“Coming Soon” culture? Is this current fad of REALTOR® MLS Members Eroding the Credibility, Equity Value, and Integrity of Our Multiple Listing Service?

You see it more and more.  Real Estate Signs blaring “COMING SOON!!!”  “COMING SOON” riders hung on signs for weeks.  And the big day never arrives.  The home never “Comes.”  It just “Goes,” as in Under Contract.   A listing goes to Contingent status, under contract, in Zero (0) Days On Market.

“Wink, wink.  MLS rules say I cannot show it to you while it says ‘Coming Soon.’  But, for you….”  When you drive past a Coming Soon sign in a hot Cary neighborhood and see folks going up the sidewalk to the house from a car with a REALTOR® sticker on the tailgate, you just know that “Coming Soon” means “Came Ahead of Schedule.”

REALTOR® members of the Triangle MLS agree to post all listings to the MLS, unless the seller wants it “Withheld.”

This convention of membership does a few things:

  • It assures sharing and cooperation between brokers, as they have agreed.
  • It helps assure that the sellers’ properties are exposed to the market, to garner the seller more chances of receiving the highest possible offer with the best possible terms.  This is a fiduciary responsibility of the listing agent.
  • It supports OUR MLS as the “Go To Resource” for legitimate real estate listings, data, and history.

And we are seeing those points undermined by a marketing fad.  The issue has become pervasive enough that the NC Real Estate Commission had to weigh in on “Coming Soon!” in the latest Real Estate Bulletin.  Sometimes folks ought to read the Articles before gleefully leafing back to the Punishment Porn to “Tut Tut” about whoever got their wrists slapped for DWI.

Why do agents post “Coming Soon?”

  • To build market interest for a quick sale?  Heck, we are in a hot market.  If the house is right and priced right, just going “Active” on the MLS is enough to generate enough traffic to get it sold in a week.  It is happening all over the place in Cary, Apex, Raleigh, Morrisville, Holly Springs, etc.
  • To get phone calls and milk buyer clients from the listing?   We might be getting a little closer there.  “Sorry.  That one isn’t ready.  Are you working with a buyers’ agent?”

How does that serve the owner of the listing, to divert a buyer by prematurely putting up a sign?
Well, that hotbed of buyer leads may go under contract in a few days.  When it is Contingent or Pending, the sign calls may decline or cease altogether  and it serves the agent well to keep a sign up for as long as possible to get sign calls and buyer leads…

Whoops!  Just wait a second on that second point.
Since when is the purpose of a listing agreement with a fiduciary role supposed to serve the listing agent?   I think “Never.”  Tell me I am wrong.

Buyers’ Market? Sellers Market? Maybe it’s a Ninja’s Market!

Home buyers are noticing that desirable properties, depleted inventory, and great demand are creating multiple offers daily in the Triangle.
Welcome to the Cary NC real estate market, 2013 Version.

We are seeing homes sold with 0, Zero, Days On Market. The Pocket Listing is back. Sell them before they hit the MLS.
We are seeing showings declined on Active listings, and no response from the listing agent. Et Voila! A contract!
We are seeing homes go under contract before photos are posted to MLS.

Buyers’ agents must sniff out opportunity and be ready to turn on a dime.
Like the ninja of old, it can take legendary skills to complete the task. I haven’t developed the skills of invisibility, time travel, or shape-shifting, but they may come in handy.

More seriously, the market was strengthening for sellers and getting more competitive for buyers through last year, 2012. Then the news broke that Wake County Public Schools would resume school assignment by address. And some areas went into hyper-drive. Davis Drive Elementary School and Davis Drive Middle School are two very desirable schools. Historically, homes with school assignments for those two schools have traded at a premium. Confusion over school assignments for a couple of years defused that demand. Now? Buyers flock to homes in neighborhoods that have assignments for both schools.

Open Houses? Sure, I’m holding one Sunday.

Open Houses Work, if we work them.

Do I do Open Houses? 
Yes, I hold Open Houses in most of my listings, and I don’t worry about reasons given for not holding them.

Do Open Houses “work” in Cary?
I think many work well to expose the home to the market, to generate a little buzz, to get people in to visit.

“They are only for agents to get new Buyer Clients.”
No, I hold Open Houses to generate business for that listing. 

“Only a low percentage of Open Houses result in a Buyer.”
I like to say, as a listing agent, holding an Open House is better than napping at home in front of the TV, and moaning that the real estate market is dead.

So, Yes, I am holding an Open House Sunday, 10/23.  See me from 2-4PM at 501 Midenhall Way, Cary NC, 27513

 

Photos in MLS Listings Carry a LOT of Weight

Poor photos diminish property values

The Price of Poor Real Estate Photography


I was looking at visitor statistics on my No Hassle Home Search
this morning, and one detail jumped out at me.

With over 20,000 page views so far this month, 25%, over 5,000 of those views were in Photo Galleries. I.e., consumers routinely look at the property photos when surfing the internet to search for homes. And I am sure that other agents generate more traffic than I do.
It is not unusual for potential buyers to email me and inquire if more photos are available for someone else’s listing they have found on my IDX. Then I have to explain the nature of IDX services. And, sometimes I find that the Listing agent has used the tax rolls photo, which is NEVER complimentary to the property. Ouch! for that Home Seller.


501 Midenhall Way by Mike Jaquish

501 Midenhall Way from Wake County Revenue Department

Which do you think presents that home better to Buyers and Buyer Agents? I’m picking the top one, the one I shot. And when you multiply those page views I see by the number of agent IDX sites and scraper sites, the impact of poor real estate photos is exponentially increased. Like having a bad product and going international to purposefully gain more bad press on it. Why? Poor photography going viral to diminish property interest? How is that good for home sellers?
Lack of photos, poor photos, etc, actually can be one of the worst marketing investments home sellers can make.




