Brad Kimmelman , brokerage manager of the Fairfield and Southport offices of William Pitt Sotheby's International Realty, is optimistic about the housing market for 2012, despite poor economic indicators. Why? "Savvy investors are buying," he says. "Prices are affordable and there are bargains to be had."
Kimmelman says that his office saw a flurry of activity during the last three months of 2011, a time that is typically slow in the world of real estate.
"We think that we're at the bottom of pricing," Kimmelman says, though he adds that he doesn't see home prices going up any time soon.
What has happened over the last year, Kimmelman says, is that the real estate market has normalized. Sellers have come to terms with the new reality that they will not get the same price for their home as their neighbor might have got in 2007. More sellers are taking advice from their Realtors when it comes to establishing a realistic selling price. The days of sellers saying "I need to get so much for my house" are gone. Buyers are smarter than ever ? and they dictate the price at which a house will sell, not the seller, the bank, not the Realtor.
"If there's a mantra for 2012," Kimmelman says, "it's pricing, pricing, pricing."
With so much information on the real estate market available on the Internet, the role of Realtors has changed, Kimmelman says. There is greater accountability as well as a higher level of professionalism. "The industry has become harder, so we have to be that much better at what we do," he says.
When selecting a Realtor to represent you when you are buying or selling a home, Kimmelman recommends interviewing agents very carefully. "Make sure the person is very professional and that you believe in him or her," he says.
Buyers and sellers think they know what they're doing when it comes to selling their home. "It's like operating on yourself," Kimmelman says. You're better off with a professional.
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