Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Smartest Guy In The Room

Another thing for potential sellers to consider. This isn't polite and it isn't easy to hear and it isn't good news. It is almost a sure thing that the buying person and their agent are smarter than you and your sales agent. All the stupid people already have houses. Any stupid people left houseless or just not stupid merely newly in the market to buy are not going to be qualified buyers for a long long time.

These are hard truths. If you as a seller today knew then what you know now you would have sold in Spring '06 right? Okay, you accept that you aren't the smartest guy in the room. Now, anybody who can buy today was certainly able to buy in Spring '06 right? See the problem? The only way you can sell to the people who are buying now is to give them a deal that is homage to their skills.


serinitis said...

First to observe that you are a very insightful person Rob. (OK I am probably not the first to observe this, but I am not clearly not the smartest person it the room)

Bilgeman said...


Well. I AM the smartest guy in the room...(of course, I'm alone in the room, but hey, that counts!).

I'm still fresh from the "Buyer" side of the transaction.

I reckoned that knowing that I was going to be the stooge paying for everything, and that therefore the only guy in my corner, made me if not the smartest, then at least the most honest guy in the room.

Rob Dawg said...

You cannot cheat an honest man.

Sac RE Agent said...

Smartest Guy in the Room? Come on Rob, don't make such generalizations. Let's hear what makes a smart buyer. I'm not trying to bust your chops, but even in this market, there are some buyers that still need advice and assistance.

Lou Minatti said...

The stupid gauge. Made in China? We can't make those things in the US anymore, even though there is an infinite amount of stupidity to measure.

Legion said...

@Bilgeman from previous post...

That was his problem...he didn't have a job, and I guess his self started business of becoming a real estate investor didn't pan out...

What gets me is how if you read all these tales of always starts with..."laid off from a job due to medical problems" How about the fact that you showed up drunk half the tijme if at all? how about the fact that you did a half assed job because you thought you were making a ton of money doing real estate on the side? Peopla are always trying to tie in getting sick with how they lost their house. Guess they figure people would be more sure beats calling your lender and saying "yeah I can't pay this month, it's either you or a payment on my BMW...I'll catch you next month when the market changes"

Rob Dawg said...

Sac RE,
Yeah I generalized. Wasn't that clear? There's always an undercurrent of constant RE activity. People die, rich who don't care serial purchase, household formation, etc.

If you aren't one of those then IMO you plain old shouldn't be buying. Again a generalization. There's got to be a few cash flowing low down deals out there but why waste breath on the extreme examples when they'll be commonplace in 18 months?

Akubi said...

Tinkles does Dallas with 25% elephant urine for breakfast! Sweet!

Bilgeman said...


"Peopla are always trying to tie in getting sick with how they lost their house. Guess they figure people would be more sympathetic.."

That DOES make one wonder if someone isn't pushing a not-so-hidden agenda.

Like the HealthInsurance "Crisis"
...never, EVER the NAFTA/ Free Trade Global Market Negative Impact on American Employment Crisis.

UberFrauFuhrer Save US!

Heil Hillary!

The_Scum said...

Fuck it. Fuck it all.

I'm debating hitting my credit card masters up for *sweet low interest* cash advances™. If I can score 30-50k from between 0-3% interest with $300 fees I'll invest that almost stolen money in a cd yielding over 5% APY for a year.

That means I'll effectively take myself out of the home purchasing market for 13 months.

Prices aren't dropping fast enough, I have the money to cover the payments even if I get fired today, and the card companies keep sending the offers. Time to see if they are serious about 0% loans until December 2008.

Yeah, it's a trivial amount of money. But why not?

The money I have saved to make a 20% down payment has earned a 25%+ return shorting homebuilders...even after that ugly dead cat bounce and a few stupid speculative longs on gold miners that sucked painfully.

I guess I see no reason to stop renting.

If someone wants to sell a house to me (which I do want to buy) they better MAN UP and make it worth it for me.

I'm just not seeing that happening for a while.

I guess I need to start visiting realtors (plastic surgery enhanced a bonus) to see what kind of sweet deals pop up.

The_Scum said...

Oh yeah, that 25% is PRETAX...I'm not Warren Buffet. I'm just simple Scum.

Akubi said...

Tinkles the elephant is of course the smartest guy in the room!

Osman said...

I will say this Rob. The buyers we've been helping over the past 12-18 months have been well qualified and serious. Some have also been concerned about inflated asset values. Others less so. But virtually no unqualified buyers needed no-doc zero down loans, hoping to make a quick buck. They're gone!

