Unique, Up Close and Personal

Date:               February 12, 1998

Published in the Ventura County Star – Thank you Myrtle

 

There is hardly a business like real estate. The nuances and subtleties are complex and profound.  Realtors are rather independent people who operate their own businesses within the business of the broker, or completely on their own if they are one. For members of the public who have not purchased or sold a property for a few years, the shock of new paperwork and legal requirements for a valid real estate transaction is real.

Realtors and real estate agents are constantly reminded of their duties to clients and customers. One of the greatest challenges is to stay current with changing requirements of the California Civil Code and the Business and Professions Code.

Fortunately, the business is still very up close and personal with clients and other Realtors. We are usually the first line of defense when problems arise during and after the close of escrow.  We are also sometimes the last to know when there is a problem.

One of the most unique features of a Realtors business is to share their inventory with competitors through the Multiple Listing Service.  While websites, high performance computer programs and flash forms come and go, the constant factor is the personal relationships between clients and Realtors and their competitors.

The line is usually drawn, however, when it comes to Realtors having to share clients.  This element of our business can be most hurtful and distressing. It is often unintentional. It occurs when buyers engage the services of more than one Realtor at a time.

New relationships can begin with a simple phone call.  Realtors shine here because the caller is considered to be a new client and the red carpet is rolled out. Typically, appointments are made to show property; time, gasoline and materials are provided, conferences with lenders are held, and educational information is shared—all at no charge.

Sharing clients occur when the public decides to make another phone call in response to an ad—to a different Realtor.  No mention is made of previous activity in the market or the efforts made by their previous Realtor.  The new Realtor benefits from the efforts of the other—an unfair advantage often innocently provided by the public.

Once the situation is revealed, the results are distressing for all parties.  To this point in time, neither Realtor has been compensated for their time and talents. It is not uncommon for a client to feel embarrassed or irritated and to move to a third agent.

Most Realtors will admit that our way of doing business needs to be overhauled. We also will admit that not all relationships are productive and that a client may simply choose one Realtor over another.

One solution and trend is to utilize a buyer’s broker agreement.  It is a contract between buyers and Realtors and guarantees compensation for time, talent and materials.  An interesting benefit is that Realtors might have to limit the number of clients due to requirements under the contract and that the public might receive enhanced services.

Another solution would be for Realtors to be retained by clients at an hourly rate, as are other professionals.  This would solve the problem of client loyalty and would level the playing field for all Realtors.

Until such a time, the public can make a nice difference if they would utilize the services of one Realtor at a time.  A few helpful hints are to let your Realtor of Choice obtain information on any property where you see a sign. If you are visiting an open house, let the host Realtor know that you are working with another.  Let your Realtor call around for information on properties you see rather than taking the time of Realtors you do not intend to engage.

All a Realtor has to offer is time and talent. We are used to being compensated when everyone wins.  We simply ask that you find a winner and stick with him or her until you do too.

Editorial: January 23, 2018. Editor’s Note – Nothing has changed.

 

How to write a strong contingency offer

REALTY MATTERS – Published Santa Paula Times

By Kay Wilson-Bolton

September 5, 2013 – sent 10.25.13

“News sources report the real estate market is improving, interest rates are steady and affordable, prices are up and inventory is low. Until that changes, it’s all true.”

From a seller’s point of view, contingent sale offers are risky. What if the buyers’ home doesn’t sell? Will the buyers list their home too high? Is their home in good condition and ready to go on the market? Many sellers would rather wait for their own home to sell to a non-contingent buyer than face the uncertainty of a contingent sale offer.

Buyers who can buy another home only if their current home is sold need to convince sellers that it’s worth the risk to accept their contingent sale offer. One strategy that can work in your favor is to list your home for sale before you present an offer on the home you want to buy.

This lets the sellers know you are serious about selling your home. Some buyers are tentative and won’t list their home until they have an accepted offer on the one they want to buy.

A lot of home-sale transactions are put together with the help of the agents involved who communicate freely with one another. As a buyer who must first sell his current home, your listing agent can help to convince the sellers to accept your offer by arming the agent who’s representing you as a buyer with information that will help sell the deal.

Ask your listing agent to prepare recent sales information of listings in your area similar to yours that sold recently to show that your list price is in line with current market conditions in your area. The sellers will want to know how long on average it’s taking homes like yours to sell. They also may want their listing agent to talk to your listing agent to confirm the information your agent provided.

Your chance of a timely sale will depend on buyer demand for homes like yours and on how many homes like yours are currently for sale in your area. In a low-inventory market where demand is high, your home may sell quickly. If there are a lot of listings in your neighborhood, you will need to be aggressive with your list price by pricing lower than your competition.

HOUSE HUNTING TIP: The sellers will want to know how long it will take for you to put your home on the multiple listing service. They are unlikely to wait a month or so for you to get your home ready for sale. As soon as you have made the decision to buy a new home and sell your current one, you should start preparing it for sale. This will make it possible for you to put your home on the market quickly.

If you find your dream home earlier than you thought you would and your home is not ready to market, enlist your agent’s aid in lining up a crew — handyman, painter, stager, etc. — to assist you with a fast prep-for-sale project. Ask friends and relatives to help with de-cluttering, donating what you no longer want, and packing up items to go to storage that you want to keep.

Before you make an offer, make sure you can provide the sellers with a letter from your loan agent or mortgage broker that indicates you are creditworthy and have the financial means to close the sale once your current home is sold.

Although it may seem silly, write a sincere letter to the sellers about how much you like or love their home and why you want to buy it. Sellers who have a pride of ownership and an emotional attachment to their home can be swayed in the right direction by a well-crafted letter.

THE CLOSING: Offer to pay the asking price, or more, if the market warrants it. Buyers usually pay a premium for a contingent sale offer.