Can’t we all just get along?

One of the most frustrating parts of being a Realtor, well, ok a couple of frustrating parts, is that we are viewed as a non-essential, overpaid, profession that earns huge money and doesn’t do anything to earn that check.  It’s interesting to me because anyone else who works their job, puts in their time away from their family, expects a paycheck at the end of that work week.  Yet Realtors aren’t supposed to expect that?  Why?  For some reason our profession is deemed as not deserving of a paycheck.  We do our job, we work weekends and we work  7 days a week trying to sell your home, qualify buyers, perform a miracle.  We are expected to answer your mortgage persons questions, your lawyers questions but yet you think we don’t earn our salary.     A day in the life of a successful realtor is an exhausting thing.   Home sellers aren’t available to show their own house 24/7, or deal with the crap of peeling through buyers, coordinating showings, coordinating inspections, negotiating, therapy, and the list goes on and on.  Until you have bought a house with a Realtor and experienced a problem that your realtor was able to problem solve and resolve, you’ll never know how hard our job is.  But I can tell you this one thing to be FACT.  If you are buying or selling and have run into an issue and your Realtor fixed you, you will forever have a changed idea of my profession.  It’s like attorney’s – everyone hates them until you need them – then you are glad you had one.   If you have bought and sold without an issue, then thank your Realtor because we were behind the scenes holding everything together while you focused on packing and readying for the move.

The whole reason Buyer’s agency was introduced in Real Estate was because sellers and their realtors were screwing over buyers – so that states introduced buyers agents for the protection of the consumer.  Yet with the invention of consumer websites like Zillow and Trulia, we are reverting back to the old ways via FSBO.  A buyer, making the biggest purchase of their life, spending their savings, is relying on someone who wants top dollar for their property!!!!! Do you really think they will tell you all the bad about the house????   Really?!?!?!?  This is incredibly amazing to me.

The other, sadder, part of being a Realtor is dealing with other Brokerages.  This is such a cut throat business within the business that it’s sickening.  We, as Realtors, are supposed to deal fairly with consumers, yet we can’t treat each other with respect and kindness! Each brokerage plays a game with the co-brokers paycheck.  It’s like one brokerage wants every single seller and buyer the Commonwealth has.   So they will withhold our check.  A check we earned because we made the mistake of selling YOUR listing and as a thank you, we get a great, big “F” you.  There is absolutely NO STANDARDIZATION for us Realtors, no safety net, no help from the many Boards we pay our dues to.  Yet without that one broker showing your listing to their pre-approved buyer, you wouldn’t have a check to withhold!  Another incredibly amazing thing.

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A pre-foreclosure is just what the name implies.  It simply means that the home owner has defaulted on their mortgage payments and their lender has filed a document with the county Registry of Deeds Office putting the homeowner and the world on notice that it’s the lenders’ intention to proceed with foreclosure should the homeowner not bring the mortgage current. Websites like RealtyTrac and Zillow supply these pre-foreclosures on their websites and people think that these homes are available to see and purchase.  This is not the case in any way, shape or form.  It’s just information that websites have received from public records and pumped to their website to generate traffic to their site.  This saves you the time of trying to find out who may be foreclosed upon by going to the registry of deeds and looking through hundreds of records.  These homes could be years away from being foreclosed on, the homeowner could file bankruptcy or pay their mortgage current. I’ve seen Realtors and people post on the websites that suggest potential home buyers walk up to the house, knock on the door and ask the homeowner if they want to sell their home!  How ridiculous is this advice? Do you know how angry and embarrassed that homeowner would be?  What reception would you give someone who walked up on your house and says “hey, I heard you’re losing your house – can I buy it?” Pre-foreclosures are NOT FOR SALE.  Don’t subscribe to a website, pay for the service to receive notifications of pre-foreclosure – it’s a waste of money and a gimmick.  Most of these properties are underwater which is why they are in default.  Not to mention if you have to be aware of any and all liens on the home on top of the mortgage.  If they aren’t paying their mortgage, they aren’t maintaining the home and they probably have liens on the house.  These are not the bargain and I highly doubt you know of anyone who was able to purchase a pre-foreclosure successfully – if at all.

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Things to consider when choosing a Realtor

1.  You should interview a minimum of two Realtors (ideally 3).  It’s time consuming but you can get a feel for the person who will be handling a stressful transaction for you.

