The Angry Buyer Syndrome…Why do some Westchester home buyers remind agents of Lewis Black?

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Sometimes agents talk amongst themselves. Share our war stories and generally discuss the market and where we think it is going. Over the past few weeks I have been hearing a similar theme being expressed in different ways by several agents and brokers. It’s something that I’ve been feeling too – but haven’t expressed verbally – until now. Yesterday, one agent finally put his finger on all the euphemisms regarding “buyer behavior” over the past year when he said he is seeing a lot of “angry buyers.”

We are in one of the best buyer’s markets that Westchester County has ever seen. So why all the hostility? Buyers are in the drivers seat. But like the angry comic, Lewis Black, there are quite a few buyers who seem almost hostile no matter how much the pot is sweetened. It’s never quite enough and they keep pushing the envelope until there is no more. Even after they’ve been offered a gooey sweet pot – they sometimes walk away convinced that they are being ripped off. They have forgotten that a transaction is give and take and that they can’t have the entire real estate pie for themselves.

My guess is that many of these angry buyers feel that they have been denied their “market crash.” They have been patiently waiting for the market to take a blissful dive off a cliff. After all, a crash of catastrophic proportions was promised by news media. A cohort of buyers were waitin’ and hopin’ and wishin’ and prayin’ for a complete collapse in the Westchester housing market. Then they were then going to swoop in and snag a steal and live happily ever after purchasing a $600,000 home for $200,000.

The media’s housing doomsday scenarios created a great deal of misinformation and probably set many buyers up for a big disappointment. The siren song of a collapsing housing market was very appealing to first time buyers because it offered the false hope that if they were just patient they would be able to afford the house of their dreams in a prime location for peanuts. It was far more alluring then the reality check local agents would give them. So they stuck their fingers in their ears when we shook our heads and said “that’s highly unlikely” or “not happening here.”

We are having price adjustments in lower Westchester, this is great for buyers…..but it is a far cry from the +50% collapse in prices that some seemed to be counting on. Buyers need to remember that real estate is a very local business and that the conditions that prevailed in areas where housing did implode simply don’t exist here. Houses are on “sale” right now, but its not a “fire sale” particularly in highly commutable areas.

Instead of being angry, it would probably be more productive for buyers to recognize that buying into a market that has some built in stability is a GOOD thing. There are several reasons for this inherent stability. which I will discuss in a future blog.

Am I trying to make lemonade out of lemons? Perhaps its more like making fine wine out of sour grapes…

Here’s Lewis Black….enjoy and laugh….

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