When you work in the real estate business, it’s not uncommon for people to ask you about the business. “How’s it going?” “How are prices?” “Been busy?” We hear it now more than ever. Naturally, people want to know because housing is a major barometer for the health and well being of our economy. The answers to questions like that can vary daily, depending on what’s happening for you personally. One day you may get an accepted offer on a great property and feel like you’re on top of the world – and the whole industry is too, right? Another day, you may be spinning your wheels to get anything accomplished. I’ll give you one guess what that means. It’s such an up and down business when you view it day to day. The hard part is stepping out of that context to share a larger picture with whomever may be asking. Let me give it a try.
The first two months of 2011 have been very active for us. People generally think the winter months – especially in a lakes region like ours – will be slower and more quiet than other times of the year. I will tell you that certainly has not been the case this year! Everything we do, everything we touch takes so much more effort to turn into something that it feels like we are working three times as hard for less pay. I’m sure that rings true for much of the working world right now. Nothing is easy. Sellers are suffering from and in denial about the lower prices required to sell their properties. Good qualified buyers have to jump through more hoops than ever with their lenders. And the weather has not made it easy for anyone to maneuver through the world. But this time of year is “Spring” for us. Sellers need to get their properties on the market now if they want to catch the buyers who want to close and be in their new retreat by Memorial Day. Buyers are out looking and have their wish lists ready. They’re giving us a pretty strong set of parameters and expectations for their property search. It’s been a bit of a struggle to find properties to meet what they want. We’ve seen a price correction here, but it’s not 1985 for goodness sakes! There are some good deals to be had, but finding the deal of the century for every buyer is just not going to happen. Even so, we’ve managed to put several buyers and sellers together in the last couple of months, giving us an optimism that seems to be reverberating throughout many sectors of the business world right now. So just in case you were wondering – it feels pretty good.