Are You Getting What You Paid For?

As I drive around certain neighborhoods, I’m starting to see signs pop up on listings where a reduced commission is offered. Further, I have talked to other agents in our office that have gone to listing appointments and did not get the listing because the seller decided to go with an agent who offered a vastly reduced commission. But, are these reduced commission really in your best interest? Are they truly improving your bottom line?

For a seller to receive top dollar for their home in any type of market, representation is key – and are you getting that necessary representation and exposure? This all narrowing it down to you technically “getting what you pay for”.

As many of you may know, advertising is expensive and these expenses are only increasing over time. And advertising is not the only expense out there – you are looking at expenses for flyers, strong internet presence, paper advertising, open house expenses (food, beverages, signage, flyers, neighborhood mailers, advertising, gas for the vehicle (primarily when it comes down to showings and presentation of any offers that come in), signage, lock-boxes, photography, and at times video – and now the ever increasing need in making any advertising mobile friendly. Everything necessary to optimize your listings performance in getting it out there in front of the consumer. Further, if another agent brings in a buyer, this commission is then split with the cooperating agent – will cooperating agents be willing to show to their clients a listing that offers a non-typical, low commission over a commission they are used to getting? Or, if the normal commission is being offered to cooperating agents, how much less does that mean your agent is receiving and thus being able to place into the presence of your property?

So, how much of this is being sacrificed or are you willing to sacrifice?

I am not saying that all “bargain” commission offices or agents have reduced services. Some may be able to offer everything mentioned and still offer a lower commission as well. This is when it becomes important to compare services offered by each office/agent and establish what would be the best for you and your needs.

Ask such questions as:

  1. What type of marketing plans do you offer? Internet, paper, neighborhood outreach….
  2. Are you willing to do open houses?
  3. Is listing information and advertising mobile friendly?
  4. How quickly are you able to respond to inquiries? Will it be you handling the inquiries are someone else?
  5. Are you going to be available to show the home, or will someone else?

Overall, just interview and compare because I want you to have maximum exposure regardless of who you use – which not only increases your chances of receiving market value for your property, but vastly increases your chances of a quick sale.

Words of Wisdom: A Seller’s Checklist

Preparing your home for sale not only increases your chances of a quick sale, but also increases the possibility of getting top dollar as well. Here are some tips to keep in mind when you are ready to place your home onto the market:

  • FIRST IMPRESSIONS ARE LASTING. The front door greats the prospective buyer. Make sure it is fresh, clean and scrubbed looking. Keep lawn trimmed and edged, and the yard free of refuse.
  • DECORATE. Faded walls and worn woodwork reduce appeal. A great investment for a higher rate of return would be to do something as simple as applying a fresh coat of paint to help brighten up the interior.
  • LET THE SUN SHINE IN. Open draperies, curtains, blinds and let buyers see how cheerful your home can be.
  • FIX THAT FAUCET! Dripping water can cause discoloration in sinks and could suggest faulty plumbing.
  • REPAIRS CAN MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE. Loose knobs, sticking and squeaking doors and windows, warped cabinet drawers, and other minor flaws can detract from a homes value – have them fixed. Some buyer’s believe there could be another ten problems for every one they have seen.
  • FROM TOP TO BOTTOM. Display the full value of any and all utilities spaces you may have by removing all unnecessary articles.
  • SAFETY FIRST. Keep stairways clear. Avoid cluttered appearances and possible injuries.2
  • MAKE CLOSETS LOOK BIGGER. Neat and well organized closets assist in showing of ample space within a closet.
  • BATHROOMS CAN HELP SELL HOMES. Check and repair caulking in bathtubs and showers. Make the bathroom sparkle!
  • NEATLY ARRANGE BEDROOMS. Remove and excess furniture. Use attractive bedspreads and freshly laundered curtains if they are installed.
  • HARMONIZE ELEMENTS. Radio and stereo on softly and the TV off. All lights on, drapes open. If it’s hot out, cool the house and if it’s cold outside, warm it up.
  • YOU CAN SELL PRIDE OF OWNERSHIP FASTER AND FOR MORE MONEY.  Cleanliness appeals to buyers. Put sparkle into your home, with a lot of focus on the bathrooms and kitchen.
  • WHEN ANY AGENT SHOWS YOUR HOME, REMEBER “THREE’S A CROWD”. Avoid having too many people present during showings, preferably let them and their agent have the house to themselves. Buyers could feel like an intruder and could hurry through the house.
  • MUSIC IS MELLOW. Turn down the blaring radio and off the television. Let the salesperson and buyers be able to talk, free of any disturbances. Soft, background music is good.
  • PETS UNDERFOOT? Keep pets out of the way – preferably out of the house. There are some people who are uncomfortable around animals.
  • SILENCE IS GOLDEN.  If you do remain at the house, be courteous – but don’t force conversation with the buyer. They are there to view the house.
  • BE IT EVER SO HUMBLE. Never apologize for the appearance of your home – it has been lived in. Let the trained sales associate answer any objections, this is their job.
  • PLEASE DON’T STAY IN YOUR HOUSE WITH HOUSE HUNTERS. Let the agent handle it, and remove yourself if you are able to. Remember, that agent has worked many hours with these people, and knows what they are looking for, and how to work with them. Let them do their job without interference. You may feel that an agent isn’t showing the important features o your home to their clients, but the agent knows people aren’t sold by details until they’ve become emotionally involved with the big picture. The presence of any member of the seller’s family cannot help, could unnerve possible buyers, and could even prevent a sale.
  • WHY PLACE THE CART BEFORE THE HORSE? Trying to dispose of furniture and furnishings to a potential buyer before they have purchased the house could possibly end up in a lost sale.
  • A WORD TO THE WISE. Let your agent discuss price, terms, possession, and other factors with buyers.

