The HomeGain Advisors Group met last Thursday for its 4th quarter Web conference. The Advisors Group is comprised of real estate agents and brokers from across the country, many of whom have partnered with HomeGain since 1999.
The overall consensus of the Advisors during the discussion is that these are undoubtedly very uncertain times, and the majority of them don’t expect any change in the pace of real estate sales until the 2008 presidential election is over.
In fact, the current thinking is it doesn’t seem to matter which way the election will go. What matters is that it just needs to happen and we need to get it behind us and move on.
When asked by HomeGain General Manager Louis Cammarosano what effect the election is having on the real estate market, Mike Kollar, who works in the Seattle, WA, area, said, “my mantra is we need this election to be over”. In his opinion, it’s not unusual for an election to cause such uncertainty in a market.
Bill Eiseman in Virginia Beach, VA, chimed in, saying, “I see a lot of people just waiting it out. I prospect on the phone and people are waiting to see what will happen after the election and the 1st of the year. The mindset is 2009 is going to be better!”
The sense of most of the Advisors is that both home buyers and sellers are sitting on the sidelines, even more now so since the stock market mess became the big story three to four weeks ago.
The Advisors continue to be optimistic despite the turbulent economic times.
Both Barry Karch in El Paso, Texas, and Karen Breen-Elia in Chicago, Illinois, mentioned their business this year has surprisingly been better than average. Barry commented: “We still have growth (in El Paso) going on and I am optimistic next year will be a good year.”
Karen said in her market (Chicago): “I am having a very good year overall…the city market remains a little more vibrant due to so many people moving in. I do sense the buyers feel the prices are close to bottom and that the sellers will be so happy to have someone look at their property that they can offer ridiculously low prices.”
Most of these real estate marketing professionals have shifted their business models to adapt to the changing markets and survive the challenging climate.
Bill Eiseman said, “I have completely lowered my price range so that my inventory is geared to VA and FHA financing” in order to get the properties closed. He has also switched focus to first-time homebuyers so as to not have to deal with contingencies.
Almost all of the Advisors agree that there are numerous challenges with conventional financing packages in getting the loans approved, funded and closed.
The Advisors will next gather at the upcoming NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS (NAR) CONVENTION AND EXPO in Orlando, Florida, in early November.
Andrew Duncan of Keller Williams Realty in Tampa, Florida is the newest member to be welcomed into the 2008-2009 HomeGain Advisors Group.