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Lessons learned from Adam Carolla

Tue, 23 Jan by Pauline Relkey

Some of you may have watched his show called To Catch a Contractor.

Before launching a successful career as a TV and radio personality, Adam Carolla was a master carpenter and home builder, so he knows the work of skilled craftsmen when he sees it. Likewise, he can spot shoddy construction, and in this series he trains his eye on building blunders and the contractors responsible for them. With the help of no-nonsense builder Skip Bedell and his wife, private investigator Alison Bedell, Carolla seeks retribution for homeowners who have experienced a construction nightmare, by tracking down unscrupulous contractors and forcing them to face the wronged parties. The contractors are then given a chance to redeem themselves by fixing messes they left behind — all while under Adam’s and Skip’s watchful .

I watched a few of his shows lately and was pleasantly surprised by some of the lessons that rang so true for me.

The first lesson hit home – Don’t work out of your area of expertise.  This is so true for most, if not all occupations.  If you’re not sure of what you are doing, get some help from an experienced person or refer the job/client to them.  I have experienced this situation many times over the last 26 years in real estate and I do feel badly when I have to tell one of my clients, “No, I don’t work in that area of real estate, but I can connect you with someone good that does work in that area.”  I have chosen to work residential in Regina and close areas around Regina, but real estate in commercial, acreages, cottages is not my area of preference or expertise.  Yes I was licensed quite a few years ago and even though my license does include those specific areas, I have not pursued them because I don’t have the interest in them and haven’t pursued more training in those areas.  I let the people that know what they are doing in these fields handle the clients.

Another lesson he talked about was “Don’t undercut your competition to get the job.”  So true.  Real estate commissions are a high number and we turn blue explaining why (our costs from advertising to insurance to memberships to our split with our company and with the buyers company, etc.)  The costs are a lot of money and thankfully they usually come from the sale price of the house as most property sellers don’t happen to have that amount of money just hanging around, waiting to be spent.

Undercutting happens a lot in my business and it hurts all of us.  Usually the agents that undercut other agents will also undercut their work for their client.  Maybe they don’t advertise as much as others, maybe they don’t spend time following up on showings and leads, maybe they don’t keep in contact with their seller, don’t keep on top of the real estate market and share that info with their clients, etc.  Unfortunately the seller doesn’t find this out until it is too late and they have listed with the agent who offered the lowest commission.  Food for thought – if that agent was so quick to give up their money (commission), how quick do you think they will be to give up your money (sale price of your property) when an offer comes in?  I’ve always believed in the saying, you get what you pay for.  Thanks Adam.

The best month and day to put a home on the market

Wed, 15 Mar by Pauline Relkey

Homes listed between May 1 through 15 tend to sell 9 days faster and sell 1% above the asking price, according to a U.S. study.

Many homebuyers who start looking for homes in the early spring will still be searching for their dream home months later. By May, some buyers may be anxious to get settled into a new home — and may be more willing to pay a premium to close the deal.

bulbs-flowers

Mark your calendar for a Saturday in May

Research revealed the best day to place a home on the market is Saturday — listings that appear on a for sale by owner site on Saturdays garner 20% more views than early-in-the-week listings.  The second best day to list is Friday, when properties receive 14% more views. (My personal opinion is that the majority of people work Monday to Friday, so they have a bit more leisure time to search online on the weekends and possibly at the end of the week – on Fridays).

Sellers have to be cognizant of other factors, such as weather.  Sellers in nicer climates have more leeway as to when to list their home due to warmer weather patterns. Also, sellers who live in areas without distinct seasonal weather tend to have little variation in sales price based on the month.

But if you ask a Realtor when is a good time to list your property – the answer is now cause I’m here!

 

Realtors call for registry of grow ops, meth labs

Wed, 18 May by Pauline Relkey

Leader Post May 17, 2016
Our provincial association, ASR – the Association of Saskatchewan Realtors, is asking for a registry of former marijuana grow ops and meth labs so that agents and their buyers can be aware of these places.

There could be damage or the buyers could have other inspections done that would eliminate any or most of their concerns.

Moldy drywall and insulation because of moisture intensive growing practices are the most common problems from grow ops. Electrical systems that are rigged and chemical damage are other issues that could be there.

This information is currently held by the RCMP and the municipal police but not available to real estate agents or the general public.  No exact number of former grow ops is known but estimates are at 200+.

