Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Why Do Houses “Expire”?



You’ve seen this happen… 
A house sits on the market forever, and it doesn’t get sold. 
You see an agent’s for sale sign sitting in the yard for months and months. And then, all of a sudden, another one appears.
Sometimes, the new agent will get the house sold. 
But sometimes, no matter how many different agents list the house, it just never sells. 
You’ve been watching that house “expire”. 
That is industry-speak for when a house doesn’t get sold during the time frame an owner has a listing contract with a particular real estate agent.
When a listing expires, it’s not uncommon for the owner to hire someone new to list their home…figuring the first real estate agent just didn’t have what it takes to get their home sold.
But, it usually isn’t the agent that was the problem. There are a few common problems that cause a house to expire.
However, it almost always boils down to one specific issue…and one specific solution.
So, here’s a list of the typical problems that lead to a house “expiring”, so you don’t make the same mistakes when you sell your own house. We’ll end with the one that is the overall problem and solution.

You can’t sell what people can’t see.

Sometimes it just boils down to buyers being unable to get in and see the house easily. Some homeowners make it too difficult for buyers and their agents to come in and view the home.
It’s fine to have some limits. But if a homeowner requests that all buyers give 24-hour notice, and will only allow the house to be shown on Thursdays between 11:30AM and 2:23PM, that makes it pretty tough to go see. 

The maid is on permanent vacation.

It can be tough to keep your house spotlessly clean while it’s for sale. People wake up and run out of the house for the day having left some dishes in the sink, or beds unmade. That happens. It isn’t the worst thing in the world.
But some houses are just a mess. Buyers and agents come in wondering how anyone lives there, or even lives like that. There’s stuff everywhere. It smells.
No matter how much imagination a buyer may have, it’s hard to truly look at a house that’s extremely cluttered, or downright dirty, and picture themselves living there.

Location, Location, Location

The location of a house might just be undesirable.
If a home is located on a main road, or under power lines, or train tracks…or across the street from a firehouse…it can be harder to sell and may take some time for the right buyer to come along. 

Supply and demand

If the market is “slow”, or a “buyer’s market”, it isn’t uncommon for houses to expire.
Sometimes it’s just a simple matter of supply and demand.
If there are a lot of houses on the market, and only so many buyers buying, there’s only so much you can do. 
Sometimes it’s just a matter of buyer preference. A house could be easy to show, clean, and priced well against the competition. But if there’s only one buyer for ten houses that are equal in appeal and priced similarly, there’ll be nine disappointed homeowners, and one happy one. That buyer may have just chosen the house they chose because they knew someone who lived on that street. Or liked the paint color, or layout a little better.
There isn’t much a homeowner or agent can do about this. 

To be fair…

It could just be that the real estate agent (or agents) the homeowner hired stink at selling houses.
That could be the case. But that usually isn’t really the problem. And another agent usually isn’t really the solution.
Most of the time agents are advising their client to make the home as easy to show as possible. And to declutter, and keep it as clean as possible. 
And they take into account the location of the home and supply and demand.
That doesn’t mean that their clients listen to them in regard to the biggest problem and solution that takes all of the above into account…

Price

You may have heard this before: In real estate, price isn’t always the problem, but it’s always the solution.
Sure, a house could be worth every penny a homeowner is asking. It might very well be justified by recent comparable sales in the area.
But price will always get a home sold. And if a home isn’t selling, it’s almost always due to the price not being appealing enough to overcome any of the above factors.
  • It can overcome having strict showing times. If a homeowner wants to limit their house to being shown one day a week at a certain time… Fine. If you price the house aggressively, buyers will go out of their way to adjust their schedule.
  • It can overcome clutter and messiness. It doesn’t matter how awful the house shows, or how smelly it is…if it’s priced appropriately for the condition.
  • It can overcome supply and demand. If few homes are selling, and there are a lot of similar choices for buyers to choose from, a lower price will certainly make the buyers choice easier. 
As much as real estate agents are perceived as being pushy, most are not. And they get blamed for houses not selling — for expiring — when most of the time it’s because the homeowners they represented didn’t listen to their advice about pricing their home. Price takes into consideration every factor.
So, when you see a real estate agent’s sign linger for too long… Or watch their sign disappear, and another one take it’s place…
Don’t be too quick to judge the listing agent for the lack of success.
It’s more than likely due to a homeowner who isn’t listening to good advice, that would help them avoid these common issues, and get their home sold.
Ali Palacios, ABRMCNETAHS
Realtor
Today's Home Realty
ali.palacios@todayshomerealty.com
Mobile - 832-418-0670
www.ilovehappyclients.com

