So many homeowners have seen the summer market come and go without so much as a low-ball offer on their home. I am getting more email pleas for help than ever right now and most of these are from people who are really hurting and need help.
Since this is becoming more of a common theme and is occurring on a daily basis, we decided to video tape a recent appointment with a frustrated homeowner. This is not an unusual response from a homeowner after we discuss recent housing market activity in Tallahassee.
I saw this video before and it has been used to parody many different aspects of our current economy and it made me chuckle as well for the real estate market. But the sad reality is that the video accurately reflects part of what we are facing as we try to stabilize the housing market.
Homeowners are frustrated and need good advice. Many are getting good advice from real estate agents in Tallahassee, but some are not. In fact, the service that they are receiving is the reason is so sub-par that I thought I would include one Q&A this morning from somebody who has a home for sale in Tallahassee:
I have a house for sale in Tallahassee, listed with a local real estate company since the middle of 2008. During that time, I have reduced my asking price on four separate occasions and there has been no real action to speak of. I dropped the price twice at the end of this summer but have heard nothing.
I receive no information on how the house is being marketed, if at all. Unfortunately, I have no idea what to do now. My contract with the real estate company is over and my agent wants me to sign back up with them. Do you have any suggestions?
Every Homeowner Has Four Options When Wanting To Move
Just as Hitler found out in the video above, current real estate market conditions in Tallahassee are not so great. In fact, fewer homes are selling now than ever previously reported in the past 20 years. It is imperative that a homeowner work with somebody that they are certain has a firm grasp of what is going on in the Tallahassee housing market.
While the market is much slower than in the past, there is definitely a market out there. Homes are selling and the proper marketing plan can get a home sold in today's housing market. Every homeowner has four options they should consider when trying to decide what to do. They include:
- Sell The Home - This is the choice that many want to make. They have decided they want to move and would like to sell their home. Many just don't know how to sell a home in today's difficult real estate market, and that is why choosing the best real estate company can be the most important decision that they make. We all have friends in real estate, but choosing the best company to solve one's problem is more important today than ever before.
- Stay In The Home - This is the choice that many frustrated homeowners are having to make. The money that they borrowed (like Hitler above) is now more than the home is worth. Deciding to stay in the home for several more years will allow the market to recover, as well as the homeowner to repay some of the mortgage(s) down to a sale-able level.
- Lease The Home To A Tenant - This too is a choice that many frustrated homeowners are thinking about today. Unfortunately, many are making this choice without good advice from somebody who has a complete grasp of the current housing market. They do not understand the affect this decision will make on the value of their home, nor do they comprehend the true cash-flow situation that they will face. My recommendation if one is considering this option is to sit down with somebody who will walk you through five to ten years worth of cash-flow projections (and Listen!).
- Abandon The Home - I have advised homeowners of this as a fourth option for nearly 20 years, but 2009 is the first year that I actually have seen people choose to walk away from their homes! With the families absolutely needing to move, with no equity in the home and no capability of leasing the home due to negative cash flows, many families are having to make this choice. If you find yourself in this position, please know that there are smart ways to do this to reduce the negative impact on your reputation and your credit. Work with a real estate company that has a short sale department. Many claim they do, but few really work continually in the short sale business.
Frustrated Homeowners Have Options
The key to remember is that you have options. Get advice from the real estate expert in your market and then make a firm and steadfast decision on which option that you will take. Homes ares selling in today's market, yours can sell too. If you are up-side-down in your home, don't make the wrong choice hoping that some fool is going to come along and pay more for your home than they can buy from a competitor.
Making the right choice today will help you begin the process of getting your financial life back on track. For many, this is not going to be fun, nor is it going to be easy. But the sooner it starts, the sooner it is over!
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Joe Manausa, MBA is a 26 year veteran of real estate brokerage in Tallahassee, Florida and has owned and managed his own company since 1992. He is a daily blogger with content that focuses on real estate analytics and providing his clients with a tactical advantage in today's challenging market.