I just saw a scary commercial.  It went by pretty quickly and I was just walking by the TV, but this is what I think I saw.

A woman holding a microphone saying it’s maybe not a good time to buy. (perhaps a media facsimile)

A perky young woman who said that wasn’t true and she found out it was a good time to buy at “RightTimeToBuy.Org” and had just made her first home purchase.

Then the garden guy popped his head in “sisco?” and told everyone to go to RightTimeToBuy.Org

Who is behind this site?  It’s made to look very generic like a Public Service Announcement of some kind.  But who paid for the commercial on TV? 

“RightTimetoBuy.org is a free resource to educate, encourage and empower people who are thinking about buying a home. We don’t sell any financial or real estate products or services, all information is free and we don’t accept payment from anyone to be mentioned on our site.  We accept information from a variety of credible sources.”  I love that last line.  I see no links to SeattleBubble.com 🙂

Then it lists a bunch of real estate companies, a testimonial about a RE/MAX agent and something to do with a homebuilders association.  If this is backed by people who do “sell…financial or real estate products or services”, or is an advertising site for that purpose, is it OK to make it look like it isn’t a biased site?

If anyone else sees this commercial or knows anything about this site, can you give me your take on it?  I’d appreciate it.

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ARDELL is a Managing Broker with Better Properties METRO King County. ARDELL was named one of the Most Influential Real Estate Bloggers in the U.S. by Inman News and has 33+ years experience in Real Estate up and down both Coasts, representing both buyers and sellers of homes in Seattle and on The Eastside. email: ardelld@gmail.com cell: 206-910-1000

72 thoughts on “RightTimetoBuy.Org

  1. Ardell,

    At first blush it appears this site was registered by:

    Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties
    335 116th Ave. SE, Bellevue, WA 98004 USA
    Phone: (425) 451-7920 | Fax: (425) 646-5985 | Toll Free: (800) 522-2209

    I’ll continue to dig.

  2. Sounds like a similar syndicate that created the Oregon version, http://www.buynoworegon.org – “a gathering of area business leaders representing building, home finance, realtors, utility and supply companies.”

    I saw the site and heard their radio spot, but wasn’t aware until recently that they had cited one of my blog posts as an ‘article’ supporting their message. Would have been nice to be asked if it was appropriate…

  3. They better not use one of mine, though I doubt they would. I’m honestly afraid I’d get sued to tell you how I really feel about this site. Looks to me like there’s big money behind it and it is anything BUT what is states it is…unbiased.

  4. Ya I saw this one a while back..Cisco Morris is what caught my eye…
    I love the guy as far as plants go and my hubby and I just die laughing watching him, but I was curious how that horticultural knowledge translated into real estate predictions….
    I saw that it was backed by the same that you did…

  5. This is what I love about this country and freedom. Someone can somehow scrape together enough money, or convince enough people to donate the money, and then have their voice be heard.

    SeattleBubble.com should do the same. Anyone willing to offer up some $$$ to make the counter argument? Or maybe the truth behind the ecomonics will be enough. It seems to be so far.

    Now, if we were in China that would be another story.

  6. But it might be a good time to buy if you need somewhere to live. Or if you find a great deal. Or if you want to take advantage of still-low interest rates. Or if your family is expanding and you need a larger home. Or you just got transferred to town in a job move and you want to be in a certain neighborhood for the schools. Or you’re tired of renting. Or you just inherited some money and want to finally become a homeowner. Or you’re sick of your old house and want a new townhome with no maintenance. Or perhaps you’ve always wanted a home on a golf course. Or on the water. Or closer to your job or your sister or your best friend.

    There are lots of good reasons to buy a house if you want a house.

    There are also lots of good reasons not to buy a house if you don’t want one or can’t afford it.

    No website or TV commercial in the world is going to make someone do something they don’t want to do. Alternately, no website or TV commercial is going to stop someone from doing something they WANT to do.

    On a personal note, I am looking for more investment property right now and am hoping that by this Fall, I’ll find some incredible deal that will really bring value to my real estate portfolio.

    So for me, this really IS a good time to buy.

  7. My problem with the site is it should say “this is a paid site sponsored by” builders…or real estate companies…or whomever is paying for it that DOES stand to gain by people thinking it is “THE right time to buy. They shouldn’t be pretending it is paid for by someone who has nothing to gain or lose from the message. That just looks like an outright lie. And once you start lying to people…well the site loses credibility…no?

    I may be to literal about it, but for me the key word is “time” and not subject to other reasonings. When someone asks “Is it a good/great/right ‘time’ to buy”, the time factor seems to be the reason for the question.

    If a buyer is asking a real estate professional about right “time”, I don’t think they are referring to personal objective timings, but market timings.

    But then I could be wrong.

    If you ask your doctor when is a good time to buy, he will check the due date of the birth.

    If you ask your accountant if it is a good time to buy, he will check your need for deductions this year vs. next.

    If you ask your employer if this is a good time to buy, he will tell you the date of the actual job transfer.

    If you ask your real estate professional if this is a good time to buy…well then…maybe he shouldn’t be looking at the doctor for the due date of the twins coming.

    Who is being asked the question often defines what “right time” means. I guess there are many interpretations of “from a variety of credible sources.” But saying those credible sources have nothing to gain from the message is just an outright lie as far as I can see.

