I am teaching a seminar today to colleagues in our Bar Association on “How To Represent Sellers In A Buyers’ Market”.
The seminar flier mailed to all members solicited questions from those planning to attend, and I want to share some of the questions and my short answers in this forum as well as with my peers.
Don’t You Think Most Sellers Today Are Unreasonable?
No, I don’t. Every homeowner has a different reason for selling, and many reasons don’t mesh with market conditions or prices. It is up to us to know what is keeping our clients from lowering their price or changing their closing date or fixing the problems, and maybe suggest alternatives, or most deals will fall apart.
I Am Attending But Don’t Understand What Is Different About This Market
Good for you! Many local real estate practitioners are finding their business is way down, not surprising when you look as the major drop in the amount of homes sold in our area since 2005. On Long Island, there are over 9% more homes listed for sale as of January 2007 than were listed at that same time one year ago. Stats say 59.5% of New Yorkers buy a one-way ticket out of the state, relocating elsewhere, which means the likelihood increases that sellers won’t be using our services as attorneys to help them buy again.
In most of my years of practice, I was “just” an attorney and counselor-at-law. Nowadays, to earn a living, I have become a financial therapist, marketing adviser, price psychologist, and outside the box (contract) innovator, all for the same fee!
Why Do You Think Buyers Are Staying Away?
I have a few theories, all based on actual conversations and observations. Some Buyers are just waiting to find bargains and are sure the market will drop further. Some Buyers are really concerned that any price they pay now will be undercut by other Sellers in the area who get more desperate in the Spring. And a lot of Buyers really don’t have the cash to buy, and have heard too many horror stories about people getting burnt by little money down and/or adjustable rate mortgages.
I still have many clients who want to buy, but a lot of them are approaching transactions in this current climate as investments, rather than as emotional expenditures.
Plus Buyers are looking harder and longer than in the past:
Have You Found The Peconic Tax To Be A Problem?
Oh, yes! If you’re a reader to this blog but don’t know about the Peconic Tax, write to me in the comment section or e-mail me privately and I’ll explain how this tax meant to preserve open spaces, passed by residents who voted to impose the extra charge only on future home buyers, is impeding many home sales.