How’s the market doing? Are homes selling well? How’s business? Anyone in real estate gets asked these questions all the time. The answer we all give changes a lot. It’s easy to answer most times. The more interesting question is the why. Why does it change? Why do folks buy things such as real estate, new cars, boats, four-wheelers and so on like they are going to quit making them? Then at other times you could barely give them away.
Over the years some of the “whys” given have been school starting, school ending, year-end, election year, vacation time, spring break, just to name a few. What motivates us to buy or not to buy most anything? Most of the time it is simply a need or maybe even just a want.
We have all read articles from people who have inside information that predict what will happen in the future. They predict the future “whys” and the “what” our economy will be like next year or even five years from now. To me, they are only guessing. Who do you know that can predict human behavior with any success?
When I was in the seventh or eighth grade, I wanted a stereo for my room. I wanted it so badly I couldn’t stand it. Not a need, but a want. Big difference. I mowed grass and bailed hay like most boys my age. But, I had nowhere near the $200 or so needed to purchase my new tunes.
Those of you that have been around for a while remember Duncanson Brothers Music Store. I think my uncle Dan took me there. I did not know the owner, or even anyone that worked there. Long story short, the owner sold me a brand-new stereo with speakers and an eight-track player for $15 down and $10 per month. It took me forever to pay it off! For this transaction, I was motivated to buy because of the terms. He made it easy for me to buy. I had a “want” and he made it happen.
According to studies, most homeowners sell and move every five to seven years due to a want or need. Thinking back, that’s been about right for me as well. We can all be motivated to move when our lives change. We get new jobs, our families grow, our families shrink, and new families are created every day. These life events happen to us all and change can come with it. If the market is booming or if it’s stale, these changes still happen.
Being a big fan of the Andy Griffith show, I am reminded of an episode where Barney starts selling real wstate. He’s a new agent and doing quite well. Andy overhears him on the phone making deals with some local home owners in Mayberry. He’s also doing this part-time job at work and on the sheriff’s office phone. When Andy overhears, he thinks Barney is moving. Barney says no way. He’s just helping other folks get the home they want.
In just a short time he gets two deals “cookin” just by ‘fishing in the dark’ with the Clarks and the Mortens. The Clarks are buying the Mortens’, and the Mortens will buy the Simms’ place. Andy said he didn’t know the Simms were even selling. Barney comes back with, “They didn’t either until I nudged them a little.” Barney concludes that everybody wants to sell if they’re only nudged a little. Andy disagrees strongly. He is one guy that’s completely happy where he now lives. Alright, says Barney, did you know the Williams’ house is available for sale? Now it appears Barney hit a hot button as Andy perked up with interest in the Williams’ home.
Barney brings up a third reason to ad to a want or a need? We just need nudged a little by someone else bringing it to our attention. Nudged by a very good offer presented to us? Or nudged with a life change that forces us to sell or at least consider selling our current home? In my opinion, Barney could be correct in his theory. Sometimes a nudge will force us to sell or even to buy. The market for buying and selling is not that complex. We may have the need to move. At times there are only a few of us that have the need. At other times, it seems like everyone has it at once. This is what the up and down market is all about. All of us have been nudged a little at some time or another.
So, how is the market doing now? If your home sold this year for top dollar and you then found your dream home to replace it, you would say it’s great. If you have had a home on the market for a few months and have had several showings without a sale, you say we are in a down market. The answer could just simply be that it’s a matter of prospective.
Randy Butler is a lifelong resident of Highland County and is a licensed real estate agent for Classic Real Estate in Hillsboro.