Make More Listing with an Agent

Should you hire a real estate agent when selling a home? During any recent sellers’ market, there are many home sellers who opt to sell their home “for sale by owner” (also known as FSBO). The recent sellers’ market is no exception. Many home sellers sold FSBO with the perception of saving money by not paying a real estate agent commission. But did they really save money? Can you make more listing with an agent?

make more listing with an agent
Hire a seasoned professional real estate agent

Over forty years ago, it was theorized that technology would replace many service professionals. Over time, the prediction manifested. However, the exception has been real estate agents. The role of the real estate agent has and continues to evolve. Real estate agents continue to demonstrate their value, and provide a valuable service.

Seasoned real estate agents are sales and marketing specialists. Experienced agents understand the market and use home sale data to determine a price, as well as suggesting when to list your home. Professional agents can suggest how to prepare and present your home to attract potential home buyers.

Regardless, there are many home sellers who feel they are saving money by selling without an agent (including those who sell to investors). Nonetheless there’s a body of research that has demonstrated that hiring a seasoned professional real estate agent yields a higher sales price and shorter time on the market. And a recent study reveals that selling your home FSBO could actually cost you.

Can you make more listing with an agent ?

Research by Miller, Sanchez, Sklarz, and Vamosiu investigated price differentials in FSBO and agent listed home sales (Saving Real Estate Commissions at Any Price: Does Having a Real Estate Agent Influence the Sales Price of a Home?; Journal of Housing Research, 2021, vol 30, no 2). They point out that although MLS premiums are no longer a factor, the study indicated that FSBOs sold for significantly lower sale prices than agent listed home sales. However, the amount of price differential depends on the type of home and region.

If you’re planning a home sale. Hire a professional for a smooth transaction with little drama. However, if you’re leaning toward a FSBO sale, consider all the factors. Although it may seem easy to sell a home on your own, the idiom “the devil is in the details” holds true. Even in a sellers’ market, when home buyers are competing for homes, you could be losing out if you’re unable to procure, manage and negotiate multiple offers prudently.

By Dan Krell
Copyright © 2023

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Disclaimer. This article is not intended to provide nor should it be relied upon for legal and financial advice. Readers should not rely solely on the information contained herein, as it does not purport to be comprehensive or render specific advice. Readers should consult with an attorney regarding local real estate laws and customs as they vary by state and jurisdiction. Using this article without permission is a violation of copyright laws.

Selling to a real estate investor

Needless to say, real estate investing has become popular again. Selling to a real estate investor was even embraced by tech companies that are called “iBuyers.” To get your attention, real estate investors post road signs, send direct mail, and inundate social media with a promise of getting cash for your home. But real estate investors are not all the same, and their intentions are not always fair: which begs the question “Should you sell your home directly to a real estate investor?”

Selling to a real estate investor

selling to a real estate investor
Home Values

When most people think of a real estate investor, they think of someone who will renovate and resale the home. This is commonly called “flipping.”  However, another type of flipping has become popular, where the investor, also known as a “wholesaler,” flips their purchase contract to another buyer (usually at a huge profit for them). Also, there are investors who buy and then keep the property to rent.

What’s the catch?

The typical lure from the real estate investor is a quick sale. Although many can close quickly, others not so much. The reality is that real estate investors offer the quick sale in lieu of a huge reduction in their sale price. After all, they never promised you top dollar. The truth remains that real estate investors pay a fraction of what you can likely sell your home on the MLS (and the irony is that the MLS buyer is likely to be to an investor).

What about the promise of cash? Although investors offer cash for your home, you won’t literally be getting cash at settlement. Rather, just like any real estate transaction, you’ll either get a check from the title company or a wire to your bank.

Many real estate investors tout “no Realtor fees.” Sounds good, right? Not so fast. Many real estate investors charge premiums and/or miscellaneous fees. Some make you pay their closing costs.  In truth, your unexpected fees can exceed the average agent commission.

Real estate investors also promise “no contingencies.” However, many investors use a “study period” in lieu of specific contingencies for various reasons, including obtaining the funds to close. Wholesalers use the study period to find a “buyer” (usually another investor) for their contract (you may not have assurance that the assigned buyer has the ability to complete the purchase).

