Lessons learned by buyers and sellers

Congratulations to all those parents who survived another summer! Two more days, two more days, ohm… I’ve been writing about the education of agents and how we learn on a continual basis including by life lessons. Let me turn the focus to lessons learned by buyers and sellers.

There are two I see buyers learn most often – when to talk to a lender and how to offer on a house. If you are hesitant to talk with a lender in order to get pre-qualified it can cost you in the end by not having an approval letter to provide, or worse yet finding out you are unable to obtain financing after you’ve found ‘the one’. It’s imperative to know if there is anything that needs taken care of on your credit report, so allow the lenders to pull credit in order to get a true picture of your scenario. Even if more than one does this it will be a temporary ding and very minor. The other is making insulting offers. This is a strong market. Agents know it, sellers know, and if you’re honest with yourself you know it. That doesn’t mean you can’t negotiate, but if you toss something out there that is completely unreasonable you have done yourself more harm than good. The sellers will be insulted and far less likely to negotiate much, if at all, when you start out in an unreasonable manner. Chances are if you go in with a fair offer you’ll end up with better terms in the long run.

Okay sellers here are your two – pricing too high and not reacting to constructive feedback. As to the first, your agent will do a good deal of research in order to recommend a fair market price range for your home. All too often I will recommend ‘x’ price range and the owners will want to ‘test the market’ because ‘they can always come down’. The first two weeks of being listed are the most vital, and according to NAR research if the house is priced just 10% above market value only 30% of potential buyers will look at it. On the flip side if it is priced 10% below market value 75% of potential buyers will look, putting you in a far better negotiating position to possibly get full asking price and maybe even go a little above if you have more than one bidder. Pricing competitively is usually a much better idea and gets your home sold faster. When it comes to feedback, listen to what the buyers are telling you! If you are consistently hearing the same issues and it’s fixable, fix it. You can’t change layout or location, but you can change paint color or offer to replace the flooring before closing. Putting in a little effort and investment will pay off in the long run.

So now we’re all more educated -yay! Until next week, please watch for stopped school busses and bright youths in crosswalks. Let’s all enjoy a safe and productive school year…

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