Real Estate Information Archive

Blog

Displaying blog entries 1-3 of 3

The Perfect Kitchen

by Desi Sowers, REALTOR, ABR, GRI

What is the “ideal” kitchen?  According to a recent study, many consumers describe it as open, warm, comfortable, organized, family-oriented, bright, happy and homey.  The most-wanted appliance upgrade in a kitchen is a cooktop with a built-in grill, wok, griddle or rotisserie attachment.  Other desired amenities include commercial-grade appliances, a large dishwasher to accommodate larger dishes, and a double oven.  A kitchen island with a cooktop stove is another popular amenity for many homeowners.

Men and women have different opinions about the ideal kitchen.  Men tend to view appliance purchases as status symbols, while women often see them as strictly functional pieces.  Cutting-edge technologies, such as TV screens built into appliances, also appeal more to men than to women.  When asked which single item they would be willing to splurge on if they were remodeling their kitchen, consumers named cabinets as their top choice, followed by range/oven/cooktop, countertops, refrigerator, a kitchen island and flooring.

Source:  Kitchen Remodelers 360 Report, Research and Markets, October 2007

How to Handle Low Ball Offers

by Desi Sowers, REALTOR, ABR, GRI

If your house has been on the market for quite a while, you may have already dropped your price and now you're waiting for the buyers to rush in and make wonderful offers on this now-priced right property. And then it happens.

The lone buyer does appear, like a bandit in the night and offers you even less than what you just agreed to. Quite a bit less -- about 10 percent less. So on your $350,000 house, that you just dropped to $324,000, you now have an offer for $299,000. With a seller subsidy request of $5,000. At this point, your net is $294,000.

So how do you handle such a low-ball offer. Well, first of all -- don't panic, get angry or lose sleep. Especially, don't reject the offer right off the bat and tell them to come back when they're serious. Remember, it's now a negotiation game and the buyer IS serious or he or she would not have made an offer.

Several things have happened before this offer came in. The buyer, with his agent, has researched the market, walked through as many as 30 or 50 properties, conducted a study on the value of the property and written an offer for your house. Remember, you just won the lottery. They could have written on any other house, but they selected yours. So let's get busy.

First of all, do an analysis of your own goals and needs. How much do you really need to come out of this house to meet your goals of moving to your next home? What could you really live with and what amount are you going to counter. Remember this last point -- what are you going to counter? This is assuming that you're not rolling over and that you're going to stay in the game.

Next, conduct a comparative market analysis of the house once again. What's happened in the market to get this buyer to offer such an offer (notice I didn't say 'low'). It might be that your house is now worth that amount. And if it is -- that's okay, because it probably means the house you wanted to buy up into is also worth less. At the worse, you're going to take away less money. The best thing to look at, however, is that now you're going to buy up with a smaller down payment because the buy-up property is also less.

Now, let's start the negotiation. Keep in mind, this is for the long haul. Keep it alive as long as the buyer will keep it alive. Give up a little bit at a time. If you reduced the house to $324,000, expecting an offer of $319,999 with closing costs of $10,000 -- then start there. You're already willing to accept a net of $309,999, so you're not really that far off. Understand you're not going to get top dollar with no seller subsidy. So come down to $320,000 and give them their closing costs. So now, your net has come up to $315,000.

Hey -- you're actually ahead of the game if they accept. Oops -- they don't. Now they've countered to $309,000 and still want the $5,000 in closing. (Now our net's at $304,000). Great. Just think. When you started, you were $324,000 apart (remember, you had NO offer at all). Now, you're only $5,999 away from the net you were willing to accept in the first place.

We're almost there. Now, before I go much further, here's a negotiation tip -- keep this civil. Use a lot of complements about the offer, the buyers and the agent. "What a great offer. Thanks so much for writing. We are very excited about selling this house to you."

You want the buyer agent and his/her clients to know you're wanting to work with them. You've been waiting six months for this day (negotiation day) and you want to keep everyone engaged in the process to get your goals met -- sold and on your way to your new home in the country.

Now offer your final counter (or maybe next to final). You definitely want to use the complements at this point: "We are so close." "I can't wait till we wrap this up, then we can all celebrate."

