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READING BETWEEN THE (HEAD) LINES.

(This is a repost from May, 2009. I am reposting because we have similarly conflicting sales data published this week. I think it deserves a rehash)

There have been a lot of headlines in the last couple of days regarding real estate sales, prices and so on. Much of what’s been published, unfortunately, is national numbers.

How relevant are the national existing home sales statistics which are being spit out from our national trade organization, the National Association of REALTORS®?

I mean...REALLY?!? Come on!

What in the name of all things holy do national numbers regarding existing home sales have to do with existing home sales for Devonshire or Forest Hills or Arden or one of a thousand other pocket neighborhoods in the Greater Indianapolis region?

My answer: not a flippin’ thing.

You’ve probably heard the saying that all politics is local. Well... all real estate is local. And in my not-so-humble opinion, all real estate is MICRO local.

That is to say, trends and sales from block to block and from neighborhood to neighborhood change - sometimes significantly - depending on where the specific property you’re concerned with is located.

Numbers go up. Numbers go down. Numbers go sideways.

In Marion County alone, where there are nine townships and numerous little incorporated villages and towns, we’ll find two side-by-side neighborhoods with dramatically different sales statistics.

One neighborhood’s sales may be up for two years runing, and the one right next door might be down for ten consecutive years.

What’s going on - saleswise - at 54th & Kessler North Drive has NO BEARING WHATSOEVER on what might happen in Southport or Speedway or Crooked Creek

The statistics really don’t mean a thing...unless you know how to interpret them.

So here’s the deal:

Are you wondering what your house is worth? Has the value gone up? Has the value gone down? Has it remained flat?

Talk to your REALTOR®. Call him or her. Ask, “What’s going on in my neighborhood?”

Your REALTOR® will pull data from a representative set of recent sales to help determine the current market value of your home.

It’s pretty simple, really. Enjoy the headlines.

Just don’t believe everything you read.