Bottom line, Deadlines… I don’t like them, they can hurt you, but sometimes they are necessary.
If you have read my other posts on bidding wars and putting in offers to buy Virginia, MD or DC homes for sale, you know that I obsess with the art of negotiations. How you put in an offer matters. Want me to prove it? I can send you a 20 minute, non-public raw video I made of an analysis I did for a 7 contract bidding war. We were on the listing side. I compare and ridicule the 7 offers. You can then see how to make your contract stand out and see me yell (at the screen) for not-so-sharply written contracts and how that hurts the client. This shows you what not to do. It shows you a spreadsheet analysis and how to make your offer the best in each column… except maybe the price. I prefer my clients win with the lowest offer or at least not the highest offer. (this private link is only for people not currently working with an agent)
Back to deadlines. I don’t like them. Why? Experience. Seems logical to put in an offer and put a deadline of X days or X hours. Logic won’t win you a home for sale in a seller’s market.
The problem with Deadlines
1. If you give somebody until Tuesday at 3:30pm, the tendency is for the home seller to wait until the entire time. A get out of jail free card, a cart blanch no stress, “we have until Tuesday at 3:30pm” to reply. The buyer sees that as the maximum time to reply. The seller sees it as the minimum time to reply.
2. During that deadline timeframe, they shop your offer. Lets say they were going to get back to you on Monday, but, you gave them an extra day to run up the price.
3. Weakness. A deadline can show weakness. When I get an offer that says to reply by X, they tend to be more desperate buyers. I use this sometimes to get my clients more money on the listing side. So on the buy side, sometimes playing it cool is better
4. Put a fast deadline? Sometimes, but pissing off the seller is also not helpful. So it is a fine balance.
On the Flipside, an example of when a Deadline WAS used.
Here is a client testimonial video where a deadline WAS used to beat out others in a bidding war, before the war could start. Amazing story if I may say so myself. The point? Every deal is different and will your aunt who might be a Realtor, do this for you?!
Tips with Deadlines if you decide to use them 1. Things always take longer then they logically should. So first ask the other side when they think they can review the contract. Then if they say tonight at 7pm, your deadline of 10pm or the next morning seems reasonable.
2. Avoid difficult times like 5pm. People work. Putting a deadline at the exact minute that people clock out… maybe not ideal.
3. Consider starting with no deadline and if things are slow, adding the deadline after the fact
4. Consider reminding the home seller that you have the right to withdraw the offer at any time. Even though this is technically the default, adding that makes it more clear that you might remove it if they wait too long. You remove the security blanket of having all the way up to the deadline with no risk.
What to do when we get a deadline, if you are the seller.
1. Remain calm! Too frequently a deadline will freak out a client. It adds stress.
2. If you are not accepting the contract, there is less of a need to counter within the deadline timeframe. A counter kills off the contract anyhow, so no need to rush to their timeline.
All of this stuff matters in winning bidding wars and ultimately trying to help a client get the best and lowest net on a home. When picking a Maryland, DC or Virginia Real Estate agent, sure you can get a “deal” elsewhere with a discount or rebate, but will your Rebate agent do this? If so… hire them.
These suggestions are general. There is no “So you never use them.” Each deal is unique. Strategy is of utmost importance. So sometimes yes, sometimes no.
If you are sick of losing deals or want to get off on the right foot from the beginning, please reach out to me about where you are looking to buy. Reach out early! As in 3-6 months before you THINK you might be interested in buying.
Update 7/10/2013 Just got PreMLS.com and have launched in 6 cities in the US.
The legend has it that once upon a time there was one book per real estate office that had each real estate home for sale. Likely updated MONTHLY! Then the data moved to computers, but only for agents to see, and then the data went online where the agent OR the buyer could check it WEEKLY for new homes.
Then consumers demanded faster, so Realtors got fancy and delivered DAILY email alerts for new listings. That was earth shaking. But that wasn’t good enough. Sites like FranklyMLS.com started offering nearly INSTANT ALERTS for new listings. Beating out other buyers.
