It’s a great time to buy or sell a home!

In fact, its such a good time, that the National Association of Realtors decided they need to drop $40 million telling you so:



Buy the way, imagine if a Fund manager or analyst ever said: XYZ? Oh, yeah, its a great time to BUY OR SELL that. (They would cart them away).

Here’s the NYT take on this:

“Just as dairy associations, with their widespread ads, have tried to convince Americans of the many benefits of milk, the National Association of Realtors
will begin promoting the notion that buying a home is an unalloyed good
in a $40 million campaign that boldly declares: “It’s a great time to
buy or sell a home.”

Gee, you almost think these guys are transactional based or something, taking a cut of any buy or sell. But wait, there’s more:

“The ads will try to counter the drumbeat of
dour housing data and news by making the case that historically low
interest rates, a large supply of homes on the market and the group’s
forecast of rising prices next year make now an ideal time to buy a

The campaign, which was developed by the Most Agency,
based in Newport Beach, Calif., starts today with full-page ads in The
Wall Street Journal and USA Today. It will make its way into other
newspapers, including The New York Times, over the weekend and onto
television and radio networks early next year…

economists, however, are somewhat more skeptical. Many predict that
sales and prices, as measured by the association, which fell in August
and September from a year ago, may decline further because there are
too many homes on the market and because the rapid run-up in prices has
put homeownership out of reach of many.”

Good stuff. Here is my very favorite part:

“Showing how perilous the art of
forecasting can be, the ad by the National Association of Realtors
cites a 4.3 percent increase in the number of existing home sales
contracts signed in August, from July, as evidence that “prices over
all have stabilized.”

But Wednesday, new data released by the
association showed that contract signings fell 1.1 percent in
September, from August, and 13.6 percent from September 2005. A
spokesman said that the first ads were prepared before the latest
figures were available and would be updated next week.

Stevens dismissed the idea that the campaign, the first of its kind
undertaken by the association, could be viewed as a sign of
. . .” (emphasis added)

Desperation?!? Whatever could they be talking about?


Realtors Say the Stars Are Aligned for Housing
NYT, November 3, 2006

Download a full-size version of the ad (PDF, 100k)
(to display on your office wall or include in promotional packets for potential buyers)

Learn the points to make with customers who are hesitating about buying now

Download a fact sheet (PDF, 100k)

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What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. S commented on Nov 3

    Happy Days are here again!!!!

  2. Michael C. commented on Nov 3

    >>>Buy the way, imagine if a Fund manager or analyst ever said: XYZ? Oh, yeah, its a great time to BUY OR SELL that. They would cart them away.<<< Hahahaha. I almost fell out of my chair on that one. And when I returned to my desk with my belly sore, I'm thinking, wait, if it were the equities market, for example, maybe they are talking about liquidity being the best so it IS the best time to buy or sell. OH BUT WAIT...days on market for real estate is the worst in years. First Ted Haggard, then the payrolls, then this. Thank goodness it's Friday. When's happy hour. I'm buyin.

  3. lurker commented on Nov 3

    Shouldn’t these ads be run in China and India where many of our jobs and a great chunk of our dollars are going? I can’t figure out who else will be able to bail US out real estate wise that is. Perhaps the folks with ARMs will be able to refinance for 30 years at 4% or lower.

  4. Bob_in_ma commented on Nov 3

    What makes this comical is that Tom Stevens is finding it impossible to sell his own house.

    Yep, from CNN:

    “Even the savviest sellers can get stuck in this situation. NAR head Tom Stevens is himself a tweener: He’s been trying to off-load his Virginia home for more than a year. The housing market is going through a period of adjustment, he told Congress. I have experienced this firsthand.”

    gotta love it!

  5. GerryL commented on Nov 3

    It’s a great time to buy or sell a home (we don’t care which you do we just want the commission).

  6. A Non Y Mouse commented on Nov 3

    Hhmmm…Maybe it’s time for 50-year-interest only variable rate mortgages. Everyone could afford those. Yeah, that’s the ticket!

  7. Scott Frew commented on Nov 3

    Call up Greenspan’s agent–maybe he can take the Ed McMahon role in the late night tv ads.

  8. COD commented on Nov 3

    It probably is a great time to buy a house, as long as you don’t need to sell the one your living in first.

  9. brion commented on Nov 3

    some rejected ads:

    Houses. The other white meat.

    Buy a condo today! (because-you can’t take it with you)

    Got Debt?

    “i can’t believe i financed the WHOLE THING!”

  10. wcw commented on Nov 3

    It’s a fine time to take out a mortgage. Buying a home with it, not so great. Look at for-sale-only vacancies.

    With that many empty homes on the market, as a buyer I wait for blood in the streets before making an offer. Every month sellers pay a mortgage on an empty house makes for more-motivated sellers and better prices.

  11. joe commented on Nov 3

    “i can’t believe i financed the WHOLE THING!”

    That’s amazing. I hope the 3 o’clock show is just as good…

  12. Bob A commented on Nov 3

    Well no doubt it’s a better time than it was a year ago. Always better to buy things when they’re on sale isn’t it?

  13. Q-Ball commented on Nov 3

    Yes it is Bob.

    Certainly it was better to buy the NASDAQ at 4500 than it was at 5000.

  14. fearlessmanateehunter commented on Nov 3

    Sounds just like Bush’s “Stay the Course”…

    These guys at the National Association of Realtors are a stain on the profession and are doing more damage than good. It’s insulting and damaging to the public interest and it reeks with disingenuous pandering.


    Keep up the good work, expose these charlatans morons for what they are….

