What Mark Twain Would Muse About Today's Housing Market
I was reading some quotes the other day that were made by Mark Twain a hundred years ago and realized that many of them would have been profoundly brilliant if uttered today about the state of the housing market.
Now I am no expert on literary history, but I believe that Mark Twain was best known for his wit and satirical views of the world around him. I have therefore absconded 8 of his quotes and applied them to how I believe he would have viewed the broken state of the real estate market.
Mark Twain On Fact Checking
Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please
If I did not know better, I would swear that he was referring to the National Association of REALTORS. As you might have read in our previous posts condemning NAR reporting tactics, they are not real fond of reporting the facts in a way that gets people to understand current trends in housing.
Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect
Many years ago, before even knowing what I was doing, I followed this sage advice from Mark Twain.
Sadly, most real estate agents like to regurgitate whatever NAR says, so I often look like a pessimist in a sea of born-again real estate evangelists. But the fact is, I am bullish on long-term real estate trends. I just simply keep a close eye on the current reality.
Mark Twain On Doing The Right Thing
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way
I think there are (and have been) a lot of "real estate professionals" who have lost any chance of being believed again because they have falsely announced the real estate market recovery (or stated that no real problems were ever brewing in real estate).
I believe Mark Twain would have told them that they have publicly taken a stance, and it is one that shows their false pretenses.
The following Mark Twain quote is something I have found to be quite true:
Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest
I mostly get positive feedback from our readers, but quite often I get a real estate agent from another market stopping by to tell me they are astonished that I am ruining the Tallahassee real estate market by "telling consumers" that values are falling.
Others want to know why I "give away" my nine-page monthly real estate newsletter when others sell less-accurate, lower quality information. I do it because I think it is important for people to know what is happening in the local housing market, and I think enough will want to do business with an honest, hard-working real estate professional.
Mark Twain On Government Intervention In The Housing Market
Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself
Too funny, and well stated for the ideas that have come from our government to solve the housing crisis. I think Mark Twain would have supported my petition to become the Obama Housing Czar :).
It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt
How many people have joined the chorus of "now is the time to buy" instead of pushing for a faster remedy to the glut of distressed properties for sale?
If we took all of the government funds that were invested in "fixing" the housing market over the past five years and used it to liquidate the inventory glut, both the economy and the government would be sitting in a stronger financial condition.
Mark Twain On The Statistics
There are lies, damned lies and statistics
It is often said that we can make statistics say anything. Mark Twain would use the above quote to shame real estate professionals from reporting the way that they do.
The best example of this is the current trend of rising home prices and falling home values. NAR is reporting the former, ignoring the latter, leaving consumers to wrongly believe that homes are appreciating (follow this link if you want to know more about this shameful reporting practice).
Mark Twain On Decision Making
Denial ain't just a river in Egypt
Mark Twain might have uttered this quote in reference to all the homeowners who keep waiting for the market to get better, instead of solving their housing problem today. The total market recovery time could exceed 15 years for some price points, and that is likely 20% or more of typical homeowners lifetime. Don't waste your precious time waiting for tomorrow.
If Mark Twain were alive today, he would advise "Don't let your house own you, there are ways to solve your housing problems today!"
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