But now the time has come. To be even faster. Even more Instant-er!
Are we talking mere seconds? No. How about going Back to the Future and knowing what will be on the MLS BEFORE IT HAPPENS!! And in a large quantity! Possibly 10-20% of the marketplace one day.
How is that possible?
Consumers demanded it, so Frankly made it, and the Agent community embraced it.
More and more I am seeing the technique of purposefully underpricing a listing in order to create an artificial bidding war. It is a very tempting pitch from your listing agent, but don’t fall for it! They may want you to underprice in order to sell your home quickly and to move on. Their goal might not be to net you the highest amount. And it doesn’t work, in my opinion.
Example (ass described in the video)
Listing 1, our listing. $429,000, sold for $432,600 or 101% of list.
Listing 2, not ours. $399,000, sold for $433,000 or 108% of list
One might initially think listing 2 did better. However, #2 was listed a month after #1 went Under Contract fast (so they should know that it went near full price, and newer listings in an up market tend to ask for about $2,500 more). Listing #2 was nearly identical, but two floors higher plus a fireplace. Two floors is about $6,000 in value, a fireplace, maybe $2k. Yet they only got $400 more on a place worth $8,000 more. The result of underpricing to create a bidding war… a loss of $7,600-$10,000 in value. Oops!
Why doesn’t it work? Bidding War Exhaustion ™,(more…)
Many Realtor blog posts will say “BUY NOW!!”, or “Interest rates can’t get lower!” Over here we first say DON’T BUY, ASK WHY (since 2006 when I had hair).Which means, let’s first figure out if buying is right for you, and THEN move forward. No “don’t want money on rent” B.S. Heck Rent is CHEAPER!!
Did you know the moment you buy a home, you lose 8% equity! For those of you that put down 10%, that is an 80% loss in your investment overnight, or with a stroke of a pen (actually hundreds of strokes, those damn stacks of closing paper).
Everyone has heard about the “Drive a new car off the lot” effect. Well this is the same. (on the flip side, most car values keep going downhill.)
I’m not trying to scare you, but just put into perspective how real and huge an investment this is. You better get it right, and have the right representation (subtle plug?? Contact us 3-6 months before you think you are ready! This ain’t a checkout in Target.). Did your mom’s friend’s agent warn you about this? Or that “great deal” agent? Probably not.
One of my first qualifying questions is “HOW LONG DO YOU PLAN ON LIVING IN (more…)
But this video is from the perspective of the SELLER who might find themselves selling in this Hot Market.
The first instinct is to think one’s house is “easy” to sell. It actually becomes kinda a joke because we hear it so frequently. Everyone thinks their home will be an easy one. Yet it never is.
Especially now that there are bidding wars and it is a seller’s market (meaning sellers have more power now). Heck, why not just throw it up on the MLS (see Throw Up Listings, from 2007, but still applies) since it “sells itself.”
I wish it was that easy. Or maybe I don’t because then I might be out of a job.
Our goal is to get you the highest NET possible. That includes being aware of what you are paying in commission and your alternative options (but heck why go anywhere else). We respect your (more…)
3 FranklyMLS tips and a major update that things are changingand how one user thought we were too busy for them!!
First, Just The Tips!
Tip 1) Add a Favorite
When you click on the in either the spreadsheet mode of the single page featuring a property, you will get hyper updated alerts on changes to this home. Including any price drop, remarks change, more photos, added 3rd party comment, agent sneezing, under contract or even the final SOLD price. An awesome tool that so few utilize.The default is daily email change alerts, but in this market you might want to opt for the alerts as fast as 15 minutes after the change is made (ask us how).
Tip 2) Save a Search!
