Most of us have an "uncle so and so", or a great aunt that knows everything about real estate. We also have friends, other family, and work associates that know a thing or two about a thing or two, including real estate.
The great thing is that these "know it all's" activate at the time you start thinking about buying or selling real estate. It's like they know. They start the advice, unsolicited or not.
Most of the time they have truly expert stories about how they did it. They know the beginning from the end and will tell you that you or your agent is doing it wrong.
They may go so far as to tell you that your agent does not know what they are doing and you need to call the agent that was a "home run" hitter for them.
All of this is great, but in most cases, they really don't know near as much as your real estate professional.
They may have bought and sold a few homes in their lifetime, but your agent does that in a week, at least we do.
Since 1998, that is a lot of real estate experience - Over 1240 transactions, helping buyers and sellers that were within the contract with their real estate transaction. Being on the preferred list for Citi Group in the sales of their bank-owned assets during the last collapse of the real estate market also gives us some rare insight.
But I digress, this article was not going to be about Paris, me and our team. It's advising the home buyers and the home sellers of what to watch out for when they are putting the wheels in motion to buy or sell real estate.
I was LAPD for over 20 years. Yes, I had a regular job at one point, as my past partners kid me. I will tell you that we had experts covering everything a person could be interested in.
If I mentioned the "stock market", someone was reaching out to me with their story of how they "did it". How they made their fortune in the stock market and how they are day trading after they get off of the midnight shift in the AM.
When I took those dots they were throwing out and connected them, they did not make a pretty picture. In fact, those who were boasting had enough information to cause me harm, so I learned quickly.
However, it mattered not. Unsolicited advice was everywhere and I listened as most would have. I would explain that my agent had the comm. They knew what they were doing. But, when I was hearing how I was being taken advantage of and how their agent does it better, I could not help to be intrigued.
At the end of the day, I have had people call me that have had work associates tell them that we were the bee's knees.
That if they wanted their real estate done by the local Santa Clarita real estate experts, they needed to call us.
How honoring is that?
Here is where the difference is and me reminiscing about a conversation I had not too long ago with a home buyer who was referred to me by an officer we helped a few years ago.
Ring - Ring. "Hello, this is Connor with REMAX."
Caller: "yes, I was referred to you by Jon Franks, he said you helped him buy a home?"
Me: "Sure, I know Jon and yes we did. That's great. How may I help you."
Caller: "I want to buy a home and wanted to know if you can help me. I have been writing offers but none of them seem to be going anywhere."
Me: "You have been writing offers?"
Caller: "Sure, or I should say my agent has been writing offers for us."
Me: "Ah, I understand now. What do you think the trouble is of your offer's not getting accepted."
Caller: "We hired the wrong agent. Jon tells me that you were able to get their offer accepted although there were multiple offers and he was using VA financing when others had larger down payments."
Me: "Yes, I seem to remember that. In fact, I believe we were able to get their offer accepted for a small amount less than one of the other offers that the seller had on the table."
Caller: "Awesome, that is what we need, someone that can work miracles."
Me: "I'm honored, but tell me something, what do you think your agent is not doing correctly?"
Caller: "They aren't able to get our offer's accepted."
Me: "Well, I will tell you that every real estate sale is a case by case basis. They are all different. The VA offer being accepted over better offers in Jon's case had to do with Jon's love letter I had him and Monica prepare to be submitted with the offer.
I knew that the owner of the home was a Marine, with all the Marine Core swag in the home office. I just used that to our advantage wanting the seller to know that Jon was also a Marine.
From the photo's inside of the home they are now grandparent's but raised their children in that home.
I had Jon and Monica relay on the love letter the fact she was pregnant and that they wanted to raise their children in the home.
It was not magic, just good real estate."
Caller: "But our agent did not say anything about a love letter helping."
Me: "I'm no one's advocate, especially one in my same business. But in this case, maybe they did not see that the love letter would have fit any of the circumstances of the past offer's.
Most agents know love letters and even have pages built like this one that I wrote and published on our Santa Clarita real estate Blog about love letters.
This is a tight market. Most all listings generate multiple offers within a day or two. Those offers are countered in the highest and best fashion. Those sellers, in almost all cases, are looking for the most money with the best financing."
Caller: "Well, maybe what you have said is the case with our agent, but Jon speaks so highly of you."
Me: "I'm always honored by a referral. I'd love to take you on as a client. I just don't see how your agent has failed you at this point. Whom you hire as your real estate agent is your business. Even if your agent did nothing to harm your changes and in no way misled you, you can change agents."
Caller: "Now, I'm not so sure, don't you want to have another client?"
Me: "Sure, but when your agent has put hours and hours into showing you homes, writing offers and has been available when you needed her to be, I just don't see that I'd want to be on the receiving end of a home buyer that wanted to jump ship."
Caller: "Hum, that gives me some food for thought."
Me: "Listen, if you don't trust your agent, if your agent is doing things or not available, or "too busy" to be of the best service, then I get it. I'm here.
I just don't see that as being the case."
Caller: Laughing, "Now I really want to use you..."
Me: "Do this, let your agent know that you called me. Let them know that you are considering using me and see what they say. Heck, they may be happy to let you go, on the other hand, at least they have a chance to learn or become what you are looking for.
