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Friday, November 23, 2007

I can only imagine...

There were pictures like this one in the paper this morning, of people who've been camped out in front of some of the area stores, so that they can be first in line for the "Black Friday" bargains. I've also heard stories about the "good ole days" in real estate when buyers were lined up for houses and there were multiple offers on houses just hours after they went on the market. I even read a story about it getting so crazy in some parts of California (where else!) that people were submitting the equivalent of resumes with their offers, in hopes of influencing the decision of the sellers.

I can only sit back and imagine a market like that - a seller's market. We have been effectively in a buyers market since I got into real estate 5 years ago. I got in after the 9-11 terrorist attacks and truthfully things in America have never been the same since that date. I mark it as the beginning of the current decline. Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq followed and the economy turned south after that date, especially in Michigan.

So, I've only ever known a buyers market, so far as real estate goes. It's gotten a lot crazier this year, with the meltdown of the sub-prime lending market. We are currently in an "anything goes" market, with no offer being too crazy to present and banks dumping foreclosed houses for pennies on the dollar. The buyers have become conditioned to this market and are now a lot more aggressive than ever with low-ball offers. I'm still surprised, though no longer shocked, at some of the offers that the banks are accepting.

The real estate market beginning to feel a little like the furniture market. You've seen the TV pitches, "no money down, no interest and no payments for two full years and we pay your sales tax." Maybe we'll see homes advertised with "no money down, we'll pay your closing costs and no house payments for the first year." That sounds crazy, but don't think it can't happen.

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