Again, seems obvious (at least to me) but 80% of the users don’t have a saved search set up properly. Assuming you are logged in, after you conduct a search, press the Save Current Search button in the middle of the screen. This will send you all new listings, price drops and sold prices for everything in your search area and criteria. NO need to obsess and check the site several times a day. Sit back and relax. Also the emails are VERY cell phone friendly with a direct link to the mobile version of the listing.
Ok. You hear about all of these bidding wars and low inventory. Yet your home still sits after 90 or 120 days. Is it the agent’s poor marketing? Is it the lack of follow up?
Did your agent agree to your “hurry up” and get the listing up and thus result in a “Throw Up Listing” that takes longer to sell? (we recently refused/lost a listing because we refused to put up garbage that would hurt the client)
Or did they win you by telling you your house will be on 600 websites! (as if that isn’t the default nowadays, but sounds great!!)
Or you just never hit this blog to get non-boilerplate Listing Advice.
Or maybe it is partly your fault for the home being overpriced? You demanded a price that in your gut felt right? Or they gave you no guidance and said yes to every command. (President’s shouldn’t have “yes men” around them, and you shouldn’t hire a “yes man” agent, hum that sounds like a solo blog post, make sure you subscribe today!)
Perhaps, but has the agent done their part and shown you EACH home that has gone under contract or sold nearby since the day you listed? And have they contacted EACH buyers agent and asked them “I see you bought, xyz, would you mind telling me why you passed on our house?”
My guess, very unlikely. Why? Because that stuff takes time.
So you want to fire them once the listing agreement expires.
A “Back-Up Offer” is an offer that is submitted when a home is already Under Contract (as seen on FranklyMLS with the strikeout line) with another buyer. (sidenote: this post kinda conflicts with my “this home is not available” post on the FranklyMLS blog, feel free to call me out on it).
If the seller signs it, it becomes the “Back-Up Contract.”
Does it happen often?
Sure. My guess is 10-20% of deals. Especially in the first week of being UC. I once had a listing with 4 contracts that fell out!
How does one put in a back up offer?
The second potential buyer will submit, preferably with their buyer’s agent (which should be an exclusive agent), a regular 20+ official contract with an addendum that outlines the details of the “back up offer.” This offer becomes ratified when it is signed by both parties. Then, in the event that the first contract does not perform, then the back-up offer immediately becomes the “primary contract”.
Disclaimer: Do not believe the post title, it is a hyper exaggeration. Your results may come in under $1,000,000 in savings.
But why save Trillions, when you can save Billions?
Ok maybe a bit much, but quote is the cliff notes:“FranklyRealty.com got me more money than I ever would have imagined.” Why exaggerate when you got that?
With all those compelling options buyers and sellers have today, I think I need to go into more detail explaining exactly how a great agent can help you NET more and more importantly win a home when inventory is tight.
This client is the perfect candidate to explain exactly what we do. A year ago his approach to real estate was typical “I’m smart” (oftentimes a lawyer or professional) and “I will go For Sale By Owner, FSBO, tosave money selling and I’ll be really smart and I will use a rebater tosave on buying.”
But then he got educated. Read almost every blog post in this Blog and became a convert (ie. even smarter than smart). He took the leap and used Frankly Real Estate and is here to share his experience with others considering FSBO, Rebating or your mom’s friendly Realtor (which is an upcoming post, so make sure to subscribe!). Don’t get me wrong, I am not knocking going solo via FSBO (see best post ever on “saving” $20,000 via FSBO) or Rebaters.
Heck, my long standing moto has been “I used to rebate, but then I got good”.
P.S. What do you all think about an informal (rsvp required) home buying seminar for repeat or 1st time home buyers in the $500-$1.3M range (too many seminars out there for the $100-$300k range buyer). I thought the concept was cheesy, but was like “actually it could be pretty cool.” You in?
p.s.s. Did you see my tweet on how my HGTV stars/clients are selling their Arlington home 3 years later? Here is the listing: AR7949281 it looks amazing.
