It's a logical fallacy to figure that just because someone is interested in the outcome that they can't advise you properly - or that someone will advise you properly simply because they're not interested in the outcome.
Such is life.
I have given replies, shown statistics, explained graphs, and shown foreclosure relates articles, sites, and predictions that often say waiting is the better way to go.
Sometimes even the professionals have said not to buy now. I have seen a lot of good replies from pro and non-pro here. I have also seen bad replies from both types.
It depends on the question. If the question is factual and requires a factual answer, usually the consumer will receive valuable information that will help them. If the question is opinionated like this one, the consumer must use the discretion as to what conclusions to draw from the answers.
I know when I answer questions in this forum I am always seeking to be helpful and truthful. My assumption is that if I help someone truthfully and accurately that they may choose to do business with me and/or refer business to me.
Mitchell S. Feldman
Associate Broker/ Director of Sales
Madison Estates & Properties, Inc.
Office: (718) 645-1665/ Cell: (917) 805-0783
If you honestly believe that you can't get impartial advice on this website from Real Estate Professionals, then why do you look through the posts? I value my reputation. Honesty and integrity are very important to me so please understand that if someone asks a question that I will answer it to the best of my ability, regardless of whether it is beneficial to me or other agents or whether it is not.
I believe that most professionals who respond to these posts are honest and will give unbiased information based on their expertise and knowledge. If you don't like what you see then you don't have to look.
Real Estate really isn't an "us vs them" sort of thing, unless you want it to be. Most of us - virtually all of us - own real estate, have prospered (especially the older ones among us) from owning it, and for some of us, our real estate ownership has proven even more financially remunerative than working as a real estate professional.
If you want to know more about it, ask one of us. We are here, in fact, to help.
Check out my answers (and those of many of the others posting here) and judge for yourself.
However, let me address an aspect of your question/concern that needs clarification.
You're concerned that the only answer you receive might be "one that benefits the 'real estate community.'"
The fallacy there is thinking that there's one "real estate community." On the contrary, a lot of folks here have quite different backgrounds, views, experiences, motivations, and goals.
For example, you'll see questions posted about the advisability and pros/cons of lease-options. I'm a big supporter of lease-options. In the right situation, I think it's a win-win arrangement for both tenant-buyer and seller. There are other experienced, professional, knowledgeable agents here who really don't like lease-options. And that's fine. So, if you ask about lease-options, you'll certainly not receive one consistent answer across the board.
Another example: Selling FSBO. Most agents don't think much of most attempts to sell FSBO. Naturally, it's depriving them of a commission if the FSBO is successful. But they also recognize that most FSBOs don't know what they're doing. On the other hand, there are some on this board--some agents and some non-agents--who are advocates of selling FSBO so long as the seller does some homework first. Again, there's no "one" answer.
Another example: Is now a good time to buy? Some agents love to post statements along the lines of "Now is a great time to buy. Prices are good. Interest rates are low. Inventory is good." I guess that'd be the answer that would benefit the "real estate community." I tend to be a contrarian. The last time I answered that sort of question, a couple of days ago, I began: "No. Now is not a good time to buy."
Another example: The ongoing debate about whether the $8,000/10% first time home buyer tax credit was a good or bad thing. I guess the correct answer ought to be that it was a good thing. But there are plenty of us here who are arguing that it wasn't that good and it should have expired.
I could go on and on.
The point, again, is: You're going to find a real diversity of opinion here.
Hope that helps.
Just remember that all of us are consumers too. The information is free and it's up to the reader to determine if he/she wants to follow it.
As both a consumer and professional, I have been extremely impressed with the quality of responses I see on this board.
Does a doctors answers benefit just the medical field?
However...The majority of Agents are not coming to Trulia to answer Questions purely out of some unselfish desire to assist people IMO.
Trulia is presented to Agents as a Lead Generator and many Agents openly discuss Trulia being part of their Marketing plan because they are looking for leads.
Now I admit a good argument can be made and is made by some that giving Quality answers, being honest, helpful ect is the Best way to get leads but I would also say a good argument could be made that anyone looking through the Forum might decide a lot of Agents haven't figured that out...
For a Large number of Agents it is my opinion that Participation here is part of a Marketing Plan not some sort of charitable act or some desire to share......
Herbert the onus falls on you....Agents are selling Services and YOU need to know enough to shop smart, so read, verify and determine the Answer for yourself because the Bottom line is that as a Seller or Buyer you will be paying the Price for for any mistakes in Judgmental or incorrect assumptions.....
In reality you have not really asked a question here that you won't get the same type of answer, and the best answer will come from a real estate professional. For example, I had a home buyer who wanted to make an offer on a house based on a well known website. Although that site is a good high level guide, it does not value properties by the neighborhood and does do not use reasonalble comparable properties, meaning it uses it bases it's values by properties sold that encompass the whole town, different styles and data going back as far as 2 years which skews the value and in this case was a more than 30% less than the actual value. They did not get the property and by the time they wanted to put in another offer the house was sold. REALTORsÂ®, and appraisers use comparables within a certain time frame, and radius of the subject property which gives a more accurate range of value.
With that said, what is your question that you feel the answer was given to benefit the "real estate community" which there is no such thing, because whatever I do only benefits my clients and no per se community.
Ask me a question Herbert, Herbert - please please! I will give you an honest opinion. I can't speak for others, though I must say, imo, the majority of agents here really try to help.
I can't defend an industry (ie "real estate community).......... nor would I even try - nor is there a need to do so in this circumstance.
It might help if you posted a real question, and then judge the responses for yourself!
Wow - 14 answers to a "nothing" question - like the Seinfeld show - the show about nothing.
In a Q&A section, it truly does help to have a specific question.
Certainly the skeptic would believe that no true answer about real estate can come from anyone remotely associated with real estate, but, in reality, only professionals within our business (like any other business) have global information necessary to provide good answers to questions. Most of us refrain from providing specifics unless we live in the geographic area, but, most general questions can be answered by many of us.
Take me, for example...
Much of my early career in real estate centered around working with developers and creating communities. I worked closely with construction, designers, and landscapers. After 25+ years, I have a good working knowledge of construction and landscaping, and, most importantly, I can tell my clients what would be possible to do in a home and what may be too expensive.
The second part of my career was spent as a homeowners association forward planner and then, while working on my graduate degree, in a real estate law office. Nothing provides a better grounding in general real estate law and the pitfalls of real estate better than when you must see these differences resolved in court. So, another aspect of my abilities concerns reviewing documents and being darned sure to provide as much information and disclosure as possible.
Now, as a Realtor, I combine all of my past experiences into this career, and answer questions here on Trulia with that knowledge as the basis for my answers. I'm frank and can be alarmingly blunt--I'll admit that, and my answers do not always coincide with wanting to sell homes. My job, first and foremost, is to provide a service, and sometimes that service means telling someone NOT to buy or NOT to sell the home. My focus is on providing excellent service and not on my paycheck--I do really mean that.
Our jobs here are to provide a service whether that benefits us directly or not, and I'm proud to be a part of the Trulia community volunteering my time to assist others!
Ask us any questions, and we'll be happy to help you!
Grace Morioka, SRES
Area Pro Realty
San Jose, CA
Note that when a question is asked, how the question is answered is revealing about the individual professional. This should be an indication of how that person thinks, what they believe, how they treat others and those among their profession, their area of expertise, and so forth.
So whether you like or believe the answer to the question, you should be able to learn something about the profession and the professional.
Thanks for your question. I see you posted the same question 3 times. i time is enough :)
You've received some great answers below. If you have a real estate question, please do ask it as the community is here to help.
Have a good one!