How Much Money Do I Need to Buy a Home?

Of all the questions agents get from consumers, this is the one that tops the list.  It’s also the one that’s botched by more agents than any other question.  Here are some answers that I’ve heard over the years:

“You’ll need about 6% of the sales price.”  (Translation:  I would prefer to give you a round number because I don’t want to spend time with you and find out about your financial position and circumstances.  Oh yeah – – – I also really hate math.)

“That’s really tough to say.”  (Translation:  I really don’t understand the costs myself so I’ll just tread water and hope you don’t ask again.)

“Let me hook you up with a lender.”  (Translation:  See previous translation.)

“Let’s plug some numbers into the computer and see what it says.”  (Translation:  The computer god knows all.  Did I mention that I really hate math?)    Continue reading

Is the Real Estate Agent the Next Dodo Bird?

Dodo Bird

Once a month, I teach real estate pre-licensing classes to people that have interest in obtaining their real estate license.  There are all kinds of people in the class from all walks of life.  Of all the people who take the classes, my gut feeling is that probably less than 50% of them actually pursue getting their real estate salesperson’s license.  But the ones that want to enter this business are the ones that usually bring the most questions to class and make observations about our business that cause me to rethink what I think is a given.

This past weekend, I had a young lady in the front row make a statement and then ask a pointed question:  “With all the changes occurring in the real estate industry and the onset of technological tools that makes it easier for the consumer to buy and sell real estate, it’s probably only a matter of time before real estate agents aren’t needed anymore.  What do you think?”

Pretty blunt and to the point, wouldn’t you say?  While this question came from one student, I realized that the vast majority of the class was intently waiting on my answer.

In a nutshell, here is what I said – – –    Continue reading

Understanding and Explaining the Dreaded Zestimate

Over the past couple of years, homeowners have been able to go online and obtain an estimate of their home’s value in the span of about 30 seconds.  Just type in an address and a value is delivered to your computer screen for your viewing pleasure.  But how accurate is the value?

Before I dive into the accuracy issue, lets spend a moment on how we got here.  Twenty years ago, if a homeowner wanted to find out how much their home was worth, they would have to contact a real estate agent and undergo a root canal just to obtain a five or six digit number.  The homeowner would have to arrange the appointment with the agent to see the home; spend an hour or two with the agent walking through the home and answering a myriad of questions; wait three days for the agent to decide to come back; sit through a three hour appointment at a kitchen table and listen to a presentation about the agent’s qualifications and company stature; then get THE NUMBER.

Now I ask you, if you were a homeowner and had two options to obtain the value of your home, would you choose the 30 second method listed in the first paragraph of this post or the five day, painful dental alternative?  So when I hear agents rail against these online estimators and roll their eyes about the accuracy of them, I just want to say, “Shut up and deal with it!”  They are now a fact of our business.  Learn how to present these estimates instead of ignoring them.   Continue reading

Successful Negotiations

 

Does it seem like all your negotiations end up with people drawing lines in the sand and digging in their heels?  Here are some helpful points to remember when negotiating.

Additional subjects include the rise in Facebook marketing for real estate firms, the real possibility of a regional Multiple Listing Service, and a look at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices’ Inside Access™ for consumers.  The real estate business isn’t what it used to be.

All the best!