"Glut" Of Realtors Drawn To California's Bubble
The LA Times has a story about the competitive realty market on the west coast. "'Hi, I'm Joseph Petralia from Coldwell Banker. I'm doing a survey in the neighborhood.' That's his standard opening line. Petralia is working ZIP Code 95118, a middle-class neighborhood in San Jose."
"'Hell, no, I'm not moving,' this fellow says. 'I was born and raised on this street 85 years ago.' 'I'd rather have them hang up than not answer,' Petralia says. 'At least I know I'm getting closer to success.'"
"Last year, as he was breaking into the business, Petralia acted as a buyer's agent for a $1.6-million property. He netted $32,000 more than he had made in the entire previous year stocking auto parts at a Mercedes dealer. But Petralia confesses that the clients were his sister and her fiance. This year hasn't seen a payday like that. He's made only $4,000 in commissions."
"Suddenly, he gets a live one. It's his 21st call of the morning. An unemployed engineer says he's thinking of selling and then renting, hoping prices fall enough so he can get a better house at a cheaper price."
"'You're looking to cash out?' Petralia says. 'Are you aware of the market right now?"
"Is there a homeowner in California who isn't?"
"More than 22,000 applicants took the state's real estate exam in April, nearly three times as many as in April 2003. The last time so many people wanted to sell real estate in California was in 1990. In what might be an ominous sign for the current boom, that year marked a peak in the housing market."