2.  You should ask what their transaction volume is.  Choosing the busiest Realtor is not necessarily the best choice.  The busier the Realtor the less time they will have for you and likely pass off all the work to an assistant who usually has no real estate experience.   As a Realtor who has to deal with Realtors, nothing is more frustrating when I am trying to set up a visit to a home and the listing Realtor doesn’t return calls, texts or emails.  If sellers knew how often this happened, they would be appalled.

3.  You should ask to see their ratings/reviews.  In this technological era, ratings/reviews are becoming more and more important.  These are unbiased references from people who have had actual experience with the Realtor.  Of course, some people can’t be pleased and will leave bad reviews, but there is always a story to be told.

4.  When you have the Realtor at your home, you should make sure they present you, and you sign, an Agency Disclosure.  This is NOT a contract.  This is a document that ensures anything you say to that Realtor stays with that Realtor.  Let’s face it, if you interview 3 Realtors, those 3 are walking away with some pretty private and personal information about you and your situation and since you can’t list your home with all 3, one of those Realtors will likely be showing your home to one of their buyers.  They now have information that can help their buyer when and if they write an offer.

5.  Brick and mortar brokerages are becoming extinct  so make sure your Realtor has a pretty awesome website and mobile app (for the younger crowd that uses their smart phones as computers).  Most Realtors all work virtually from their home office nowadays and since 92% of buyers start their search for a home on the internet, chances are your buyer will have found your home from a website.  Don’t feel you have to list your home with a brick and mortar operation because of their “local” knowledge.   I could live next door to you, list your home and still not be able to sell your home.  All the information about schools, towns, crime, etc. are on the web.  I could list and sell your home from the Bahama’s – it’s all about technology.

6.  Print marketing is also becoming extinct (i.e. postcards, newspapers, etc.), you’ve got to be on the web and in Multiple Listing Service (“MLS”).

7.  Myself and my company meet all of the above requirements, so give me a call today (or text), or email and let’s start the process of listing your home.  I don’t live in the Bahama’s!  I am a true Massachusetts life-long resident and have been doing real estate for many years.  Just read my profile and reviews!

8.  If you think you want your listing Realtor to be present at any and all showings, think again.  Buyers are less likely to stay in your home and become acquainted with your home if the seller’s representative is present.  Buyers are extremely uncomfortable with this because they don’t feel they can openly talk about your home with their realtor.  Not to mention that when a buyers’ Realtor is trying to set up a showing, we now have to accommodate your Realtor’s schedule and trust me when I tell you, they do not make it easy on us and it’s likely because they want to make it as difficult as possible so that the potential buyer gets fed up and calls them directly so that they can get both sides of the deal.

9.  Avoid dual agency if possible.  Meaning, make sure that in your listing contract, if a buyer calls your Realtor directly, and eventually writes an accepted offer, that the commission % is reduced.  Your realtor would have only received 50% if a Buyers’ Realtor was involved so why should they receive 100% for both sides?  This will ensure that your Realtor returns phone calls of Realtors who are trying to set up a showing and that they represent you only.  If your Realtor knows there is no chance of getting a full 5% commission, they are more responsive to buyers’ Realtors (trust me on this one!).

Hope this info. helps and I hope you give me an opportunity to meet you and work with you to sell your home.

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Micro-Pricing Strategy for Home Sellers

In today’s competitive market for sellers – buyers on the internet can easily obtain your home’s information in complete detail.  This include:

 
– Original sale price, mortgage amounts and any refinancing
– Numerous sites offer com parables sales data, home valuations, price per sq. ft.
– Public records include new permits issues with any improvements/additions
 
Savvy buyers know all about your home and its potent ion market price point before they ever visit. And if the price/value of your listed home is out of sync with buyer data – you may never see them or have requested visits to view your property.  They will simply move on to other properties that match their data.  Pricing higher and discounting just does not work.  Even you must get pricing right from the outset.
 
Without significant activity at your home, selling your home will take much longer and you may eventually end up taking a much lower price just to sell the home – you will be worn down by the process.  Your listing agent must generate this activity in the first 3-4 weeks on market! This initial activity alone will indicate whether you have priced the home properly or not.
 