So if you have a buyer on the line, take it seriously. Odds are they can get the deal over the finish line.

Akubi said...

In non-breakfast cereal/elephant piss (25% cashback in box) news, more
fishnets for your viewing pleasure.

Legion said...

Oh and that getting laid off due to illness bullshit leading to falling behind on their mortgage...if the reporters actually did their job and investigated, they would have found that 99% of the time..the home owners were still screwed as they STILL wouldn't have been able to afford the resets on their interest. These orons just don't want to admit that they got greedy and signed for a house that they couldn't afford in hopes of cashing in a year later.

Unknown said...

Here are a few facts about Ventco and why its GONNA TANK:

1. Amgen and CFC are #1 and #2 employers-both laying off/not hiring/remaining employees not trading up.

2. One out of Three listings is actually selling. Other 2 get pulled (wait for spring,rentHerOut,foreclosure,oh fuck it well stay)

3. Fifty Percent (50%) of homes that DO sale (as of watching last 30 days of solds) are sold AT A LOSS. Either REO/short/simple loss.

All 3 of the above alone are ground shaking never coulda predicted(hehe) type of situations.

So nice to see prices in freefall. Maybe we can afford to live here soon!

Arthur Wankspittle said...

Can I borrow that meter for the UK please?

53% of respondents believed owning property was safer than cash

I think "53% of the respondents know f*** all about economics and finance" would make a better headline, but what do I know?

TK said...

Hope y'all have your shorts on! CFC's gonna slide while the SEC looks into why Mozilo sold gazillions worth of shares right before the fall...

He had to know that level of excess would catch up to him eventually. Ken Lay 2.0

R-Boy said...


Yeah, since I fall under the umbrella of "household formation", owning doesn't seem so bad. True, I am paying double to own (a wondefully renovated house I did myself) what I paid to rent (a old and decaying houes), but its not coming close to breaking my budget, and that half of what I pay every month is principle (in effect, paying myself).

NoVa...I hadn't been seeing alot of insanity for people who have yards. Condos, well, thats another story

Bilgeman said...


"NoVa...I hadn't been seeing alot of insanity for people who have yards. Condos, well, thats another story"

I got the yard by displaying my sanity and getting out of NoVa to over-the-hills NoVa.

If you can, the Shenandoah is where it's at.

You can buy a house here for less than you'd pay for an interior townhome in Metro DC.

And everybody at Wal-Mart here speaks English...think about it.

w said...


In the Shenandoah area where would you look for a nice farm where you could have some horses and with good schools nearby? Is there a particular town? I grew up in NoVa in Reston and Herndon but I do not remember the area much.

Rob Dawg said...

And everybody at Wal-Mart here speaks English...think about it.

Yeah, but some of the laws are vague. If you divorce your wife is she still considered your cousin?

Legion said...

My brother once told me...pigs eat well..hogs get slaughtered. Mozillo could have played it safe and been a little less exuberant with the dumping of many hundreds of millions does he need anyway? Then again, look at Martha Stewart, to gain 35 grand she lost like 700 million.

Jake said...

As for people getting sick, trust me, it does happen, but we haven't lost the house. There are things you can do IF you were somewhat reasonable financially before you got sick (didn't get in debt up to your eyeballs, buy WAY too much house, get an ARM). Ways to cut costs are like don't eat out, don't buy $hit you don't 'need'.

Right now we might hit $20,000 for the year for medical costs, but TRUST ME, I don't want HillCARE or any other crap the pols are peddling! If that happens, my spouse and I might as well put a bullet to our heads. Chronic health problems in your 20s/30s means you might as well die if the USA has that happen. Our taxes are killing us too. I hope we can take some write-offs because of the med bills.

It is too bad where housing is right now when we might want to sell. We found out we can't have kids, so our life plans have changed. BUT housing is too expensive for people so it has too happen. I'm very thankful that we live in a normal neighborhood and normal families though.

Bilgeman said...


"In the Shenandoah area where would you look for a nice farm where you could have some horses and with good schools nearby?"

We're pretty happy with Frederick County schools,(the wife worked at Fairfax County, and now works at Frederick).

Clarke County, by rep, isn't all that hot. I know bupkis about Warren County PS system.

The stretch between Berryville and Winchester along Rt. 7 is fairly rural, as is the Stephens City-Strasburg-Front Royal triangle, where I-66 junctions with I-81.

The area east of Winchester along US 50 is also, but you're butting up against the Western Loudoun County "Hunt Country" crew there...(which might be right up your alley, if wearing jodhpurs and riding to the hounds is your favorite kink.).

