SONOMA, Calif. – (Oct. 10, 2008) – The world is in a dither over the credit market ruckus and the stock market swoon. Real estate sales have fallen as have prices. Even coveted Sonoma Valley saw a 15% drop in 2nd quarter median prices compared to 2007. And Buyers are frozen. But just as the deer that freezes in your oncoming headlights should move and move quickly, so should you if you’re thinking of buying.Think of it this way – Wine country is on sale! You can get virtually the same property for 20%-30% less today than you could in 2005 when Buyers we’re climbing over each other for their piece of heaven. It didn’t seem foolish then. It feels counterintuitive but it’s certainly not foolish now. Brilliant investors such as Warren Buffett or the recently deceased John Templeton buy stocks and bonds when everyone else is running from them. What if prices fall further you say. After three years of a declining market, that’s a lot less likely than stabilized or even rebounding prices. And every student of markets knows that it’s the moment of greatest fear that you get the biggest discount.Furthermore, interest rates are still stupidly low. With real inflation hovering around 5%, I still can’t understand why anyone would lend money for 30 years at 6% or 7%. But they are! These rates won’t last and neither will the current atmosphere. Please remember that investing in real estate is not like investing in a stock or bond. Buyers should have at least a 5-year time horizon. Buying well and holding on is where the real money is made in real property.Real estate is the most retail of businesses. Not only are most Buyers amateurs but so are nearly all Sellers. (That’s why agents are needed). But that means that the market is rife with individual and emotional reasoning. Take advantage of it! Get a great agent and comb the market for the best properties (I’ll write about those in another article… one note: they haven’t come down much at all). Look for a seller who is ready to sell and realistic about current values and move.Donald Van de Mark, sales associate with Pacific Union Christies Great Estates, is one of the top sales partners among some 3,600 agents in GMAC-owned brokerages. Donald is also a public speaker, a former CNN & CNBC financial news correspondent and author of the upcoming book “Maslow’s Traits of Highly Successful People.”WE WELCOME YOUR COMMENTS: feedback (at) pacunion.comPacific Union GMAC Real EstateSince 1975, Pacific Union GMAC Real Estate has thoughtfully matched generations of buyers and sellers throughout the entire Bay Area. Pacific Union GMAC focuses on delivering outstanding quality and unparalleled service to a full spectrum of discerning clients. Pacific Union GMAC is the only firm in California to receive a distinguished four star International Property Award in association with CNBC Europe and the London Daily Mirror for superior marketing materials and client services in the luxury marketplace. A premier, locally managed brokerage with knowledgeable, experienced real estate professionals, Pacific Union GMAC takes a leading edge to new technology applications designed to enhance the client experience. Pacific Union is a GMAC Home Services company. For more information, visit www.pacunion.com.