Due diligence

Before you sell directly to the real estate investor, consider your goals with the pros and cons. Due diligence on your part will help you obtain your goals. Don’t be afraid to approach a local real estate agent to understand the value of your home. Compare an investor sale to the MLS sale (which is typically getting your money a few weeks sooner for a fraction of the value).  You should consult with an attorney to review the purchase contract to ensure you understand what you’re signing.

By Dan Krell
Copyright © 2022

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Disclaimer. This article is not intended to provide nor should it be relied upon for legal and financial advice. Readers should not rely solely on the information contained herein, as it does not purport to be comprehensive or render specific advice. Readers should consult with an attorney regarding local real estate laws and customs as they vary by state and jurisdiction. Using this article without permission is a violation of copyright laws.

Home Selling during the Holidays

Home sales have been in a slump for several months. But the lackluster volume of homes being sold isn’t what most people are making of it. Of course, rising interest rates have curtailed some home buyers’ plans, but the historically low supply of homes for sale continues to drive the market.  If you’re home selling during the holidays, consider that supply will continue to dwindle as many homes will be removed from market.

Home Selling during the Holidays
Home Sale Prices

What does that mean if you’re a motivated home seller? Although the housing market normally slows down during the holiday season, it’s not entirely closed. Motivated home buyers are always looking for the perfect home. And with limited home seller competition, you could potentially do well with your sale.  The only obstacle to your sale would be severe winter weather.

Things to consider when selling a home during the holiday season:

If you’re selling your primary residence, consider how and when your home will be available for home buyer visits. Be proactive with your communication to your listing agent so there is no confusion about showing times. The idiom “strike while the iron is hot” holds true. If you make your home available to show, stick to the schedule. Buyers will get frustrated and turned off when their scheduled appointment is canceled at the last minute.

If you’re selling a vacant home, it will be easy to show. However, you should plan to visit the home regularly for cleaning and maintenance. Maintenance is especially important during the colder winter weather.

If your home is already on the market, maintaining a show quality home is still a must. However, if your home will be listed for sale during the holiday season, you have to take care in preparing your home for buyer visits during colder weather. Decluttering, repairs, and staging are the main staples of home preparation.

If you ask real estate agents about holiday decorations, you’ll get a variety of advice. Keep in mind how home buyers will see your home. If you decorate your home, keep it tasteful and uncluttered.

Keep in mind that selling a home means having strangers traipsing through your home. Plan ahead with a showing schedule if you’re having holiday celebrations and hosting family and other guests in your home.

Home Selling during the Holidays is not for everyone. If the holiday season is a hectic, then adding the stress of selling your home is probably not a good idea. Consult with your real estate agent about home selling during the holidays and if it is an appropriate choice for you.

By Dan Krell
Copyright © 2022

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Disclaimer. This article is not intended to provide nor should it be relied upon for legal and financial advice. Readers should not rely solely on the information contained herein, as it does not purport to be comprehensive or render specific advice. Readers should consult with an attorney regarding local real estate laws and customs as they vary by state and jurisdiction. Using this article without permission is a violation of copyright laws.

Catch up with deferred maintenance

After the Great Recession, the country’s housing stock deteriorated.  Many financially strapped home owners could not afford the cost of maintaining their home.  Many of those home owners deferred maintenance thinking they would do it when their financial picture got better.  Others abandoned their homes, willing to face foreclosure to have a fresh start.

deferred maintenance
Home quality

As a result, the housing stock deteriorated as time passed. Foreclosed homes deteriorated during the foreclosure process.  And many others decided to sell their deferred maintenance home.  It wasn’t until five to seven years after the recession that “the cost of doing nothing” was realized.

However, the antithesis was the many home owners who opted to update and remodeled their homes in lieu of moving.  The decision to stay and “make do” was primarily because of the depressed home sale market. Many home owners who wanted to move couldn’t because the potential sale price would have been much lower than what the home owner needed to move.  Additionally, there were many who were “under-water,” meaning that their mortgage payoff was higher than what the home was worth at that time.

As the market improved, home sellers realized that their well maintained, renovated/updated homes, sell faster and for more. Real estate agents quickly embraced the idea of renovating prior to putting the home on the market.  The pay off for this strategy was evident in the recent sellers’ market (2020-2022), where well maintained and updated homes garnered a lot of attention, received multiple offers, and launched home sale prices to double digit increases.

