Q: I just read your article, “Why Homebuyers Aren’t Buying” and I wanted to offer an additional possibility. For us seasoned buyers, we have become corrupted by the current atmosphere of lending practices that are out there, and we probably influence the decision of new buyers as they set out to seek their first home.
There is a general consensus of mistrust of the professionals in this industry. They have not had good press, and rightfully so. As I attended the NACA convention last weekend and saw all the hardworking individuals in trouble with their mortgages and heard their stories, I was appalled. It is not just about being unemployed or having illnesses, some of these buyers were just deceived.
This legacy of deception that the mortgage companies have left in their wake is partially responsible for the new buyers hesitating to buy. Countless, empty properties and millions of embittered foreclosures cannot be good for the industry. This testimony cannot be good for business.
Homebuyers want to know that when they go to buy a home there is not going to be any hidden traps that will leave them in desperation later. Buying a home should be a happy experience, not a fearful one.
A: Thanks for sharing this insight. I think there is an enormous amount of fear in the American housing marketplace at the moment. Buyers are worried that if they purchase a house, it will fall in value. Sellers are worried they won’t ever be able to sell their home, or get out from under a home that is seriously underwater.
Agents, most of whose compensation is 100 percent commission based, are concerned that their ranks are shrinking (welcome to the world of Journalism). Those who are left are worried about perhaps having a fourth or fifth year where they don’t earn enough to pay the bills.
Fear is a terrible thing in a financial market. But those who are brave, who recognize that being able to buy a home that has dropped 30 to 60 percent in value with a mortgage priced a near-historic lows, should be very happy when this housing crisis ends.
But now more than ever the old adage still remains: “buyer beware.” Buying a home is not like buying a pair of shoes or a computer at the store. Buying a home has risks involved to it that are not common with consumer products. A homebuyer should be educated and knowledgeable about the homebuying process and homeownership.