This week I closed a unique property that I co-listed with Lindi Bock. We sold it in 9 days. If you know me at all, you may know I like a challenge – and this listing surely was. Here’s a little more about this real estate challenge:
Challenge 1: This was an “EXPIRED” listing that was extremely overpriced previously, on the market for 63 days with only 3 showings. The seller had previously listed with another Realtor (a friend of theirs) and the asking price was WAY over market value, about 75k over market value in fact. With a home that overpriced, they were not getting showings. We were able to change that by showing the seller the proper pricing.
Challenge 2: Marketing. The previous agent the seller had listed with had not taken great photos of the home. In fact, there was some old wallpaper showing in one of the photos. I mentioned it to the seller and he said oh we removed that and repainted that whole room. I questioned why the listing agent hadn’t re-photographed that room then and the seller said he didn’t know. Also the property faced a water view across the street and yet there was not a single photo showing the water. Big mistake by the prior listing agent which we quickly remedied with aerial drone shots highlighting the proximity to the water and new interior shots as well.
Challenge 3: Condition. I like to give my clients my real opinion of their home – in a gentle way of course! The sellers for this home live out of state and sent me to check out the home in person. They told me “there is a 20 foot koi pond on the property.” Cool, I thought. When I got there, this is what I found.
Okay – you guys – this is not a 20′ koi pond!!! This koi pond has steps and a ladder! It’s a black in ground pool with 2 tiny goldfish in it that are somehow still alive! I called Lindi and said “Ummm did you know about this???” After I stopped laughing I said to myself oh man I am not looking forward to this conversation with the seller. But I knew what had to be said. I said to the seller – I think this is much more of a detriment and an eyesore if I’m being honest than a “feature”. He said “Well, I will change it back if a buyer wants me to but some people might like it.” I was skeptical that it actually wasn’t too late to be changed back. But voila – it took some convincing but he changed it back – and yep – we went under contract! What an amazing difference.
Challenge 4: The Buyer. Sweet as she was – bless her heart, she was a licensed Realtor, but not one who practices general real estate. She was a new construction sales person who works only for a builder. She insisted on representing herself (so that she could apply her commission towards her own closing costs), and honestly there is nothing we could do to stop her. Getting your real estate license is not difficult, but being a good real estate agent is. Our contracts are always changing, you must be familiar with the legal language in them, there are deadlines to meet, phone calls to take, showings, negotiations, paperwork, etc. In representing herself, she really didn’t know what she was doing because she was not used to general real estate sales, which are much different than new construction sales. A couple of times she missed a few things, was late on deadlines, was not prompt returning paperwork, forgot about an invoice for a home warranty, and because Lindi and I were nice we helped her out on several occasions in order to make sure the deal went smoothly, but she really could have put herself in a legal bind and nearly cost herself her escrow deposit. It’s worth it to hire an expert when it comes to your most precious financial investment versus trying to save yourself a few bucks by representing yourself when you don’t completely know what you are doing. It’s not as easy as it looks on HGTV, I promise.
Challenge 5: Inspections. During the time from contract to closing, a buyer will conduct their own inspections. Most buyers use an as-is contract in our area but despite this – if major items are found wrong with a home, they still make repairs requests or ask for a credit in lieu of repairs or threaten to cancel the contract during their inspection period. When the buyer came to us with her repairs requests…..$40,000 in repairs?! Oh man, another huge hurdle! With A LOT of negotiating, we were able to keep the deal together and talk the buyer off from $40,000 down to $5,000 which the seller agreed to. MUCH more reasonable, and our seller was HAPPY!
At the end of the day, our job is done! We had a SELLER who received top dollar for their unique home and a BUYER who is happy to move into their new pool home – sans goldfish or lily pads.