HERD MENTALITY AND REAL ESTATE

In my previous career as a grocer I noticed an odd

phenomenon that was interesting to me. Whenever shoppers

head for the checkout stand it always seems to attract

a crowd. I watched and studied this scene for many years

and the only explanation that I could come up with is that

it is somehow rooted in the herd mentality. Like a herd of

sheep or cattle, when one person starts through the checkout

line for some reason the lines quickly fill up and cause

a log jam. It’s like a race to beat the other shoppers out

the door! The crowd thins out and it gets quiet until the

next herd surges for the gate. If you don’t believe me, go

watch for a few hours at any grocery store!

So what does that have to do with real estate? The same

phenomenon happens in the real estate market in a couple

of different ways. A property can be listed for many

months with little or no action, but when an offer comes

in, it seems as if suddenly the buyers come out of the

woodwork to make competing offers. I’ve seen the same

thing happen with fish while fly fishing in high clear lakes.

Your tasty looking offering can go unnoticed for quite

awhile, but when a fish sees another heading for the bait,

the race is on to see which can get there first!

For a few years now we have been deeply embedded in

a buyer’s market. Many listings languished on the market

until this last winter began and road weary sellers pulled

their tired listings off the market to rest for the season. Guess

what happened? The buyers who had been actively watching,

but without making that fact known, now came out of

the woodwork, worried because targeted properties had disappeared

from the internet and other advertising venues.

Several of these off-the-market listings have sold recently.

The list agents received more calls from buyers and more

legitimate showings after the listing had been removed from

the market than they did during the entire listing period. I

share this observation merely to point out that the shift to a

seller’s market seems eminent.