The Dog Days of May

avatarthumbnail.jpgIt may surprise you to know I don’t always put a lot of forethought into these posts. Or it might not surprise you at all. And that’s really okay either way.

The point is other than the weekly market update, most of the other topics are derived from the issues and questions that I am confronted with on a daily basis. Watching the Canadian dollar rally is cause for a post, as is every buyer’s inevitable confusion about the “great price” they saw for a property being sold as a short sale.

For the past month of so, the variety of questions has narrowed considerably:

  • What do you mean the short sale for $75,000 isn’t really available for $75,000?
  • Is this home still available (followed by “then why does it still say it’s available online)?
  • I know this is a buyers’ market (it’s really not, in most cases) so I can get this house for 25 percent off, right?
  • Do you have any more pictures?
  • Why is it every home I make an offer on has seven other offers already made?
  • Why can’t you tell me where the good neighborhoods are?

I may be oversimplifying and skipping a relevant question or two, but almost every inquiry over the past couple of months have fallen into one of these broad categories. Which makes for almost as thrilling reading as it does for thrilling living. Not to make it sound like a complaint … one of the reasons I got into this business was because I enjoy helping people learn more about the market in which they are buying and the buying process … but it does become a bit repetitive and occasionally frustrating.

For instance, this week there is a couple coming to the Valley from Canada. We will not be working together because they balked at signing a Buyer Broker Agreement, upon which I insisted. There are a number of reasons for wanting an exclusive employment agreement for the duration of a home shopping trip, especially a shorter trip such as they have planned. But one of the main reasons is I don’t want to have to waste precious time explaining why the poor information they receive from others is, well, poor.

Earlier this year I explained the reality of short sales to a buyer. He then went to another agent who told him how great short sales can be – great values, easy answers, short time frames … all bunk, by the way. And even though I can provide statistics, market data, anecdotal information, etcetera to prove this other agent was saying whatever they felt was necessary to get this buyers’ business, I was faced with an objective I couldn’t overcome. This agent had told him what he wanted to hear. Reality was no longer important.

And maybe that’s really where some of the recent frustration comes in. I find myself battling perceptions about the market and the buying process that aren’t necessarily correct. Often the only way to convince someone of the reality of the situation is to watch them fail once or twice (or more) in the buying process. Except then blame gets shifted back to the agent, even as we warned that there was not going to be a successful conclusion.

It seems it’s much easier to shoot the messenger than take the message to heart.

Hopefully that’s not the case for you, dear readers. For you have seen the answers to these issues over and over and over and over and over and over again this month …

We’ll try for some variety in June.

[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