What is “The Market”?

J. Harmon Home Team
J. Harmon Home Team
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“The market” is such a unique term. It is used by so many to discuss so many different things, yet they mostly mean (or try to mean) the same thing. Here’s what I mean. If some random stranger comes to me and says “How’s the Market”, I ask for clarification. Does that stranger mean the overall national housing market? Does he or she mean the market in our particular county? A particular price point? Market for buyers? Market for sellers? Market for agents (right now we are overflowing with licensees). Is that stranger making small talk? Do they actually want to know that we are in a weird transition period where it feels like the wind has completely shifted and left our sails flapping  empty?  Maybe they want to know because they are thinking of making a move. Maybe they want to know because they saw conflicting news stories. Maybe someone else told them something and they are confirming what they heard. Maybe they are genuinely curious. 

Here’s what I will tell you, there is no such thing as a national housing market. What happens in Gulf Shores, AL at any given moment is different from what happens in Murfreesboro, TN. Different things drive those markets. Different seasonalities. Different motivations. Different external factors. You can see some macro level overall trends but those don’t really give you any kind of data to make a decision on what to do about YOUR home, in your particular location. 100-year-old homes in Savannah sell differently than 100-year-old homes in Murfreesboro. Here’s the other thing I will tell you, it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to know exactly what to do in any given circumstance (within the market). Sometimes it’s up. Sometimes it’s down. Sometimes it’s on its way somewhere. Sometimes, it is waffling all over the place. 

So, at the end of the day, trust your agents that shoot you straight. I am telling people right now that I think I know what to do but that the market is in flux enough that I absolutely could be wrong. Sometimes I am. Sometimes I miss altogether. Anyone in a changing market that says they know exactly what to do in all circumstances is delusional or lying. Make the best decisions you can with the best information you can get. And don’t be afraid to change it mid-stream. You may have to. Good luck out there. Call if you need me.