I don't think the posters you mentioned necessarily have anything against Real Estate agents overall. I too, have been accused of being "not so agent friendly" with some of my posts. But the issues I have is the fact that agents very seldom, if at all, talk directly to the economics of the current situaion. For instance, we all know there was an ABNORMAL run-up in prices of homes fueled by speculation, cheap, easy money and the sup-prime debacle. Of course, every agent on here will tell you "Yeah, but not in my back yard." But that just doesn't pass the smell test. Right now prices in the Hampton Roads area are WAY out of whack with incomes for the area. As Lori said, prices have DOUBLED since 2005 in this area. I'm sorry but that is the very definiton of a "bubble". I have read on here by some "professionals" that we just need to educate the buyer. It's not the buyer that needs educating, its the seller and the agents that REFUSE to admit we are not in the need of a major correction. Do I think agents are fully to blame for this? No, but I don't think they are blameless and there are things they can do about it. For instance, when a seller calls you to list their home for 320K they bought in 2006 for 220K, tell them "No, it won't sell in this market and I won't list it unless you agree to list it for 230K." And if EVERY agent did this, instead of having a bunch of listings sit for 10 months then we could all start moving this market again. To me, when I look at a house that's been sitting for 12 months I know right off the bat it is overpriced. And don't tell me "hey, it's got 45K worth of equity." I know that's BULL because if it did, you'd sell it for 45K more than the asking price you're not getting. C'mon people, it isn't rocket science!!!!
My advise to buyers...educate youself about the market and represent yourself when buying. The seller's realtor will start to work for YOU if you do not use a "buyer" agent because the seller's realtor will now pocket the entire 6% commission if the home sells to YOU. Now the seller's realtor works for YOU.
My advise to Sellers... Don't sell in a depressed market, where the marketing power of the MLS and realtors are necessary. Wait until the market is right and FSBO. Just like stock investments...buy low sell high, timing is everything.
2001? No, I don't think so. Take a neighborhood in VABCH and look at sales from 2001. The prices had nearly doubled in some by 2005. At that point, the market should have slowed to a normal growth but didn't. If prices went back to 2001, the homes that are on the market for $300 now would be closing at $125. If you look at homes in Ocean Lakes, for instance, a 3/2/1 1600 sq ft single family was selling for around $100-125 in 2000. Similiar homes are now selling (yes closing) in the mid to upper 2's. You may find a home in enough distress to negotiate the price down, but it's more likely to be closer to the 2005 levels.
June 01 - June 02 $76
There has also been an increase of new sellers in the New Year. Many of my newest appointments have been with sellers who are tired of paying the high assessments on their yearly taxes, and are not seeing the numbers match up with what they are bringing in rental income for these properties. So we have more options for buyers to choose from in 2009.
Good news is that there is a new wave of rosee buyers realizing the low interest rates and even making cash offers on properties priced to sell.
Hope this helps!
GSH OCEANFRONT REALTOR
You are way off on representation. The seller does not represent the buyer when the buyer comes without an agent. The agent represents the seller and the buyer is a customer unless previously agreed upon. The listing agent doesn't always pocket the whole commission, either. Oh, and the $25k difference in price IS a big deal to us. Having a happy client is one reason. If we sell a home and all the neighbors think that we haven't done a good job, we don't have any hope of doing more business in that area. Also, those stats are used against us when we are competing for a listing.
Some people can buy and sell on their own and that's great. Some do not want to. Sounds like you've had a bad experience and that's too bad.
I don't see them going back that far ever.
Unless you had to buy right now you would want to watch the inventory in the area start to decrease month after month. Prices are not yet done falling in VB and when they are it will be a gradual U shaped rather than V shaped curve, so it will still be easy to buy near the bottom.
The so called "Professional" realtors on here are generally a joke. They are high school educated sales people who spout the NAR tagline, "It's a great time to buy".
Ox may be a little agressive in his posts, but he is essentially correct.
Search for the "Is it a good time to buy?" thread with about 2,400 posts. Some good (and bad) technical info and realistic realtors bashing the crazy ones.
I'll be relocating to the Hampton Roads area in a couple of weeks and have been researching the market in that area for several months now and I have yet to see that prices are down. If anything, I still see sellers who bought at the top of the "bubble" in 2006 trying to make 40% profit selling now. Could you please show me some evidence of prices dropping?
Notice a pattern here from the "Professional Advice" that these salesmen/women are providing? Pure negligence on their part. Part of the reason why we are in the current situation. When they say that they are looking out for your best interest, rest assured that is not completely true. Enormous conflict of interest in this line of work, this alone should justify no trust in these salesman. Do some research and educate yourself is the best advice...
You're both absolutely correct. Well, aside from the double since '05, but yes double from '01 to '05. And I'm not saying agents don't have a bias. They definitely do, they want a sale... they want the commission. At the same time, a good (or should I say smart) agent always puts their clients first and their commission second.
