Wednesday, April 25, 2007
In case America's real estate agents haven't figured it out yet, they need a new spokesperson because the one they have, Mr. David Lereah, has lost credibility.
After consecutively denying the existence of a housing bubble in 2005 and 2006, then later retracting and insisting in 2006 that a "soft landing" surely awaits the American housing market, then going back on his previous market hype to forecast a down year in 2007, but one that will still grow at historic levels over 2006 results, to then in February 2007 insinuate a recovery for the American real estate market, to today - forecasting a real estate market recovery only sometime in 3rd quarter 2007 following devasting news that existing home sales declined 8.4%, the worst sales performance for the real estate industry in 18 years.
By now it should be obvious to prospective American homebuyers, future home sellers, economists, mortgage lenders and even realtors themselves that the N.A.R. cannot be viewed as a trusted advisor any longer with respect to the real estate market. It's motivations are completely and utterly duplicitous. There is no interest in sharing with the public full and unfettered, objective housing market data.
The N.A.R. continues in April 2007 to promote the idea that today is no less a "great time to buy" than it was in 2006 or 2005 - despite completely different real estate market growth patterns, rising inventories, declining home values, declining home prices and heavily restricted real estate market financing conditions, not to mention completely different economic circumstances, not the least of which is the all-but-decapitated U.S. Dollar!
It's about time for people to quit their bitching and come to accept the National Association of Realtors for what they are. The N.A.R. is simply a pseudo-public relations organization for realtors whose sole motivation is to sell property and earn commissions on the value of that transaction. The N.A.R. is constantly trying to sell. Once that relational vector becomes well understood by the American public and the mainstream media, it might call into questions some of the assertions made by it's President, posterboy spokesman Mr. Lereah and its 1.3 million members.
Some realtors have been in the industry a long time and have worked their asses off, surviving by referrals through the roughest of markets. Before you select a realtor, I recommend you ask them what they did from 1989 to 1999. Many have obviously proved themselves, demonstrating strong business ethics, and have chosen to help people objectively. They know the ins and outs, and are even more fed up with the N.A.R. than the lay person.
But the majority of realtors, I submit, are unlicensed or poorly licensed, poorly trained, inexperienced, opportunistic, self-centered, easily corrupted, and dead-focused on earning that 6% commission check. To hell with convention, business ethics and regard for your fellow man, they want that commission check! How else are they supposed to make payments on that f*** off huge Hummer they drive around town with their realty website and cell number painted all over it?
Realtors are basically all about a business transaction. Many prefer to portray themselves as some sort of societal counseling service for America: to go that extra mile to "help you and your family find that perfect dream home - just for you. It's all about you".
Realtors want the transaction done and they want their freaking money! Period. And all of the stupid questions you ask, repair demands, price offers and counter-offers during price negotiations are nothing but Tourette's-inducing irritations obstructing the path to THEIR commission check.
The mere idea that the N.A.R. is somehow of help and "looking out for the interests" of prospective homebuyers and homesellers is so ridiculous anymore, it no longer is funny. It's infuriating. Ask the thousands of subprime homedebtors about their realtor experience. They'll tell you, and in detail, exactly how helpful they were in getting that loan to secure their dream house.
If there is a positive to the 2007 U.S. housing crash and David Lereah's repetitive PR goofs (read: lies) as to the U.S. real estate market's true condition, it is that some daylight might now expose the N.A.R. charlatans for what they really are, and might convince more Americans to show vigilence when selecting a realtor - or even first determining whether a realtor is even needed!
Remember today's quote: "There is no way to spin this news" - David Lereah, National Association of Realtors, April 24, 2007.
If that is the really case, Mr. Lereah, then perhaps you're no longer as useful to he N.A.R. as you used to be?