Why is there a need to label real estate markets?
By Frank Reali ………….
It seems that almost every time we turn around someone somewhere finds it important to place a label on the real estate market. Whether it is a buyer’s market, a seller’s market a changing market or a recovering market someone will find a need to place a label on it. Someone else will talk about real estate myths as if this is the answer to a buyers or sellers questions.
The purchase or sale of a real estate property, whether it is a personal residence, a second home or an investment should be determined by the needs of the buyer or seller at that particular time. While market conditions will play a part, just as interest rates do the real decision should be made by what is going on in the person’s life that dictates their next move.
There are those who speak of when the best part of the year is the best time to buy or sell might be. It is best to sell in the spring some will say because there are the most buyers out there. That would create a seller’s market which may not be the best time for a buyer to make a purchase. Someone else would say the best time to buy is when there are not that many buyers out there, maybe during the holiday season but would that be the best time to sell since that would be considered a buyer’s market.
The real estate market is in a downturn so everyone should dump their property but who buys in a down market. Ah, the market is rebounding so everyone should be buying but sellers may be waiting to try and recover some of their perceived losses.
Real Estate is a great investment because prices always go up was a great mantra a few years back. It wasn’t true since prices always fluctuated a bit depending on the economic pressures of the time. Someone else would say real estate is not that great of an investment since it is hard to sell quickly, when compared the stock market, so you should avoid investing.
With all these conflicting statements, concepts or beliefs that continually gain front page news it is a wonder that anyone really knows what to do.
Yes buyers and sellers have questions and they are looking for answers but to me what needs to happen is that everyone starts to realize that real estate decisions are a personal decision and there is no cookie cutter answer for all.
As a real estate broker I was asked a question many years ago, when is the best time to buy or sell a real estate property. Today my answer is still the same, when it feels right for you. It is pretty easy to say you buy when the price is lowest and you sell when the price is highest, now that was simple. Of course who will you sell to and who will you buy from if everyone subscribes to that mantra.
Most people make real estate decisions based on need. Questions like what do I need now and how will this improve my quality of life dictate many purchase and sale decisions. In many cases the real estate climate plays only a small part in the decision.
An apartment may be too small, a new child is on the way, a recent marriage is making things crowded; these may all be reasons for that first purchase. Maybe the starter home is getting cramped and you need more space, a good reason to sell. A recent pay increase may create the opportunity to explore a larger home, selling and buying. A job transfer or a decision to retire may be a great reason to explore options elsewhere. On a daily basis buyers and sellers make these decisions and come up with the right answer to the question; today is the best time for me to buy or sell.
Another question I was asked involved when was the best time of the year to sell since the person asking me was ready to sell but it was approaching the winter season and the seller had been told that no one buys homes during the winter. My answer was simple and still holds water today, buyers purchase homes all year round as their needs dictate and I asked the seller to think about one thing, here we were sitting in my office in October and no one was going to make a purchase until spring why was my office open? He looked at me and said, I see your point I just never looked at it that way. Sure they may be fewer lookers during the winter months, at least here in Staten Island, but the buyers who are out are serious and a serious buyer is what a seller wants to have looking at their home.
While there will always be a need for someone somewhere to label a real estate market, buyers and sellers alike need to be true to their own needs, true to their own goals and be responsible for choosing the right time for themselves to make the purchase or sale that will allow them to enjoy the fruits of their labor and enjoy life to the fullest.