Poll: How many real estate agents have told you “It’s a great time to buy” in the last six months?

How many real estate agents have told you "It's a great time to buy" in the last six months?

  • none (27%, 25 Votes)
  • one (15%, 14 Votes)
  • two or three (32%, 30 Votes)
  • four or five (11%, 10 Votes)
  • six to ten (8%, 7 Votes)
  • more than ten (8%, 7 Votes)

Total Voters: 93

This poll was active 06.05.2011 through 06.11.2011.

0.00 avg. rating (0% score) - 0 votes

About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market. Tim also hosts the weekly improv comedy sci-fi podcast Dispatches from the Multiverse.


  1. 1
    Feedback says:

    Interest rates are still at or near historic lows, there are thousands of underpriced foreclosures on the market, local rents are skyrocketing, and Obama hasn’t eliminated the mortgage interest deduction yet. This is indeed a great time to buy!

  2. 2
    Lake Hills Renter says:

    I try not to associate with real estate agents.

  3. 3
    ARDELL says:

    How does this topic come up? People call me to represent them in the purchase of a home. We negotiate the commission and then begin the process of trying to find one worth buying that will make them happy.

    When does all of this “Great time to buy!” talk enter the conversation?

    Sometimes I have to tell them it doesn’t make sense for them to buy or there isn’t anything worth buying today. But I never have to tell them “It’s a great time to buy!” Is it in response to a question from the client?

  4. 4
    Ray Pepper says:

    do some still say that?

    I thought they are all busted out?

    RE Attorney’s,Title/Escrow, and Mtg Reps who are also on LIFE SUPPORT with this profession may be heard humming that phrase as well but they are also “crapped out” BIG TIME!

    10% less agents from this time last year at the NWMLS and I suspect another 10% drop by this time next year.. Would love to see the % less of Mtg Reps out there yoy. They are barely hanging on as well and I think I saw a few working at Costco SouthCenter but I didn’t have my glasses on and was more focused on my Mocha Freeze.

    Reminds me of a statement you made Tim years back when prices were dropping…”Since when is prices going down a bad thing?” Some would disagree with this statement now and were only down to 2000 prices….Apparently the FED thinks it is a bad thing now: http://www.cnbc.com/id/43281199

    They are all coming back…One way or another……

  5. 5
    BillE says:

    RE: Ray Pepper @ 4 – I wonder if these cramdowns will be applied to amounts that people refi’d into mo’ money, mo’ money, mo’ money. I certainly hope not.
    With these high mortgage amounts, someone’s going to have to take the hit. It’s the homeowners, the banks, or the tax payer. The homeowners don’t have the money to clear it up and the banks get what they want. Tax payers it is!

  6. 6
    BillE says:

    By ARDELL @ 3:

    When does all of this “Great time to buy!” talk enter the conversation?

    Ring ring.

    —Hello, friendly agent here. How can I help you?
    ——Hi, I’m thinking of buying my first home and a friend gave me your number.
    —Well you’ve got good timing, because it’s a great time to buy right now.

  7. 8
    Jonness says:

    By robotslave @ 7:

    Ardell, just wander into any open house and make eye contact with the agent.

    Exactly. I went to an open house 2 weeks ago, and the agent started to tell me what a good time to buy it was. I interrupted her and said I had a website of housing data that I used to watch the market, and I felt prices would continue to fall after the typical Spring bounce. She changed her tune in a hurry and started telling the truth about how she felt about the market.

  8. 9
    LocalYokel says:

    By Lake Hills Renter @ 2:

    I try not to associate with real estate agents.

    You guys are being a bit too harsh. You are entering the lion’s den, so what are you
    expecting? Be armed with knowledge and facts and know how to deal with lies
    and bullsh*t, then you should not be surprised or angry. Life lesson 101.

    Simple rule of thumb: When something deals with someone’s rice bowl,
    then be always cautious and wary. Everybody needs put steaks in the frig.

    Not an agent, but deal with them all the time. Most folks are on the up and up,
    but understand their motivations and don’t trust until you verify, twice. :)

  9. 10

    By Lake Hills Renter @ 2:

    I try not to associate with real estate agents.

    Me neither. But being in the real estate business, it’s hard not to:)

    But it IS a great time to buy. Just not houses. I’ve seen some particularly good deals on wine. It’s a great time to buy wine. Too bad I’m not in the wine business.

  10. 11
    karl says:

    wine or whine? stock up, the 2011 vintage may be not so hot

  11. 12
    Scotsman says:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 10

    ” Too bad I’m not in the wine business.”

    Maybe you should be? Better class of people?

  12. 13
    ARDELL says:

    RE: robotslave @ 7

    I went to several today with a client. They don’t say that to me. :)

  13. 14
    Scotsman says:

    RE: ARDELL @ 13

    You probably gave them the “secret handshake” first. That’s like saying- “hush!- be cool- I’ve got a newbee here.”

