By Jennifer Klein and Derek Sandoval
Pocket listings, or home listings that aren’t posted on the MLS, have become a hot topic lately. Placer County Association of REALTORS® YPN members Jennifer Klein and Derek Sandoval discuss the ramifications of pocket sales as well as buyers’ frustrations with this method of selling a home.
Jennifer Klein is a REALTOR® in Northern California who is experienced in short sales, investments, and property management. Connect with Jen at RosevilleAndRocklin.com, JenKlein.com, and @JenKleinSac.
Derek Sandoval has worked for Keller Williams Realty in Roseville, Calif., since 2009, and specializes in residential, REO, and short sales. Find Derek at www.dereksellshomes.com and dereksellshomes.featuredblog.com.
By Paul Everett
The first indication from many home owners that they are seriously considering selling their home is often through a free listing on Zillow, Trulia, Craigslist, StreetEasy, or other regional and national For Sale By Owner sites.
With the expansion of FSBO advice companies as well as online listing tools—particularly Zillow and Trulia—an increasing number of home owners are feeling empowered to take a spin at selling their homes on their own, in order to cut out the potential fees associated with agent sales. As we all know, FSBOs most often learn after a few weeks that selling a home is hard work, and best left to professionals! Placing yourself and your real estate services in front of the home owner during this moment of realization is the key to securing listings from online FSBOs.
When the home owner starts feeling the frustration of selling on his or her own, this is the seed of your opportunity. Unfortunately, you won’t be the only one who knows the time is ripe. Rest assured that many like-minded and hardworking agents in your area will all be thinking the same thing at the exact same time. Therefore, timing and approach will mean everything if you want to be the one who gets the listing. Here are five tips for putting yourself ahead of the pack: Continue reading »
By Dave Robison
Sometimes selling is complicated. Sometimes, a home can sit for weeks, months, even years before there’s so much as a bite. But with the right knowledge and dialogue, selling a home can be as easy as telling a buyer’s agent one simple thing. In 2011, I wrote a post about the power of one sentence to attract a client. Now, I’m going to let you in on another secret. Here’s how to sell a difficult home with just one line.
A few years ago, a seller in my local area called me and said, “Dave, I’ve had my home listed with my best friend for over a year. This is hard for me to do, but I need you to sell this house. Can you do it? Tell me the truth!”
To answer the question, I sold that home in one week to the first buyer who looked at it. Do you think it was luck? Not a chance.
Here’s how the conversation went with the agent who showed the home:
Agent: Dave, my buyer just saw your listing and it’s the first one he looked at. We have a lot of other homes scheduled to view and I wanted to ask, if you get anyone else interested in this property will you give me a call?
(Translation: We are going to shop around with your competition, are you cool with that?)
So to this I say, heck no I’m not cool with that! Why are agents telling buyers’ agents that they will call if they get offers? The Code of Ethics Article 1-15 specifically states: “REALTORS®, in response to inquiries from buyers or cooperating brokers shall, with the sellers’ approval, disclose the existence of offers on the property.” How many agents do you know who are technically breaking this rule by disclosing the existence of offers without sellers’ permission? Did the agent call the seller and ask for permission to disclose that they don’t have offers on the table? There’s a good chance they didn’t.
So what did I say to the agent? Continue reading »
By Lynn Minnick
Late this past spring, fellow Connecticut YPNer Carl Lantz had the opportunity to be on HGTV’s popular series House Hunters. To celebrate the episode, Carl hosted a huge viewing party, and I’m sure he’s added something along the lines of, “as seen on House Hunters” to his marketing! I sent him House Hunters Bingo cards as a fun party favor. It was a really memorable experience for him that brought a lot of attention to his business and brought additional exposure to listings from other agents. He was kind enough to share his experience with me in a quick Q&A session:
Q: How did you get involved? Many agents tell me they’re always applying but don’t hear back.
Lantz: I got involved vicariously through my clients who were on the show with me. In general, House Hunters picks the buyer clients. Then the agent working with them gets to be part of the production. My clients had applied months earlier, and were picked finally around early November. The production company asked me to make a demo video and share it with them. Then about a week later, they gave us an episode number and told us we would be filming in late January.
Q: What was the process and how long did it take start to finish?
Lantz: Once I heard from the producers, we started talking about the two houses beside the one my people already had a contract on. They do their best to pick other homes the clients had seen, and liked, to make it more like the actual process. We filmed for a week in Connecticut and then they filmed a couple days in San Antonio with my clients at their home there.
Q: How were the homes picked? Did the buyers choose them or was it you or the producers? Continue reading »
By Scott Newman
With the market picking up steam, buyers are out there scooping up homes and they’re counting on you as their agent to help them navigate the treacherous waters of their transaction. When they are buying a condo, that path can be filled with even more landmines, and you have a whole new realm of elements to account for when advising your buyer clients. I’ve outlined some best practices for agents below who are representing buyers purchasing a condo.
Understand the Financials
Nothing will make you look more foolish than advising your client to make an offer, having it accepted, and then finding out there is something wrong with the building that prohibits financing. Review condo documents and know what’s going on with the overall health of the building your client is interested in — this is not just your attorney’s job post contract execution — it’s your job before your client ever puts pen to paper! Request a 22.1 disclosure, call the management company, speak to the listing agent — do whatever you need to do to ensure that the building your client wants to buy in qualifies for the type of loan your client is applying for.
