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Realtors choose fantasy float for 2009 Rose Parade
Look for a Realtor parade float inspired by the Swiss Family Robinson’s tree house in the 2009 Rose Parade. We all enjoy a little fantasy with our parade. But is a storybook home that never needed a mortgage, a Realtor, or a mortgage broker -- and thus was never in danger of foreclosure, the most appropriate housing image to kick off 2009?

And after we all shake off the 2008 real estate hangover, will Realtors help bring some sobriety to real estate purchases during the New Year?

Sponsored by the National Association of Realtors, the tree house float was conceived to “reinforce positive messages about Realtors and Housing” and “wrap up the Association’s Centennial year of celebrations in style.” What a noble purpose to have coming out of one of the worst years in real estate history.

On December 23rd, the NAR released one of the most dismal existing-home sales reports in decades. But more on that tomorrow. For now, let’s revel in the housing fantasy embraced by the largest trade association in the US. Yes, as thousands of Los Angeles residents lose their homes to foreclosure, let us once more celebrate the real estate optimism so beautifully pictured by a storybook tree house our children play in when they visit Disneyland.

The NAR is celebrating its 100th year as the chief organization devoted to “helping its Realtor members become more profitable and successful.” It’s sure done a great job of that. In fact, it’s been so good at spinning positive everything real estate that it’s taken sharp criticism for not offering a wee bit more realism (thus my sarcastic tone in this story) in the interpretation of its regular housing reports. In fact, at least one real estate expert has proposed that the NAR should be regulated by the SEC in order to introduce some sobriety to its heady promotion of more real estate purchases at all costs.

For the parade, the NAR even commissioned the composition of a song to accompany its real estate fantasy float. Really, I’m serious. You can go to the Realtor Web site and listen to its new winsome melody while people talk in the background about how great it is that Realtors are participating in the parade. (Psst. What they fail to realize is that the NAR has been running its own fantastic parade for a very, very long time.)

Okay, so I sound a bit negative. Maybe the NAR is right. Perhaps we do need a little fantasy to kick off 2009.

In fact, I think I’ll just put on my rose colored glasses and watch the Swiss Family Robinson Tree house cruise down Colorado Boulevard along with the rest of the Rose Parade floats. For the benefit of my readers, however, I’m taking those glasses off after January 1st.

I sincerely hope that Realtors take the rose colored glasses off in 2009 too. Call me a fantasy lover, but I’d like to think that the real estate professionals responsible for guiding people during what is usually the biggest purchase of their lives will try harder to help people make sane real estate purchases during the New Year.
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