Sometimes it takes an experienced old hand to knock some reality into this jaded upstart. Yesterday I was talking with some "old timers" (in real estate parlance, that’s anyone who worked in the real estate biz prior to the frenzied market of the last few years.) I was talking about how buyers are coming up 3, 4, 5 or even more times to look at houses before making an offer; how they’re paying close attention to mortgage rates and monthly carrying costs; and how buyers nowadays have something called ‘budgets’ and are sticking to them; and sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you just can’t make the deal.
The old timer said, "David, you’re just experiencing a real real estate market, and having some withdrawl from the unreal market we’ve had the past few years." She’s right. Without the pressure of "better buy now or it will be gone", people do want to see a lot of houses, and want to be careful about their selection. Without the security cushion of rapid appreciation, they want to be sure they’re paying the right price, so that if they do have to sell in a couple of years they won’t take a loss. Buyers today aren’t looking to make a quick killing, but they are looking to make a sound investment.
I have to admit the last few years were a huge adrenaline rush. To be honest, it didn’t take a lot of work to sell a house. But it does now. Last weekend, I dropped by some friends after a long workday, flopped on their couch and sighed, "Man, I am really working for my money."
Welcome to the real world.