Simply looking at local comps and pricing to recent sales is not enough.  Sellers – actually their Realtors – need to be smarter, more aggressive and do their homework if they want to sell quickly and maximize price.
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Shortage of homes in Massachusetts slows sales

Shortage of homes on the market slows local housing sales  http://shar.es/wBY8o via @sharethis

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Dead body found at open house

Original Article: >>> http://www.housingwatch.com/2010/09/17/homebuyer-finds-dead-body-on-house-tour/

Source: Really Rotten Realty Real Estate Blog – Continue Reading — http://www.reallyrottenrealty.com/blog/dead-body-found-in-open-house/

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Houses are appraising for the higher prices

Consider this one more sign that the housing market is heating up: Appraisers are putting higher values on homes again, allowing for more deals to go through. During the housing bust, sales were often derailed by low-ball appraisals that fell far shy of a home’s selling price. For example, if a home cost $500,000 and required a 20% down payment of $100,000, the buyer would need to finance $400,000. But if the appraiser valued the home at $450,000, the buyer would only be eligible for a $360,000 loan — making the home too costly for some buyers. But now, as home prices climb and housing inventories shrink, appraisers are valuing homes at or above their selling prices, according to Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors. Between 2008 and 2010, appraisals for more than a third of Seattle-based real estate agent Michael Ackerman’s sales came in below the selling price. So he had to get creative. “I started pulling out the key boxes at the homes so the appraisers couldn’t get in,” said Ackerman. “They had to call me to let them see the home. I would bring a packet of comparables along and explain what I used to price the home.” But now, with home prices posting such strong gains, those strategies may not be necessary anymore. “I’ve closed 15 homes so far this year and none of the appraisals have come in below the selling price,”

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Short Sale vs. Foreclosure

A foreclosure is a process whereby the lender takes possession of a property when the borrower is in arrears with their mortgage payments. The process is regulated by each state and can take up to a year or more. During this period the home owner has the opportunity to get current by paying all back payments and interest and can remain in the property.

A short sale requires the sale of the property and only happens when a lender agrees to accept less than the amount owed against the home because there is not enough equity to sell and pay all costs of the sale.

You can’t just wake up one morning and decide you’re going to sell your home at a loss by asking for a short sale. It used to be that lenders wouldn’t even consider a short sale if your payments were current, but in these tough economic times, that has changed. However, lenders will be more agreeable to a short sale if your payments are in arrears. Short selling does not relieve the obligation to pay the full amount owed. If you have cash assets, the lender can legally go after those to make up the difference.

Doing a short sale is not for the faint of heart. All are at the lender’s mercy and working with them requires patience, diligence and a lot of knowledge. It is important that the buyer has a full understanding of the process.

There’s no major credit score advantage for short sale over a foreclosure. The only advantage is being able to buy another home within two years with a short sale, over the three- to five-year period required for foreclosures. When considering either method, it is essential that you seek legal advice prior to entering into the process.

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New to Mansfield?

 

Not too many towns take the time to put this info. on their website.  I do a lot of business in Mansfield and I thought this was so handy and a great benefit to my clients and their buyers.

http://www.mansfieldma.com/html/new_to_mansfield.html

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Thinking of selling a home? Tip # 1

If you are among the many that are considering selling a home to downsize, upgrade or just a change of zip code, here is some advice.   I have worked with many buyers and sellers over the years and there are a few things that I have learned that buyers look for in their new home and it’s not what you think it is.  The NUMBER ONE COMPLAINT IS:

PHOTOS.   Buyers hate when the photos are too dark, not enough photos or the lens used is a “fish eye” lens.  Buyers want photos, and lots of them and they want to see ALL the aspects of a home (good, bad and indifferent).  Contrary to what you may think, buyers will decide if they want to see your home based on the photos and if you don’t have enough of them on line, they won’t schedule an appointment to see it.   If the pictures are took dark, blurry or there aren’t enough photos, they won’t want to see your home.

Many sellers think it’s more important to NOT show the “ugly” aspects of their house and that would be WRONG.  By not showing the good, bad and indifferent, all you are doing is setting up buyers for disappointment, which, more often than not, results in no offers and longer days on market, or, worse, low ball offers. Put it all out there!  You may not get tons of traffic through your home, but the buyers that do come by will already know what they are in for.  By setting them up mentally they come away with thinking “well, that wasn’t as bad as I thought…I can live with that”. 

I take the maximum number of photos for my listings and I show everything about the property.  I consistently get compliments on the photos of my listings – buyers AND realtors alike appreciate it.

Hope this helps and look for future emails with more helpful tips.  Also, if you have a home to sell and are interested in a more indepth discussion and market analysis, please call, text or email

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