I scouted this area for years before making my move.

I'm pretty happy,(so far), in Cross Junction.

Peripheral Visionary said...

The people in the market right now are the "must buy" people, who may or may not be smart, but who definitely know to push for a deal, thanks to all the media coverage (interesting that we didn't hear all this weeping from home sellers on media coverage when it was in their favor.)

The smart home buyers are waiting until next year, when the foreclosures hit auction with no hidden reserve prices, and when builders going bankrupt will offer brand new homes and condos at deeply discounted prices with full upgrades and will offer to throw the shirt off their back into the deal just to get a sale. You'll need a down payment, but for those who have it, it will be a buyer's bonanza.

R-Boy said...


Yo Hablo Espanol.

R-Boy said...

And we're in Del Ray, so we don't need autos to live in the city. Parkland all around, its nice.

Bilgeman said...


"The smart home buyers are waiting until next year, when the foreclosures hit auction with no hidden reserve prices, and when builders going bankrupt will offer brand new homes and condos at deeply discounted prices"

Uhhh, "next year" was supposed to be THIS year, and so far it hasn't.

Yes, it's a down year...
definitely a "correction", but I think we're not anywhere near the "Buy One Get One Free" fire sale.

The employment index is the key.

As long as folks have steady work that can cover their monthly nut, then most sane people are going to be okay.

The capsizing of the speculators: buyers,builders AND mortgage underwriters isn't something that necessarily portends a RE Gotterdammerung.

From where I sit, these are the "short-term" profit gangs taking it in the keester, and while this DOES negatively impact my own investment, we have to bear in mind that residential real estate is only secondarily an investment, and has a very loooong maturity.

(Unless you know where the city council is going to punch an exit off of the interstate).

Bilgeman said...


"Yo Hablo Espanol."

Legal! E eu falo Portugues.

Je parle Francais, aussi.

I like speaking those languages when I visit Brasil and France.


Rob Dawg said...

Yeah, yeah we hear about employment all the time. It isn't a leading or even independent variable. And this time is different. All those RE agents and illegal drywallers and contract escrow personell needed to be decanted before the numbers st6arted showing in the BLS data. And what happened today? +27k.

Yeah, this was supposed to be the year. You wanna go over and look down the barrel to see why the fuse is taking so long to ignite the boom?

There is just too much overhang in the housing sector. Employment, asset allocation, equipment, investment, credit, supply,

The bust is still tracking my predictions just stretched out and smoother than I predicted. Thing is predictions are not stone tablets. Last update I said I'm not even bothering to look for deals until next Sept. I'll monitor and comment but I'm honestly not going to waste any time seriously looking until then. Even then I may see Bernanke's shadow and declare 6 more months of recession.

w said...

Thanks Bilgeman, that gives me an idea where to start.

Bilgeman said...


"You wanna go over and look down the barrel to see why the fuse is taking so long to ignite the boom?"

LOL...sounds like my kind of job!

In WW2, I'd have been a "veteran" kamikaze pilot.
In WW1, I'd have gone "over the top" with a large sheet of plywood strapped to my back.

Call me "Lucky"...

"The bust is still tracking my predictions just stretched out and smoother than I predicted."

And thank God for that.
There's a great deal of inertia inherent in moving the market one way or another, and when it comes to something as potentially damaging to society as widespread foreclosures on people's homes, our governmental overlords get quite concerned.

The last time something like that happenned, whole swaths of the American public signed up to open a branch office of "The Worker's Paradise" here...and actually succeeded in, (more or less), building de facto Socialism in America.

That won't DO.

So, while the storm we're in may be capsizing those who totally ignored the small craft advisory,(think: Casey Serin in a canoe on the winter North Atlantic), and those who were unseaworthy from the start,(the $954 a month guy, who starts a business to go with his mortgage rate reset...despite the fact that the five-year failure rate of new small businesses is "stoopid bad"), those who keep their hatches battened down and maintain their economic engine,(job),so that they have "steerage way" SHOULD be able to weather this.

In fact, it's rather vital that they do. Or we'll be having this discussion in the breadlines and the hobo jungles.

And to use your analogy, as long as that barrel of gunpowder, black powder, or C-4 is just burning, it's not going to hurt anyone but the dullards and the truly unlucky.

If you confine it or compress it, though, THAT'S when it explodes.

(We used to burn C-4 plastic explosive to heat C-rations...yes, I'm THAT old...worked great, just do NOT step on it to extinguish the blaze...unless you didn't really WANT to keep that foot.).

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