I've seen a few of your posts and they are very negative towards Realtors. I value your ability to share your opinion (and am not a fan of used car dealers myself), but I'm curious to what caused this opinion? Did you have a bad experience with a Realtor or would you rather just not pay the commission? I understand your position and can even relate to it in some instances. Plus, you're correct in saying that it is possible to take a class online and pass the license exam and and pay for MLS and be a real estate agent with very little knowledge. However, to become a Realtor or Graduate of the Realtor Institute or Accredited Buyer Representation or Certified Residential Specialist (several professional designations) it take much more than just an online class... there are ethics training and strict standards and college level courses (in classrooms) and minimum transaction requirements (just to name a few) to qualify for many of these. And, yes, I can understand your point-of-view on the bias aspect of a Realtor here in these forums. However, a buyer using an agent to purchase is free (sellers agree to pay the commission) and public perception of for sale by owner properties is negative (all they see is "SALE") so why would you want to turn down the advice of an expert when in both cases they can save you money and get professional advice and support? I agree that you should always pick a great agent, but I disagree that all agents are dirty old salesmen.
Also looking at the question again...there really isn't a time frame put. But to assume it's talking about the here and now, my crystal ball says no. Unless we have a huge financial crisis and income falls by 50%, we won't see those prices here locally ever again. Just imagine if we did, people would buy up property so quickly and it would increase the prices right back up, simple economics 101 as I hear it put...
Youâ€™re certainly getting some bang for the buck here! Lots of good points and non realtor is making me accountable for my earlier statements and assumptionsâ€¦which is a good thing!
First you asked about Virginia Beach market valuesâ€¦Hampton Roads and Virginia Beach are not one and the same. Hampton Roads contains the 7 cities, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Hampton, Newport News and Virginia Beach. Today on the local MLS, Virginia Beach had a total of 3,642 active listings, not 15,000! Alsoâ€¦go to CNNMoney at http://tinyurl.com/5myj95 for the real numbers on our area and there you will find the median income to be close to $70k and the median home value to be just under $250k. As far income being relative to how much one can afford, that can only be determined by the amount of debt one has not the income alone.
Regarding the declining market, we have been in the current shift since August 05 and according to my sources in the mortgage industry we have already seen the worst of the resetting loans here in fact I have been told that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have had VB off the â€œdeclining marketâ€ status for some time now!
Mindy non realtor is right, supply and demand does rule here too however we are starting to see strength in the low end of our market around $200k and below. In fact I recently crunched the numbers and Bank Owned properties in VB are selling at 98% of their list prices which I found to be amazing. Alsoâ€¦I recently listed a Bank Owned home for a major financial institution and sold it in 23 days with multiple offers turning away 5 contracts! I agree with Drew...the investors are back in our market and are buying in our market heavily...that's a great sign! I just talked to another buyer tonight that wants to buy a townhouse for his daugther at the beach...he's a sophistocated buyer and is eager to pull the trigger!
I guess the big lesson here is your going to get a lot of opinions online from interesting sources from a variety of places with a variety of agendaâ€™s.â€¦Know who you are getting your advice fromâ€¦this is my market, I am trusted and respected in our community with lots of references available. We are not completely immune from the crisis at hand but real estate is a local business and there are many reasons why we are stronger here than elsewhere.
While Realtors do maintain a positive outlook on the market at most times. I, on the other hand don't list other peoples homes for sale, I buy, renovate and sell my own properties. I'm still buying which means I'm comfortable at where the market is in certain price ranges. When I stop buying, there is a problem. Realtors will always sell property, but if investors leave the marketplace it's time to watch out. Markets like California, Nevada, Florida, investors have left the marketplace or turn into landlords, those are the indicators to watch out for. Just like the builders, we know what's going on before many homeowners and agents do. So just stay in an affordable range and you'll be okay. Stick to a good school zone, and nice neighborhood and you'll always win out in the long run, sometimes a longer run than you might want. This isn't get rich quick, it's gain wealth over time.
The smart money out there is taking advantage of this "move up" market and trading up! What do they say in the stock market "buy on the dips"...well...we've got a dip!
This is the time to buy what you want for the long term and take advantage of the "market of the moment".
Got a house over $275k in Virginia beach and you will probably see a value decrease. Some dropping to 2005 prices, but financing is still low and more affordable housing is still in demand.
Hypothetically if you saw prices drop to 2001 levels while rents stayed high, you wouldn't see properties for sale, landlords would buy them all up, which would increase demand and inflate prices. So no we will not see 2001 prices, don't listen to Ethan or Bubbleboy locally!
Expect stability in affordable price ranges and wait and see what the economy does.
When investors stop buying houses, then be worried. But we're still buying houses, so things are okay. All the speculators are getting flushed out of the market right now.