Active Rain April 16, 2009

Keep Moving

According to the Discovery channel, fire ants can eat an entire lizard, killing it in a minute in some cases. However, some fence lizards are adapting. Evidently, a fence lizard’s main survival mechanism is to be perfectly still in order to blend in with the surroundings. That’s good if you are trying to avoid a larger predator, but not good if it gives a colony of fire ants enough time to do their work

Now, some fence lizards are adapting to the ant threat by twitching and moving. In areas where the lizards are familiar with the ants, they have begun what scientists have deemed a new practice of shaking the ants off and retreating. Something in their brain clicks. In areas where the ants are less common, less savvy lizards remain still and end up dying. They aren’t adjusting to the changes in the environment, and they don’t survive. I think there’s a lesson there for us all.  

Of course, adapting, keeping moving, and evolving as the market environment changes is important to our economic survival. Buyers, sellers and licensees alike cannot operate like it is 2005 and expect good results.

Cases in point: 


  1. While attempting to set an appointment for a showing, I was informed for the 2nd time by the listing agent of an overly restrictive scheduling preference by the seller- Thursday evenings and weekends only. Clearly, this seller thinks that buyers are lining up like the market is hot. There are too many options! The buyers will buy another house instead of his, and he’ll find that out the hard way.
  2. Agents are still promising sellers a higher than realistic price for their home. How do they expect people to pay more than what the market is clearly bringing? Hyponosis? These agents will hurt themselves, their client, and the perpetuate the image of agents as overpromisers and underdeliverers. You could outrun your mistakes in 2005. You cannot in 2009. Now we have more overpriced, stale listings in an already overcrowded inventory. 
  3. Buyers who think that an aggressively priced house in a hot zip code will accept their low offer because they read that foreclosures in Pheonix are up 50%. We aren’t in Pheonix. All real estate is local, and that $500,000 house would have been $700,000 in 2005. You won’t buy it for $400,000 because the sellers already adapted to market conditions

The hottest real estate book out there is entitled “Shift.” How appropriate. “I’ve been doing this for 30 years,” voiemail hell, and the presumption that buyers will play by your rules don’t work anymore. However you term it, shifting, adapting, or even twitching, we all have to keep moving to keep up. It starts between the ears! 



  J. Philip Real Estate

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J. Philip Faranda ranks among New York’s premier short sale REALTORS specializing in short sales in Westchester, Rockland, Putnam & Dutchess Counties. Read Phil’s short sale blog at

J. Philip Serves Briarcliff Manor, Ossining, Croton on Hudson, Pleasantville, Sleepy Hollow, White Plains, Yonkers, Peekskill, Cortlandt, Tarrytown, Yorktown, Montrose, Hawthorne, Thornwood, Valhalla, Hartsdale & all of Westchester County, New York.