Mike Stewart, Vancouver realtor, posted this video 17 Nov 2010
His argument can be summarized:
You can’t argue that Vancouver RE is overpriced because:
a. you can’t compare Vancouver with any other place; all places are unique. “Compared to where?”
b. you can’t compare today with any other time; all times are unique.
“Compared to when?”
“The RE market is dynamic; it’s always changing; it’s always moving.”
“If you feel the market is overpriced, you should act accordingly; If you feel the market is underpriced, you should act accordingly. My job is to help you buy or sell property based on what YOU think the market is doing.”
We believe that Mr Stewart is very wise to take an agnostic position regarding the market. Realtors are wise to present themselves as not knowing whether the market is going up or down.
HOWEVER, realtors should be market agnostics because they are SALESMEN,
NOT because of presumptions that the market direction is UNKNOWABLE.
There are many valid ways of estimating whether a market deviates from fair value. At present, by numerous measures, Vancouver RE is outrageously overpriced. You can use history, you can use comparable cities, and you can use fundamental measures to come to this conclusion.
Mr Stewart thinks he’s being neutral, but he’s actually taking a stand by saying that the markets are unknowable.
If Mr Stewart REALLY wants to be a good salesman, he’d decline from making ANY comments about the markets, including even saying that markets are unknowable.
After all, what does he know about predicting market direction OR claiming it can’t be done? He’s self admittedly a salesman, not a market analyst.
He should consider remaking the video in a shorter version, simply saying: “My job is to help you buy or sell property based on what YOU think the market is doing.”
That’d be refreshing. We’d be more favourably disposed to hiring him if he made a statement like that.