Open houses work, but only if the listing agent REALTOR® works them!
Open Houses, in 60 Seconds
Open House? Sure!
Some Cary listing agents often differ strongly on whether Open Houses "work." Well, I say, Open Houses don't work. Listing Agents work, and using an Open House as one means to market a property can be very productive.
Cary Home Sales set comps. Competitive pricing compels buyers to buy.
Comps, Competition, and Compelling Pricing
Comps, Competition, and Compelling Pricing
Everyone wants to see "Comps," comparable closed sales when fixing a price for a new listing.
I agree. We have to begin with the end in mind, and the "End in Mind" is a closed sale. A contract price MUST be supported by market activity, specifically recent, comparable sales that have closed.
However, a smart seller and smart listing agent will also consider "Competition." And that will include properties outside the specific neighborhood where the home to be listed for sale is located.
See, while the neighborhood activity must support the sales price for appraisal purposes, Buyers have myriad choices outside the neighborhood.
A home worth $400,000 must compete with and draw attention away from other $400,000 choices. We just cannot tell Buyers that they can only shop one neighborhood.
So, Sellers have to be competitive across a broader area, perhaps a school district, or a local geographic area in a county or town.
In Cary, and Wake County, NC, the Wake County Public School System manages all public schools at the County level. Town boundaries do not indicate school assignments, and it is not uncommon to see a neighborhood, all or part, reassigned to another school
So, parents will shop various school assignments, attempt to grasp stability in assignment, and affordable neighborhood options. To do so, they may look in a ten mile radius, or farther. That search may take them out of Cary, and into Morrisville, Apex, Raleigh or any other local municipality.
That is why it is smart to consider a wide area of competitive Active listings when pricing a home.
Comps, Competition, and Compelling Pricing, via 60 Seconds in Real Estate, Cary NC:
60 Second mortgage program conversation with Kevin Martini, SunTrust Mortgage.
I grabbed my friend and mortgage money mentor, Kevin Martini of SunTrust Mortgage, and asked him a few rapid-fire questions in the Cary NC, KELLER WILLIAMS® real estate office the other day. Kevin is a favorite of local Buyers agents and listing agents, because he delivers.
Kevin tells me that he has a huge variety of affordable home loan programs to help folks buy, and, of course, he is tickled with current interest rates he can offer.
One to Buy, Two to Sell is often a point of contention in real estate sales.
60 Seconds in Real Estate, Cary NC
One to Buy, Two to Sell
Often conversation with homesellers can become awkward when the topic of marriage arises, as in, "Have you been married at any time while you have owned this home?"
When I am talking to ONE Seller, things can become quickly complicated when they say something like, "Yes, but we are separated/divorced." Or, "I owned the house before we were married, and he/she didn't help pay for it. He/she has nothing to say about the sale."
Well…. It depends. In North Carolina, we are a "One to buy, Two to sell," meaning that a long-lost spouse or ex-spouse may have a financial interest in the property.
Horror stories of shock and surprise abound…..
One of the responsibilities of a Listing agent is to attempt within reason to ensure that the Seller can actually legally SELL the property. No one wants to list a home for sale, and find that there is another Seller who is not on the listing agreement, and then have an irate Buyer and Buyers Agent.
And, it is important to note, I am not an attorney, and cannot offer legal advice. But, often it is necessary to access a legal opinion as to who must approve the sale. I have spoken with divorce attorneys, and have received "Free Trader" agreement copies, and either way has put my mind at ease that I can market a property with confidence that it can be conveyed.
And sometimes, the former spouses have to bury the hatchet long enough to consummate a real estate transaction. That process can be unnerving to all involved.
The topic seemed worthy of a 60 Seconds in Real Estate vlog:
A few high points on Buyers Agency Agreements, and what they mean in Cary, NC.
Buyers Agency Agreement
Buyers Agency Agreements? Do you need one in North Carolina?
Yes, if you are going to work with a REALTOR® or licensed agent to represent you.
It is the law. An agent cannot represent you in a real estate transaction without a written agreement.
The North Carolina Association of REALTORS® provides members with a form that describes the relationship and establishes expectations for the parties.
Absent a formal agreement, the default assumption is that the agent is working for the Seller, not for the Buyer.
The Buyer agency agreement serves a valuable purpose for the Buyer. The Buyer becomes a “Client,” rather than a “Customer.” When the Buyer is a Customer, the Agent’s loyalty is with the Seller, and the benefits of advocacy remain with the Seller. We sell to Customers. We consult with Clients, and the legal responsibilities are more detailed in that relationship.
Some folks are hesitant to formally engage an agent for a variety of reasons:
Sometimes they are afraid they will be tied down to the agent, even if the relationship is just not working. I always give the client, and myself, a “Get Out Of Jail, Free” card. All my Buyer Agency agreements include the provision, “Either party may terminate this agreement at any time prior to location of a suitable property.” I want people to be at ease as we work together, and in the client/agent relationship of their free will.
Some folks do not understand how agents are paid, and that makes them nervous to sign a document. To make it worse, some agents are uncomfortable or inarticulate when it comes to discussing compensation. Agent compensation is dealt with in the agency agreement, but should always be open to conversation. We are fortunate in the Triangle MLS, as Buyer agents typically have no problem collecting co-brokerage fees from listing agents, and this simplifies the compensation conversation.
Some people just don’t like paperwork, and will sacrifice security for convenience. But, for sure, there will be tons more required documentation before a home is bought. Meetings where we are writing offers, discussing purchase terms, and exploring property values are much easier if we don’t have to spend valuable time going over a Buyers Agency Agreement that should have been reviewed days or weeks prior.
And I did a 60 Seconds in Real Estate video touching on some of these topics:
Real Estate Brokers should be transparent regarding compensation.
Cary Real Estate Topics
It just came across in an email: "$2000 Realtor Bonus on Move-in Ready Homes"
How does that benefit my Buyer clients? If I am given a financial inducement "or bribe" to drag them out to a new home neighborhood, am I taking them out because the property suits them, or because the bonus suits me?
Should they wonder about it?
Now, in North Carolina, it is required for a REALTOR® to disclose any compensation in addition to that predicted in the Buyers Agency Agreement. That disclosure must be done prior to writing an offer, and preferably when initially showing the property.
We REALTORS® even have a document to document the disclosure, Form 770.
It isn't a matter of tripping over nickels and dimes, but of additional compensation in the form of bonuses, high Buyer Agent co-broke commissions, and spiffs like Ipads, points that let me build a higher commission for multiple sales or earn a cruise, or other attractive inducements.
It all seems to present great opportunity for conflict of interest for the agent.
The cure? Bonuses and other inducements are here to stay. So, I think it is incumbent on real estate brokers to be transparent regarding their compensation, comfortable in discussing it, and willing to answer client questions regarding compensation.