    “We don’t sell any financial or real estate products or services” seems to be a stretch if the site is owned by the Master Builder’s Association. That would be like NAR saying that, and I guess technically it would be true, but not really. It seems misleading to have the verbiage that it is an unbiased site.

  8. It is odd how anonymous the site looks…like no one wants to take credit for it. Why not say “sponsored by…blah blah”…are they concerned that it would discredit the site or their message?

    Home buying is a very personal choice. It’s the right time for some and for others not. I totally agree w/Marlow’s comment 11.

  9. I am asked that question all the time: “Jillayne is now a good time to buy?” Here is my answer:

    Some folks plan on staying put for many years. However, “life happens” and some of these folks may end up having to sell sooner rather than later.

    If home values go down, then do the homeowners have cash reserves accumulated to cover the potential costs to sell?

    If home values go down, and the homeowners must sell, are the homeowners comfortable with having lost their downpayment?

    If home values go down and homeowners cannot sell, can they put a renter in there for enough to cover the mortgage payment (or get relatively close?)

    Marlow’s right; surely there are some folks who want to buy a home today who have lots of cash saved up and don’t have to worry about pesky problems like being able to rent it out. If they have to sell, they’ll take the write off.

    I’m guessing that this particular pool of buyers is much, much, much smaller and shrinking.

    A better idea is to come up with a “list of good reasons” to buy.

    “now’s the time” uses fear to motivate. Most people who are motivated by emotion tend to feel manipulated.

    Logic is a much better way to persuade.

    Ardell, why don’t you buy the domain name goodreasonstobuy.com

    The domain is available.

  10. I’ve never seen a stock have a “BUY” recommendation and a “SELL” recommendation, at the same time. Sure some will buy every day and some will sell every day anyway. Just because it’s not “a good time” to buy, doeosn’t mean people won’t buy or shouldn’t buy.

    I think that’s where I disagree on this. People buying when it is not a “good time to” should be buying with informed consent. A lot of people sell stock to get the money for college tuition when it is not a good time to sell. The personal reason to do so, doesn’t change the answer to the question “is it a good time to”.

  11. Ardell, how would someone buy w/informed consent? Would they have to sign a disclosure form (there’s room to make those p&s’s longer-ha!) saying they’re aware they’re buying in a soft or declining market?… that their new home purchase may not appreciate as they have in years past?

    How do you do “informed consent” and document it?

    Would this be the RE Agent’s responsibility or the Loan Originators?

    The appraiser may point out if the property is in a declining market… at that point, you’re “in” the transaction… interesting topic!

  12. Ardell,

    If people are dumb enough to buy a home because of a tv ad (or buy a stock because a broker told them it was a good stock to buy), this is simply “financial natural selection”.

    Mega-breweries advertise that I will score with hot chicks in shorts and tank tops if I drink their tasteless crap. But, I’m guessing that won’t happen.

    Let it go.

  13. Rhonda,

    I just heard about a sale that didn’t close after it had appraised when the lender decided not to fund because they felt the value just wasn’t there. It was an agent in Canada pulling her hair out 🙂

  14. I agree, Patent Guy, if they would disclose who was behind the site. They say they have no monetary incentive at all. Can you say that on a site and then have monetary incentive? Doesn’t seem right.

  15. The truth is it all depends. Not only does a buyer have to guess what’s going to happen to values, they also have to guess what’s going to happen to interest rates, and also guess what’s going to happen to selection. There’s tremendously good selection right now. Will the selection be as good in a year? Probably. But in the end, whether it’s a good time to buy depends on your goals, your guesses, and your stomach. A lot of people want to buy just to eliminate one big unknown from their lives.

    You got to just give it your best guess, and go when you think it’s right. Either that, or flip a coin.

  16. Now is the best time ever to purchase a Hummer, gas prices are going down and they with the lackluster economy they will never ever be cheaper!

    — Bob Anonymous, concerned citizen

    (this message brought to you by GM)

  17. “Great opportunity for immediate equity!”

    I get emails like this every day. Is this “allowable puffery” or a claim that must be proven to be true? Most States allow “puffery in advertising”, but it’s hard to draw that line between “puffery” and “misrepresentation”.

  18. I’m updating my ethics class this week: no puffery allowed for Realtors. Article 12:

    Realtors shall be honest and truthful in their real estate communications and shall present a true picture in their advertising, marketing, and other representations.

    Realtors shall ensure that their status as a real estate professional is readily apparent in their advertising, marketing, and other representatios, and that the recipients of all real estate communications are, or have been, notified that those communications are from a real estate professional.”

    Jillayne here: Someone should call the Realtors affiliated with this website.

  19. I agree with Marlow # 11 and Rhonda # 13.

    It’s the right time to buy for some, and not for some.

    Personally, I think there are bargains out there, and if the ‘bottom’ comes by spring, you’re going to regret not having moved on those bargains this fall.

    Even in a slow economy, business decisons happen.

  20. If you click on the About Us link it clearly states who is behind the site:

    The following are companies and organizations that have contributed information:

    Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties
    JJ Johnston, “A HouseSold Name,

  21. Many are under “past” value, lower as to “present value” but overpriced in relation to “future value”. Future value can’t be deemed as flat or in upward motion until the market is fully adjusted for the credit crisis. That can’t be shorter than 18 months from now by anyone’s “prediction”. Though some are “hoping” it will be sooner, including Greenspan, no one is “predicting” it will be shorter.

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