    Seriously, Ardell- imagine it: You, me, soft lighting, a bottle of wine and a few glossy home brochures spread out on the table. You’re telling me after a glass or two you wouldn’t lean over and whisper in my ear. . . “it’s a great time to buy” ;-)

  14. 15
    ray pepper says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 14 -I would if the lighting was right…….

  15. 16
    Lake Hills Renter says:

    For the record, I was just being snarky.

  16. 17
    query_squidier says:

    By ray pepper @ 15:

    RE: Scotsman @ 14 -I would if the lighting was right…….

    Hehe, this made me giggle.

  17. 18

    It May Become a Great Time to Buy

    If the banks would list all the foreclosed listings at once, in a real free market and home prices fell to pennies on the dollar because the shadow inventory was no more.

  18. 19
    Jonness says:

    By ARDELL @ 13:

    RE: robotslave @ 7 -I went to several today with a client. They don’t say that to me. :)

    They know you are an agent. Thus, they won’t waste their time trying to lie about the state of the market.

    My suggestion is, next time, have your client go in alone while you wait in the parking lot. Ask the client to get the agent’s opinion on whether prices will continue to fall or whether now is a good time to buy. Then, have your client leave the house. Then you walk in, announce your status as an agent who studies the detailed data, and say a few things about how the Case Shiller has double dipped and there is a lot of risk using heavy leverage to buy a rapidly depreciating asset class. Mention the bulk of your sales are pending short sales and you are seeing few traditional market sales. Note if any change occurs in the agent’s analysis of the the amount of risk in buying right now.

    For extra credit, do this at 10 different open houses and report the results in a guest article for seattlebubble. :)

  19. 20
    Jonness says:

    By Scotsman @ 14:

    RE: ARDELL @ 13

    You probably gave them the “secret handshake” first. That’s like saying- “hush!- be cool- I’ve got a newbee here.”

    Seriously, Ardell- imagine it: You, me, soft lighting, a bottle of wine and a few glossy home brochures spread out on the table. You’re telling me after a glass or two you wouldn’t lean over and whisper in my ear. . . “it’s a great time to buy” ;-)

    You wish! But here’s the real way it would go down:

    Ardell force feeds you 5 quarts of beer through a beer bong over a period of 15 minutes. When you are laying on the floor wallowing in vomit, she strips off her trench coat and is wearing a black leather outfit underneath with high stockings and high heeled black boots. She picks up a bull whip and snaps it on your bare bottom and screams, “Buy now you fool!”

    Moments later you wake up from a deep sleep realizing it was only a dream. Convinced it was a prophetic dream informing you we reached a “painful” bottom of the housing market, you decide to buy another house. A year later, prices are back to 2007 levels, and you complete RE training classes and become an agent for John L. Scott. :)

  20. 21
    ARDELL says:

    RE: Jonness @ 20

    Actually he already IS an agent for JXS. When he goes to Confession and confesses how many times he’s said “It’s a Great Time to Buy!”, the priest tells him to say 10 Hail Marys and make 100 comments on Seattle Bubble as his Penance. If you divide his # of comments by 100 you will get the answer to how many times he has said it at Open Houses.

  21. 22
    Toby Barnett says:

    It will be the right time to buy after the 2nd Rapture and a few months post December 21, 2012 – Property is really cheap after the end of the world.

    In all seriousness though, sometimes the right time to buy has nothing to do with market conditions. Example, my best friend was living with his sister and decided he just couldn’t handle family anymore and decided to buy. Being a previous renter, he was tired of answering to someone else when it came to his personal lifestyle and habits. So he decided to purchase and unfortunately he closed on a home in July of 2007. My friend had, and still has, a great job and hasn’t been impacted by the economic slow down but he still frustrated at the drop of property values. Sometimes ‘right’ has nothing to do with real estate agents and everything to do with people’s personal needs.

  22. 23
    Scotsman says:

    RE: Toby Barnett @ 22

    Your position is often the case. But I wonder if people truly understand the full costs of their decisions. If your best friend takes the capital loss and divides it by the number of months he’s had the home, how does it look? I’m in a rental we almost bought. Thank gawd the deal never closed because the capital loss alone over the four years we’ve been here is over $4,000/mo. That alone will rent you a pretty decent place, not to mention the rent and other expenses we’ve picked up. Seriously, $4k/mo is Hawaii every weekend, or dinner for 2 at Canlis every night (Ok, no drinking), or whatever your hot button is. Values are still falling, and to my mind likely to accelerate for years. Those who argue that they need to buy should first understand and justify the capital losses they will certainly experience. The only way it works for me is if you buy a very inexpensive home with a fraction of your income and the idea that you will hold it for a long, long, time, even when you eventually move on to something nicer.