Be Faithful

Many buyer’s now-a-days shop for homes online; and then when they find one they are interested in, they will reach out to a real estate agent – be it one they know, one they were referred to, or one of the several agents listed as a contact agent for that online listing. The latter is where it is easy for a buyer to fall into a trap – a trap where they end up writing an offer with one of those “contact agents” and not with the agent they were initially working with.

Did you know that when you do the contact agent or the request more information form on one of the many home search engines available on the internet, it does not go directly to the listing agent? The request goes to every agent that was listed under that contact request form, along with the listing agent – meaning that you could have up to six different agents pressuring you into viewing and writing an offer 91774-8ef9eon either the property you requested information on or other properties currently available on the market.

This is all well-and-good if you have not already been working with an agent – you get to choose the best agent for you this way, or the first one that contacts you. But, if you have been in contact with an agent, one who has been sending you listings, showing you properties and getting you into contact with lenders and other contacts, it can cause an uncomfortable and even a frustrating situation – one that is upsetting to the agent you were already working with, the agent who has already put in the time and energy to assist you in purchasing your next home.

When you are shopping around online and see a house that intrigues you, reach out to the agent you have already been working with. They are able to pull up that very same listing on the multiple listing service and find out even more information regarding that listing – information that is not available on public websites. They can also find out who the exact listing agent is and reach out to them for more information. Your agent is also able to show the listing to you as well. Many times, it feels like a “slap to the face” for that agent.

If you do end up filling out the request information form, do not let agents push you into viewing and writing an offer. Just let them know that you were just looking for more information and are already working with an agent. That agent should not mind, but if they continue to push you – hang up and let your agent know.

Some tactics that I have seen or heard about some of these agents doing is baiting buyers into making a commitment with them – through scare tactics (this listing will not last long, so you must view it and write an offer today), by stating that since they are the listing agent you are only allowed to go through them to view and write an offer, or by saying negative things about the agent the buyer is working with (evening knowing that some statements are false).

Overall, just stay loyal to the agent you have already been spending time with. They have become familiar with what you are looking for, what your style is, and have come to know you as a person – each important characteristics when searching for a home.

Buyers and Sellers Wish They Would’ve Done Sooner….

Due to the limited inventory on the market, listings seem to be flying off the shelf – especially within a certain pricing bracket.

With the spring home buying season upon us, we are expecting the market to become competitive. Based upon research conducted, when it comes to Home-For-Salethese competitive markets, both buyers and sellers had wished they had prepared a lot sooner.

Over 13,000 people were surveyed and it was found that sellers regretted not preparing their home for selling and buyers regretted not starting their property search sooner.

