Will No One Sell a $40,000 Home Anymore?!

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I write for a lot of real estate companies and brokerages and those agencies and individuals are always looking to market the high-priced properties. Of course, why wouldn’t we? The commission on a $300,000 house is much higher than a $50,000 house but then, people still are buying $50,000 houses right?poor service with low home prices?

I once worked for a real estate broker as his buyer's agent and unfortunately I was disappointed to see really poor service when he had to help a couple buy a $120,000 house especially when he had buyers looking at $5-$600,000 houses. They even could tell the difference. But, people have to start somewhere, right? Not all of us can afford a half-million dollar house.

Many real estate searches and customizable IDX pages will allow you to set a list of properties to start at a certain price and most agents and brokers want that price to be at least $100,000 or more depending on the neighborhood and their target market. Of course, anyone can go into an advanced property search and type in a $50,000 home or property and get a variety of listings but then are they going to get the same service when it comes time to buying or selling a house for this price range?

Granted, I get it, you put about the same amount of work into a $50,000 sale as you would a $500,000 sale as far as showing the property and writing up a purchase and sale agreement but when did we stop caring about the family the needs to buy or sell a home price under $100,000?

What about you? Do you put the same care and attention into a home buyer that means a lower-priced property versus one that $4-$500,000? If not, who’s buying these properties and how are they doing it?

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ActiveRain and SEOTammy Emineth is an expert in custom content and original articles for blogs, website, press releases and more. Contact me anytime and feel free to subscribe to this blog to stay up to date on my latest blogs and informative information. Email me or contact me for Real Estate Website Marketing and SEO Content Writing.

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Re-Blogged 4 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Ginny Gorman 06/26/2013 10:03 PM
  2. Mark Brian 06/27/2013 01:09 AM
  3. Kathleen Daniels 06/27/2013 01:49 AM
  4. Bob Crane 06/30/2013 01:32 PM
Real Estate Sales and Marketing
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poor service

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Bill Reddington
Re/max Southern Realty - Destin, FL
Destin Florida Real Estate

This is just part of the business. Just sold a home for $55,000. Also sold one for $849,000. Both customers get the same service. The 55,000 was the second home I sold to these customers, part of their family. Everybody gets treated the same way. Referrals come from everywhere.

Jun 27, 2013 12:59 AM #30
Roger Stensland
Keller Williams Realty Puget Sound - Maple Valley, WA
Let's Move!

Excellent, Bill!  In my opinion, that is the right attitude to have.  Everyone needs a place to live and they all deserve excellent service.  Even a low-priced sale can generate a high-end referral.

Jun 27, 2013 01:11 AM #31
Jerry Newman
Brown Realty, 210-789-4216,www.JeremiahNewman.com - San Antonio, TX
Texas REALTOR, San Antonio Military Relocation

Hi Tammy, I just closed on a $45,000 home today. Sometimes the lower end homes require some extra work, especially if you are dealing with First Time Home Buyers, but investors also shop in this price range too, and working with investors can be a breeze most of the time since they understand and know the process. I offer the same service regardless of the price range. It all about earning their business and respect to get those future referrals.

Jun 27, 2013 01:25 AM #32
Dana Casey
Bridge Realty Inc. - Forest Lake, MN
Twin Cities

TOdays $40,000 buyer is tomorrows $75,000 seller and $200,000 buyer that has relative and will be grateful for your help if you frame the transaction for them properly.  With that said, usually the $40,000 sale (unless an investor is buyer) is no less than double, often quadruple the effort of the $400,000 sale.  Buyer sophistication and hand holding makes all the difference.  $40,000 retail buyers yield about $8-$12 an hour for your time tops - if that's all you work with, you might need to subsidize your business, but with other clients, you don't have to look at the numbers - it's a client, it's a deal, treat them all equally.

Jun 27, 2013 01:26 AM #33
Gary Frimann, CRS, GRI
Eagle Ridge Realty / Signature Homes & Estates - Gilroy, CA
REALTOR and Broker

Sometimes, it is the low end buyer who is the most grateful.  Not a huge payday, but an emotional one.  Those houses need to be sold as well.

Jun 27, 2013 01:30 AM #34
Richard Iarossi
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Crofton, MD
Crofton MD Real Estate, Annapolis MD Real Estate

If I choose to work with the client, the get the same level of service irrespective of the price range.

Jun 27, 2013 01:37 AM #35
Kathleen Daniels
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist

Tammy, The price matters not to me. What I care about are the people and serving their needs. That said, we have nothing in my market for $100,000.  But I equally serve the lower end of my market. The service I provide is the same no matter the price. Re-Blogged!

Jun 27, 2013 02:11 AM #36
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

The amount they want to spend is not the deciding factor.  What I do find is low end shoppers have more unrealistic expectations.  Often low end homes will not qualify for many types of financing.  

Jun 27, 2013 02:35 AM #37
Brad MacKenzie
Brad MacKenzie - Duxbury, MA
Turning Houses into Homes on the South Shore

Everyone gets the same service. You pay a different amount for the same service in my business.