9119 Hwy 6 S #230-116, Missouri City, TX 77459
Source: http://www.bestrealestateblog.com/why-do-houses-expire?m=JnojPGPgYwNqRUqKIeuc

Why Your Home Isn’t Getting Shown As Much As You Think It Should

Picture having your house for sale, and you feel like it isn’t being shown enough. Or maybe it isn’t really being shown at all.
You expected lots of buyers coming through. Ideally, you even expected an offer (or multiple offers!) to come in pretty quickly.
But instead, not that many people seem to even know your house is for sale. Otherwise, they’d come out and see it. If people would come and see it, the house would practically sell itself, because it’s so nice.
You’re discouraged, frustrated, and angry…

You wonder if your real estate agent is doing his/her job.

Isn’t your agent supposed to be showing the house to their own buyers? That doesn’t seem to be happening.
Aren’t the other agents in your agent’s office supposed to be showing the house to their buyers?
Not one agent from his office has shown it yet.
Isn’t your agent supposed to be spreading the word to other real estate agents at other companies, and getting them to show the house to their buyers? Again…not happening. At least not as much as you anticipated.
And, isn’t your agent supposed to market your home, so that buyers that neither he, she, or any other agent even knows about, will come out and see your house? 

Your agent probably isn’t doing anything wrong.

While it’s natural to be frustrated, it won’t do you much good. It will do you less good to be angry, or disappointed with your real estate agent. 
You’ve probably expressed your frustration, and all your agent seems to be doing is making excuses. Or pushing you to do something you don’t want to do…like lower your price. Your frustration, and pushing to see more showing activity, may very well be forcing your agent to react that way, when in fact all you need is some perspective.
What may help you most in this situation is some third-party, objective thoughts. So, here goes.
First, here are some basic things many homeowners do not know.
  • There are only so many buyers in the market at any given time. 
  • Not all of the buyers are even ready, willing, and able to even buy your house right away.
  • Some buyers are just getting started looking, and much of that begins online.
  • Most of the buyers who are truly ready, willing, and able to buy are the only ones you need to care about. 
  • And most of them are represented by, and working with a real estate agent. 
  • Maybe an appropriate, ready, willing, and able buyer is working with your listing agent…but, most likely not.
  • And, there’s a good chance that the most appropriate buyer isn’t even working with another agent within your listing agent’s office.
OK, with that under your belt, let’s get into a few more thoughts.
  • Not that many years ago, people had to call the listing agent or their office for even the most basic information about your house…like the price, or address. Or at least have a buyer’s agent who represented them to get them the information.
  • If they saw a picture of a home for sale, it was likely just that…a picture. Of the outside of the house.
  • Both of the above caused buyers who were at even the earliest stages of buying to come out and see a house for sale. It was the only way to rule out a house. It was the only way to get their feet wet and get a handle on what they could afford.
  • None of that is necessary anymore, now that the Internet has allowed so much information to be available to buyers at all stages of the process to see from the comfort of their own home.

The Internet has cut down on showings.

Buyers at all stages of the process (just beginning, all the way to needing to make a decision immediately) see a house that goes for sale immediately, in real time, as it pops up on the market. Pictures and all. 
They can even see maps of the location, aerial views, street views, videos, etc. They can literally see inside the property, with all of the pictures made available nowadays!
There’s virtually no need to go out and physically see a property…unless it’s of actual interest to them. Before, they had to go out just to rule out houses. So, almost every house on the market would get more showings back in the day. Every buyer, at every stage of looking, would come out just to get a peek. Now they do it remotely.
This cuts down on how many buyers come out to see your home. 
And only the most interested, most serious, ready, willing, and able buyers are coming out to see your home.
This is a good thing…it’s efficient.

So why isn’t your house being shown?

It’s natural for an owner to want more showings. But, be careful what you wish for.
Just creating traffic through your house isn’t entirely beneficial. You should only want serious, ready, willing and able buyers coming through. And remember, there aren’t endless amounts of them in the market.
What’s the use of harassing your agent to create traffic and showings if the buyers have no ability or intention of actually buying the house? You are tasking your agent with creating a bit of a dog and pony show for you.
Instead, sit down or hop on the phone with your agent and get down to what the real root of the problem is. The most sensible thing to do is for you and your agent to analyze what the cause is, and hopefully generate more showings.
Go over things like the following:
  • Is it the overall market? Are there not that many buyers actually buying in your area and price range? If so, maybe just be patient.
  • Are the buyers who have seen your house buying other homes? Then, maybe your house is overpriced, or not as appealing as other choices in the area and price range.
  • Is your house not being shown at all? Good chance that it’s either your price is too high, or there are no buyers in the market. Again, look to see if there are other houses comparable to yours selling.
More often than not, the reason a house isn’t getting shown is due to either the market being a bit slow, or the price being too high. It’s that simple.
Pricing appropriately within the market should get your house shown and sold quickly to the ready, willing, and able buyers in the market…as long as there is at least a buyer who is ready, willing and able in the market.
So, just take a moment to truly understand that creating more showings won’t solve the problem of getting your home sold. You can have showings every hour of every day, but there are only so many true buyers in the market, and they are aware of every house on the market the minute it comes on.
If nobody is coming, and / or nobody is buying it…it’s either price, or a lack of buyers altogether.
Ali Palacios, ABRMCNETAHS
Realtor
Today's Home Realty
ali.palacios@todayshomerealty.com
Mobile - 832-418-0670
www.ilovehappyclients.com

