My Blog

The 5 Common Un-Truths About Real Estate Offers

8/22/2019

“I got 5 offers within the first 24 hours and all of them were over asking price!”

Have you heard stories lately of homes selling quickly above full price with multiple offers? That is the market we are currently in. While not every listing gets this kind of results, it is not uncommon for homes priced correctly in good condition in the average price range for our market. Many buyers have “lost out” on 4 or 5 homes before finally being the winning bidder on a home.



With activity like this, there is bound to be some confusion and frustration in the offer (bidding) process. Here are 5 common misunderstandings:

1. OFFERS SHOULD BE REVIEWED ON A FIRST-COME, FIRST-SERVED BASIS.

There is no rule or law that requires a seller to look at the first offer before others. It is actually the seller’s agent’s job to get the best offer possible no matter when it comes in. If an initial offer comes in and the agent or seller feel that a better offer may be coming, the seller has the right to wait any length of time for additional offers. Since most offers include a deadline for the seller to respond, there is a risk that a good offer will expire while the seller waits for better offers, but that is a chance the seller is open to take.

2. SELLER'S MUST RESPOND TO AN OFFER WITHIN THE DEADLINE GIVEN.

The deadline given in an offer does not “force” the seller to respond within a certain time period. It only gives the buyer the right to rescind their offer if the seller does not respond in time. This allows the buyer to move on and write offers on other homes without the risk of being under contract if a seller accepts their initial offer. If the seller does not respond within the given deadline, the offer is technically rejected.

3. IF THE SELLER RECEIVES MULTIPLE OFFERS, THEY MUST GIVE EVERYONE A CHANCE TO REVISE THEIR OFFER BEFORE CHOOSING ONE.

Typically, if a seller receives more than one offer, they will notify all potential buyers that they have until a certain deadline to modify their offer or confirm that they have submitted their “highest and best” offer.  Once the deadline has passed, the seller selects which offer, if any, they want to accept or counter. While this is the typical response, it is not required. If the seller receives an offer they like, they may at any time accept it and move on with that buyer without giving other buyers the chance to improve their offer.

4. THE SELLER MUST ACCEPT THE BEST (HIGHEST NET) OFFER.

It is assumed that the seller is going to choose the offer that they feel is best. Confusion occurs, however, when we assume that the highest net offer is the best offer. There are many terms in an offer for the seller to consider besides price and net including type of financing, time to close, and possession. As long as the seller is not discriminating against a protected class, they can even choose the offer from the buyer they like the best. Recently, a seller chose a slightly lower offer because it was from a neighbor and friend who they knew would be easy to work with and would be open to delayed possession.

5. IF THE LISTING AGENT HAS THEIR OWN BUYER, THEY ARE NOT SUBMITTING OTHER OFFERS TO THE SELLER.

Let me just start by saying that withholding any offers from a seller would be against real estate law and our code of ethics and professional suicide. Our code of ethics says that we will put our client’s best interest first and that NO inducement, financial or otherwise, shall interfere with our responsibility to our client. A recent revision to our code also states that a selling agent can request a signed rejection of their offer. We always advise that you work with an agent you know, like and trust. Trust your agent to protect you and do what they can to assure that your offer was in fact submitted.

If you don’t already have an agent, consider a Trusted Real Estate Advisor at RE/MAX Perrett Associates. Our production and reputation speak for itself.

Aging in Place

8/22/2019

AGING IN PLACE?

7/24/2019

5 things to do so you will not get "stuck" in your home.

Baby Boomers are expected to outnumber Millennials in Michigan in 2019 despite the national trend being the opposite. This is important to those who are aging in their home without an “exit” plan and their children. 

We had a client whose husband died unexpectedly 5 years ago. He was a collector who managed the finances and maintenance of the home. By the time we were called to help, she was buried under a pile of documents, personal property and delayed maintenance and she was overwhelmed and paralyzed. Her children lived out of state and could not help. When friends offered to help, she didn’t know where to start. On top of it all, she was in poor health.



This is a desperate situation that Realtors are encountering. Thankfully, it can be avoided. Here are the top five things we have found that you can do now to keep from being in this client’s position:

1. DEAL WITH PERSONAL PROPERTY NOW

First, and most important, stop storing your grown children’s belongings! 

For all children who live away from home, tell them you have created a pile of their things and that they have until a certain date to get them. If they have not come to get them (or made different arrangements) by that date, they are not going to. Get rid of it. Don’t store stuff for them that they aren’t willing to store themselves.

Second, develop a system to reduce the things you keep.

            “You spend the first part of your life collecting things…and the second half getting rid of them” – Isabel Allende

Here’s a plan: Commit to a constant rotation of paring down possessions that starts now and never ends. Each month, you pick a room and go through all drawers, closets or other storage and ask yourself this question: Have I used this in the last 12 months? If the answer is “no”, then let it go. 

My sister, Carla is doing the family a HUGE favor. Every 6 weeks, she visits my dad. On EVERY visit, she goes through a dresser, a closet, a cabinet, etc. and is methodically removing anything that my dad does not need on a day-to-day basis. She is giving all of us a chance to claim anything we may want and the rest is getting donated or pitched. Dad is 83. He is happy because he is living in a de-cluttered home. We will be extremely happy when the time comes to move him from his house as everything in it that he cares about will go with him.

Does your husband have a 4 ft. piece of PVC that he’s holding on to because he may need it some day? This is a hard area to tackle.  Just because you haven’t used a wrench in 12 months doesn’t mean you won’t. That is why this is a continuous process. At 78, dad was still using wrenches. At 83, not so much.

2. GET HELP

Your children may have moved away, but they do come see you, even if it’s seldom. The next time your children are scheduled to visit, organize a “work day” and explain to them that you have sorted through things and will need their help getting rid of it. They can help you hold a weekend garage sale, or help cart off donations or items to the local dump. This can also apply to your siblings, cousins, grandchildren, etc.

