Image courtesy of Flickr user kretyen

I read an article the other day on Inman with predictions for 2011. It’s a bunch of different agents from all over the country predicting what will happen with the market in the next year. You should totally go read it. Unless you don’t want to awake in the middle of the night screaming and drenched in sweat sobbing over and over again, ‘The market will NEVER stabilize. The horror, the horror!’ Then you might want to avoid it.

Actually, don’t even bother reading it. I will summarize it for you:

Susie Sunshine, from Rainbow Realty in Kansas, predicts the market will gradually get better this coming year. She thinks prices will go up a little bit and interest rates will stay low. Buyers will start to see that this is a great time to invest in real estate again. This is the year for the normalization of the market. She’s been saying this the last three years. She’s also heavily medicated on mood-stabilizing drugs.

Debbie Downer, with Cutthroat Condos in Nevada, says the market is headed for a double dip. She says if you made it through 2010, you will absolutely totally fail in 2011. She says the banks will foreclose on everything that’s even a month behind on payment and then sell the properties even further below market value, swirling prices down the toilet. Sure, there will be lots of bank listings, but you’re not an REO agent. And yes, some investors will buy properties, but you don’t have any investor clients. She predicts you’ll go totally bankrupt in 2011. She’s hoping to scare all of the other agents out of the market so that she can scoop up their business in 2011. Debbie’s a ‘Mean Girl.’

John Smith, an Everyman Properties agent from Michigan, is too busy rocking and weeping in the corner to respond to the survey. He lost his own home to foreclosure this year. He didn’t close a single deal from March through September. He has PTSD from hearing hard-luck stories from clients who can’t pay their mortgages. He is deaf in one ear from beating his own phone against his head after a particularly frustrating call with a short sale negotiator from Bank of America. He doesn’t know what’s going to happen in the next year, but he does know that he can’t get a job doing anything else. He’s been in real estate for 15 years and has no other marketable skills. And even if he did, there aren’t any jobs out there anyway. Please just hand him a beer or five and walk away quietly.

Basically, what I took away from the article (besides the desire to binge drink) was that no one knows anything. 90% of these people will end up being wrong, and the 10% who are anywhere close to right will be so out of luck.

Thus, I present to you my predictions for 2011:

  • Short sale negotiators will be incompetent dillweeds wearing red tape like a prom dress.
  • Buyers will want to purchase properties 20% under list price without questioning how it correlates to market value.
  • Sellers will want $30K more than their neighbor sold his house for a week ago because they have the ‘tasteful granite’ and upgraded to a window seat option in the master when they built the house 30 years ago.
  • Lenders will promise docs have been emailed to title and then 5 minutes later admit the file is still in underwriting.
  • Title people will not set up the signing until they receive the docs even if you beg and bribe them.
  • You will encounter at least one dead creature while showing property.
  • There will be one house you will run out of covering your mouth and nose because you just can’t take the stench any longer.
  • You will show at least one home that makes you wistfully wonder if you could afford to buy it if you just moved some money around and called that one lender who can work miracles.
  • You will help at least one family buy a home you feel like is the very perfect thing for them now. The night after it closes, you will sleep like a baby.
  • You will help at least one seller successfully short sell his house so that he can begin to rebuild his finances and move on to a brighter future.
  • You will never, NEVER, be bored.