9119 Hwy 6 S #230-116, Missouri City, TX 77459
Source: http://www.bestrealestateblog.com/home-isnt-getting-shown-much-think?m=JnojPGPgYwNqRUqKIeuc

3 Tips On Timing The Sale And Purchase Of A Home

If you’re like most people, you’re probably concerned about selling your house before having one lined up to buy.
You don’t want to sell your house first, not having somewhere to go.
But, at the same time, you know you can’t buy another house, without selling the house you already own.
Ideally, you want to time the sale and closing of the house you have to sell, with the purchase of the house you’re moving to. Ideally…
But, it isn’t always easy, or even possible. You certainly can’t bank on it. So, it’ll help you to have a few tips to up the chances of timing the sale and purchase as much as possible, or at least have a plan just in case it doesn’t…

1. Negotiate time to find a home.

Probably the easiest solution is to sell your home to a buyer who’s willing to give you some nice terms in the contract.
You can negotiate in that the sale of your home is contingent upon finding and buying the home you’ll move to.
Not all buyers will be willing to agree to this, though. And you may have to budge a bit on your price or other terms of the agreement. 
But, if it makes your life better, less stressful, and costs you less than any other alternative, it makes a whole lot of sense to give a little to get a little.
Note: This can be hard to pull off if your buyer is also selling their own home and need to time the sale and purchase on their end as well. There’s a whole “trickle down” you might need to be sensitive to. This approach works best if you’re selling to a first-time home buyer.

2. Get a bridge loan.

These aren’t the easiest thing to find, but you might be able to find a bank who will lend you money without selling your home, or as long as you have a viable contract on your home. It could be a bridge loan. Or it could just be that the lender feels you can carry both mortgages for a short period of time.
Of course, you can do away with all of these concerns if you have enough cash on hand, or own your other house outright. But most people aren’t in that position.
Note: Don’t look into these options once you have your house under contract and have found one you want to buy. Do this before you even start the process. Look into different lenders and the options they may have for you. You might be happily surprised.

3. Have a back-up plan.

Most people don’t have so much extra money that they can just rent a hotel room and storage for all of their furnishings while they’re in between the home they sold, and the home they’re buying to close.
But, if you have that kind of money, that’s a good option. Go on a local “vacation” for a while, and send your stuff to a storage facility.
Or, maybe you can find a short-term rental in your area. But, again, this might not be budget-friendly for everyone.
If you don’t have that kind of money, line up a place to stay with someone in your family. No, this isn’t ideal, but it can do the trick.
Note: Having any of these as your back-up plan can take the pressure off of you to just buy whatever house happens to be available and line up with your timing. It can buy you time to wait a bit for the perfect house, and take some of the pressure off when you are negotiating. If you are pressed for timing, you may be forced to pay a higher price for the house you are buying. So having a plan for where to stay “just in case” can cost you…but it could also save you in other ways. So, look at the silver lining.

First things first…

No matter what, don’t expect to just wing it and hope everything works out for the best.
Come up with your game plan beforehand.
Maybe you don’t even have to worry all that much. That depends on your local real estate market. It may just be that the house you have to sell will be easy to sell, and have such demand that you can call the shots in regard to the terms of the agreement and get time to find the perfect home. And, who knows…maybe there are plenty of houses for you to buy that are just sitting there waiting for you, and the owners would be just fine helping to time the closings with you.
And the best way to find that out, is to call your real estate agent, and work hand in hand with your agent from the get-go.
Real estate agents deal with these concerns day in and day out and can help you make the best decision and plan considering your wants, your needs, your situation, and the local market.
Ali Palacios, ABRMCNETAHS
Realtor
Today's Home Realty
ali.palacios@todayshomerealty.com
Mobile - 832-418-0670
www.ilovehappyclients.com

9119 Hwy 6 S #230-116, Missouri City, TX 77459
Source: http://www.bestrealestateblog.com/3-tips-timing-sale-purchase-home?m=JnojPGPgYwNqRUqKIeuc

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Why You Should Only List Your House Once

Let’s change the meaning of YOLO from “you only live once” to “you only list once”.
When you decide to list your house for sale, list it like it is the first, last, and only time you are going to. 
Because, if you list it more than once…it’s going to hurt you.

