In The News

In Keeping Matters Current this morning, they highlighted that it matters what you read when it comes to understanding the real estate market.

I can’t present this any better:

Whenever a market is evolving rapidly, the most difficult thing to do is keep up with the changes. A home seller or a home buyer in today’s real estate market must make sure that they understand what is happening and why it is happening. They can then guarantee that they are making an informed decision in regard to what is best for themselves and their families.

The Goal

Keeping abreast of what is happening in today’s real estate market is no easy task. You may feel that you are doing a good job of staying on top of market fluctuations. You may read all the pertinent data and stories from all the best media sources. However, it is not just having the information but also being able to analyze the information that truly matters. And that is not easy.

The Challenge

Let’s look at two headlines from last week and a quote from each article:  

Home Price Index Edges Up Wall Street Journal  3/30/2010

The seasonally adjusted (prices) increased 0.3% in January from a month earlier, the eighth consecutive monthly increase. … The report indicates that the worst of the declines are behind us and we can at least move forward from here,’ said Adam York, an economist with Wells Fargo Securities.

Home Price Dip Extends to 4th Month CNN Money 3/30/2010

After a five-month run-up in home prices starting last spring, prices have now fallen for four consecutive months … The market seems to have pulled the rug out from under housing industry hopes for a sustained early recovery.

I purposely left out to which report each article was referring in order to make a point. Each article was using as the foundation of their headline and story the SAME REPORT the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index of 20 cities.

So here we have the Wall Street Journal and CNN Money reporting on the same exact news but coming up with widely opposite conclusions. One used the month-over-month numbers and one used the year-over-year numbers. Will most people understand the nuances and be able to determine what they mean?

The Solution

In today’s market, whether you are buying or selling, you need a dedicated professional to help you analyze the preponderance of information available.

You need someone that is willing to take the time to understand what is happening and why it is happening. They must also be willing to sit down and simply and effectively explain what it means to you and your family.

As Dave Ramsey, the personal finance guru, said:

When getting help with money, whether it is insurance, real estate or investments you should always look for someone with the heart of a teacher, not the heart of a salesman. About eighty five percent (85%) of the people in the financial world know how to sell and tell you what to do. They don’t know how to teach you what you are doing. Stay away from them.’