Jun 27, 2013 03:53 AM #38
Suzanne Otto
Six Twenty Designs - Lansdale, PA
Your Montgomery County PA home stager

Regardless of price, it's someone who needs your services so why wouldn't you provide your best? I've always believed in treating everyone the same. Otherwise, you never know when it will come back to bite you in the ***.

Jun 27, 2013 03:54 AM #39
Brenda Mayette
Miranda Real Estate Group, Inc. - Glenville, NY
Getting results w/ knowledge & know-how!

I've sold a $5,000 home. Yup - you read that right.  And they got the same treatment as my "top" buyer.  Our service standards and commitment to professionalism shouldn't be price tag dependent...  BTW, have a buyer for my $48,900 Schenectady, NY listing?   :-)

Jun 27, 2013 04:20 AM #40
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

When I first became an agent in 1981, the average home sale in my office (located near a local Air Force Base was $60,000.  We also had a number of townhomes and condominiums that sold anywhere from $30,000 - $40,000.  Still, watching the joyful faces of first time homebuyers, and military personnel buying homes was more exciting than the increased commissions that can be tapped when selling upper end homes.  AND, even more importantly, over the years those clients I had in the early years of my career, often moved up into second and third homes that brought in higher commission.  Just treat everyone professionally, and with your best service, and it will all work out in the end!

Jun 27, 2013 06:06 AM #41
Lori Cain
eXp Realty - Tulsa, OK
Midtown Tulsa Real Estate Top Producer

First of all, you DO NOT put about the same amount of work into a $50,000 sale as you would a $500,000 sale - lower priced listings are always MORE WORK. There are going to be more repairs and more problems with financing. That is not comparing apples to apples.

I never turn down a Buyer unless it's an unfeasible drive. And if I'm working with multiple Buyers, I set my boundaries, i.e., we can only go shopping twice/week.

I hate it when a Buyer tells me he/she can't find a Realtor to show them houses - it always turns out to be a low-price purchase when you hear that. I try to provide equal service.

But the flip side of this is . . . I got a call from an investor who wanted to see a $33,000 condo and I agreed to show him the property. What ticked me off is that he said, "I usually use Jane Doe (not her real name) when I buy real estate, but I didn't want to bother her with this."  You can imagine how I responded to THAT statement. 

Jun 27, 2013 06:23 AM #42
Steven Cook
No Longer Processing Mortgages. - Tacoma, WA

Tammy -- again the old truth that real estate is Local comes to the fore.  In Washington state - some of the lenders we deal with (and we have over 30 companies we can broker to - in addition to our corporate lines) start putting a higher rate on loans under $150,000, others start the higher rates at $125K, and by $100k they are all doing it.  There is another tier level at the $75-80k level, and again at $50k by which time most of the buyers are running into DTI issues between the higher rates and the mortgage insurance costs.

Jun 27, 2013 07:16 AM #43
Pamela Seley
West Coast Realty Division - Murrieta, CA
Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA

No I've never sold a $40K home, and I wouldn't. I sold one just under $80K last year and there were so many problems with it, repairs, title issues, loan issues, maintenance, blah blah and so on. I won't do it again. That being said, it may be very difficult to find anything under $100K these days in my market areas. Investors usually work with LLCs or brokers, not solo real estate licensees like me. Thanks for your post today,

Jun 27, 2013 06:51 PM #44
Lisa Friedman
Great American Dream Realty - Essex, VT
29 Years of Real Estate Experience!

This is a great post.  I recently received an absolutely glowing testimonial letter from someone I helped to purchase an $80,000 single wide trailer.  The sale took months because there were five sellers living in three different locations with different parties owning the land and the trailer.  It was even more difficult because parents were purchasing the property for their son which made them non-resident borrowers.  There were many inspection issues AND no bank would finance it without having a slab.  None of the sellers could be bothered with contacting contractors and getting estimates for the work so I did it.  The sale took months and countless hours.  It was one of the most challenging and rewarding sales I have ever made.  The buyers and their son are very happy.

Jun 29, 2013 12:40 PM #45
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

My agent has sold me a dozen homes for under $50k in the past few years, grumbling everytime about all the work for such a small commission.  Yet a few weeks later he is at my door with a pile of cheap homes for us to look at.

They are small checks but at least he knows that I will not waste his time and I will make some type of offer on nearly anything.

Jun 29, 2013 02:27 PM #46
Chris and Dick Dovorany
Homes for Sale in Naples, Bonita Springs and Estero, Florida - Naples, FL
Broker/Associate at Premiere Plus Realty





Happy 4th of July to all our ActiveRain friends.





Jul 04, 2013 12:43 AM #47
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Vision Quest Realty - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate


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Stopping by to wish you and Tim a Safe and Happy 4th of July!

Jul 04, 2013 01:02 AM #48
Curtis Van Carter
Better Homes & Gardens Wine Country Group - Yountville, CA
Your Napa Valley Broker Extraordinaire


You do make some good points. I guess I am very fortunate, Yountville where I live, the median price is about $700,000, the Napa Valley $433,000. cheers cvc

Jul 06, 2013 04:52 AM #49
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