Friday, March 28, 2008

Earth to homeowners: time to move on

Last September I blogged that the house across the street from us had been for sale (well, had a for sale sign in the yard and a listing in the MLS) for 18 months. Well now it's the end of March and the sign is still there, so we are marking the 2 year anniversary of this neighborhood tomfoolery.

Coincidentally Dave Leonhart has a piece in the NY times on problems that homeowners have accepting reality. He cites an LA realtor claiming that "he has recently been saying no to almost half the sellers who have asked him to represent them. Their initial asking price is just too unrealistic."

Besides the obvious costs these folk are imposing on themselves, there is also an external cost here, isn't there? Aren't we waiting to see where housing ends up being priced so that we can resolve uncertainty and get back to the great business of America, getting in early on the next bubble with borrowed money?

So come on you would be sellers, suck it up and mark it down! Take one for the team; Team America!


Mungowitz said...

When we lived in Texas, 1986-1990, housing prices fell a LOT. We bought a house, put a lot of money in it, and then were going to move.

All my colleagues at UT-Austin said, "we know you aren't going to leave, not really. You will never sell your house!"

Sold it in two weeks. Had three offers.

The whole price thing....very effective if you want to sell something.

My mom was a real estate broker. She had a private rule: If a house is on the market for three months, and you get no offers, it is not really for sale at all. It is just a hobby for the owners, who for some reason enjoy having a sign out front.

br said...

It's not so ridiculous. I do the same thing with automated stock trading. I have sale prices set for all of my stocks, and whenever the market reaches that price, it sells. This is not much different, accept for the sign in the yard. Everyone's house is for sale, it's just that some people have thought about what they'd be willing to accept for it.

Mungowitz said...

br makes a good point, as usual.

So, to be more careful: The people who have the sign in the yard, who keep the house clean, who don't let the kids play on the floor, and who constantly change real estate brokers because they think the brokers are lazy, AND DON'T GET ANY OFFERS FOR SIX MONTHS, those people are crazy.

But it is absolutely true that my house is for sale, at this very moment. So are my cars, and my extremely talented sexual services. Feel free to make an offer on any of those things.

Simon Spero said...

``So are my cars, and my extremely talented sexual services. Feel free to make an offer on any of those things.''

So which is your favourite marquis; de Condorcet, or de Sade?

imaginarypolitics said...

House prices seem to have the same rigidity to falling as wages do. People might start to call for moderate inflation soon?.....