I want a Deal! REALLY?
With foreclosures being the topic of almost every conversation I encounter these days, I had to voice my opinion. Some people may like what I have to say, some people may not. But after all, it is my opinion, so it counts, to me!
Being in Real Estate for the past 8.5 years now has awarded me the opportunity to meet with many types of people: sellers that are wanting a bigger house, smaller house, change neighborhoods, move into a condo community; buyers that want to buy another home, their first home, want a vacation home, etc. And then there are the people who want to get a “good deal”. What, you say, is a good deal?
For many, it’s a house that has been on the market too long and the sellers are just not going to get what they are asking. Or it might be a house that the sellers need to sell because they just cannot afford it for different reasons: a person lost their job, illness in the family and they can no longer work, they have someone in college and prefer to sell and maybe rent down the road, or maybe it’s more serious: the people are about to lose their home to foreclosure.
I have met many people who might see a pre-foreclosure and say, ” when is it being foreclosed on?” “I will wait until the bank takes it”.
Why, I ask, do they want to wait? Well, it’s been my experience that most people think they will get a “better” deal from the bank than from the owners. After all, the sellers are trying to get all they can from its sale. Is this really trying to get a deal or is the buyer trying to “take advantage” of someone else’s misfortune?
It truly is sad the situation that many homeowners are faced with at the moment across our nation. I have interviewed many buyers, sellers, and other agents too, just for my own information, so I can understand where people are coming from. This is what I found out.
The truth is that many people who are in a situation where they are about to lose their homes, didn’t plan on it to happen. I mean, really, who plans on losing their home? Well, some buyers and other agents and many people in general that are not in this sticky situation think that the homeowners “asked” for it. How? These people think that many of them might have inflated incomes, produced false letters from employers, and that of course, the many now defunct predator mortgage lenders took advantage of this to put people into their dream home, into something that they really could not afford. Yes, this did happen, I know, but how about the thousands of homeowners who did all the right things, that saved for years to put a down payment on their home, who saved and sacrificed in order to give their families a place to live, and now, by no fault of their own, have lost their jobs, like so many other Americans and have not been able to find other employment or have found one, but are getting paid a lot less and this makes it difficult to keep up with payments. We may wonder, how did they let it get so far that now they are being foreclosed on? Well, you might think that they thought, at one time, they might be able to catch up, but so many other things might pop up. What if along with their employment, they lost medical benefits. So now someone in the family gets sick and they have to pay out of pocket to go see the doctor. They also have credit cards, groceries to buy, electric bills to pay, and so on and so on.
The way I see it is, not everyone who is losing their home “deserves” it, like many people say. I don’t really think anyone deserves to lose their home, regardless of why they are losing it. It is a terrible thing to go through. I have seen the devastation for families that are losing their homes. One might think, OK, the parents knew they were getting themselves into this mess. But I ask you, what about the children? What about those innocent little ones that didn’t ask for this, that have grown up in this home, that this is the only safe place they have come to know and love and play in with their friends in the neighborhood? What about them?
Many people say “I want a good deal”. Have those people looked into the eyes of those innocent ones that have to leave their home, that no one will help them by giving them the money they are asking for, not as a handout, but as a legitimate sale for the home, what the market is actually asking and what the market thinks it’s worth? NO! People want to take advantage and do what we call in real estate, “low ball” offers.
“I know they have to sell, so let’s make them a low ball offer”, is what many buyers will say and think and actually want to do. This, in my opinion, is wrong. Yes, there are many deals out there, but at what cost, at whose expense? I know many buyers or investors will not really care about this answer, but as human beings, as people who have the right to help each other and as decent people, we need to analyze this and really search deep down and ask ourselves, “What if I and my family were in this situation”? Of course, that will never be me, you say. Never say never…..we never know what the future holds. I hope you are NEVER in that situation, but if you were, how would you like to be treated?
What to do? You ask. I’m not saying that buying foreclosures is a wrong thing. All I am trying to point out is what we, as humans, have become in the search for more money, more success, more ambition, more greediness is what I call it, and simply sometimes, keeping up with the Jones’s. To actually wish that a home gets foreclosed on soon so we can make a bid on it is just wrong. How can you wish bad on anyone, especially someone or a family that you do not even know. Will this stop?
I believe foreclosures will always be part of the real estate business and that I will continue to sell them, to help list them and help those who are in need of selling them in order not to lose them. But I will also continue to feel sadness when I hear, “I want a good deal” from someone who can’t wait until a family loses their beloved home. I hope this will never happen to you, but if for some reason beyond your control, life gives you this difficult situation to deal with, know that I, for one, will be rooting for you to overcome it and I will help you stay in your home, if I can. And some day you can look back and you too, will have compassion for those going through it.
Keep the Faith!