This post may self destruct, for it tells too much! Yep, I might remove this post after my 1,000 subscribers get it in their inbox (are you signed up, do so in the upper right). Hopefully the competition doesn’t get to it. (I have already had one request to take it down)
So you have probably read newspaper articles about bidding wars on homes for sale in the Maryland, DC and Northern Virginia area. Especially houses in Arlington Virginia.
The inventory is tight and people are off to the races. Sometimes 5 offers, sometimes more.
This site is mostly about buying and selling real estate in Virginia, MD and DC, but most don’t realize that I also like to take an active role with the lending process. Kinda spot checking to make sure things look right and bringing up “oh, I hadn’t thought of that, type stuff.” Those little things can make a $15,000 difference. Does your agent do that?? (again, why you shouldn’t hire a buyer or listing agent based on bullet points, but instead based on a brain)
Anyhow, today I wanted to discuss something that came up with a blog reader via my online chat (see right column). He was heading down the path of a 10% mortgage, even though he had more cash. He wanted to be “conservative” and have a cushion.
(sidenote: I love that word. I once used it on a brother of a friend of mine. He was telling stories about his life that nobody believed. I said respectfully that what he was saying was awesome, but so awesome that it was Un-Believe-able to my mind. Beyond my ability to
comprehend. But in a “if it is true, you are a God” complimentary way.)
This buyer trick is like that. Maybe this will start to explain to you what a great thinking agent can do for you. Give you that leg up. None of this comparing agents by the length of their bullet point list of offerings. (see video on not picking a listing agent by comparing bullet point lists)
What if I told you, you could get systematically alerts for new listings BEFORE THEY HIT THE MLS (more…)
FranklyRealty.com is on fire, adding 5 full time agents (noticed I didn’t say “new,” we don’t take new agents) in the Va, DC and MD areas.
But also the agents are on fire.
I periodically do a search on the search bar of FranklyMLS.com for our company name: FranklyRealty.com. This lets you see in 1 click all of our Active and Under Contract (crossed out= UC) listings. Just one measure of how we are doing.
FPP stands for Frankly Price Predictor and it is the coolest new feature on FranklyMLS.com. So cool, it is patent pending.
The goal of FPP is to predict a home’s closing price, IF IT SOLD TODAY. Disclaimer: Please do NOT take it seriously.Consider it more like a TOY (at least for now).
FPP uses historic listing data (see below) to predict the price. It is NOT an AVM (which uses tax data and home data). Try a search for Arlington Condos.
An “AVM” is an Automated Valuation Model. The focus is on“value,” and it is for every home, listed or not.
Tools like Zillow’s Zestimate and Cyberhomes, use public data and recent sales. Many consider them wildly inaccurate. But heck, it makes for GREAT marketing! (Hats off to the Zillow team!). How “accurate” are they? In a Zillow report, the DC area is one of their most “accurate” areas, yet not even 50% of homes close within 5% of the Zestimate. So over 50% of $500k homes are off by over $25k!
Are Zestimates better than tax data, sure! Will we still show Zestimates on FranklyMLS? Sure. The more data the better, right? Is it better than a Realtor combing through comps, heck no (and they disclose that it is not a Realtor replacement).
How is FPP different than all those other “AVMs” or Automated Valuation Models are “value” estimators? (more…)
I called it in 2007 when I said that those $60-90 “processing fees” were illegal “kickbacks” that Realtors and Brokers got for pushing Home Warranty companies. (see 2007 post).
My exact words in 2007 in case you missed it: “I wouldn’t be surprised if soon there is a class action lawsuit that will come after these firms and the Realtors that are colludingto the detriment of their client.”
Well it finally happened. Of course the defendant doesn’t agree with or accept any responsibility. Here is the website announcing the class action settlement. It is against AHS, the #1 home warranty company. The period is from May 2007 to Dec 2010. AHS was selling home warranties for $400 and giving the recommending broker $60 to $90 in “admin fees.”
Why does this matter? Kickbacks are illegal under (more…)