Just as remodeling can increase the value of your home, deferring maintenance will decrease your home’s value. Unfortunately, many home owners, and their agents, believe that years of deferred maintenance can be overcome with simple and inexpensive renovations.  The truth is that years of deferred maintenance deteriorates the condition of your home, making it vulnerable to the elements, pests, and time.  Deferring maintenance also makes repairs and updates more costly down the road. 

If your home has deferred maintenance, it’s not too late to catch up.  If there are many projects with which to catch up, prioritize the most important.  You will find that as you catch up with deferred maintenance, your comfort and enjoyment of your home increases.  And if you’re planning a move in near future, keeping up with home maintenance will make your home sale preparation straightforward and easy.

By Dan Krell
Copyright © 2022

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Disclaimer. This article is not intended to provide nor should it be relied upon for legal and financial advice. Readers should not rely solely on the information contained herein, as it does not purport to be comprehensive or render specific advice. Readers should consult with an attorney regarding local real estate laws and customs as they vary by state and jurisdiction. Using this article without permission is a violation of copyright laws.

Clean your home

clean your home
Top renovations when selling your home (infographic from keepingcurrentmatters.com)

“Clean your home” is one of the most underrated activities when preparing to sell your home.  Although it’s seemingly the easiest thing to do to get a higher price and faster sale, it’s often misunderstood or shrugged off. because there’s so much going on when selling a home.  Besides getting the home ready to list, you’re likely planning a move.  With so much on your mind, it’s easy to put it off. 

A New York Times piece by Tim McKeough (Market Ready; nytimes.com; July 25, 2012) gave advice from a real estate broker and a cleaning professional on properly cleaning before listing a home.  The real estate broker commented on cleaning windows and floors; as well as polishing furniture.  Paramount is the condition of home entry, kitchen and bathrooms.  The entryway is important because it’s the area where the home buyer gets their first impression of the home.  The kitchen and bathrooms get much of the home buyers’ attention, and should also be a focus of a deep cleaning.  It’s advised that the entryway be decluttered, and the kitchen and bathrooms should be “spotless.” 

Attention to detail is important, such as cleaning the oven/range, clean tile grout and a new shower curtain.  Because dirty grout can leave a bad impression with home buyers, consider regrouting.  “Horizontal surfaces” (such as windowsills, picture frames, baseboards, and shelves) should also be a focus of cleaning.  Also, a deep cleaning should focus on areas where cleaning finger prints are found, such as light switches and door knobs.  When showing the home, the sink should be clean and dishes put away, as well as putting away toiletries and making the beds.

When your agent recommends to clean your home, they mean to get a deep cleaning. However, home sellers often misconstrue “deep cleaning” as a routine cleaning.  Don’t get me wrong, cleaning your home anytime is positive.  However, a deep cleaning goes after dirt and grime that has accumulated while you lived in the home.  A deep cleaning includes and goes beyond the basic cleaning.  A deep cleaning typically includes (but isn’t limited to) shampooing rugs and carpets, cleaning grime from oven and range burners, cleaning bathroom grout, cleaning windows, cleaning baseboards and corners, and ceiling fans.  If you have a pet, your deep cleaning should also focus on removing pet hair, dander and lingering odors. 

Most home sellers hire a cleaning service for the “deep clean.”  The Better Business Bureau (bbb.org) offers these tips when hiring a cleaning service: 1) Research the company. Ask friends, family members, and neighbors for recommendations.  Interview at least three companies.  Check if the company has complaints.  2) When interviewing the service, ask to also meet with someone who will be doing the cleaning to understand their process.  Also ask what cleaning products are used, especially if anyone in the home has sensitivities and allergies.  3) Most important – check credentials. Check if their operating license is in good standing.  Ask for proof of their bond and insurance.  Request or conduct your own background check.  4) Ask for and contact past client references.  5) When talking about the cost, consider the time that will needed for the cleaning.  Make sure that the service includes everything that you need to be cleaned.  A home walkthrough is recommended to provide a service estimate.  Although it’s typical to be attracted to the least expensive service, it may not be the best value.  6) When you decide on the service, get it in writing and make sure it’s specific as to what the service will do and the time they will be in your home. 

By Dan Krell
Copyright © 2021

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Disclaimer. This article is not intended to provide nor should it be relied upon for legal and financial advice. Readers should not rely solely on the information contained herein, as it does not purport to be comprehensive or render specific advice. Readers should consult with an attorney regarding local real estate laws and customs as they vary by state and jurisdiction. Using this article without permission is a violation of copyright laws.