I have been selling homes full-time here in Austin for over 12 years now. Part of learning any business is learning the lingo. Here are a few examples:
- "Needs TLC" or "Handyman Special" - In a nutshell, this means that you need some extra money set aside (possibly a lot of it) if you want to buy this property. There will be a lot of repairs and/or renovations involved.
- "Cozy" - More than likely, this just means "small".
- "Won't last" - More often than not, I see this phrase when the home has already been on the market a long time.
Speaking of which...
I am working with some clients who are purchasing their first home. Needless to say, they are excited, and even more so because of the first-time homebuyer tax credit and low interest rates.
We looked at a good number of homes, then we found a home that seemed like a great fit for their needs. It was priced within their budget, and it was larger than some of the other places we had seen. For some odd reason, the home had been on the market for over FIVE HUNDRED days! The listing agent put in "Bring All Offers!" in the MLS remarks.
Let me pause for a second here. Along with the examples I gave above, "bring all offers" is a phrase that typically means "we are ready to get this place sold, and we are negotiable".
Without divulging too many specifics, we wrote an offer that was aggressive without being offensive. The buyers asked me when we should expect a response. I told them that since it had been on the market so long, the sellers probably had a pretty good idea of what they could do with regard to price, so we should hear something very quickly.
Instead, it took four days to get an initial response to our offer. On day three, the listing agent told me that she was working on a "very reasonable counter" for us.
So, what did this constitute?
The sellers raised the price by $6,000 in order to cover some of our requested closing costs. Overall, with their net price, they had dropped their price a whopping $900! In case you couldn't tell, that last part was heavy-duty sarcasm. My wife commented, "Wow - that's over $200 per day!" Again - sarcasm. We're kinda like that around here. The listing agent told me that there might be "a small bit of room" on that counter. We were about $16,000 apart. I told her that we would probably just be looking for another home, and I later confirmed that with my clients. Back to square one.
LESSON NUMBER ONE: If the price is super-firm, DON'T put "Bring all Offers!" in the MLS. You are simply wasting everyone's time! In this particular case, I can't imagine that this home won't join the legion of short sales that are out there already.
LESSON NUMBER TWO: Set the appropriate expectations with your clients! If it has taken 550 days, and you still don't have an acceptable contract in place, errors have been made. Prepare your clients to garner the necessary resources to get the home sold. I know they are bringing money to the closing and times are tough. Tell them the truth!
Thanks for reading!
Photo courtesy of Zoomar.
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