Sunday, September 14, 2008

Predatory Purchasing

In the mid-seventies I was in Long Island, New York on business. It was a week long stay. While I was there an Eastern airlines jet went down. The death toll was nearly 100. I clearly recall that the news reports covered the fact that before authorities could secure the crash site, other human beings were approaching the scene and stealing jewelry, wallets, purses and other personal items off the corpses. That has always loomed very large in my mind as to just how low humankind can sink.

It hardly parallels in an analogy but I have been thinking about that experience here lately as I represent people as Sellers and Buyers in our current real estate market. The mindset in a large number of people is that many sellers are under extreme duress in selling thier homes. This market represents an opportunity to try and obtain an extraodinary purchase. In other words many buyers turn into predators trying to benefit at the crash site of the current real estate downturn.

There is little compassion displayed in many of the offers that I have had to handle within the last few months. The prime victim is the person who has not been able to make a payment for awhile on thier homes. They are heading into foreclosure or short sale. The Buyer armed with a sufficient line of credit or cash moves in for the kill. Never mind that the seller is down on thier luck, financially. The predatory purchaser wants to obtain that property at an extreme discount, hang the circumstances of the poor property owner.

Now, I know that we live in a free market economy. I am all in favor of getting a good deal on just about anything I go to purchase. However, I feel that common decency should drive us in the direction of offering a fair price for property. Low ball offers have always been a part of our business however the current market we are in seems to bring out the predator in some of the more unscrupulous. You see their signs on every street corner, " Will pay cash for houses, quickly."

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