At this point, you know the buyers want to buy and your sellers are ready to start packing, so emphasize that you're very close. Use a dialogue like this: "We are so close. We have some goals to meet, just like you do. And I hope we can bring this together to get us both where we want to be."

This is when you make the final offer and stick with it. If you offer $314,000, they definitely get what they need and you get closer to your final net -- which at this point would be $309,000 -- just $999 off of your initial goal. Then you know if it goes forward or you're back on the market. However, don't be so stubborn that you lose the lone buyer because of $2,000 or so.

If the buyer is stretching and this won't work, this is when the honesty comes out. The agent may tell you, If we can't do $309,000, it's just not going to work. It goes too far beyond their qualification." Then you can decide whether to keep it on the market (hoping you don't have to drop the price again), or you cut the loss and move forward with settlement.

Be patient with the process. Don't get upset, remember, they're trying to meet goals just like you are. By working together, both can get what they want.

Written by M. Anthony Carr

Should I Take My Home Off the Market During the Holidays?

by Desi Sowers, REALTOR, ABR, GRI

When you look at your calendar you may find the months already overloaded with seasonal obligations -- shopping, entertaining, children's pageants, charity work, decorating the house, and so much more. If you are also trying to sell your home, you are under extra pressure to keep your home in "showtime" condition. And that could be the last thing you need before the holiday spirit is broken.

It is understandable why you would be tempted to take your home off the market during the holidays. And the list of justifications is long. If you are too busy, buyers may be also, and you may find your efforts unrewarded with not enough showings. And what if you do get an offer? You may be faced with the possibility of packing and moving during the busiest time of the year. Besides, you can give your house a rest, and it will have better momentum after the holidays. Better to just pack it in and start fresh in January, right?

But wait! Most top Realtors agree that taking your home off the market during the Christmas season is a mistake. The house surely isn't going to sell off the market! What is the advantage of that? So you're busy. Let your Realtor do the work. You can leave in the morning, go to work, go shopping, and let your Realtor take care of things.

The holidays are a wonderful selling period. Why? Because most people take off work sometime during the season. The husband and wife are both off and want to see houses. Most agents like the holidays because the buyers have more time, and they can look at homes together.

Before you take your home off the market, consider the following points:

  • Although buyer activity may appear to slow down, the buyers who are actively looking during the holidays are that much more serious. Agents believe the home market is no more affected at Christmas than during other "busy" periods. If that were so, the market would shut down throughout the year as families concentrate on spring weddings, June graduations, summer vacations, and autumn back-to-school activities.

     

  • Many buyers deliberately choose to shop for a home after the busy spring and summer rush. They know that it will be easier to look, and that negotiations will be less stressful. They may not have children, or they may have grown children, so moving to accommodate the school year isn't a consideration. Finding the right home at the right price, however, is.

     

  • Relocating families often don't have a choice when they can leave for their new destination. Although 68% of transferring families have children, many families have to transfer during the middle of the school year. These families are that much more motivated to get their families settled in before either the January semester begins, or to arrange for the move during spring break in March. If you sign a contract by New Year's Eve, the timing couldn't be more perfect.

     

  • At Christmas time, our culture focuses on family and the home. Preparing for the indoor activities of winter is one of the most enjoyable periods of family life. Allowing buyers to view your home during this most hospitable of seasons lets them better picture their own family life in the attractive environment you have created.

     

  • When is your home ever more beautiful and inviting? You have cleaned and decorated, and your home looks like a picture postcard. If the results are good enough for family and friends, they will surely be good enough to impress your buyers. Get the family team on board to do a five-minute blitz pick-up every morning to keep holiday messes to a minimum.

     

  • With reduced inventories and motivated buyers, you will have all the members of the MLS on your team. You may find you have more showings than you would if you marketed your home during a busier time of the year.

     

  • If you do get a contract, you can arrange the terms to suit your needs. If moving during the holidays isn't an option, you can put in the closing date of your choice. Most people can close 30 to 60 days after a contract is written, so there is plenty of time. Possession and closings are very negotiable.



  • Displaying blog entries 1-3 of 3

    Syndication

    Categories

    Archives

    Each Office Independently Owned and Operated