QR Codes in Real Estate. Popping up all over Cary NC. 60 Seconds in Real Estate Cary NC

QR Codes are a great marketing tool in Real Estate and are popping up all around Cary NC.



QR Codes in Cary NC Real Estate

QR Codes in Real Estate

QR Codes in real estate are a hot item right now.  Using QR Codes in real estate marketing is in its infancy, but beginning to gain serious traction.
QR Codes can be used to convey great amounts of information to smartphone users who scan them.

I like the use of QR Codes for offering GPS coordinates, and since most smartphones have GPS capability, that seems like an efficient use.
But one can also use QR Codes to offer purely real estate data and information.  A listing agent can connect buyers to photos, flyers, documents, and make it easy for buyers and buyers agents to gather data they need to write an offer on a listing.

So, I am seeing more QR Codes on real estate listings in Cary.

One criticism of QR Codes is their industrial/utilitarian appearance.  Some folks call them "ugly."  There is little doubt that, with some care, a real estate agent can present an appealing QR Code.  They may never be confused with seascapes by Monet, but QR Codes can look better. The video runs nearly two minutes, but “60 Seconds” just didn’t seem adequate: 


Home Buyer Dealbreakers and Smart Pricing. 60 Seconds in Real Estate Cary NC

Buyers look for items that are dealbreakers for them. When deficiencies cannot be cured, smart Sellers and their listing agents price homes accordingly.





Buyers and Dealbreakers

Buyers will often cite a "dealbreaker" when considering a home.  In Cary, NC, some of those items are steep driveways, proximity to large powerlines, proximity to busy thorofares, railroad tracks, or excessive airplane traffic.

Some buyers are willing to work with a home that has only a single negative feature, but when they add up, those buyers often lose interest.
A few years ago, I listed and sold a home with a steep driveway, powerlines and a railroad behind it.  How can that be overcome?
We have a saying in real estate, that "Price fixes all deficiencies."  In other words, when a home's price recognizes the diminished value created by excessive incurable deficiencies, and there is an affordable home with otherwise great features, there will be a buyer.

Smart home sellers and their listing agents in Cary will take negative items they cannot change into account when pricing the home for sale.

 


Cary NC Market Report, Closed Sales in the last 30 days. 60 Seconds in Real Estate Cary NC

Cary NC Market Report, last 30 days closings.



Cary NC Market Report

30 days of Real Estate Closing in Cary, as of August 17, 2011

Numbers are pretty stable in Cary real estate.  As of today, we closed 123 residential sales in the last 30 days.

Days on Market were 93 for those 123 listings.

Cumulative Days on Market, meaning that the property was listed more than once, were 115.

On July 17, those numbers were 87 and 114.

I pulled out three of the highest DOM properties, and the remaining 120 homes showed 86 Days on Market,
and 102 Cumulative Days on Market.
Fun with numbers…

Average selling price was 0.962 of final listing price.

 


2 Car Garage? 3 Car Garage? Who Knows? 60 Seconds in Real Estate Cary NC

Check out garage dimensions to make sure you can park 2 cars in a 2 car garage in Cary.



Garages in Cary NC

How many cars can you fit into a 2 car garage?

What makes a garage a 2 car garage?  Or a 3 car garage?
How can you tell?

The big door in front won't tell you.  You can get a pretty big door on a pretty small garage.

We see Cary listing agents marketing 2 car garages, or 3 car garages, for their seller.  But, some garages are so tight, it is difficult to imagine parking two cars and being able to open their doors.

Or, as often done in Cary, the water heater is placed in the garage, in the parking space.  Or the builder adds a flight of stairs from the garage to the living area, and that flight of stairs encroaches into a parking space.

Et cetera…

So, when working as a buyers agent, I take a very close look at the garage layout, the dimensions, and other factors that can impact the utility of the space.  And sometimes I will tell my home buyers, "Well, heck.  That's a 4 car garage.  If you own 4 Smart cars."  In other words, you will work hard to park 2 cars in that garage.


Termites? Termite Protection Plans? We have them both. 60 Seconds in Real Estate Cary NC

Discussion of termite plans, termite inspections, and how that varies from pest services in Cary.





Termites?  In Cary NC?  Well…. Yes.

One home inspection that home buyers always have performed on a Cary home is to have a licensed pest firm check for termites.  Termites are very common in the Cary area and a smart buyers agent will press the home buyer hard to have the property checked out during the due diligence period of the contract.

It is also common for a home owner to carry a termite protection contract, which usually includes a repair policy for any termite damage.  If the home seller has carried such a plan, the seller should let the listing agent know, and that becomes a selling point in the listing.  If the plan is transferable, it is even more affordable and valuable to the home buyer.

Some folks confuse a termite plan with quarterly pest service.  Those are two very different services, even though they are offered by nearly all pest and termite control firms in the Triangle area.

 


De-Clutter your Attic when Staging your Home for Sale! 60 Seconds in Real Estate Cary NC

Listing Agents should encourage de-cluttering of storage areas to impress buyers and buyers agents.



Cary NC Real Estate Talk

Selling Your Home?  De-Clutter Your Attic!

Many home sellers in Cary have embraced some degree of staging their home for sale.  Listing agents are seeing more interest in home staging, de-cluttering, and generally making the home show better.
And then we get to the attic, basement, or garage.  Those areas are all too often overlooked in the staging process.  Large spaces show well when they are open, and the home buyer and their buyers agent are impressed with spaciousness in storage.

My advice?  De-Clutter the auxiliary spaces and storage areas for better showings!