Zillow Groups chief marketing officer, Jeremy Wacksman, stated that “this spring, both buyers and sellers should be prepared for fast-moving sales, intense negotiations, and even bidding wars.”

Here are a few important tops for home buyers:

  • Keep options open
  • Have a realistic budget
  • Arrange a mortgage in advance

Overall, whether you are selling or purchasing, choosing a good real estate agent is important.

February 2017, Week 4 Geo Market Analysis Graphs

Ratio
Anderson: Week 1 – 0.2, Week 2 – 1, Week 3 – 0.2, Week 4 – 0.2; Cottonwood: Week 1 – 0.33, Week 2 – 1, Week 3 – 1, Week 4 – 0.33; Shasta Multiple Listing Service: Week 1 – 0.57, Week 2 – 0.81, Week 3 – 0.4, Week 4 – 0.89
Total Active
Anderson: Week 1 – 54, Week 2 – 46, Week 3 – 44, Week 4 – 45; Cottonwood: Week 1 – 53, Week 2 – 55, Week 3 – 55, Week 4 – 52; Shasta Multiple Listing Service: Week 1 – 734, Week 2 – 719, Week 3 – 726, Week 4 – 714
New List
Anderson: Week 1 – 5, Week 2 – 2, Week 3 – 5, Week 4 – 5; Cottonwood: Week 1 – 3, Week 2 – 2, Week 3 – 2, Week 4 – 2; Shasta Multiple Listing Service: Week 1 – 44, Week 2 – 27, Week 3 – 48, Week 4 – 27
Avg List
Anderson: Week 1 – $434,230, Week 2 – $469,869, Week 3 – $481,484; Cottonwood: Week 1 – $441,926, Week 2 – $443,260, Week 3 – $448,558, Week 4 – $450,098; Shasta Multiple Listing Service: Week 1 – $468,095, Week 2 – $469,901, Week 3 – $465,624, Week 4 – $467,668
Recent Sale
Anderson: Week 1 – 1, Week 2 – 2, Week 3 – 1, Week 4 – 1; Cottonwood: Week 1 – 1, Week 2 – 2, Week 3 – 2, Week 4 – 6; Shasta Multiple Listing Service: Week 1 – 25, Week 2 – 22, Week 3 – 19, Week 4 – 24
Avg Sale
Anderson: Week 1 – $52,000, Week 2 – $188,675, Week 3 – $216,000, Week 4 – $230,000; Cottonwood: Week 1 – $175,000, Week 2 – $212,600, Week 3 – $253,250, Week 4 – $282,483; Shasta Multiple Listing Service: Week 1 – $211,612, Week 2 – $266,767, Week 3 – $213,722, Week 4 – $270,329
DOM
Anderson: Week 1 – 55, Week 2 – 164, Week 3 – 62, Week 4 – 79; Cottonwood: Week 1 – 66, Week 2 – 108, Week 3 – 121, Week 4 – 107; Shasta Multiple Listing Service: Week 1 – 161, Week 2 – 116, Week 3 – 97, Week 4 – 98
Total Pend
Anderson: Week 1 – 46, Week 2 – 56, Week 3 – 59, Week 4 – 61; Cottonwood: Week 1 – 38, Week 2 – 38, Week 3 – 36, Week 4 – 31; Shasta Multiple Listing Service: Week 1 – 387, Week 2 – 417, Week 3 – 417, Week 4 – 423
Price Pend
Anderson: Week 1 – $228,806, Week 2 – $222,724, Week 3 – $224,071, Week 4 – $224,600; Cottonwood: Week 1 – $242,737, Week 2 – $238,674, Week 3 – $247,281, Week 4 – $235,035; Shasta Multiple Listing Service: Week 1 – $292,861, Week 2 – $289,677, Week 3 – $287,927, Week 4 – $288,864

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Ratio of New Listings to New Sales: The current ratio of new listings to new sales in the market (found by dividing the smaller number by the larger Number). Average List Price: The average list price of all active listings in the market. DOM of Recent Sales: Day on market (DOM) of all the recent sales in the market. Average Sales Price: The average sales price in the market. Average List Price to Average Sales Price: The percentage difference between the average list price of active listings and the average sales price of all recent sale in the market (found by dividing the smaller number by the larger number). New Listings: The total number of new listings on the market. New Sales: The total number of recent sales (closings) on the market. Listings in Escrow: The total number of listings that have an accepted contract and are in the transition of transferring title – between the listing actively being sold and the final sale (closing). Average Listing Price of Listings in Escrow: The price the listings were on the market for when these properties went into escrow.

