I’ve got a busy week coming up. I have 3 people who the only thing they have in common are that they have houses to sell and have picked me to be their realtor.
Two of the clients have used me before. One of them is a family member.
The house in the first block of Kenwick is owned by a person whose mother used me to sell a house in Palomar. I don’t even remember how they found me. They were great to work with. I had lost contact with the daughter. I had often thought of her since she lived in Kenwick, and I did too when I was much younger. One day out of the blue, she calls me and says she is buying and selling. She didn’t think I would remember her since it had been close to 15 years, but I couldn’t forget her. She had to do a little digging to track me down since I had gone out on my own several years ago. It has been great catching up with her and working with her on her new home. She is fun, laid back and very wise.
The house in Beaumont is owned by a very special family to me. They used me to buy the house many years ago. I thoroughly enjoyed working with them and was very excited when they told me it was time to move again. We found their perfect home within walking distance of their old home. We had quite a dramatic time buying the new place since it was in multiple offers. This family is just so nice and pleasant to work with. It has been one of the highlights of my summer to work with them again.
The house in Landowne Merrick is owned by my cousin’s family. It has served them well but it’s time to move up to something that better fits their stage in life now. I don’t get to see my cousin all that much so it has been a lot of fun to go look at houses with her and her husband. Sometimes my aunt and uncle show up to for the showings so it is like a family reunion but at some stranger’s house.
I’ve got two more listings in the pipeline that should be ready before long. It’s been a great year and an especially great summer. Selling these three houses for these three fantastic sellers will be a nice way to wrap up my summer.
I’ve seen a few sellers lately make some bad decisions.
I get it. Selling your home is something you only do so often and I don’t expect them to understand the market and all the obstacles between sticking the sign in the yard and the closing. All they know is that the market is hot and selling your house is easy.
What they don’t know is that keeping it sold can sometimes be a lot of work.
I recently had a friend decide to list with some less experienced agent who was going to reduce the commission. I was going to reduce my commission to ZERO since this person was a friend and they had some circumstances that required them to move, guess I should have told them that sooner. I had been giving advice and working towards getting this done for close to a year. To this seller, all they were thinking about was saving money. Well, you only realize that savings when you close the sale. The house sold and is back on the market. Usually when a house comes back on the market, it doesn’t get the same attention from buyers. Most buyers in the market have already seen it and either said no to the house or made an offer that obviously wasn’t the best one or they would have gotten it the first time. This is where experience is worth every penny, even though I wasn’t planning on getting any pennies from this sale.
I am currently working hard to keep a deal together for a house where the buyer went to do the final walk through before the closing and found the ice maker had been leaking and has caused $12k in damage to the house. I know if my listing goes back on the market, we will never again catch such a fantastically qualified buyer who was the highest bidder, so I better put on my thinking cap and get this done.
These are just a couple of current examples of where experience can make or break a sale. The goal is to get to the closing. I am thinking about the entire process, not just the beginning. Not just the next step.
As I was making my second cup of coffee and thinking about writing this post, it reminded me of the early days of GPS. You’d enter the destination and take off. I think that is how most sellers view this process…….”I’ve got a realtor and they just stuck a sign in the yard. It’s all downhill from here!” If nothing goes wrong, then that is very true. But how often have you had your GPS take a crazy route or not know about construction, wrecks or other annoying delays? It’s the same with real estate. A lot of inexperienced agents don’t know what to lookout for along the way or don’t know how to negotiate. Sometimes you have to take an alternate route. Sometimes you need to change lanes along the way. A good realtor is more like the Waze app……not only are we watching out for delays, we are looking for speed traps and doing it all in real time as we get you to the final destination, which is the closing.
It’s been a good week.
It all started when I had two buyers make offers on houses and they both got them. Both went over the list price of course as that is becoming far more common.
One of them was a house that had come back on the market after a sale fell apart. I called the listing realtor and asked why it fell apart. She told me that before the seller put the house on the market, he had a specific home inspector look over the house and repaired everything the inspector found. Well, the first buyer used a different home inspector and decided they didn’t want the house. The listing agent thought the buyer just cold feet and used the inspection as a way of getting out of the deal. That happens unfortunately.
I know nobody likes it when a house comes back on the market. The house often doesn’t have the same momentum the second time. I also know that sellers start getting nervous about selling their house even in this crazy hot market. It turns out that my buyer had told me who she was planning on using for the inspection and it was the same inspection company the seller had used. I saw this as an advantage. I knew it would be a huge deal to the seller and listing realtor if they knew we were planning on using the same company since there would be no surprises.
So, instead of writing an offer with an escalation clause, I called up the listing realtor and pretty much said “Hey, how about we give you so much above the last contract you had on the house AND we agree to use the same home inspection company your seller used before they listed it? Would that keep you from waiting to get more offers and just sell it to us right now?” Fortunately it was and my buyer got the house. She later told me she was prepared to go to a certain number if needed and that I saved her a lot of money. Close to $18k to be exact. Had it gone into multiple offers, odds are she would have paid much more than she did. I just knew what to do to make the seller accept our offer. My dad always said “Think like the other person’s perspective.” I knew the seller was anxious about the home inspection after the sale fell apart and having the same company he used do our inspection would make him feel like the house was really going to sell this time……thanks Dad and Happy Father’s Day!
It’s finally here. Moving day. Well, almost. It is this weekend. The day I have been looking forward to for the past 5 months. I had no idea something I was so excited about could be so stressful. I spent a lot of time daydreaming about what it is going to be like living in my new home. Now I am daydreaming about what it will be like when my old house is empty. I haven’t moved in 9 years. I had no idea how crazy it is to try to put everything you own in boxes and take it somewhere else.
In case you are just now seeing this, I bought a small home on 15 acres about 20 minutes from my old house. We have spent the past several months renovating the inside. It is going to be a huge change for me and my family. One we are excited about. It has been done for about a week and I have been busy doing several small things like getting appliances in and working on some items from the home inspection. In all reality, I have really wasted a lot of time trying to fix things and leaving them in worse shape than I found them. LOL, this house has reminded me how bad I am at those type of things.
This experience has put me in the shoes of my clients. I’ve had to find a house, buy a house, get through a home inspection, close, pack, schedule movers, get utilities changed, prep my old house to sell and still be a realtor to my clients. This makes me even more empathetic to the stress my clients are going through when they move.
I really wish it was something like mind reading, predicting the future or the ability to move slow drivers out of the left lane, but it isn’t any of those.
Yesterday, I showed a massive house in Beaumont to a family. Well over 6200 square feet with the unfinished basement. As they asked me questions about the house, part of my answer was explaining what room was above, under, or beside where we were. After a few of these, their oldest son asked if it was part of a realtors job to know the floor plan of every house.
Before that, I had never thought about my ability to walk through a house and build a 3-D floor plan in my head, or visualize what a house will look like from just the floor plan. I just thought everybody could do that?
I used to draw floor plans of houses when I was a kid. Then I took a lot of architectural classes in college. Then I worked as an estimator with a construction company where I would have to build the plan in my head to figure out how much material was needed.
I don’t know what to call this superpower? Any ideas?