  23. 24
    Scotsman says:

    RE: ARDELL @ 21

    “Actually he already IS an agent for JXS”

    OK, that’s just mean. I would at least work the REMAX deal where I got to keep more of what I earned, and wouldn’t have to continually justify the bs JLS puts out.

    Man, here I though we were getting all snuggly on the sofa, getting ready to talk business, and you smack me down cold. Harshing my mellow, or whatever! ;-)

  24. 25
    ARDELL says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 23

    Do you see any difference if it is a move up buyer using money they gained in real estate vs a 1st time buyer?

    I scaled down dramatically when we hit peak to mostly helping sellers sell vs 1st time buyers buy. It’s easy to shift who we work with to keep our integrity in check. Of course that assumes you only hold me responsible for my own client, and not the person who bought the house, if I represented the seller and the buyer had a different agent.

    A few of my sellers rented for a year or two after we sold their house at peak and bought in 2009 or 2010. At least one is still renting and sitting on the money gained from the sale.

    A few of my clients who sold at peak moved right away from the house they sold to a house that had more of what they needed. They all had substantial gains from the sale well in excess of what they might lose if they needed to sell the house they bought. None of those have had to sell. Their logic being they might as well lose some of the money they gained while being in a house they like better and suits their needs better, vs losing money on the house they wanted to leave.

    One gained $400,000 on the sale and lost (on paper – they haven’t sold) about $80,000 on the one they bought. They see that as being $320,000 ahead. How do you see it?

  25. 26
    Scotsman says:

    RE: ARDELL @ 25

    I don’t have a problem with people spending their own money on what ever they want. But I question whether many of them really understand what it costs. Your example is a perfect illustration. You say they are still $320K ahead- and that’s true. I’d say they are $80K behind, having spent $80K more than they thought they were going to on housing. I’d ask your move-up buyer (assuming they sold/bought in summer 2008) if they would have been willing to rent their house for the current monthly payment plus $2200 ($80K divided by 36 months) ? And make no mistake- “renting” is the proper term- early in the amortization schedule, with a declining capital value, there is no equity gain. They aren’t buying if the value drops faster than the loan, even with a heavy down payment. How do you think they “see” it?

    I’ll admit to a lot of bias. We’ve lived well in the past- waterfront, private schools, business owners. And when my oldest daughter has cancer we ultimately lived at close to subsistence. Now as a middle aged guy with two kids in expensive colleges it’s hard to fight my way back to something above stability and the prospect of a decent retirement. And I am Scottish- so luxuries- like home ownership, where the costs greatly exceed the utility aren’t part of my program.

    Like Tim in starting this site, I want people to understand the full range of possibilities, to make informed decisions, not just follow the herd and the NAR. Someone has to show that perhaps Suzanne didn’t really research it, or that she was just plain wrong. It might be useful to understand that there’s a good chance the economy is going to get a lot worse, and something called “savings” might not be a bad idea. Working as a banker and a mortgage broker, and reading/researching as an economist and investor, I know the majority of people are much worse off than they appear. I posted a link a week or so back showing 75% of U.S. citizens couldn’t come up with $2,000 in a month if their life depended on it. That’s not good.

    Anyway, sorry for the rambling- too much Cabernet? It’s a great time to buy- for a very few. For most of the herd it’s a bad move. But all are free to choose.

  26. 27
    ARDELL says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 26

    Actually that was their point. They didn’t think the economy and their jobs were dependable long term. That’s why they didn’t want to rent, as renting is dependent on a continuous income stream. They wanted to pay of their homes before that happened, using the equity from their previous sale and paying more than their monthly payment while they could. To them,…the best defense against no job, was a paid off house that they liked better than the one they had.

  27. 28
    Toby Barnett says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 23

    I agree, the capital loss is substantial and not trying to discount it. But for someone to get out of a loosing situation it typically takes damaging credit or coughing up a lot of cash to make up the difference of a short sale. Either way it is a loose-loose for the owner who 1) bears it out the loss until market recovers to his purchasing/break even point or 2) sell it as a short sale and risk a 1099 for the debt forgiveness or 3) gives it back to the bank and accept a long term credit impact.

    Part of me believes that people who did buy at the market height need to accept the responsibility of their purchase and just because values deflated doesn’t mean the owner shouldn’t have to honor their commitment. I purchase stuff all the time that looses value and just because it looses that value doesn’t mean I shouldn’t have to pay for it on the agreed terms. Think Best Buy and GM would agree with me on that one :P

  28. 29
    Scotsman says:

    RE: Toby Barnett @ 28

    All of what you say is true. But the issue before us is what do you tell today’s buyers, knowing what we do about future expectations? Is it still a good time to buy?


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