Seizing Opportunities at the Moment of Decision

avatarthumbnail.jpgI’ve got this thing about elevators and escalators. I use both but also am prone to nightmares about either – elevators that work more like the Wonkavator, randomly shooting up or down or diagonally at warp speed (one reason you won’t find me on Tower or Terror EVER) or elevators that are spinning at 132 miles per hour as my foot dangles over a step.)

Yes, there’s a good chance I’m mental. I don’t deny that. escalator.jpgBut when you have a thing for something as simple as an escalator it gives you perspective. Where the vast majority of you step on without a second though, I always hesitate – both to check for any abnormal speeds (See? Mental.) but also to make sure my foot lands squarely and safely on a step.

It’s because of this that I almost never step on the first step available to me when I reach the escalator. Sometimes it’s the second or the third but there’s always a lag. And that’s fine because the escalator is on a theoretically unending, unstopping loop that will bring the next identical step to the place where the last one departed.

Many people buying Phoenix real estate often end up poised at the edge of the market, like me staring down the escalator, except there’s one significant difference – the market’s not on a loop. True, where one opportunity disappears another often appears but rarely is that opportunity identical to the one that already has departed. And chasing that lost opportunity usually is pointless because there’s already someone else who sensed the opportunity standing on that step.

I saw this most strongly in the fall of 2007 when the Canadians descended en masse on the Phoenix market buoyed by a dollar above par for the first time since the two countries settled the Oregon issue in the mid-1800s. Some purchased while others remained on the edge waiting for a more perfect situation.

For those who don’t know, the Canadian dollar slid back to around 94 – 96 cents within a couple of months and fell back into the high 70s-low 80s range in October, where it’s now expected to remain. Anyone waiting for the hey day of a $1.04 loonie are going to stand around waiting for that step to return for a very, very, very long time.

And the scenario continues today as buyers believe what they either were told once upon a time or listen to the national news and therefore don’t believe that the stairs are moving by a bit faster and filling up more quickly than they have in three years.

(If everyone read this blog then they’d know such things, but CNN still seems to get more hits on a daily basis than I do.)

Ask yourself this simple question and answer honestly … “what are the odds that I’m the only one who has spotted this incredible deal?”

Sales are at a 3-plus year high and inventory is at a 2-year low. Now more than ever, the opportunities you uncover need to be seized because if you don’t, I assure you someone else will.

Back in February I e-mailed several of my clients looking in Westbrook Village details of a bank owned home for sale there. One decided to make an offer and picked up a home for well under the going market value. Out goes the carpet, down goes the tile and the home looked several years newer in a weekend.

Since that time, I’ve had at least a half-dozen clients tell me “find me a deal like that one and I’ll buy!” The irony is, I did find them a deal like that – they just never wrote an offer.

It’s hard taking that step. Trust me, I know from personal experience (and anyone who has seen me in a department store can vouch for me … my kids probably couldn’t as they never seem to ask why I’m always three or four steps above them on the down escalator.)

But the only way to move forward is to thrust your foot forward and go, lest the next step not be what you wish it to be.

[tags]Phoenix real estate[/tags]

Jonathan Dalton

Jonathan Dalton is a 40-plus-year resident of the Valley and has been helping folks buy and sell homes since 2004. He can be reached at 602-502-9693 or info at