  15. fearlessmanateehunter commented on Nov 3

    The Tampa Tribune. “A New York lender fears it is on the hook for millions of dollars in loans that now total more than the New Port Richey properties are worth. Lehman Bros. filed suit in Tampa on Tuesday against a group of investors, title companies, a mortgage company and an appraisal company involved in potential mortgage fraud at a Pasco County condominium complex.”

    “Fifteen defendants used overvalued appraisals in a ’scheme to defraud’ the bank, according to the lawsuit. The 13 properties each were appraised for $733,000. The lawsuit says the triplexes are worth ‘barely one-third’ of that value.”

    “Lenders across the country are investigating mortgages that may be worth more than the market value of the properties. Part of the problem, they say, is that lenders usually don’t spot problem mortgages until buyers start missing payments.”

    “Lenders are discovering overvalued loans now for two reasons, said Doug Pollock, a mortgage investigator in Sanford. For one thing, fraudulent loans were easily overlooked during the past five years’ real estate boom. Second, industry professionals may be tempted to participate in fraudulent deals to attract business, Pollock said.”

    This, ladies and gentlemen, is the rule and not the exception down here in South Florida. Owners are litteraly walking away from their properties in Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties and the banks are starting to realize that they are only about 50% colateralized. It’s not going to be pretty.

  16. alex commented on Nov 3

    seems somebody is DESPERATE….the ad contradicts so nicely with the story on W1….

    By the way, check that out:

    Is there some hope at the end of that tunnel? After the Bushies manipulated GDP data for Q3 I feel there should not be one economist out there with a soul who has a doubt how to vote…

  17. RP commented on Nov 3

    You seriously ought to consider sending this pdf over to….a nice glossy poster with a good tagline is really hard to find. No milk mustache on me though…it came out my nose as I read your post….lol.

  18. ari5000 commented on Nov 3

    It’s a great time to own gold.

    Owning $400K in debt on a house worth $300K?

    Not so much.

  19. angryinch commented on Nov 3

    “Always better to buy things when they’re on sale isn’t it?”

    Right now, houses aren’t ON sale, they’re FOR sale. Significant distinction.

  20. angryinch commented on Nov 3

    To be fair, not sure what the NAR is supposed to do. Throw up their hands? Tell folks not to be until houses are 50% cheaper?

    They are the PR arm for the Reamtor™ business. Their job is to pump sales. So this ad campaign is perfectly in character.

    But the fact they are doing this is telling. Where i live in Calif, the biggest Reamtor™ in our market took a full-page out in the local Sunday Reamty™ section. It was a long letter to the citizens of our county in which she tried to talk folks down off the ledge by saying that buying RE is always “scary”, but everyone always comes out fine in the end.

    Not sure that it’s smart to talk folks off the ledge who don’t think of themselves as on the ledge in the first place. Seems counterproductive to me. But if nothing else, I certainly have never seen something like this before. Not in the ’80s downturn nor the early ’90s downturn here.

    So this time is different all right.

  21. calmo commented on Nov 3

    Angry taps this one home:

    Not sure that it’s smart to talk folks off the ledge who don’t think of themselves as on the ledge in the first place.

    –a version of the doc tellin you the slightest little thing could be curtains for you, yes?
    But this one:

    But if nothing else, I certainly have never seen something like this before.

    kind of a glancing blow to those of us expecting anything else besides “something” –maybe “anything” , maybe “nothing”…the nail B famously bentova, not tapped quietly, and unremarkably, home.

    Seriously, (see, I can get down to it at gun point) AG’s dismissal of the small segment of home owners (dare-devil ARM holders) is being called into question here (no, not that AG personally advocated them as the loan of choice when the market demand looked like it was faltering in 03, but the size of that group appears to be a little larger than miniscule).
    More people are on the uncommon ledge than commonly believed. Even people not on the ledge believe they might soon be. Some people just looking for any place, might find themselves on the ledge by mistake and might need to be discovered by others who will declare them to be safely off the ledge.
    The ledgablity problem is really a measure of inconfidence and we hear it loud and clear with this NAR headline, yes?

  22. cm commented on Nov 4

    Before I noticed that you had actually credited the ad, I was secretly hoping it was a fake in the way of a joke or so.

    BTW, I got a 650K download, not 100K as you state. Now it occupies 650K worth of “real estate” on my disk.

  23. Traci commented on Nov 5

    Still waiting for NASDAQ to come out with full-page ads on how it’s a great time to buy stocks, maybe the US Treasury can post ads touting long-term bonds.

    Seriously, though, and more to the point – how can it be a “great time to buy OR sell a home?” Either prices are low, in which case it’s a good time to buy or prices are high, in which case it’s a good time to sell (they seem to be suggesting the former, which makes the title misleading). Maybe they’re saying it’s a good time to do both, which would only be true if commissions were now somehow lower (sort of flying in the face of their goal). Or perhaps they’re saying it’s a good time to do one or the other but they’re not sure or aren’t saying which one, which makes for a pointless advertisement.

    Just wasted 3 minutes of my life on that pointless analysis…I think I need a beer.

  24. Altos Research Real Estate Insights commented on Nov 5

    Weekend Reading

    Some sites I’ve been reading lately that deserve a look, if you’re not already familiar with, is a frenetic real estate investor site. I like their blog because they’re actively tracking the news of a weakening housing market with

  25. BC commented on Nov 6

    My take-away is that the NAR is not spending their members’ dues on an ad firm. This is a terrible ad, with bad graphics, early-60s typefaces, terrible layout, and copy that does everything but shout ‘THIS IS A LIE!’.

    I mean really. This firm should be ashamed of themselves, putting out tripe like this and calling it an NY strip.

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