Monday, January 26, 2009

What does your Realtor REALLY want ?

If you're like most of us these days, you're pretty cynical. You hear or read something and you wonder what the REAL story is. Is there a hidden agenda? What is the author really trying to accomplish?

Sometimes I hear people talking about the real estate agent they've worked with and it seems they think the agent is only thinking about "the commission". You know, I have been involved in helping people to buy and sell real estate for over 25 years now. So, I cannot argue with you and say that this is NEVER the case. But, I can tell you this... The majority of the Realtors that stay in the business really just want to help you with your real estate need. They get great satisfaction out of a successful ending to your real estate transaction.

Sure, they are doing this for a living, but almost all of them understand this:


It's that way for all of us. If we all strive to do the very best we can, we increase the probability of being successful. This also applies to our personal lives, from how to communicate with our kids, to dealing with others in our day to day lives.

So I guess, what I'd like to accomplish today is to encourage you to work with a Realtor you really trust. And when the counsel you get seems "unpleasant", remember the person you've picked to represent you wants the best for you.

Good luck with your real estate ventures!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Predicting the Future

"So, Steve... how's the housing market going to fare out ?"

A good question, but one, as I get older (and hopefully smarter!), I back away from. Or at least I try to be VERY careful as to how I answer it.

Side note: There was an article in the Wall Street Journal on 1/12/09 about a guy named David Lereah. He was the National Association of Realtors' chief economist. He was the guy everyone turned to to with that same question. And he got paid big bucks to answer it. So he did... he answered that question, sometimes without even being asked. And he gave his answer in fantastic settings like Hawaii, and Colorado and all over, while staying in VERY nice accommodations and flying first class everywhere he went. I have a signed copy of his book written in 2005, on my shelf at the office, "Are You Missing the Real Estate Boom" ... "why home values and other real estate investments will climb through the end of the decade- and how to profit from them"

Today, Mr. Lereah, is no longer associated with the National Association of Realtors (NAR). There are different stories as to whether he left or was told to leave. But his six figure stream of income from NAR is no more. In fact Mr. Lereah is struggling to adjust and trying to keep his portfolio in tact. The very house he lives in has taken a 20% hit since he bought it and moved into it. His life has changed.

Now, whether Mr. Lereah should be castigated for his faulty prognosticating, or NAR needs to be questioned on why they might of pressured Mr. Lereah into somewhat less than accurate forecast, is up for debate.

But I will take this from Mr. Lehreah's experience: DON"T TRY TO PREDICT THE FUTURE.

I have a very optimistic "feeling" today about real estate. It's my nature. But if a client is ready to purchase a $250,000 home today and turns to me and asks me if I think they can "get their money back" inside of four years.... well, I am very cautious with my response.

For single family home buyers... do your homework. Counsel with your Realtor. Buy a home that is TODAY a good buy. You're buying it because you want to live in it. If you're buying it because you want to sell it at a better profit than you could get in say, a certificate of deposit, or in the stock market, you are taking a risk. And that's OK, but remember it's a risk!

For investors.... crunch the numbers! But the same thing goes for them as far as future values... it's a risk!

Good luck my friends... And keep on rockin'!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A new beginning

I saw a comment on one of the internet sites that was covering the inauguration, "...finally it ends". I feel bad for that kind of attitude. Look, I voted for Bush. to say the least, I was disappointed. But, come on... this isn't the end... it's the beginning. Hope, enthusiasm, determination. Let's go!

You might be surprised to read this, coming from me, but you know what?


But there is a catch... The banks aren't as friendly. So there are fewer buyers. Fewer good buyers. That means, if you've done your homework... if you have spoken to a TRUE professional mortgage counsellor... you know exactly where you can go with your real estate search. You are a much more valuable commodity because there are still plenty of houses available. Just fewer buyers. So when you take your offer in, the seller and their agent are going to take a good hard look at your offer.

So forge on, just do your homework.

If you need help with this, you know you can contact me. or call 518-438-4511 x780 ... I'll get you pointed in the right direction.

God Bless America!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I'm Sorry

I have not been here since JULY!!!!

I started this blog with the intention of writing in it every day. Stupid. Even though I have a lot to say, it was very difficult to do. So now, what I plan on doing is NOT committing to an everyday thing, but to enter my thoughts as they cross my desk OR every couple of days. I will probably check in every day but I can't make a daily entry!

If you have a question or a topic you'd like to address on the blog, I'll do my best to get to it in a timely fashion.

I will say this though... if you ever have a question concerning real estate you can email me a note at

I of course will respond to that immediately.

I am looking forward to getting back to the blog thing, but I am going to put less pressure on myself to come up with a daily topic!

Thanks for checking in.... Steve