New Year’s Hopes and Wishes

fingers-crossed.jpgIn honor of the New Year, we list 8 in 2008—wishes, hopes, dreams for the real estate market.

(1) The Long Shot: Here’s to hoping that the sub-prime debacle will be resolved quickly and amicably; that those in power who turned a blind eye or knowingly allowed this to happen will be tarred and feathered; that the ensuing housing slump/recession/downturn will turn around.

(2) Education/Edification/Enlightenment: A wish for all real estate agents not in possession of a Webster’s Dictionary be given a copy; that they learn how to turn on the spell check on their computers; and that all listing information be correctly spelled. One small example.

(3) Pet Peeve Pictures: A hope that each and every listing will include front, back, side, and multiple interior pictures; that the lighting on those pictures be ample; and that we don’t have to see cluttered counters and unmade beds.

(4) Complete Listings: I think all of us are hoping that all listing agents would paint a complete and accurate picture when filling out the MLS form: full address, no waffling on the number of bedrooms or square footage, no misleading “cute” or “charming” terms. Just the facts, ma’am. Anna did a post earlier this month that included some recent examples.

(5) Go Green: Kudos to all those builders and homeowners who are embracing sustainability by using solar roofs, double-paned windows, bamboo floors, eco-paint, and salvaged home parts. May they prosper in their attempts and may the green fever spread throughout the land. (For a list of Bay Area salvage yards, go here or check out the Green Building Exchange.)

(6) Homeowners Embracing Reality: We wish for every homeowner contemplating the sale of their home to “get a clue” and set realistic prices. This is, unfortunately, not a seller’s market and you cannot price your home as though it was (unless you live in, say, Palo Alto). Sellers need to be reasonable and rational if they really want to sell their homes. Here’s to them listening to their agents and pricing their homes appropriately so that they sell within 30 days.

(7) Clients First: While we are independent bloggers, we do have a relationship with Redfin and we have heard nasty rumors and seen scathing blog posts and comments that attack Redfin and their business model. Regardless of what anyone has to say, we do believe that Redfin has its client’s best interests at heart. They spend their time and resources researching issues that help their clients, such as The Real Estate Scientist, and continually update and make their search site more viable and beneficial to clients. Our hope is that everyone can just get along and work cooperatively in the new year to the benefit every seller and every buyer.

(8) and last but not least…Stabilization of Current Loan Rates: One can only hope, right? Loan rates may not be at their lowest ever, but they are reasonable in comparison to 1980s which had yearly averages between 10.19% and 16.63%. If they can stay in the 6% range, it will benefit both buyers and sellers, and that is a good thing.

A Happy and Prosperous New Year to all of you from the Sweet Digs Blog Team