It seems that whenever I speak with someone about the real estate market, they end up quoting some national media’s latest story on the real estate market. That usually leads to an explanation (and often times healthy debate/argument) about how the article they’re quoting is just “noise” and not relevant because our local market conditions are very different from the majority of the U.S.
Noise is distracting and can be harmful. It can cloud your judgement and cost you thousands (literally). It’s like a jackhammer constantly going off outside of your window while you’re trying to make an extremely important decision.
Much of mass media’s articles are “noise”. They run national, not local news stories so, much of the time, the information has very little to do with your local market. Mass media knows that many of those reading the article will apply the information to their decisions in their local area . Yet, I have never read an article that says, “Your local real estate market may be very different so take this article under consideration, but not as gospel”.
What’s relevant is information and data regarding your local real estate market. I would even argue that “local” is sometimes too broad – you have to go “hyper-local”. This type of hyper-local, relevant information can mostly be found in local media, local real estate blogs and other local sources. It’s relevant information that will help you make an informed and educated decision which will save you time, energy and money.
Now, I’m not saying that all mass media only runs pieces on the national real estate market. I’ve seen some improvement with some mass media such as the Wall Street Journal – they wrote a news story entitled “Bidding Wars Emerging on Foreclosures” which was actually a local real estate story. The WSJ made it clear what areas they were talking about and got their data and input from local agents they interviewed in those areas.
The WSJ article is a good start, but as a whole, mass media has a long way to go. For now, people have to start filtering out the noise and focus on what’s relevant. And if not, guess we’ll all just keep having healthy debates.