In Frisco Texas we simply do not have enough homes on the market. This has led to the strongest seller's market in history. New agents, veteran agents, full service brokers, limited service brokers are all looking for more listings in this area. This can lead to behavior that is not focused on doing the right thing for your client.
We have to realize that we, as professional real estate agents, have a fiduciary responsibility to our clients. In this case I was working with a mature widow who has a reverse mortgage on her home. It was becoming too expensive for her to keep her home due to taxes, insurance and maintenance. She wanted to sell her home and move closer to her family.
She called me based on a letter I had sent her and wanted me to come help her sell her home. What timing. A great seller's market and I have a seller calling me to help her list her home. I went to her home prepared with all the documentation and more importantly the information that would let her know what I thought she could sell her home for and the costs associated with that sale.
Everything was going smoothly. I showed her a net sheet and asked her for the mortgage paperwork. She provided me with an entire folders worth of information. We sorted through it together and came up with her latest statement. This is where the things started to turn.
She did not owe more than the house was worth, we can stop that thought process right away. However, she did owe more than she thought. She was expecting to walk away with close to $100K in profit. This would not be the case. I showed her the numbers and explained each of them. She would only clear $30K or $35K depending on the actual sales price.
This is exactly why when you are working with an agent that before you agree to sell your home, you have a very good understanding of what you will either walk away with regarding your net proceeds or have to bring to the table to clear the title. Yes some people still owe more than their home is mortgaged for these days.
In this case I calmly explained that while what she would clear is a lot of money, but asked if it is enough for her to move and live closer to her relatives? In this case it was not. She was worried about all the time we had spent together and the time I invested. She is a very sweet person. I simply explained that this is why we talk about everything first. My first obligation is to her. If this does not work for her then we part as friends and she should feel free to call me with any questions regardless of buying or selling and use me as a resource.
This is the power of the net sheet. A net sheet lists out approximate costs of the entire process for a seller (or buyer) that shows them the anticipated bottom line. You should do this prior to agreeing to any listing.
What happens if you or your agent do not do this. You find yourself two weeks out from closing (sometimes two days or less out)that you have to bring $5K in order to walk away from the house. It is very hard now to back out without some possibly severe penalties and even still may have to sell your home.
If you have questions about what your home is worth and what you can expect as far as profit from your sale, please feel free to give me a call. You will find out what my other clients have found out—Your Success is My Focus.