Selling your home begins in a hopeful manner.

When you decide to list your home for sale, you probably don’t expect it to not sell the first time you list it for sale. 
Quite the opposite…
Most people think their house will sell quickly. And hopefully in a bidding war. 
You hire a real estate agent. Pictures are taken. The house is entered into the multiple listing service. Open houses are scheduled for the first weekend. Ads are run… 
…and the house gets put on the Internet in more places than you can ever imagine, with just the click of a few buttons.
How could it not sell? 

Avoid withdrawing or expiring. 

But a lot of times, homes don’t sell quickly. Or at all…
If a house doesn’t sell quickly, many homeowners start to get discouraged, even after just a few weeks.
It gets worse if it starts stretching into months and months.
Many homeowners start to wonder if their real estate agent isn’t getting the job done. And they start considering either “withdrawing” their listing, or letting their contract with the real estate agent “expire”, and plan on hiring a different agent.
Some homeowners have total faith in their real estate agent. They want to stick with the agent they have hired. But they think it would be good to withdraw their listing, and pop it back on the market so it looks like a new listing, hoping to get buyers’ attention. 
This is a mistake. Back in the day, this little trick could work. But, it isn’t fooling anyone anymore, and it can have a less than desirable effect.

Big brother is watching.

Remember this from earlier? With just a few button clicks, your house gets distributed all over the Internet…
In some ways, this is great. Your house is exposed to the entire market quickly and efficiently.
In some ways it’s bad, though… 
Not too long ago, it was pretty difficult to figure out if a home had been listed more than once, or for how long it was on the market. Real estate agents had access to the information, but consumers did not.
Now, everybody and anybody can see:
  • If a house has been listed before.
  • How many times it has been listed.
  • How long it’s been on the market.
  • And even more information…like if there’s any pending foreclosure, for instance.
Basically put, more information is available than you would ever want made available. And you have no control over it. Nor does your real estate agent.
All of this information is “scraped” and aggregated by real estate websites, like Zillow and Trulia. 
Back in the day, it was no big deal to withdraw your listing, or let it expire, and relist it. Few people would be aware of it, unless a real estate agent dug up the information and chose to share it with their client.
Now, a buyer would almost have to deliberately avoid seeing this information.

So, what’s the big deal?

Whether it’s right, wrong, or somewhere in between, the number of times your home has been listed, and the length of time your house has been on the market, affect how buyers perceive your home and its value.
This stinks, because you can have absolutely valid reasons why your home isn’t selling quickly…
Perhaps it’s a supply and demand issue. (Too many houses available and too few buyers buying houses.)
Or maybe you have a high-end home, and there just aren’t many sales in the price range, so it takes quite some time to sell.
Those sorts of reasons are valid. There’s nothing you can do to affect that. 
And it’s awful (for sellers at least), but the Internet and available information can cause buyers to sense that the house isn’t selling because “something is wrong”. 
Or buyers may feel like, “since the house has been on the market for so long, the owner has to be negotiable or desperate.”
There’s plenty of other legitimate reasons a house may linger longer on the market…
But way too often, the reason houses linger on the market is because homeowners list their home for way too much money. And, quite often, don’t reduce their price to be in line with the market and actual value.
That you can, and should control…
Otherwise, you’re causing buyers to dismiss, overlook, or undervalue your home…because the Internet.

So, here’s what you do…

Control what you can control.
  • Make sure you hire a real estate agent who gives you an honest assessment of your home’s value. 
  • Do not hire an agent that simply says your home is worth the amount you want to hear. Or one who agrees to list your house for a higher price than they recommend, just to appease you and get your listing.
  • Price your home appropriately within the market. Price it to sell…not to linger. (This does not mean “give your house away”. There’s a fine line and balance. A good agent will help you find that perfect balance.)
  • Don’t withdraw your listing, or let it expire, if at all possible. 
  • If your home is not selling, assess whether the price is reasonable for the market. If it’s, be patient. Keep it on the market. Stay the course.

