of a cycle. But that this point, when sellers are no where to be found, and house prices hit rock bottom, all the real estate agents start popping up out of hiding, and what do they say? Now really is a good time to buy! And for a short time in the cycle, they are right. But what now. The problem is you just had a massive crash, no bank wants to lend money, and it's very hard to actually get funded for a house, even when the prices are low.

This of course is when cash is king, and those who are cash rich can come in and get fantastic deals on houses, which they do. This then starts the upward trend, as more and more buyers enter the market, prices start to creep back up. Banks see properties becoming a safer investment with positive returns and they start lending. Optimism begins to build and there you have it the entire process starts again. So now is a good time to buy, right? Well, when that cycle starts it's only going to ride out for so long. Remember that a real estate agent will always tell you that now is a good time to buy, because they get commission regardless of what happens tomorrow.

Want to be a smart buyer/seller? Never listen to a real estate agent. Do your research, learn where we are on the cycle and buy at the BOTTOM of the cycle, sell at the TOP.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 30, 2014
Yes, if you find the right Realtor and the circumstances warrant such as response. However it's like a gold dealer telling you "now isn't the best time to buy gold." Have you ever heard such a thing?

I have suggested to some clients to rent first when moving to the area if they're not sure what community they want to live or which schools they want their children to attend.

The problem is we don't have a crystal ball to determine the bottom of the market. I can tell you this....never has there been the combination of the interest rates being so low along with the home prices. That to anyone says BUY NOW!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 4, 2012
As the previous agent answered, the only time I can think of that isn't a good time to buy is if the buyer's credit score needs to be improved or the buyer is saving for a down payment. Otherwise, its almost always a good time to buy.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 28, 2012
Historically speaking with low interest rates, home values just starting to rise (speaking to the market I serve) it is fair to say now is the best time to buy. We are just starting to transition from a buyers market to a sellers market which make it a unique time where selling and buying works well for both parties involved. Once we are in a sellers market, it doesn't mean that it isn't a good time to buy, rather a time when you have to stay focused on what you can realistically afford. Sometimes it is best to wait to buy. If your credit scores are low, or a low down payment as these can hurt you financially when getting a loan.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 28, 2012
If you're a real estate agent and you think it's a bad time to buy, then isn't it immoral and unethical to remain in the business?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 27, 2012
There is never a good or bad time to buy, the right time to buy in my opinion is when you are ready. One can never time the market or the stock market. So if you are ready to buy now,it is a good time to buy with interest rates at an all time low. Who wouldn't want under 4% interest? If I was looking now, there is absolutely no question I would buy now and take advantage of these rates. If I can help you with any of your needs, please feel free to contact me. Happy holidays.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 27, 2012
Depending what my client is looking for, I advise them to buy during the ideal time frame. When we're in a recovering market like right now, that advice does apply to most clients. But, for those looking for a particular type of property, there are seasonal variations in inventory and pricing that require some of my clients to wait.
Web Reference: http://www.archershomes.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 27, 2012
I have actually told clients in the past "not to buy, but wait for a better period of time in the near future." I'm not a used car salesman, so I want to give everyone the best assessment of when to buy and when not to buy. What's the point of hiring a realtor if they say all say the same thing.

The Houston real estate market has officially transitioned into a seller's market, so I would say it's not an ideal time to buy. Another factor which doesn't exactly bode well for a buyer is the fact that Houston's inventory is at a 10 year low. We currently have about 39,000 homes; a year ago this number was at 47,000.

As a consumer you should always ask your realtor to at least provide this basic set of data points in order to give you a baseline of the real estate market.

If you have any other questions please feel free to contact me:

Nadeem
Cell: 281-795-0715
nadeem@qrealty.biz
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 27, 2012
I know that I advise my mortgage customers ,only if I truly believe the loan is a make sense deal today and will be tomorrow . All of the real estate agents that refer business to me are true professionals .i do not know any realtor or agent who will not give solid advise because their business is referrals .
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 27, 2012
I only say it's a great time to buy if that is truly the case. I focus on my area facts and avoid national statistics. I've told buyers to wait if they need to improve credit or may be "house poor" if they purchase now...I'd rather they make a comfortable purchase.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 27, 2012
I love this question. As REALTORS, we are obviously incented to always say “this is a great time to buy”, but I would use the old stock market adage “buy low, sell high”. On the surface, you don’t want to buy into a market with falling values and rising interest rates, but just like a stock, it’s hard to predict where the bottom will be. I think that the question of it being a great time to buy is really too vague, because there are certain factors that are more specific that need to be factored in. Are you secure in your job? Are you really able to afford the purchase you are about to make? Are you going to be in the home for a short period of time, say 3-5 years and there are acres and acres of undeveloped land right around the neighborhood where you want to buy, which could mean when you sell, too much inventory is around you, keeping your sales price low?
The bottom line is, you need to look at more than the general housing market and determine if this is a great time for YOU to buy.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 27, 2012
I agree with Barbera. Everybody seems to say, "interest rates will never get this low." Yet, seems as though interest rates are lower this year compared to last year. Here in Texas, there seems to be a bit of an increase on prices of homes. Yet, interest rates are lower. Personally, I think we are about to see our economy improve. Spending seems to be higher. Does anybody wonder why gas prices are so high? Ever correlate gas prices with the economy? Spending? Your time is the best time to buy. When are you ready, financially?


Joe Cano - Realtor/Locator
(281) 785-5132
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 27, 2012
Thats funny.. We are sales people! But when would be a good time to buy?
What are you looking for?

Low rates?
Low prices?
A home in your budget that meets 80% + of your criteria?

I'd say if you can get those 3 things, it's a good time to buy.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 27, 2012
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