coverage can dampen real estate market
Fact or fiction: The media decides whether you
buy or sell a home.
Sounds ridiculous, even insulting. But many real estate professionals insist there is a psychological component to buying a house -- and that a lot of negative publicity about the housing market can have an effect on whether consumers will buy, sell or sit.
Chances are, when you are thinking about buying a home
(and you're really honest with yourself), factors
such as your credit rating, income, debt load,
the available houses in your market and the
prices in your market are going to have more
of an impact than what you read or hear over
your morning coffee.
But that's not to say the broadcast and printed word don't have some impact.
Many blame the media for the slowdown
that hit the housing market in 2006. "What
happened to us is the media," says Ellen
Renish, regional vice president for the National
Association of Realtors, or NAR.
Stories about a real estate "bubble" and its
potential to burst caused consumers to "not
do anything," she says. "And nothing
happened. The bubble stories really stopped
things for three months," Renish says.
"It was pretty scary."
Looking for deals
When it comes to sales, the biggest factor is "the local economy," says Dick Gaylord, president-elect of the NAR. "But I can tell you that almost every buyer I talk to today thinks they're going to get a phenomenal deal."
In the Midwest this year, one
big yardstick is job growth torquing the force
of supply and demand. "If jobs come, there
will be buyers," says Lawrence Yun, a senior
economist with the National Association of Realtors.
"And if jobs don't come, there won't be
"But I think the media does
have an influence," he says. "I get
calls from Realtors who have been working with
buyers for months -- then the buyer reads or
hears something that predicts a price crash
or large inventory and the buyer decides to
wait. The media is trying to portray the reality
of the market."
But many times "there tends
to be a slight slant that tends to scare potential
buyers," he says. "People start placing
a lot of reliance on what they read, particularly
from major papers."