Realtors Exhibit Cautious Optimism for Housing’s Future

At the 2010 Realtors Conference & Expo in New Orleans last week, real estate professionals were cautiously optimistic about the current and future state of the industry.

“The spike up and down in the housing market wasn’t normal, so we shouldn’t be measuring ourselves against it,” said Margaret Kelly, CEO of RE/MAX and panelist on the State of the Real Estate Industry forum. “To be successful in the current housing market, real estate professionals need to educate themselves about buying and selling distressed properties and working with investor buyers, who are a significant part of the market.”

According to Kelly, education is a critical aspect of turning things around. “Real estate professionals should be learning how to handle short sales, how to market themselves and find buyers, and to really understand market conditions,” she said.

Kelly said the housing market is full of opportunities, and low interest rates, large inventories, and stable prices are attracting buyers to the market.

Panelist Ron Peltier, chairman and CEO of HomeServices of America, Inc., said that today’s real estate market resembles the market in 2000, which many people thought was a good year in real estate.

“The rise in sales and prices during the boom was unrealistic and unsustainable, and all of that nonsense has been pushed out of the market,” said Peltier “Today buyers need to have jobs and be creditworthy. The underlying principles of home ownership are the same they were 100 years ago; we want a sense of home and community, we strive for long-term not short-term home ownership, and we have sense of pride for owning a home.”

Panelist Alex Perriello, president and CEO of Realogy Franchise Group, said there are no signs the housing market will recover soon, but now is the time for brokers to grow their market share through mergers or acquisitions.

Matt Vernon, SVP for retail sales at Bank of America Home Loans, said short sales were never designed to be a mass market transaction in the industry.

Vernon admitted that Bank of America and other lenders didn’t respond quickly enough to handle the large scale of short sale transactions, but hiring more staff, increasing education, and developing a customer focus helped to shorten and improve the process.

This article is from DSNews.com.

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