Real estate agents play a huge role in one of the most important financial decisions of your lifetime. What better way to be armed with “behind-the-scenes” information, than direct from the source? The process of buying or selling a home comes with highs, lows and not to mention…DRAMA! That’s why we’ve compiled an arsenal of smart, practical information…secrets no agent will tell you.
For years, real estate agents have preached to sellers that “6% is the going rate”…let’s call them the 6ers. Falling into that trap is easy, especially if you think it’s the norm and didn’t do your research. This trap can cost you thousands. With the “Big 3” as I like to call it: Zillow, Realtor.com and Trulia, marketing is instantaneous, essentially free and shared constantly across multiple social channels. Since this showcase of your home spreads like wildfire across media platforms, it is CRITICAL to have professional photography. Aesthetics are the primo components that make potential buyers take the next step to browse through your listing. Believe it or not, there are some 6ers out there taking cellphone photos, and still justify the 6%. In the Herron Real Estate 3.9% model, the selling agent is still handsomely paid, we simply discount our listing fees, saving you thousands without jeopardizing the key aesthetics.
Listing price…the most important part of any listing. Let’s face it, everyone wants to hear their home is worth the highest price; therefore, the real estate bible says tell the customer the highest possible price and then some if necessary to secure the listing to “lock them in” for 6 months. That way, after a few months, you can hammer them for price reductions, and still maintain the listing. The real estate street term for this is “buying a listing” and it is the WORST thing a client can do. The home is ultimately worth what the market dictates coupled with the pending buyer’s mortgage appraisal. The VAST majority of transactions involve a mortgage. If the house does not appraise at the sale price, then the sale goes awry, the home becomes re-listed, and perhaps “stigmatized”. Pricing a house at EXACTLY what it is worth typically yields the highest sale price in the end, the house will appraise, and sometimes, most importantly, afford the seller the opportunity to choose the best buyer. When multiple people are interested, the price AND buyer then come into play. Perhaps you can choose the strongest buyer AND get your best price (example….one buyer has a home to sell, the other does not. One buyer is placing 20% down, the other is 3% down, etc.).
Buyers today are technologically savvy, and typically AHEAD of their agent when it comes to home searching. The typical buyer is using one of the big 3 apps on a daily basis, and telling their agent the homes they are interested in visiting. The main point is that the internet has drastically changed this business, and we, as a result, are passing the savings onto our clients…yes it’s that simple. We have no-nonsense fees, 100% customer satisfaction and listing agreements DO NOT have to be for 6 months; they can be whatever timeframe both parties agree to, sometimes as little as one month. Our PLEDGE is that if a client is not satisfied, they simply can walk away from our agreement, period.
On to open houses…first, they can be beneficial WHEN THE HOME IS PRICED CORRECTLY; however, when the home is priced too high, they become a “make the customer happy ploy”. What do I mean by that? Very simple, the agent hosting the open house is there, primarily, to acquire potential buyers that have not yet chosen an agent to represent them on a home purchase…not necessarily the home they are hosting. In the meantime, the client that has been signed up for the 6-month listing may see some “effort”. Moreover, when the listing agent works them over for a price reduction, he or she can say “we did open houses and everything”.
The legalities…have you ever been involved in a real estate transaction and heard the words “Oh, you don’t need an attorney!” from your agent? What?! In New Jersey, the entire contract and transaction is geared around attorney representation, and for good reason; it is an enormous transaction to most people. At a minimum, the client(s) should be educated about the potential issues that may arise throughout the process. Moreover, the contract itself will be the point of reference throughout the transaction. We feel it is beneficial that the client have attorney representation. Be wary when someone directs you not to seek representation. Why? The agent then loses “control” over the transaction and fears the attorney could “kill the deal”. This could not be further from the truth. Attorney representation it typically less expensive than buyers/sellers think and the ultimate safeguard in your largest investment!
Author: Vince Tripicchio
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