08 Feb When Puerto Rico Texts You
My son is a baseball nut. He works out all the time. He lifts, he throws, he goes to the cages for batting he takes ground balls anywhere he can take them, he is even eating vegetables. He is relentless. Recently, his coach told his that during the off season it would be a good idea to play baseball so he can stay sharp. So, my son set out to find a place to play. He found a team that fit all of his criteria and his summer plan was in place.
Until…. Puerto Rico texted him (international play, interesting), they promised the use of an Olympic facility, players from across the US and Canada to attend, dorm style housing at the facility, pro scouts watching games (intriguing) My son so wants that next level and this team was shaping up to look like they could offer him the best of all worlds over the summer. My son joyfully declared he better start working on his Spanish.
HOLD ON THERE MI HIJO! Let’s dive in a bit deeper and not just jump to the next thing because it’s telling you what you WANT to hear. Upon further evaluation, my son learned that the promise of scouts and international play were a RUSE or a modified truth. He discovered the level of competition was less than what he was looking for and will not truly help him get to the next level.
Which brings me to tale number 2. Recently, I lost a listing to a discount brokerage. I know say it isn’t so? with all of my quick humor, my vast real estate knowledge, and my unwavering commitment to my clients how could I lose? I will tell you how. After many years advising these homeowners on the market, helping them prep their home for sale and being readily available to assist them anyway I can, the call came for the second listing appointment. I happily presented the current state of the market, the marketing plan I have been successfully using to get my clients top dollar, and a professional plan of action centered around their every need. The homeowner asked a very honest and logical question; why go with a full-service realtor when XYZ will sell our home for 1%, he said he is a listing agent, are you a listing agent? (Somewhere along the way the homeowner was comforted by knowing the discount realtor they were contemplating hiring was focused on only 50% of the real estate process)
ME: There will always be a seller who feels they can get more for less. The brokerage you are referring to typically sells in this area X% below market which is well below the dollars you are being told you will save by working with them. And NO I am not a listing agent I am a REALTOR I help people buy and sell real estate and because I actively do both I can speak intelligently on the performance of the market from both aspects. (Both reasonable honest answers, so I thought)
CLIENT: He said our home is a single story and it will sell in 1 week (I call this crystal ball “Fantasy Estate”)
ME: The market is not performing in that rapid of a manner at the present time, please look at the days on market report
CLIENT: He said we will not have trouble getting multiple offers and getting above asking for our home (more “Fantasy Estate” promises)
ME: The market is demonstrating that at this time multiple offers are not common take a look at the transaction detail report.
CLIENT: What do you recommend?
ME: Do not put your home on the market at this time unless you absolutely have to, wait until after the Super Bowl when more buyers are looking and we can increase the competition for your home.
CLIENT: Thank You for your time we will be in touch.
ME: You are very welcome feel free to reach out to me with questions
I left feeling like I gave them the data, we have known each other for a while and I demonstrated my value with the marketing plan that has helped me set highest recorded sales in many neighborhoods multiple times for homeowners. I felt a new listing was on its way YAY!
Uh NO, NO and NO. The real data, not false promises, did not matter. The fact that I own a real estate appraisal company and review sales data daily, did not matter, the fact that I guided them to save huge amounts of money on their mortgage in the past demonstrating, I thought, that I had my clients best interest at heart always did not matter. What mattered was a promise of a quick and high sale at a 1% commission fee. They succumbed to “Fantasy Estate” instead of doing business in REAL Estate.
The client’s home came to market, 1 week went by, 10 days went by, 2 weeks went by and no sale (no surprise to me) but when I spoke to the client, she was disappointed and surprised. 3 weeks went by no sale then came a $15,000 PRICE REDUCTION a week went by and finally 1 offer (not multiple) came in. The home closed and the whole ordeal only cost them $21,000 in price reductions oh and the 1% commission fee to their listing agent and the 2.5% buyer’s agent commission fee. Their home had the greatest price reduction of any comparable resale home for the entire year of 2018 for the entire city. I am sure in the end the listing agent sheepishly blamed the results on the time of year or that the market is shifting etc etc but today, as Super Bowl Sunday has come and gone, 2 comparable homes are in contract to close both well above $20,000 what the client sold their home for and both with multiple offers.
This couple experienced the RUSE that discount brokerages often put forward… the idea that “no skill” is needed to sell a home, which in certain markets can be true i.e. the pristinely restored Edwardian home in Berkeley, with easy freeway access and top rated schools. The skill is in the risk management, marketing and negotiation, not simply syndicating a property to Zillow and the likes. I have had tough homes to sell like hoarder houses, homes in neighborhoods saturated with competing homes for sale, homes in neighborhoods with a history of crime, and homes that homeowner’s insist on listing at an above market price. All of these homes sold successfully because of skill. Understanding the present market conditions, using target marketing to bring in the most likely buyers and offering creative strategies to help my seller net the highest possible price. It takes all out HUSTLE to ensure a homeowner nets the most money for the sale of their home and HUSTLE cannot be discounted. My recommendation, when you are ready to buy or sell choose an agent that will HUSTLE on your behalf. An agent who works hard for your business and the commission you pay them will work hard to sell your home.
Agents who can only entice you through a discount almost always guarantees you will not net the most for your home or you will not get the best negotiated deal for the purchase of your home.