As the market is ramping up, we’re starting to find the beginnings of what I’ve referred to in the past as a new market trying to find its top. Every time a home sells for more than a similar one did say six months ago, the ceiling has been raised on the values of like homes. Yes there are those odd ball cases where a home sold for too many thousands above what similar homes have, but when there’s more than one or two of those happenings, there’s a notice given to those attempting to establish fair market values. There was a home I had on the market about three years ago which I couldn’t get any interest in due to the condition of the home and the not so sought after neighborhood in which it’s located. Well, that particular home would likely sell today if it were on the market—even with its lingering animal odors.
One of my clients has been working on getting a home back up to speed which had a very bad trailer trash tenant in it for far too many years. Having seen it shortly after that nasty tenant moved out, and then walking through it several days ago, I said to the owner, “Remembering fully what this house looked like after they moved out and seeing it now, I would say you resurrected it to a point where any first time buyer in our market now would jump at the chance of owning it.” When walking away, I knew my words weren’t fully appreciated because if you’re not out in the trenches every day and seeing what some of those rickety homes are being sold to first time buyers, one really doesn’t understand what our current market is like.
The staging of homes with their pasteboard boxes for beds and oddly different room settings make for surrealistic environments to where one thinks, “What’s the real owner’s stuff and what belongs to the stager?” It’s a brave new world out there that’s getting all the more muddied by the “mirage” mentalities to where what’s being displayed, indeed isn’t real. It’s no wonder why so many buyers cannot think or envision for themselves in those “blank canvas” vacant homes when there’s so many faux presentations offered to them. It’s all beginning to remind me of the movie The Minority Report where eye contact with a computer makes you vulnerable to specific offerings that are instantly given due to all your cloud-stored background information.
It’s very interesting how insurance companies know when your current insurance premium renewal is taking place and bombarding you with info-sales. Credit card companies somehow “know” if you’d be a risk or if you’re worthy of their best offerings. I seem to pay more attention to junk mail more than most and actually find myself confirming which big corporations are sharing information. The creepiest of happenings of late are the mailings going out to the elderly who’ve been in their homes for a very long time and receiving letters from prospective buyers wanting to purchase their residences. Several have said, “How did they know about my house?” My stern reply was, “The Freedom of Information Act has created a smorgasbord of opportunity for not so upright entrepreneurs crawling through our public records online and targeting elderly homeowners.” One of them said to me, “That’s not possible! Anyone wanting information has to go to the courthouse to get it!” I sadly said, “We are in the age of on-line in-for-mation and it will get much worse before it gets better.” It creeps me out all the more in remembering one of my exceptional college instructors saying, “Information creates power.” I never fully understood what he was saying until many years later. Most have no clue how many skewed facts have been gathered about us and into what socio-commercial pigeon hole we’ve been place.