Wednesday, June 23, 2010


What Should You Do If Your Listing Has Expired?

Sellers find it difficult to be optimistic after a listing has expired. Most are excited and nervous when that listing agreement is first signed, hoping that the home sells quickly and for a big profit. It's frustrating to wait week after week for a purchase offer when that offer never arrives.
Regardless of the length of listing -- whether the agreement was for a term of 90 days, 180 days or a year -- when the listing has expired, the broker / seller relationship has come to an end (more or less). This is when sellers often ask whose fault is it that the home isn't selling?

Check Motivation
The first step is to review your reasons to sell. If you are not motivated to sell, you are not a seller. You're a home owner with a sign in the yard. Without motivation, you've got about as much hope for selling as an owner with a sign that reads, "Keep Off the Grass."

Review Marketing
Where is the business plan to sell your home? Review the marketing with your agent, step-by-step. Did your agent drop the ball? Did you? What worked, what didn't pull ad calls or showings? Did you have a virtual tour, send out direct mail, put a lockbox on the property?

Consider Condition
Go out and look at other homes on the market to determine if your home is in the same condition as those actively for sale. Perhaps you need to do repairs before selling. Maybe your home needs to be staged. Does your home scream curb appeal?

Look Again at Buyer Objections
What have buyers said about your home? Review buyer feedback, which your agent should have obtained for you when your home first went on the market. Is there validity to what buyers were saying? How can you compensate for those objections?

Discount Sudden Activity
You won't have to look too far to find agents because they'll all come crawling out of the woodwork when your listing expires. Realtors are prevented from soliciting a seller when the listing is active in MLS. But you're fair game when the listing has expired.
You may wonder why your listing, now that it has expired, is so popular. Many agents specialize in contacting expired listings because they want the listing. Period. Moreover, realize that some agents will take an overpriced listing just to get signage.

Contact Several Listing Agents
Interview agents. Ask the hard questions to determine if the agents are giving you the right answers. Find out what another agent might do differently. If another agent offers substantially more service than your existing agent, list with that agent.

Talk to Your Existing Agent About Why the Listing Expired
If your agent has fulfilled the marketing plan, worked diligently to sell your home, and the market is not answering the ring to your dinner bell, then you might need to conform to the market. This means a price reduction. Ask your existing agent to prepare another comparative market analysis to determine if your home is priced to sell.
If you respect and value your agent, relist with that agent. Adjust your price accordingly and follow your agent's suggestions, even if it means making repairs or improvements you'd rather not do. If your agent is spending money on your listing through advertising, aggressive marketing and networking that listing, that agent deserves your loyalty.

Elizabeth Weintraub,

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Eleven Reasons to Use a Real Estate Sales Professional When Buying a Brand-New Home

Existing and potential homeowners are looking at real estate from all angles as the U.S. economy and local housing markets continue their recovery. For many, there is strong appeal in buying brand-new homes as myriad builder incentives and low interest rates create significant value.
Today’s new homes boast exciting floor plans and designs tailored for specific lifestyles, complete with a huge array of features and appointments. They include energy efficient products and building techniques, reducing buyers’ utility bills. Of course, new-home consumers love that their properties, from roofs to appliances, will not need replacement for many years.
It might not seem necessary to involve a real estate professional in a transaction where a buyer can deal directly with a builder. Yet by using a real estate professional you gain a skilled professional to protect your interests and guide you along the right path.
Here are 11 advantages to using a real estate professional when buying a newly constructed home.
1. Just as a real estate professional calls on experience and knowledge of an area to help buyers locate pre-owned homes in a community, he or she can also direct buyers interested in newly built homes to developments and communities that match client specifications.

2. A sales professional can suggest builders with reputations for delivering a high-quality product, responding quickly to issues, and being financially sound.

3. A sales professional may be familiar with how a builder prices his products and where there may be room to negotiate price or upgrades.

4. Without representation, you are one buyer purchasing only one home. But a sales professional can significantly impact a builder’s bottom line by providing a steady supply of customers. This leverage may work in your favor at the negotiating table. [Note: The builder may require your sales professional to accompany you on your first visit to the site. Check with the builder.]

5. The lender approval process may go smoother if a sales professional schedules visits, accompanies you to lenders, and helps expedite required documents.

6. What may seem like a simple transaction can grow legally complex and risky. A sales professional is familiar with those complexities and risks inherent in the homebuying process. When such questions arise, we can steer you to the right advisors and services you may require.

7. If your contract includes a contingency to sell an existing home your real estate sales professional assuredly can help, though your sales professional will explain that buying before selling isn’t always in your best interest as it can undermine your bargaining.

8. When relocating to a new area, sales professionals can be particularly valuable resources. In addition to providing local area information regarding schools, day care or elder care services, public transportation, proposed development, and so on, once construction is under way, they can periodically stop by the work site, supply you with progress reports, and photograph or videotape phases of the construction.

9. A sales professional can assist you as you face hundreds of design choices and consider which upgrades could potentially add value to the home when it comes time to sell.

10. A sales professional can accompany you at the site while you okay the plumbing and electrical locations prior to dry walling, as well as on the walk-through or builder orientation.

11. Lastly, most often the builder pays the sales professional’s commission. You enjoy individual attention and support at no cost to you.

Builder incentives and heightened affordability have many real estate consumers considering brand-new homes. Rather than rely on builders’ agents – who are paid by the builders – savvy shoppers are hiring real estate sales professionals to help them through the buying process and on to the American dream.

Prudential Fox & Roach is an independently owned and operated member of Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, Inc.