How Well Is Your Agent Representing You? Does Your Value Matter to Them?

Having been an agent for over 11 1/2 years, one of my biggest pet peeves with other agents is there representation of their clients – be it the write up in regards to the property, the amount of pictures they take, or the quality of the photos taken. Some do “shotty” work no matter what the price range is, while others base it on the price range of that home – are you one of those victims? And, yes, I said victim. Agents who do this are not taking your best SKMBT_C35161130105000_0001interest to heart, or they are just plan lazy. With our world being so virtual/digital, it is important for your listing that it is being represented in the best way possibly. Their job is to draw the consumer in, to peak the consumers interest, to make them want to gain more information about your home. And how is this done? By taking quality photos and by story being told through the write up describing the property to its fullest benefit. They job is to sell your property.

Just today, I was going through some listings for one of my clients and I came across a $200,000 listing that had one sentence in the description and three pictures of the front of the house only. Do you think this agent is representing their client very well? Do you think this type of advertising will draw a buyer over another listing in SKMBT_C35161130105001_0001the same price bracket, that has a description painting a vivid picture of the property for them, and has 20 photos showing the home and all its features?

With the way our multiple listing service works, all listings entered by the agents is then launched onto on of the
top three largest home search engine portals used by consumers today – Realtor.com. This same “lack” of information is being presented to thousands of potential buyers and is competing against 100s, if not 1,000s, of other listings out there.

I’m not going to lie, there have been times I have had writers block. There have been times I just couldn’t think of what to saw, but that did not give me an excuse to put out there a one sentence description, and it pushed me even more to ensure that I had quality photos available so the consumer was able to see what I was not able to put into words.

When interviewing listing agents, ask them to supply listing sheets – of either past or current listings. You can ask for ones in different price ranges or for ones that are in the same price bracket as your home. Ask them for sample photos to view for those same listings and how many photos they placed with that listing. Remember, these agents are looking to represent you and not the other way around.

The Purchase Process

 

Closing Delays

Lender:

  1. Lender does not properly pre-qualify borrower – 2+ week delay*
  2. Lender decides last minute they don’t like borrower – 2+ week delay*
  3. Lender decides last minute they don’t like property – 2+ week delay*
  4. Lender wants property repaired or cleaned prior to close – 1 to 3 week delay*
  5. Lender raises rates, points, costs – 2+ week delay*
  6. Borrower does not qualify because of late addition of information – 2+ week delay*
  7. Lender requires last minute re-appraisal – 2+ week delay*
  8. The borrower does not like the fine print in the loan documents received three day before close – 3+ day delay*
  9. Lender loses file – 1 to 3 week delay
  10. The lender does not simultaneously ask for information from the buyer, they ask for information in bits and pieces, this infuriating the buyer – 1 to 4 week delay

The Cooperative Agent:

  1. Won’t return phone calls – 1 to 3 day delay
  2. Transfers to another office – 1 week delay
  3. Did not pre-qualify the client for motivation – 2+ week delay
  4. Does not understand or lacks experience in real estate – 1+ week delay*
  5. Poor people skills – 1 to 3 week delay
  6. Gets client upset over minor points – 1 to 3 week delay*
  7. Does not communicate with their client – 1 to 4 week delay

The Buyer:

  1. Did not tell the trust on the loan application – 1+ week delay*
  2. Did not tell the truth to their agent – 1+ week delay*
  3. Submits incorrect tax returns to lender – 4+ week delay*
  4. Lacks motivation – 1+ week delay*
  5. Source of down payment changes – 1+ week delay*
  6. Family members do not like purchase – 1+ week delay*
  7. Is too picky regarding condition – 1+ week delay*
  8. Finds another property that is a better deal – 1+ week delay*
  9. They are “nibblers” (always negotiating) – 1+ week delay*
  10. The buyers bring an attorney into the picture – 2+ week delay*
  11. They do not execute paperwork in a timely manner – 3+ week delay*
  12. They do not deliver their money in a “check cleared” fashion to the closing agent – 1 to 2 week delay
  13. Job change, illness, divorce, or other financial setback – 3+ week delay*
  14. Comes up short on money – 1+ week delay*
  15. Does not obtain insurance in a timely manner – 1 to 4 week delay

