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Well we are running down the clock on 2008.
Who could have imagined that we’d be here at theend of this year? And where is here? It’s going to beat least 6 months before we can assess this place weare in now and begin to describe its true depth andshadowy dimensions.
There’s not enough data available. Only a
cacophony of apocryphal stories and a generalfeeling of malaise settling in to draw a few cluesfrom. The rest is hidden in whatever pending dealsare moving peristaltically through the escrowlaterals as well as through the interior plumbing ofthe hearts and minds of would-be buyers and sellersout there.
Is it real capitulation time yet for the sellers?
Are the fright and flight warning lights still goingoff in buyers’ heads like pin ball machines on tilt?Or are they warming up to anything other than thelowest of the low of the still growing fodder offoreclosure inventory. And if they are, is thereanything other than an FHA loan to be had withoutgoing through a psychological torture processworthy of GITMO interrogators?
It’s not exactly one of those times when you feel
like Buying the World a Coke and Keeping itCompany. More like one of those times where itwould be nice to slip a healthy dose of zoloft into theworld’s water supply.
By the time we’ve got right now, sorta, kinda
maybe figured out, we’ll already be in a whole newplace - halfway through 2009 - and it will takeanother six months after that to make someeducated guesses about what happened in thatchunk of time. It all just keeps going folks. We’remaking decisions on the fly. Life doesn’t stop atregular intervals to perform pirouettes so we canfreeze frame the moves and analyze the dance.
Real estate is a huge, unwieldy phenomenon that
drives unrelentingly through our daily lifes. Solarge that it can only be defined by trailingindicators and a lot of debate from the cheap seatsof after the fact perspective.
Speeding down the highway, sometimes we can
look in the rearview mirror and admire how far we’vecome by catching a glimpse of the horizon we camefrom. Other times we have to look in the rearviewmirror to figure what kind of road kill we might haverun over with that last bump in the night.
Forget foresight. We can only hope to avoid any
train wrecks that lie ahead around the corner whilewe rubberneck at the past, straining and craningour heads to size up the damage.
The Associated Press wire photo of Big Hank
Paulsen standing five feet away from CodePink co-founder Medea Benjamin as he left a recent hearingat Capitol Hill was a moment of eloquent absurdity.
Specially when accompanied by his parting quote“If we have learned anything throughout this year,we have learned that this financial crisis isunpredictable.” Ya think? Hank, appears to havewashed his hands and given up.
Since no one else is doing much of it, I’m going to
toss out a little advice. Pay attention to it or not. It’syour life, your house, your money and it’s yourright to screw things up even more if you want. Irespect that.
If you are going to sell. Get your house on the
market sooner not later. It may look better in thespring when the flowers are blooming - but yourbottom line sure won’t look better. In this market,you can’t sell anything halfway. Its amazing howmany homes languishing for mini-eternities areeither hard to set up an appointment to see or arebeing shown in less than sterling condition. Don’thandcuff your Agent. Make the sacrifice and letyour house be shown. At least make it look like youcare about how it looks, even if you don’t. Those area few things you can control in an otherwiseuncontrollable market.
Throw out the notion that TV shows, cover pages,
fancy websites, color postcards, huge offices,magazine spreads and open houses every weekend aregoing to sell your house better. That’s just the denialtalking - purchased by someone else’s dime. What willsell your house better is a better price. That’s yourdime for sure, so why go through the motions when somany out there are so far off. Yes, you may bemiserable, and yes, you have plenty of company.
If you are on your second or third listing Agent,
the next time someone comes to interview and sellthemselves with their big glossy brag book, don’tstart by telling them what you want to hear andletting them pretend to “buy” your listing. Listenand simply ask them to tell you the truth.
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