Real estate transactions during times of uncertainty can be a tough sell and no easy listing, either.
Ok, ok, ok. I’m sure that if you’re a realtor, agent, or broker, you are laughing your head off at the “captain obvious”-ness of my opening gambit. And you know what, that’s ok. I totally understand that with the market the way it is, the economy the way it may be, the lack of starter homes, the decline in new housing starts and the trend toward stale inventory that won’t move at the price sellers think it should, real estate transactions are harder to complete than they were, say two years ago.
I don’t have a crystal ball, and frankly I don’t need one. It’s impossible not to spot the fact that the herd is restless and it won’t take much to spook everyone into a complete meltdown at the moment. Housing prices are insane in coastal and metro areas and sellers absolutely refuse to give up their finally realized gains, especially the ones that are still holding on to purchases made at top dollar more than a decade ago.
Heck, my neighborhood in Arizona has only just gotten to the point where 95% of the people who bought in ’06 can get out for what they paid. But they’re not willing to bite the bullet and lower their pricing – most of them have learned that they can sit on the property and use it as a rental, either long term or short term, top dollar during the season – and they’ll just keep tightening their belts as needed to make sure the mortgage gets paid.
Just when you thought things were looking up…
Although with that said, there are plenty of people around here stuck in multiple home ownership because they aren’t just sitting on the property they don’t live in, they’re also stuck with the one that they do live in – that they’ve been living in since it was completed and they couldn’t afford to back out of that transaction either.
So what’s a poor realtor to do? Real estate transactions still have to happen, but this is almost the worst of all worlds. Price reductions don’t do anyone a favor, since buyers decide they can get further reductions and sellers hate their listing agents with a passion, but life will be what it is, and we can all see how the leaves shake out of the proverbial tree as we head into the summer selling season that normally bumps up pricing and shortens time to close in most everywhere but Arizona and Nevada.
If you are primarily a listing agent, now is the time to get off your duff and start finding new ways of marketing the properties you have listed. If you don’t then you can be sure that some hungry agent will come and along before your stuff even expires and manage to take those listings off you. Sellers want to see that you are doing everything you possibly can for them in a down market.
Is this really a down market?
I’m no Einstein but it doesn’t take much to see that the trend is flat to downwards. Maybe no one wants to admit it yet, but the lack of available inventory in the starter home category is not a good thing for the upmarket either. It’s like we’re all stuck in some insane, nationwide version of Prop 13 (if you don’t know Prop 13, you can surely google it) where the people who own homes can’t afford to get out of them but can afford to keep them and make the payments.
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I digress. This isn’t an article about the economics of the real estate industry, it’s a simple commentary on how you – the listing agent, or you – the buyers agent, or even you – the broker, really should be investigating every possible option you have for impressing clients and making them believe that you are the perfect person to handle their real estate transactions.
Treat your clients the way you would like to be treated.
You want to make sure that they tell their friends, their neighbors, their co-workers, the guy sitting next to them on the flight, whoever – that you are the best person around to handle real estate transactions. You know this already – every time the well starts to dry up, it’s your previous customers and their referrals that put food on your table.
Do what it takes to satisfy your client and get the job done. Start with some new technology if you aren’t already a client of ours. Use mobile, appear to be forward thinking (even if you’re not!!!), and demonstrate your zeal and propensity towards getting the job done quickly and at the best price possible.
We’ve got plenty of articles, podcasts and simple instructions on how to use the platform, how to create campaigns, and we are always here to help you if you need it. No matter how basic your questions or concerns are, we’re happy to answer them for you.
So let’s do this.