Know Your Client
I cannot tell you how many times I’ve had a listing that gets put under contract, only to have the deal fall apart for ridiculous reasons that could have been brought to light long before an offer was made. Again, as the buyer’s agent, your job is to stay on top of these situations to ensure that you come across as a professional and that your client isn’t wasting their time. The only way to do this is to ask the right questions!
Do your clients have a dog or are they planning to buy one during their residency in the building? Are they planning to smoke inside their unit? Do they like to host company during very late hours? These can all be potential issues for a client as the rules in condo buildings can vary wildly, so it’s never safe to assume anything!
All of the above are examples of questions you should be asking to ensure that your client isn’t wasting their time. Get the right information ahead of time and call the HOA or listing agent personally to ensure that your client’s unique needs will be met by the building.
Do Your Homework
The time to find out whether or not the building has a pool or how nice the gym is should not be when you show up to the property with your client. Continue reading »
By Trisha Ocona Francis
Being a real estate professional is more than just helping people sell, buy, or rent property, but rather assisting them in achieving their real estate goals. One of the best ways in doing so is by narrowing down your practice of real estate to an area you know extremely well, enjoy doing, and are committed to furthering your knowledge on the topic. It allows you to focus, and shows your clients your commitment and dedication as an expert towards their particular issue.
There are many areas to choose from, such as the luxury market, commercial sales, office leasing, residential, investing, foreclosures, apartment rentals, government program housing placement, senior housing, relocation specialist, or you can always develop your own area of expertise.
You may decide to gear your real estate practice towards commercial real estate because you like analyzing the potential profits of a building, the adventure of negotiating, and helping your clients produce their desired results. Or you may work with seniors because you enjoyed helping your previous senior clients transition from homeownership of forty years to senior housing, loved their history stories, and learned a lot about senior housing programs in the process.
The road to becoming this “Specialized Real Estate Expert” is similar to a college student deciding on a major and ultimate career choice. Medical doctors and attorneys concentrate on a specific field to practice for the same reasons.
To begin, here are a few questions to ask yourself: Continue reading »
By Laura Rubinchuk Schwartz
I met with a very nice couple looking to retire and relocate out of the area, which means selling their home of 20+ years. It had been many, many years since they needed the services of a REALTOR® or learned of the new way things are being done to sell a home, prepare for listing, and the paperwork involved in the process. After a brief tour of the home and some chit chat about their situation and goals for selling their home, we got down to the nitty gritty details, like commission.
After discussing commission rates and such, they asked my favorite question of every listing appointment: “Well, what would your commission be if you sold the house?”
My answer: “I never do dual agency. I think it’s a conflict of interest. I represent you and your interests in this transaction, and at the end of the day, I want to make sure you’re happy and you feel like you got the best deal possible. If I am representing both parties, I don’t think that’s possible.”
With total blank stares, and then a smile, the wife said, “You’re too honest.” My response? “I’m honest, but I also think agents have a bad reputation and we’ve earned it. It’s not about the paycheck in front of them, it’s about the long term happiness of both parties.”
I am sure this is bound to stir up some strong opinions on both sides of the argument, but I wanted to lay out my thoughts on dual agency:
- Agency relationships mean I sign a paper that says I represent the interests of the seller. I am trying to get them to meet their goals with this transaction. I always keep that in mind when reviewing offers and be sure to point out specifics that may be issues for them.
- I always show the property when asked, regardless of representation. Continue reading »
By Dave Robison
Ever had a buyer working with more than one agent? Ever had a seller who you spent a ton of time with, gave them your advice, and then they used a discounted service? Ever had a buyer who kept changing their mind or made offers on a lot of properties?
I knew an agent who had a hard time with one of these scenarios. “Tina” broke down crying one day, saying, “How am I going to pay my bills now that this closing fell through? I’ve worked so hard this past month and now the buyer is backing out? How can they do this?” Many agents have been there. (This is a real story, however, and I changed the name above.) I had to explain a secret to Tina, on getting deals done.
The secret to success is not being emotionally affected or attached to the outcome of the transaction. Whether it fails or closes, you can’t be attached to the outcome you want. It’s a Nordstrom Way Secret.
Eons ago, I had a buyer who planned to purchase a multimillion-dollar property. I remember spending hours on end, educating and reassuring this person about the home buying process, in anticipation for what was about to be their biggest purchase ever. During the process, the buyer was concerned with the inspection. The items did not seem of major importance to me, however, they caused stress for the buyer.
The buyer asked the famous question: “What should I do?” This is the point where many REALTORS® might say something like, “It’s a great time to buy,” or, “I would do it,” etc. A secret to being unattached to the outcome is that you tell yourself: “It’s okay if they don’t buy the home. I still can pay my bills. There will be other buyers.” Even if you feel these statements aren’t true, you are going to have to say this to yourself anyway. There are many buyers I meet who will tell me they felt like their previous agent just wanted them to buy something and get a deal done. Those buyers left their agent to look for someone who would help them, rather than an agent who just wants a deal.
The right approach: Continue reading »