Escrow:

  1. Fails to notify agents of unsigned or unreturned documents so that the agents can cure the problems relating to same – 1+ week delay*
  2. Fails to obtain information from beneficiaries, lien holders, title lien holders, title companies, insurance companies, or lenders in a timely manner – 1+ week delay*
  3. Lets principals leave town without getting all necessary signatures – 1 to 2 week delay
  4. Incorrect at interpreting or assuming aspects of the transaction and then passing these items on to related parties, such as lenders, attorneys, buyers, and seller – 1+ week delay*
  5. Too busy – 1 to 3 week delay
  6. Loses paperwork – 1 to 3 week delay
  7. Incorrectly prepares paperwork – 3+ week delay
  8. Does not pass on valuable information fast enough – 1 to 4 week delay
  9. Does not coordinate, preventing items that can be done simultaneously – 1 to 4 week delay

Seller:

  1. Loses motivation (i.e. job transfer did not go through, etc.) – 1+ week delay*
  2. Illness, divorce, etc. – 1+ week delay*
  3. Has hidden defects that are subsequently discovered – 1+ week delay*
  4. Unknown defects are discovered – 1+ week delay*
  5. Home inspection reveals average amount of small defects that seller is unwilling/willing to repair – 1+ week delay*
  6. Gets attorney involved – 1+ week delay*
  7. Removes property from premises that buyer believed was including during closing process – 1 to 3 week delay
  8. Is unable to clear up problems or liens – 1+ week delay*
  9. Last minute, solvable liens are discovered – 1 to 3 week delay
  10. Seller did not own 100% of property as previously disclosed – 1+ week delay*
  11. Seller thought partners signatures were “no problem”, but they were – 1+ week delay*
  12. Seller leaves town without giving anyone power of attorney – 1 to 4 week delay
  13. The notary did not make a clear stamp when notarizing t he seller’s signature – 3 day to 1 week delay
  14. Seller delays the projected move-out date – 1+ day*

Acts of God:

  1. Earthquake, tornadoes, fire, mudslide, hurricane – 1+ week delay*

The Appraisal:

  1. The appraiser is not local and misunderstands the market – 1+ week delay*
  2. No comparable sales available – 1+ week delay*
  3. Appraiser delays (too busy, etc.) – 1 to 3 week delay
  4. Incorrect appraisal – 1 to 3 week delay
  5. Appraisal too low – 1+ week delay*

Inspection Company:

  1. Too picky – 1+ day delay*
  2. Scares buyer – 1+ week delay*
  3. Infuriates seller – 1+ week delay*
  4. Makes mistakes – 1 to 3 week delay
  5. Delays report – 1+ week delay*

Title Company:

  1. Does not find liens or problems until last minute – 1+ week delay*
  2. Poor service – 1 to 3 week delay
  3. Loses paperwork – 1 to 2 week delay

Get Your House Ready to Present in Ten Minutes

Oh my gosh, quick! You just received a phone call and the house is going to be shown! You need to quickly get the house show ready before the buyers and their agent get there. Here are some tips to help you have the house shown in the best light, quickly.

  • Turn on all lights, even during the day
  • Open all drapes and shades to let in the natural light
  • Pick up the rooms. Hide clutter
  • Put dirty dishes in the dishwasher. Take everything off the countertops
  • Put toys in the toy box or under the bed
  • Move bikes, wagons, and skateboards to their place in the garage
  • Turn on the radio to a classical or light rock station and turn off the television
  • Take the family out of the house during the showing
  • Keep pets outdoors or caged when your home is being shown
  • Let the real estate professional show your home to the buyers they are representing. If you happen to be at home during the showing, try to remain in an area of the home that is not being shown by the real estate agent
  • When evening showings occur, have your home well lite. Be sure to turn on outside lights, both in the front and the back of the hosue
  • Smells are important. Pop a frozen bread product into the oven
  • Park the cars down the street
  • Sprinkle salt on the frozen steps
  • Take out the trash