Ignore this advice if…

If you have hired a good real estate agent, and he or she disagrees with this, listen to them
Real estate is “local”. Your agent will know what may help or hurt you in your area, more than a general article.
But, if you and your agent are discussing withdrawing or relisting your property, maybe you should bring up what you have read here. Your agent may never have even thought about this angle.
At least it can lead to an in depth conversation about the pros and cons of withdrawing or relisting your home, before just doing it because it seems like a good thing to do.
Again, there are valid reasons a home can linger on the market. Things you and your agent can’t control. It’s not the end of the world. It doesn’t spell doom for your sale. 
A good agent isn’t going to let a buyer get your house for a steal, just because of some information the buyer has seen on the Internet.
However, what they find and see on the Internet will certainly fill their mind with thoughts. So, try not to give them anything to think about, other than making a full price offer as quickly as possible.

Ali Palacios, ABRMCNETAHS
Realtor
Today's Home Realty
ali.palacios@todayshomerealty.com
Mobile - 832-418-0670
www.ilovehappyclients.com

9119 Hwy 6 S #230-116, Missouri City, TX 77459
Source: http://www.bestrealestateblog.com/why-you-should-only-list-your-house-once?m=JnojPGPgYwNqRUqKIeuc

An Open Letter from an Agent to Anyone Considering Selling Their Home

So you’re thinking about selling your home? I realize you didn’t arrive at this decision lightly, and that you might be nervous or scared. There are so many things that are probably going through your head right now. I’d like to help you by offering some advice, and hopefully putting your mind at ease. 

First, do some research. 

It’s important for you to understand how much money you can expect to get for your home. We need to be realistic. Unfortunately, checking online sites like Zillow or Trulia isn’t going to give you the most accurate picture of your home’s value. This is why it’s important to sit down with a real estate agent that understands the market and will give you a realistic home value estimate by comparing similar properties that have recently sold in your area.

This meme is pretty funny (and rather sarcastic)… but at the same it illustrates a painful reality.
Savefrom Uploaded by user3Lighter Side of Real EstateReal Estate Humor

Discuss your situation.

Discussing your situation with a real estate agent will also help you identify any other aspects of the transaction that you might be forgetting. For instance, there might be something glaringly obvious that could get in the way of a smooth home inspection that you might not be considering… or, on the other hand, a unique feature that your home might have which could help maximize its value. Also, discussing the process with an agent will help you understand how much money you can expect to walk away with after the closing. 

Considering braving it alone?

If you’re considering selling your home without an agent, remember that you’re doing so at your own risk. There are quite a few things that can go wrong (many of them legal) which an agent is trained and perfectly setup to handle. Also, do you really want to deal with random strangers showing up at random times throughout the day, wondering whether they’re even qualified to buy a house or if they’re just bored and looking for something to do. 
Or said a different way…
Savefrom Uploaded by user7Lighter Side of Real EstateReal Estate Humor
Let an agent worry about these things; you’ll thank yourself later. 

Pick the right agent.

Working with the right person can mean the difference between a smooth transaction and a less-than-memorable experience. How do you pick the right one? 
First, make sure you feel comfortable with the person. You might spend a lot of time with them, so it’s important that you have rapport. 
Secondly, if the agent is giving you some inconvenient feedback or information, don’t dismiss them. The best agents will tell you the truth because they understand that setting the right expectations is more important than promising you the world.
Savefrom Uploaded by user1Lighter Side of Real EstateReal Estate Humor
Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Lastly, ask as many questions as you need to until you feel comfortable with your level of understanding. The right agent will be patient with you, and will understand just how big of a deal this is. 

Don’t stress! 

This might be easier said than done, but try to keep things in perspective. Your home is probably your most valuable asset, and the most consequential transaction that you’ll ever work on. But people buy and sell their homes every day, and there’s a very comprehensive system in place that helps facilitate those transactions. Your agent will help guide you through the process and will help you feel at ease. Remember, you’re not the first and you won’t be the last person to feel the stress. 

Expect the unexpected.

It would be lovely if I could promise you that everything will go perfectly smooth, but it rarely does. Obstacles almost always come up during a real estate transaction, but that doesn’t mean you should pull your hair out worrying. Agents know there will be bumps in the road, and they’ll also know how to get over them and get your home sold with as little stress for you as possible. 
So don’t stress, be realistic, find the right agent to help, and remember that small hiccups are just part of the transaction. 
And by the way, feel free to give me a call. 🙂
Ali Palacios, ABRMCNETAHS
Realtor
Today's Home Realty
ali.palacios@todayshomerealty.com
Mobile - 832-418-0670
www.ilovehappyclients.com

9119 Hwy 6 S #230-116, Missouri City, TX 77459
Source: http://www.bestrealestateblog.com/open-letter-agent-anyone-considering-selling-home?m=JnojPGPgYwNqRUqKIeuc