Maybe you need to consider an estate sale or auction? The first step is to invite a professional in to see if you have enough items with enough value to warrant a sale. Your RE/MAX agent can give you the names of professionals in this area to work with.

If your family is no help and you don’t have enough valuable items to warrant a sale, what about members from your church or a local organization to which you belong? If you are donating items to The Salvation Army or another local charity, they may help you dispose of some things in return for your donation.

3. UPDATE YOUR DEED, WILL, OR TRUST



It’s very simple – if you leave this earth without a valid will or trust that dictates the disposal of your assets, your estate will most likely need to be probated in court. Please don’t leave your loved-ones with this burden. Contact your attorney to be sure you have the proper paperwork in place and update that paperwork every couple of years to be sure it is valid. Things change and your estate planning needs to be kept up. Don’t try to do this part yourself. There are very small details that can make the difference between valid and invalid paperwork. One piece of advice – only leave one person in charge. It can be a real estate nightmare to clear every single decision through multiple heirs. Pick someone. The others will understand eventually.

4. KNOW WHEN TO SELL

This is different for everyone. Some people are very emotionally attached to their homes and have a hard time leaving memories or the comfort of the familiar behind. Here are some signs that it may be time to sell the family home:

  a. Every day maintenance has become overwhelming. Mowing, cleaning, gardening, etc.
  b. Too much space. One person in a 3-bedroom home may be over-kill. When is the last time you were in your basement? 
  c. Gatherings aren’t held at your home any more. Have your children taken over for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or other family holidays?
  d. Stairs have become an issue. Is it time that everything be located on the same level?
  e. You’re never there. Are your winters out of state bleeding into fall and spring? Are you traveling more than you’re home?

Talk to your attorney and accountant before selling. Owning a home can be one way to shelter your assets and prevent them from being used for long-term care before Medicare kicks in. You need to be aware of possible taxes on capital gains.

5. CONTINUOUSLY UPDATE AND MAINTAIN YOUR HOME!

Not long ago, there was a very large, 4 bedroom, 4 bath home for sale on 10 acres that should have easily been worth over $300,000. Unfortunately, it had not been updated in many years. It was an estate and the owner, a widow, was relying on the proceeds of the sale to fund her remaining years. The house sold for $155,000.

Each year, go through your home and identify at least one maintenance project and one cosmetic update to complete. Your home is very likely your largest investment. You must maintain its value.

This advice comes from years of witnessing heart-breaking stories in real estate and I am following this advice myself.

"People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care." - Theodore Roosevelt

5/30/2019

Q:  What is the first thing people ask when they find out you are a real estate agent?
A:  "How's the Market?"

We can only assume that they are asking this because A) they want to know and B) they don't already know.

This begs the question: If you are an agent who consistently reaches out to customers and clients, are you answering their number one question?




Maybe it is time to take inventory f your prospecting strategy.  What do our clients need to know?

1. They need to see thatyou are hard-working and successful and that you are on the job full-time.  
2. They need to know market trends
3. They need to know what works and what doesn't
4. They need to know what their options are
5. They need to know hard truths about price, condition, financing, appraisals, inspections, etc.
6. They need to know that we care about their needs. 

The typical agent does a great job with the first need.  We spend a lot of time and energy posting pictures of ourselves at open houses and bragging about our "Just Sold" properties.  We show our stats and talk about our hustle and there's nothing wrong with that, but we are neglecting our client's other needs.

By creating a strategy in advance, we can give our clients what they need and provide a well-rounded picture of why we are far from typical.

No two strategies will or should be the same - Through planning and trial and error, you will find the perfect mix of message and media that is as unique as you are and tailored to your "voice".

Need help coming up with a plan?  How about creating a Master Mind of like-minded agents?  Your broker may also be willing/able to sit down with you and help.

At RE/MAX Perrett, we hold classes periodically to teach and talk about marketing and social media strategies and we invite you to come.

Either way, we hope you found this article thought-provoking and that a day soon comes that people don't have to ask "How's the market?" because their Realtor is telling them.









Set VERY small goals that you can actually achieve

12/27/2018

12/27/2018

As the year end approaches, once again, we find ourselves thinking about the many BIG changes we need to make in 2019 to be more productive, to make more money, to be more organized, to serve more, etc.

After reading the book, "One Small Step Can Change Your Life - The Kaizen Way", by Robert Maurer, PhD, I have decided to make only a couple very tiny changes toward these ends.

For years I have been preaching to agents to "under-promise and over-deliver" while all the while over-promising to myself with grand resolutions in January that are painfully under-delivered in December.

This year, I will practice what I preach.  Here are some examples of small changes that would be almost impossible not to meet, but could make major changes to your income:

  • Instead of setting a goal to implement a sweeping post-closing follow-up plan, commit to telling each client at each closing, "Thank you so much for your business. Would you be willing to give my name to your friends?"

  • Instead of implementing a complete time-blocking system - promise yourself that you'll call each active seller on Tuesday and give them a 1 minute update.  Do the same thing for all active buyers on Thursday.

  • Instead of trying to double your income this year, make a commitment to put $20 out of each closing into a savings account and then transfer the total into a retirement account at the end of the year.

  • Instead of trying to pick up new buyers and sellers, make a commitment to reach out to one prior client per week and have a conversation about their life.

Wouldn't you rather get to the end of the year and realize that you accomplished all of your goals and maybe even exceeded them?  Isn't it better to make a few small changes than to be paralyzed by big daunting changes?


I would love to hear your ideas of tiny little changes you could make this year for a better 2019.  Please comment on our Facebook page
and use the hashtag #tinygoals.
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