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RISMEDIA, March 10, 2009-We are bombarded daily with reports, opinions and statistical interpretations regarding the real estate market that, in my opinion, amount to a whole lot of worthless information.

National statistics regarding pending home sales and price declines may have little or no value when placed next to local markets. These reports often confuse consumers, present possible unrealistic expectations and result in extensive time taken by Realtors to educate buyers and sellers regarding local market realities.

Another issue is the focus on pending sales and tracking sales volume. While an increase in both sales and pending sales is a positive indicator for the market, the declines in the overall dollar volume show the impact on the real estate profession.

Realtors in our area (Michigan) are showing on average 25-40 homes to a customer prior to writing an offer. To earn the same level income as two years ago may mean having to have as much as twice the number of transactions.

Coupled with the volume of paperwork required and time delays with short sales, foreclosures and REO properties in general, the pressures on Realtors are tremendous.

As a profession, we need to work locally with our associations, MLSs and media to present a true picture to the buying and selling public. Get the word out on the realities of buying a foreclosed property-what are the real market prices in an area, as opposed to how much the last REO property sold for.

Sitting back while our local consumers are pounded with national information-which may not present a true picture of our area-is not an option.

Walt Baczkowski is president of the Metropolitan Consolidated Association of REALTORS®. To contact him, please e-mail walt@mcaronline.com.

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