I showed a house yesterday. Nice place. It was all original except the kitchen.
It wasn’t that old of a house, so it wasn’t what I would call outdated. Since it wasn’t that old, nothing was worn out either. I would call it neutrally nice-not bad and not great at the same time.
But that kitchen was super nice, and that was the problem with this house.
Yeah, you read that right. The remodeled kitchen was a negative.
Because the people who are attracted to the house due to that super nice kitchen will be disappointed that the rest of the house isn’t as nice. They leave thinking they would have to “Finish” the rest of the remodeling.
The people who won’t mind the rest of the house don’t care about that super nice kitchen and won’t want to pay for it through the higher list price. They leave thinking the house is overpriced.
It would have been better for this seller to have spent less on the kitchen and updated all of the house evenly.
That has always been my advice after observing how buyers react to houses. All of your house should be consistently nice if you want your updates to add value. If they aren’t, then you are usually giving away that one space where you spent the most money.
I recently had a deal fall apart after the home inspection.
It was a house that my buyer’s really fell in love with. They were crushed. The house didn’t inspect as well as we thought it would and the seller refused to do much negotiating.
It was a rough few days for them after this, but they eventually moved on.
We found an even better house that had a far better seller. This house suited their needs much much much better and was in far better shape.
This got me thinking about past clients who have had this same experience. I can’t recall any client who had to walk away from a house and didn’t find one that was even better.
Getting your dream home really is a process. You might lose a house or two in multiple offers these days. Some houses might sell before you even have a chance to see them. You might have a deal fall apart after a home inspection. But in the end, you’ll have the best house for you. Just ask my buyer’s who are very excited about their new place.
The first rule in real estate today is that there are no rules.
In the past, there was a general thought that certain times of the year were better to sell, you had to do a lot of prep work before listing your house, and other things that HGTV still perpetuates.
Back when the market was terrible, I would give people huge lists of things they needed to do to sell their house. Now sellers are amazed when I tell them to do as little as possible. I’ve had clients who were planning on putting on new roofs, replacing front doors, replacing old carpet. I tell them not to worry about it. As long as these items are in at least average shape, buyer’s don’t mind. An average house is appealing when there are only like 12 other houses for sale in your price range all over town and you’ve lost out in multiple offers on the last 3 you wanted.
We are so starved for listings that even if a few people don’t like your house, there will be several more that do. About the only time I see a house not sell is when it is grossly overpriced. It’s a Seller’s Market for sure, but you still can’t sell your house for more than it is worth…..although if you wait long enough, it will have appreciated into your asking price.
When the market was bad, the value in having a realtor was in knowing what all you had to do to sell and presenting the listing so that it stood out among the multitude of other listings. Now, having a good realtor is about knowing the least you have to do and the most you can get for your house. I’ve often paid for myself by saving the seller from spending money that they did not need to spend. Back then, working with a buyer was showing them 40 houses and helping them pick the best one and getting it for as cheap as possible. Today, working with buyers is about getting them in a house ASAP and coming up with a winning bidding strategy.
So, as long as it is a Seller’s Market, put your house up for sale any time of the year. Fix anything that is broken and give it a good clean, but there is no need to sweat the details like you had to when it was a Buyer’s Market. Today’s buyers can’t afford to be too picky.
After the last one this Friday, that is how many closings I will have had in July. That’s the most I’ve ever done in one month.
Funny thing is that all this came from 8 clients.
Clients #1 & #2 were people that used me several years ago to buy their house. They wanted to move, we found the right ones, then we sold their old houses. (Client #2 has used me a total of 4 times now.)
Clients #3 built a new house and used me to sell their old one too. They were sent to me by a past client I have become friends with that has used me twice.
Clients #4 bought Client #3’s house. This client was sent to me from a friend who has used me twice before.
Client #5 is a past client who I have become friends with.
Client #6 was referred to me from a good friend who has used me twice.
Clients #7 & #8 are old friends.
I love thinking about how all this happens. I feel like my career is a big tree that just keeps growing new branches. It keeps me humble too because I realize that so many great people have taken the time to recommend me to their friends and family. There is no way I could do what I love without them.
I love thinking. It’s one of my favorite things about this job.
I put on a new listing a few days ago. We pushed the pricing envelope a little.
We didn’t get any showings the first day, which is a good sign of how far we pushed it.
The second day we had several showings scheduled.
We got an offer from the first showing. It was for less than the full amount. Another sign we were pushing the asking price a bit. It was still a really good offer though.
My sellers asked about countering for full price. We really didn’t have much to lose by asking, so I said sure. I had a few things running through my mind though. I was thinking about how soft the market responded to this house at this price. I was thinking about how the buyer’s agent is somebody I know. She is a great agent. She knows that in this market, you have to make your best offer right off the bat…and their offer was below the list price. I was thinking to myself “What can I do to motivate these people to pay full price and not weaken our position to negotiate later?” I was afraid they would stick with their original offer and wait and see if we even got another offer. If we hadn’t gotten another offer, they would know that their offer was at least the best one we had or why would we be countering it? I also know the buyer’s agent would have asked if we had multiple offers. By saying no, it would be further proof that their offer was still the best and maybe the only one we would get. The buyer’s may have said no to our counter.
So, the only thing I could do was create a situation where they had to respond to our full price counter offer BEFORE the remaining showings happened. Once the last showing happened, we didn’t have anything to motivate them if we had not gotten another offer.
Then all the sudden, a thought popped in my mind. I asked my sellers if I got the buyers to go full price, would they be willing to sign off on it immediately. They said yes.
I then told the buyer’s agent that if her people would go full price, I would cancel the remaining showings and my people were holding their phones in their hands right now ready to electronically sign off on the deal.
A few minutes later, it was all done. The sellers are happy. The buyer gets a house in a tight market. And I get to work with an agent I trust and respect.