Journalists usually fare even more poorly than realtors in public-opinion polls about the most distrusted and/or unethical professions. Luckily for me, that may not be the case for long if the National Association of Realtors keeps its new “public awareness” campaign on the air for any length of time. In the midst of a nationwide housing crisis (just Google “foreclosure”), NAR breaks spots that position home buying as a means “of building long-term wealth.” Yes, that’s true. In a strictly Finance 101, textbook sort of way. But virtually every news item I could find (Google “housing crisis”) predicts that home values will drop further, with more overextended Americans losing their houses. Am I still pissed at that realtor in Belmont, Mass., who a couple years ago blithely quipped to me, “It’s only half a million.” Sure. But at least that guy was openly, honesty condescending. These NAR ads are smug, misleading and—for some, no doubt—heartbreaking. Had the realtors been shown eating Activia during the walk-throughs, it actually would have increased the veracity (or is it “truthiness”?) of the ads.
—Posted by David Gianatasio