For the complete article, click here.

grow op

Why For Sale by Owners don’t Sell

Tue, 19 Jan by Pauline Relkey

10 reasons Why For Sale by Owners Fail

Homeowners trying to sell their homes on their own, also known as for-sale-by-owners (FSBOs) – are driven by several reasons. Although most of them want to save money that they would have otherwise spent on real estate commissions, a few others take the FSBO route because they feel they don’t need a professional to sell their home.

Whatever the reason for attempting to sell solo might be, data from a recent National Association of Realtors survey shows that less than 10 percent of FSBOs actually sell.

There are a lot of reasons why FSBOs fail and do not sell. Some of the top among these are:

1. Too many people to negotiate with
Those deciding to take the FSBO route often have to negotiate with many people. Some of them are likely to be:
• The buyer, seeking the best possible deal.
• The buyer’s agent, who represents the buyer’s best interest.
• The buyer’s lawyer.
• Home inspection companies, working for the buyer, which are likely to find a problem or two with the property.
• Your bank, in case it’s a short sale.
• The appraiser, if the home’s value needs to be assessed.

Without the help of experienced real estate agents, dealing with so many different parties alone is often a tough task for homeowners.

2. Homeowners do not know how to prepare the home for sale.
A majority of homeowners don’t know about the pre listing tasks that FSBOs should do before they list their home for sale. These usually include:
• Decluttering.
• Painting.
• Getting necessary repairs done.
• Getting the floors and carpets cleaned by professionals.
• Ensuring curb appeal of the home.
• Replacing outdated light fixtures.
Homes for sale whether by owners or listed with an agent, just have one chance to impress potential buyers. Neglecting these home sale preparation tips often reduces the homeowners’ chances of selling the house.

3. Owners do not know how to screen potential buyers
FSBOs often have no idea about the difference between pre qualification and pre approval, and they don’t know that buyers should ideally be pre approved or at least pre qualified.
No wonder they let unqualified buyers inspect the house and waste their precious time. Not knowing if a buyer has the ability to purchase the home acts as a big deterrent for homes for sale by owners.

4. Owners fail to solve buyer’s queries
Handling inquiries from buyers on their listings and coordinating showings for their homes are pre requisites for making a sale. However, many homeowners either aren’t able to handle such inquiries on their homes or don’t have the time for them.

Even organizing showings might become an uphill task at times. Because these days potential buyers and their agents want quick responses to their inquiries, they don’t think twice before moving on to the next potential property if their inquiries and requests are unanswered.

5. Owners don’t understand the concept of golden time
According to this concept, homeowners get the most money for their
homes in the first week of putting the property on the market. The longer homes stay on the market, the less money people will be willing to offer for them.

If a buyer tries FSBO first and then hires an agent, the buyer would have already lost the “golden time” window. This will eliminate the buyers who have already viewed the home, might have offered unrealistically low prices and have already moved on.

6. Owners fail to understand the contract procedures
The contract to buy a home involves much more than just the price offered by the buyer. Also, real estate contracts have lots of time lines and clauses and involve several common contract contingencies, such as inspections and mortgages.

Many FSBOs don’t have a firm understanding of such contracts and might not know what they are agreeing to or how to negotiate particular parts of the contract.

7. FSBOs don’t know how to handle the home inspection findings
Home inspections almost always find some issues with houses even when they are relatively newer built. In such cases, the buyer requests problems be fixed or corrected before moving forward with the transaction.

However, many FSBOs believe that there is nothing wrong with their home, which is why they refuse to address the issues brought forward by home inspections. As a result, the sale falls through.

8. FSBOs incorrectly price their homes
FSBOs often price their homes incorrectly due to lack of experience. They set the price too high, which hinders their chances of closing the deal.

9. FSBO homes lack exposure
Homes for sale by owners are sometimes listed on only one website. Thus, FSBOs are unable to give their homes adequate exposure in the market.

However, when buyers hire a real estate agent, the professional can give a property online exposure as well as exposure in the local real estate segment of the newspaper. The agent even has tools to extend the exposure further, which FSBOs don’t have.

10. FSBOs fail in the closing process
Even after an offer is accepted, many things still need to be done prior to the closing. For instance:
• Get the inspections completed within the allotted time.
• Ensure the lawyers approve contracts.
• Check if the buyer has obtained written mortgage commitment.
• Changing the title with land titles

With so many things acting against FSB0s, it’s natural to find many of these properties being sold by real estate agents.

for sale by owner

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