Channeling my Inner Gekko

C’mon fellow Realtors.  Fess up.  Who doesn’t relapse into moments of fond reverie for those thrilling days of yesteryear ?   When greed was good. Liars loans were handed out like Halloween candy.  Transactions flowed like manna from heaven.

I catch glimpses of my inner-Gekko staring at me in the mirror sometimes.  He whispers naughty things .  He wants me to get up in front of all those Buyers on the fence and exhort them to get off their butts. Step up. Grab those low interest rates.

Wouldn’t a little bit of greed (for lack of a better word) do us all a lot of good in this impasse? Money can’t wake up if fear never sleeps.

But apparently, some Buyers aren’t ready to “buy in.”  They want to play the part without actually having to consummate the act – no matter how low rates and prices limbo down.  Content to reside safely in the bosom of their own fear.

The best way to avoid risk?   Call your worst fears something else.  Circumvent them in advance.  Make sure you always have a back door open so nothing continues to happen. Today’s Buyers have designed some incredibly creative hedges for the fearful baggage they’re dragging around:

BENEATH THE MEANS TIDE:  Get pre-qualified. Decide to buy $100k below that, just to be “safe.” Don’t worry, you won’t find any champagne on the beer budget you have.

DOWN-SIZE ME:   Leave a smaller footprint.  2br/2ba/1100 sq ft w/ 3 kids.  Keep trying houses on for size with that mental shoehorn. You want to save the planet but not at the expense of your sanity.

LIVE FOREVER:  A great ploy.  Resolve to live the rest of your life in the next home you buy.  It has to cover all contingencies until you die.  Relax. You’ll never find it.

THE IDEAL DEAL:  Make a list of 100 priorities.  Perfection for $500k. 3 bedrooms. Total privacy. Move-in condition. Huge lot. Great views.  You can stall forever because it ain’t there.

THE WORLD IS MY OYSTER: Bonny Doon to Rio Del Mar, rural to city, big to small, make your search parameters so broad that neither you or your Agent will ever zero in on something that fits your fuzzy needs.

BAIT YOUR SWITCH: Find your perfect replacement property first. Then put your house on the market.  Make a low contingent offer. The odds are in your favor that nothing will happen.

SHORT STUFF: Get into a short sale to make you feel like a real Buyer. Get out anytime.  Could take months to even get a first response.  No pressure to perform here.

NON-COMPETE CLAUSE: Vow not to participate in any multiple offers  – “on principle.”  Take it as a personal offense to a Buyer in a Buyers Market. If anything really good comes on, you are already out of the running.

WAITING GAME GAMBIT: Sit and wait for price reductions.  Wait. Wait. Wait.  Not doing something can easily be construed being “active” in this kind of market.

THE LOW BLOW: Wait until a big juicy price reduction arrives. Then offer $100k less the next day.  They’re sure to reject your offer.

THE CHINA SYNDROME:  Arm yourself with every economic factoid your analysis-paralysis can muster. When the right house arrives, simply cite currency pressures from the Yuan and blow the deal out of the water.

GROUND MEAT:   In case you actually find yourself in escrow, better have an exit strategy.  There is always an excuse to get out but it’s embarrassing to make an excuse that everyone knows is an excuse.  Better to grind on inspection issues. Big. Small. Just keep grinding until the Seller says good bye instead of good buy.


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