Rick Tabler, Both Buyer and Seller in 17043

"Things are picking up?"

Asked by Rick Tabler, 17043 Wed Mar 10, 2010

We have a friend of a friend who is occasionally at the same parties. Since early 2009 she has been saying "things are picking up". Last year we danced with an agent who also said the same thing, "things are picking up" (same phrase). We have a buyers agent who just last week said, "things are picking up (again)."

I understand that real estate is your food and shelter and you'd be depressed if you were anything but optimistic. In 2006 and 2007 you could sell a house for 220K, collect your 2%, and rinse and repeat week after week.

I'm asking for a little reality. 3.5% down payments on 250K houses are not a good idea for the typical 75K HHI. That's not owning, that's renting from a bank. It's not stability. I've got two houses sitting vacant next door for 1 year and one for 8 months with 0 sale signs and yellow bank "vacant" stickers on the doors as the damn bank doesn't have the manpower to get the foreclosures listed.

Are things "Picking Up?"

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Answers

11
Well this is a great comment and one that we could spend hours discussing but....I have seen things pick up in my market and am always hopeful of the sales that will occur in the near future and always tell someone the same if they ask. As for the homes with stickers and no signs they are known as shadow homes and are not listed for a reason. Bank have finally figured out that putting 100 REOs on the market is counter productive and may actually drive down the prices of their own listings. They list them in some small percentage and keep adding to the inventory as their property go under contract. It is normally very calculated and not the product of a lack of willing listing agents. I know its not helpful for your situation but that is more than likely what is going on. Good luck.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 10, 2010
This depends on who you talk to. I put my house on the market in 2009 and it finally sold in 2011 at little more than what I owned on it after buying in 2001 and putting in major improvements i.e., updating the kitchen and baths and the lower level. However, I was able to "buy up" into a larger home with more bedrooms (hooray!) and a garage (lovely) at a lower price, considerably lower, because the "move up" houses were not moving. So, if you own a house here already and have equity and you want to move up, this is a good time BUT you have to be prepared to SELL for LESS than what you think it would/should/could sell for. That's the bad news. The good news is that this area is not prone to house-speculation so we did not have the tremendous decline as in other parts of the country. The population tends to be cautious to conservative in the BUYING decisions but, trust me, when it comes to SELLING they want the maximum and are not above chiseling, misrepresenting, and/or doing outright fraud if you are naive. They truly believe in the "buyer beware" when it comes to doing business with you. Plus, in all honestly, this is a small market and the realtors, bankers, appraisers, and home inspectors have pretty incestuous relations. You just have to have a sharp eye and figure the people you are dealing with would pick your pocket for a few dollars if they could. Otherwise, this is a really laid-back area with nice people and some horrid people in SUVs that like to do "road bullying" as opposed to "road rage" you see elsewhere. I'd never move any closer to nearby Eastern cities but I surely do enjoy being close to them.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 9, 2013
In my office, the answer is YES. We are swamped. THe buyer traffic is heavy. But the banks are still the problem. Lending is tough and appraisals are killing us. So we are busy showing buyers houses, making offers, but we are still having problems getting financing.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 21, 2010
Yep, things are really "picking up."

The foreclosures are picking up. Now it's all "things will get better." Tell that to the people that rushed to buy in the spring who've seen prices crash another 5-10%. We're seeing prices come back to 2004 levels in the Harrisburg area. All I was asking for was a little honesty rather than enthusiastic optimism. Why can't buyer's agents ever offer that?

Buyer's agents should just charge a flat fee whether or not you buy a house.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 21, 2010
I honestly think it depends on who you ask. My office however had just recieved awards for 5 different catagories, gross sales, gross commisions, units closed, number office in Pa with sales and listings, and one other one. Of course awardsdont mean anything. I think it all comes down to dollars and cents, to be honest. I had my best year last year after being in real estate for almost 3 years. Our office has a bunch of foreclosures of course because that is really what we are seeing more of. But like I said I guess it just depends on who you talk to.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 7, 2010
Are you shopping for opinions that match your own? Well, you'll certainly find them.

In my view, things aren't so much "picking up" as "settling." Values have held steady since March 2009 - they haven't gone up, they haven't gone down.

If you've ever been an inpatient, however, you know that you're generally okay with being told that you're not getting any worse.

That's about where we are. In my view.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 17, 2010
February was the best month I've had since I started 2.5 years ago... and I was out of town for a week and a half ... I only hope the "busy season" is just as, or more busy than February was :) We'll see though after this Government Credit runs out!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 17, 2010
Hi Rick:

In a way it is true that things are picking up and, perhaps have been for some time. But they have been picking up in fits and starts and at a snail's pace. Sometimes things actually have gone backwards for a time before moving forward again. And there are no real indications that this will change soon. We can only hope that the pace of improvement will accelerate. So I guess the good news is that we are mostly seeing things "picking up." The bad is that this is slow and frustrating and uncertain improvement.

Best,
Ron Rovtar
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 10, 2010
Hi Rick,
Wow.
I understand the frustration that I hear in your voice, but it really is picking up! ;-)
For so long the media was reporting how horrible everything is, but the most recent reports are starting to show an overall increase in sales over last year & definitely the year before & prices have also increased in that time (though both sales figures & prices are no where near what we were doing at the height of the market).
Some areas are doing better than others & there are a few that are still declining, but for me personally I did well for 2009 & 2010 looks to be great!
There will always be a 'lag' between what is actually going on until a pattern can form to be reported so talking to those in the 'trenches' is a great way to gauge the market.
Good luck with your sales & if you have anymore questions, just give me a call (909-262-6221).
Have a great night!
Trevolyn
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 10, 2010
Ah yes, the shadow inventory. Well, the bank finally cleared out all the crap from the one vacant house last week and I got a chance to talk to the guys. They said they've been working 6 day weeks 12 hours a day cleaning out vacant houses in the area (central, PA). They are subcontracted through Wells Fargo. They said that they should have been winterizing the house before winter instead of after winter. Indeed, the hot water radiators cracked and had to be removed. The fridge was full of mold and grossness. It was terrible.

That's where I got the idea that the bank doesn't have the manpower. Although, it is interesting to learn that the banks are attempting to time the market. I'd think with 8,000 tax credits and 4.75% 30 year mortgages, they'd be dumping as fast as possible.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 10, 2010
To many times if you read carefully what is written is close to

"sales have increased but prices have decreased" followed by some blushing, and then "forget the last part, thinks are looking up."
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 10, 2010
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