Thursday, September 13, 2007

Dallas Thinks; Therefore It Is

I admittedly don’t keep track of mortgage rates regularly. (I let my client’s lenders handle that part of the transaction) But while having lunch with a lender friend yesterday he said he is closing deals at interest rates under 6%! Yet people still want to perpetuate what a terrible real estate market we are in? It is getting more and more frustrating to repeat the same information to my clients here in Dallas trying to educate them about the real estate market. I guess I’ll continue to sound like a broken record by repeating the 2 main reasons why it’s a good time to buy.

1. Rates are amazingly low.
2. Inventory is great meaning buyers have a lot of homes to choose from. If you don’t want to get into a multiple offer situation then you don’t have to. There’s plenty of fish in the sea.

So I ask my buyers, “What exactly are you waiting for?” and here’s what some of them are saying followed by my official response.

“Rates might go down!” – Uh, like to what? 4.5%? I doubt it. Some people might be able to get a 5.5% interest rate but if it goes any lower than that I will very surprised. But think about the opposite. If you wait too long you might be looking at a 7% interest rate. If you want to play the wait and see game then you might get burned.

“Inventory is high and I keep hearing how bad the real estate market is so sellers should be negotiating down off their asking price!” – Do you know the sellers financial situation? In all price ranges sellers move for different reasons. If you happen to get lucky and make an offer on a home where the owners are getting a divorce and want to ditch the home for next to nothing then congrats. But just because there is an abundance of inventory don’t expect EVERY seller to give away their home to you because YOU think the real estate market is bad. And what’s the alternative? Wait until there is a small amount inventory on the market? That means multiple offers and paying top dollar. So let me know how that works out for you.

“I keep hearing about all of the foreclosures and pending foreclosures. Find me one of those!” – This is my pet peeve and I could spend an hour answering this but the quick answer is that there are literally THOUSANDS of investors combing the Dallas real estate market for foreclosure deals. So when a true foreclosure deal comes on the market there are multiple offers on the property for over list price and the investors are paying in cash which means they can close quickly. But your typical buyer doesn’t want to pay list price (they want to negotiate) and are financing their loan thus needing at least 20 days to close the loan. Which offer do you think the banks are going to accept? My advice is get over the foreclosures and look for a home you want to live in, not the deal of the century.

People don’t realize real estate is local and not dependant on other states. North Texas has been and is doing just fine. But the national media attention has crept into our minds and we can’t shake it. While pondering the phenomenon we are experiencing with everyone and their dog believing the real estate market is bad, I thought of a real estate analogy. There is a house in your neighborhood. Just your average home and the owners keep to themselves. Not many neighbors have seen the inside of the home but it looks to be in average condition. So one day the neighborhood gossip sees the For Sale sign in the yard and the owners packing outside. She skips over to offer her goodbyes and they politely invite her into their home. Meanwhile she sees a couple stress cracks over a few door and window jambs. “The home obviously has serious foundation problems and I think I smelled mold too!” she says to anyone who will listen. Then they tell someone who tells someone else – you get the point. Even when people are looking at the home neighbors feel the need to tell them about the problems the home has and therefore the home lingers on the market and sells for pennies. But guess what? They actually just brought down their own property values by spreading these untruths.

Dallas has bought into the woes of California, Las Vegas and Florida and is actually hurting itself by perpetuating the bad real estate market story. Our city does NOT have foundation or mold problems yet the terrible rumors persist and only time will tell how our own foolish beliefs will affect our real estate market. In the end we only have ourselves to blame.

1 comment:

  1. Good words Jeff!! I've been a real estate professional and top producer for 26 years. Last time I saw the market influenced by the media there was a real issue!! This time the worse thing the buyers could be focused on are the foreclosures,because people are paying too much to be involved in a hysterical auction experience all for a run down property!! Dallas-Fort Worth leads all the Huge Metropolitan areas in job growth,business opportunity,and real estate value. Dallas-Fort Worth buyers the best properties available can be bought in the normal market experience!! These properties are on the MLS or they are New Homes finished without a buyer or they are Relocation Properties owned by companies that want them off their books. The best there is is in your back yard!!!!!!