Of course, that is totally up to you. I'm not in the practice of telling people what to do when they are considering me versus an agent they are working with. If you don't want to call anyone and work with me, that's your place."
Caller: "Ok, I'm going to call my agent because it's the right thing to do. If it does not work out, I'll be coming your way so get ready."
Me: "Glad to be of help."
One of those things that you can guarantee, there are very few real estate agents who have the mindset of being fair to those who they consider their "competitors".
It's not that hard and every time I'm fair to someone, it seems to come around in my benefit.
You know the person from the referral. He ended up telling his agent that one of his partners referred him to me and she dropped him like a hot potato.
Sometimes agents don't want to work with buyers because they deem them too difficult. Maybe they wanted to see way too many homes. Maybe they weren't willing to write an offer with the existing inventory. To Me, those are not reasons to fire a client. Even those cases where the home buyers are undercutting the market with their offering price because they think "collapse" is on the horizon.
What do I think a good reason is to fire a client? Dishonesty. Purposefully lying to get something they want. That'd do it for me. Want to know how many times that has happened out of the thousands of real estate clients since we started in Real Estate in 1998? Never.
Family real estate experts
Work associates are easier to deal with that family. Of course, that statement depends on who the "family" is and how close they are to you.
If you have a good relationship with your dad, your dad may be the one who is going to help you with your first purchase of real estate.
Maybe dad has sold a few homes and bought a few homes over the past 20 years. Comparatively speaking, that isn't a drop in the bucket compared with a seasoned agent.
However, dad trumps any agent hands down every time. As long as you look at your dad that way. Other "family" can also be as influential with regard to your real estate dealings.
If you have not figured it out by now, I work with educating my clients and use stories, my own real estate experiences are those that I use.
I don't plagiarize stories and events, they are very personal, between my clients and I. This is the best way in which to explain the various real estate processes and things that first time home buyers, veteran home buyers, or any real estate home buyer or seller can expect to experience.
The same applies to this family article.
The Dad effect
You can interchange the family position of "dad" with any other who is close to you.
I will tell you of a story that occurred to one of my clients.
They were approved, her and her husband and her mother. They were coming down with almost 20% down payment and mom was going to live with them and their children.
The X - The X husband of the mom and dad to the wife heard they found a home they loved and what I suggested about how much to offer.
He was not happy. The dad called me and asked what I was trying to do to his daughter. As if I make a living of ripping people off. He said to me that "I know you have to make a living Connor, but taking my daughter, x-wife and son-in-law for a ride, I don't allow that to happen."
The dad continued: "If they make this offer at full price, there will be issues."
I was a bit taken back. I retorted that I would never take advantage of anyone and gave all parties the disclaimer that I am not the boss. I'm the guide. I'm their realtor. I only make suggestions, the clients offer what they want for the property that they want to buy.
I show my clients full comps. I show them the sold properties that are the same, and if they aren't the same I give allowances up and or down. I show my clients all of this data before putting pen to paper.
I also explained that out of the homes we had looked over the last week, there were others where my offering strategy was less than the listing price.
There are so many factors that go into a good offering strategy. Time on Market, previous price reductions, comparable sold homes, average days on market timeframes, pending and active listings that are similar.
Aside from the property, you also have the other real estate factors that influence an expert offering strategy. How is the economy? How is the overall inventory? How are interest rates? What is the current buyer drive like? What about the market? Is the real estate market a buyers market or a seller's?
After I laid out all of the above. He was on the same page but forced his daughter to offer $50,000.00 less than the listing price of the home. I had the same exact homes, by the same builder, same model and upgraded in the same way selling for above the listing price.
But, as I stated to his daughter, the mom, and husband, they are the boss and If they wanted to write an offer for a dollar, I would gladly do it.
They did not get the home. It went out just higher than listing price with multiple offers.
Friends as real estate experts
Of course, we all know someone in our friend circle that is a bit of an expert about most things.
I always tell my clients when you hear a story about how your agent or how you are "doing it wrong", ask them how you or your agent should be doing it and get that back to me so I can examine and explain.
It's really important to have this communication between the Realtor and their Clients. Without it, there are going to be issues.
If the agent does not have the opportunity to respond to what the client's friends are advising them, the client does not know who is telling the truth or who is right.
For the real estate buyers or sellers, this is not a good place to be.
All will be cleared up with a conversation something like this:
Client: "I was talking to a friend of mine a couple of days ago and they were saying that their agent was able to get them a home at $50,000.00 less than the asking price."
Me: "If you would give me the address I can research it and find out why."
Client: "Ok, I will text them and find out..."
A few minutes later...
Client: "the address was 1223 Anywhere Street, in Valencia CA".
Me: "Okay, having looked up that property, I see that there was a $50,000.00 credit give to the buyers in escrow, which is almost unheard of unless there was something horribly wrong with the property. I called the agent and they said mold was discovered and their particular insurance carrier did not cover mold. They obtained a few quotes and were able to agree with the buyers to settle for a $50,000.00 reduction of the sales price."
Client: "Oh, that is different than getting the home for $50,000.00 less."
Me: "That goes to show you that things aren't always as they seem."
Santa Clarita real estate agent am I. I have been representing buyers and sellers of homes in Santa Clarita Valley and beyond since 1998. I'm Connor T. MacIvor.
Be well, let me know how I may help you and yours with any and all real estate needs.