House & Home: Today’s mixed market messages |

House & Home: Today’s mixed market messages

Buyers and sellers are getting mixed messages in many areas right now. Almost daily there are articles, news reports, blogs, or rumors that things are going to change. Unfortunately, the messages are often going in opposite directions each with supporting theory as to why they are right. Interest rates are going up, or down. Prices are going up, or down. Market activity is increasing, or decreasing. What is a person to do?

Unless there is something tangible that is expected to occur, i.e.- new business with more high paying jobs coming to town, anticipated major changes can only be based on trends, history, theory, or guesswork. Usually, it is a combination of all the above. In this day and age of technology and information things don’t always roll out like they used to. What used to be a result for something can be changed by people having more information and understanding matters better without overreacting to circumstances as they occur.

If history and theory were going to always have the same impact, our northern Nevada real estate prices would have risen dramatically during the past 18 months. Our low interest rates, low inventory, high demand should dictate rising prices … in theory. What we’ve actually seen happen is that as prices go up there is resistance in the market. Buyers will wait to find another house rather than pay what they deem too much. This can only occur with the plethora of information available to them on the internet. Buyers and sellers know what is going on because they can see it on their computers and phones. They know what market is and where it is going.

Among the volume of information available to consumers and professionals today is information on planned projects, proposed changes in laws and policies, and changes to programs that will impact them and their community. Major changes came Oct. 1 to a widely used government financing program. With that knowledge transactions are being modified and contracts are being written accordingly.

Other changes are rumored to be coming, or have come via recent Congressional legislation. How do such changes affect you?

Vancouver, Canada recently implemented a tax on foreign buyers of 15 percent. While it may seem as if that would give the edge to the “local” buyer as it was intended, the result is that the market has plummeted. The local buyers weren’t paying as much for the desirable housing as the foreigners were. Many of the sellers that couldn’t close before the implementation of the tax found themselves with a cancelled transaction. Hundreds of sales were lost. This because of an unforeseen, unprecedented tax intended to protect the citizenry. Funny how that happens when government tries to fix the market. We saw the results during our recent financial down turn when many Federal programs intended to help buyers and sellers drove the prices down.

Our Advice: If the future were to be known we wouldn’t have to work. We could invest wisely, bet on teams without emotion, only to win, and know who to visit one last time with the knowledge they are at the end of their run. Reality is such, however, that we can only deal with the present and project what may occur and how it might affect us.

The best thing you can do is base your decisions on your wants and needs and how today’s market will help or hinder you. Agents can help you with theory, trends, history, and what their crystal ball says, but in the end, you must make a decision for you and yours that is the best for you right now given what you know.

When you make a decision, live with it and don’t look back. With the passage of time we all know what we should have done, but when you do that you are looking the wrong way. Be here now, enjoy the moment and plan for a successful future.

Lisa Wetzel & Jim Valentine, CDPE, SFR, RE/MAX Realty Affiliates, 775-781-5472.,