April 27, 2011

Would It Pose a Problem for You?

"Doctor, Make Me Feel Better....Just Don't Do It Too Quickly"

Can you imagine ever saying this to someone in the medical profession as you're writhing in pain on the guerney in the ER? Would you ever tell your attorney, "take your time getting me out of jail and proving my innocence? I want the District Attorney to come to that conclusion on his own and come down here and let me out personally."?

I am guessing that you are shaking your head, right?

I heard a disturbing story from one of our associates yesterday. Let me know if you've heard this before or had it happen to you.
Please Tell Me You're Making This Up

A Seller had recently received an offer on their new listing. It wasn't a full priced offer but in today's market, it was a very good offer. It was a border-line "acceptable with no counter offer" kind of offer.

Sadly, the Seller felt that the house must be underpriced and decided to not reply to the offer. It seems that the Seller felt that any offer coming in that quickly after placing the home on the market should have been at full price or perhaps even higher. The Seller feels that they will certainly get higher offers. 

When (and if) this home finally sells, I wonder if the Seller will be upset if the future buyers don't leave them a tip on the table after the closing too? You know, for all the hard work and kindness they showed.

Is Your Best Offer Your First Offer?

Many agents have said this to their clients, especially when negotiating an offer. I don't think there is anything that can definitively prove this is true but experience tells us that offers usually don't get higher the longer a home stays on the market, right?

The longer a home is listed, the more potential buyers will begin to question it's perception of value. The lower the perception of value, the lower the demand for that home. Add to that an increasing supply of inventory and that's not a good recipe for the market value of that specific home ever going up in value.

Three Questions from Buyers

When a home hits the market, has great curb appeal, shows well and is positioned properly on the pricing scale, the buyers that walk through the door (having seen all the other competing homes on the market) will most likely ask themselves or their Realtor, "What's it going to take to get this house?" That is the kind of reaction every Seller should be aiming from the day they put their house on the market.

After a house has been on the market for a month or two, the slowly dying stream of buyers begin to ask, "I wonder how much the Sellers would come down from their asking price?" There doesn't seem to be urgency on either side of the table with the Buyers not encouraged to submit a "test" offer and the Sellers are just standing their ground.

Once a home has been on the market for more than three months (sometimes less depending on the local markets) the main question out of their mouths will be "what do you think is wrong with it?

Address It Up Front

Here's a quick and easy way to avoid the issue that came up with the unfortunate Realtor and his unrealistic Seller from the top of this post. Ask the Sellers during your initial marketing presentation or interview, "If I was able to sell your home in 30 days or less, would that pose a problem for you?" You're not saying you guarantee it will be sold and you're not even saying it will be sold at all. You're just trying to find out if that would pose a problem to the Sellers.

Most Sellers would say "No, that would be great," or "Wow! Do you really think we could have an offer that quickly?" And while it's true that some might say "I would think that meant that we underpriced it, right?" at least you would have a chance to educate them on the customs of your local market, current statistics (such as list/sale ratio vs. days on the market) and their options when negotiating offers.

You could even address the three "questions" Buyers will be asking during the Selling process. Ask them if they went through those phases when they purchased the house they are now selling.

You Can't Answer Someone's Prayers Until You Know What They Are Praying For

Under the same logic, it's hard to exceed your clients expectations when you don't even know what they expect. Use the pre-listing process to set expectations of the market, how it functions and what everyone's role will be - before the home hits the market, during the listing period, after a successful contract has been negotiated and all the way through the successful management and closing of the transaction. 

Let me ask you, if you were able to work with Sellers who were better prepared for all the scenarios that could occur, "Would that pose a problem for you?"

Until next time, keep building relationships, solving problems and having fun.