THE BLOG
07/09/2013 04:36 pm ET Updated Sep 08, 2013

Real Estate Pity Party

If I wasn't messing with multiple breaches of confidentiality, I might throw a party for some of the broken-hearted people tossed to the sidelines during the tumult of our recent real estate market.

First to arrive would be those who showed up too late for the lowest interest rates. They forget about how the banks weren't lending much in the winter and appraisals were all over the place. All they remember is that for the next 30 years, their monthly mortgage payment will be significantly higher than if they had closed in May. So where's the bar?

Hello, sellers who refused to RSVP! And why should you, since each time you said you were available, offers flooded in? It was understandable to think buyers would start a bidding war for your house, and someone would wave wads of cash at you. Thanks for dropping in anyway; I'm sure it was lonely watching your more flexible neighbors loading up their moving vans.

Oh, look who's here to party with the forlorn -- the buyers who expected everyone to embrace them the moment they stepped in the driveway! So sorry you were kicked to the curb when you demanded that sellers of competitively priced homes replace roofs, burners, pool liners, and windows. Didn't you see the buyers standing right behind you saying they liked the houses just as they were? (Actually, some are at my bar, griping about the rates they are paying for the pleasure of living in those houses you tried to pilfer.)

Next over the threshold are the exceedingly over-dressed sellers. You look as lovely as your home, I'm sure, but potential purchasers don't care that you paid top dollar for your designer duds a decade ago. There may be resources to keep your garments from getting soaked, but it's not today's buyers, looking to pay comfortable prices. Please grab some chips and greet the others -- I hear the doorbell!

Welcome, disillusioned buyers. You really shouldn't be here, should you? You saved your money and had 20 percent to put down. Yet you were trampled by the buyers with wallets full of cash snatching up investment properties. While you're drowning your sorrows, seek consolation from the homeowners shuffling in now. They've been trying to rent their house, but can't get enough to cover their monthly mortgage. They'll dejectedly tell you all about the cash investors snatching up the neighborhood's inventory, and offering fixed-up homes at lower rentals.

Last to the party are buyers thwarted by lenders who just aren't lending now. Sure, their applications may be approved eventually, but where's the incentive to make timely decisions while interest rates are rising? How nice that you've brought along your home sellers! I recognize them as the ones looking quite puzzled. They know that they're in contract, but can't seek new places until the pending mortgages get approved. They start to complain about baffling delays, only to become distracted by another conversation. Did someone say rates are going up?