Who's to Blame
In This Post
When things go south in the housing industry, who's at fault?
This morning I read Kristen Wheatly's post Loser Agents! Shame On Me? and thought she hit the nail on the head. She writes about wondering how someone who doesn't do as good a job at presenting a seller's property as she might do, manages to get plenty of listings in her area. She realizes that there are other facets to the job Realtor and that she needs to ramp up her prospecting and contact skills. She has to be more aggressive in finding the people who want to sell. Kristen ends her perceptive article promising herself that she will do just that. She accepts the blame for a perceived deficiency in herself and moves to correct it.
Shortly after reading that post I joined my wife for breakfast and a look at the morning newspaper (it's an old ritual we enjoy). The paper is quite thin these days so I read a greater percentage of it than I used to. The Dear Amy column this morning caught my eye. The situation: Someone bought a trashed foreclosure property in the neighborhood, proceeded to fix it up and redo the landscaping as well. Then they sent out invitations to all of the neighbors with the statement, "You must be wondering what's going on." The neighborhood had been invited to meet the new neighbor and see how they fixed the place up. It didn't say they were flipping the house. It didn't say bring your check books; it's a tupperware party. It just said come over and see what we've done.
The person who wrote to Amy blamed the person who bought the foreclosure for bringing prices down in the neighborhood, and several things after that, but the blame is where I want to stop. Actually the buyer helped stabilize values in the neighborhood buy buying the house in the first place and then raised values by doing a quality remodel. But the Dear Amy writer didn't see it that way.
Realtors are often blamed when housing prices go up or down. Realtors get blamed for making people's taxes go up because of the high price they listed and/or sold something for in a neighborhood. Realtors get blamed for bringing down the value of homes in a neighborhood for pricing a bank owned or short sale too low. Some people just won't take responsibility for what goes on in their yard, in their neighborhood.
As Realtor's, we are generally following the market, not creating it. And like Kristen says, we should take responsibility for how we handle our own business, both the good and the bad of it. And we should apply that to the other areas of our life as well.