A Quick Message of Renewed Optimism
I fully realize that this is just anecdotal evidence, but I can't help but think that the buying activity has picked up dramatically in Austin, and here's why:
I have had multiple offer scenarios TWICE in 2009 already!
In January, I wrote a post about a multiple offer deal (six total offers) that I was working on which clearly demonstrated just how tight Fannie Mae guidelines are for the self-employed: Requiem for the Self-Employed Homebuyer
Before I go any further, I will mention that the buyer reference in the above link was turned down by FIVE lenders, but they are now approved! I had a bunch of my AR friends ask about this one after it was written. We are now supposed to close by Monday. But I digress...
Today, I received two offers on one of my listings (could have been three, but the third agent decided not to enter the bidding war). We had lowered the price a little bit, in an effort to drive more traffic because they are moving up to a larger home.
This home will likely go under contract for a few thousand dollars above the asking price, as did the other home in January. In 2008, I don't recall ANY multiple offer situations arising for my clients.
As additional evidence of improvement in the buyer activity, I have worked several Saturdays this year with buyer clients, and at least three times we have encountered other agents showing the same houses that we were about to see. This has happened with both new and resale homes. A few years ago, that was a common occurrence, to be sure. However, in 2008, I wasn't running into fellow agents in the trenches.
March is shaping up to be my best income month since 2007, and I am sincerely hoping that this carries forward into the typical spring and summer selling season. With the $8000 tax credit for first-time buyers in place, I already have at least five clients who are going to take advantage of this. Frankly, I should be able to exceed last year's income by May or June at the latest. This post, however, is not really about me. It's about maintaining some measure of focus in a hurricane of difficult economic times.
I don't mind admitting that my income for 2008 was at best subpar, at least for me. I could probably get just about ANY office job and make as much as I made, along with having benefits. However, I still feel that my earning potential is the very best in this business, which I chose as a career 12 years ago.
I saw economist Ted Jones speak today, and he was talking about the outlook and his own forecasts for the upcoming 2-4 years, both locally and nationally. Not everything he said was rosy, of course, but I didn't expect it to be. He IS an economist, after all. I was thinking today about having weathered a ridiculously tough year in this business, and how blessed I feel to still be left standing at the cusp of what should prove to be a great year for us financially.
The time has come to innovate in order to survive, and I feel more prepared for that than ever before. I am good at what I do, and I have an arsenal of new tools to help me achieve my goals now. Since the new year started, I can attribute SEVEN clients to my blog and other social media involvement so far.
Here are a few resolutions that I have made - join me if you like:
There's no need for excuses anymore.
This is not the time for complaining, whining, or finger-pointing.
I have decided not to allow fear to rule the day in my business or my life.
I shared in a post last week that my personal keyword for 2009 is "UNAFRAID". With that in mind, it's time to get over it and move forward. The catchphrase that Ted Jones used today was "Get Over It" when he showed this short and funny video, and it struck a chord with me for some reason. Maybe it will resound with you, too. It just makes the phrase a bit easier to remember: GET OVER IT!
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