I venture to guess that if you own a business or are in a business that sells a product or service, you have felt the tidal wave of indecision by consumers as of late. I have owned multiple businesses over the years and never in my adult life have I seen so much indecision. It’s almost as if people are paralyzed by the thought of making a decision. I am not just talking about buying a home, but also about buying a car, services like pest control, or business owners trying to decide whether or not to launch a new product. I understand that there are a lot of good reasons to be cautious at this time, but I am wondering if maybe we have gone too far in the opposite direction. The reason why this topic is so important to real estate is because sellers have never been more frustrated in wanting to find out why buyers are looking, but not making a decision to buy. Let’s look at the few reasons why people are hesitant to make a decision:
1) The obvious answer is the economy. People are still not convinced that we are out of the woods or they are worried that the economy may have a relapse.
2) Jobs are a big inhibiting force from people making decisions. No one blames anyone for failing to make a major or even a minor purchase because of job uncertainty. It just underscores how important it is to get people working again.
3) Afraid of not getting the best deal. This fear has hit an all-time high in 2010. People are absolutely petrified that they have overpaid for an item, goods, or service. They shop, check, and analyze the internet backwards and forwards. They are so afraid they’ll miss something better at a cheaper price that it paralyzes them from making a decision and moving forward. And yes, this includes homes.
4) I bet that not too many people have thought about the fact that the internet is actually stopping people from making a decision. The reason is simple. The internet has actually given us too much choice. Before the internet, we did not have access let alone instant access to merchants all over the US and the world. We bought goods and services from people in our own backyard and we were limited on our choices. The fact is, today we have way too many choices; it confuses people and actually contributes to a lack of a decision.
In conclusion, I am sure that reasons number one and number two will resolve the majority of indecision going on in the marketplace. As for reasons number three and number four, I am afraid that they are here to stay. As a result, we’ll continue to be a society forever held hostage to the concept of “the best deal” and we may still not be able to make a decision.