"How is the Real Estate Market?"  This is a question you probably ask  or hear on a regular basis.  I know this is a common topic of discussion at any gathering.  Everyone has a different opinion, but what is the reality in the world of realty?

One must first remember that real estate is local, which means that every area, city, neighborhood, and street is different then another.  There are many factors that will effect a local market, and many markets are effected by the same national influences.  The number of jobs being saved or lost will definitely affect the stability of a local market.  Interest rates may hurt or help, however today they seem to be close to an all-time low.

I believe that there are two people that will influence the market the most.   One is the buyer and the other is the seller.  Confidence in the market will sway both of these parties.  If the homeowner has no confidence then the will place their home on the market just to get out, because of a fear of loss.  They will try to save what investment they may have in their home.  If they have confidence in the market then they will hold onto their home because they know that in the long run, values will go up. 

Lets look at this perception, good or bad.  If a homeowner has a fear of loss, this may introduce a tremendous amount of stress into their lives.  They may not make rational decisions, and one of them is do they really need to sell at this time?  The flip side is the hope for gain, can they sell their home and take what equity they have and step up to a better home that they will live in for many years to come.  As we know interest rates are lower and a seller can leverage their equity into a home the better suits their long term needs.

How do buyers react to the perception of a good or bad market?  Buyers are watching the news just like everyone, else and unfortunately their isn't a special buyers channel that only gives them good news.  Many buyers may have the perception that once they spend their money it will evaporate like many of our 401k funds.  Some buyers may need to purchase a home and are being very cautious.  They want to look at every home on the market and they are looking short term instead of long term.  Buyers need to be sure of their needs, measure their buying power carefully.  They days of excess appear to be ending, but old habits die hard.  I still see buyer trying to maximize their purchase.  There is a movement to more efficient homes and better locations.  Buyers are trying to be smart about their purchase.  This ultimately slows down the progress, however homes are still eventually bought.

I feel that buyer and sellers really need to look at their purchase/sales and determine if this fits their long term life goals.  Homes are a necessity and while they can be a positive investment, a home is an expensive liability.  Housing is needed by all, so there will always be buyers and sellers. 

The housing market is is good and bad, and in our local market it is good and bad.  Some homeowners have to sell and are forced into stressful situations.  The good news is that the homes on the market in our area are being absorbed.   Depending on the price range that a home is in, condition of the home, and the all important location determine how quickly a home sells. 

The market can be good or bad, just like a glass of water can be half empty or half full.  It is your perception that matters.  I will continue to be positive, and help buyer and seller that are either in a bad situation or a good situation.  The ulimate goal is a good outcome for both parties.