Monday, March 17, 2014

If The Agent Doesn't Care, Why Should A Potential Buyer?

It should not be as difficult to buy this resort area house no matter how hard the listing agent tries to make it. Or any house, for that matter.

There is what is actually a very nice property available in the resort community of Sundance UT (yes, by where the famous film festival takes place), but it is being marketed as poorly as possible.

The nationally available advertisement for this home is a prime example of what not to do, which is unfortunate for the seller.

The primary photo, as well as several others, show the exterior during a time of day when there is no sunshine, to the point where we can see lights on in the house itself. Several of the other exterior photos do not show any part of the house or the property, with some showing bright sunshine over the fields while another shows it as snow covered. Huh?

Meanwhile, the few interior photos are excellent, but are mixed in at a seemingly random order, and lack the continuity needed for a potential buyer to get a feel for the property.

Next, anyone who starts to read the property description copy (as of this writing) sees a major spelling error in the second sentenced, as the word "priced" is clearly misspelled. Before you start to contact me to tell me that spelling errors can happen, check this ad and realize that this very property has now been advertised on this web site for MORE THAN ONE YEAR.

The highlighted price decrease in this advertisement is not even the most recent one.

In other words, this careless agent just puts in the newest (and lower) price, and seemingly doesn't bother to check spelling, the photo layout, or anything else.

If you read further into this description, to the part about the trails and mountains and other features of the nearby park areas, you will see the "enjoy incredible natural beauty and occasional forest critters" part.

By show of hands, how many people considering purchasing in a resort area want to be where there are "forest critters"?

My point exactly. Especially when there appears to be several interior selling points which go ignored within the same description.

Ah, but there is more.

Here is more of what this advertisement actually says:

Square footage figures are provided as a courtesy estimate only and was obtained from county records. Buyer is advised to obtain an independent measurement. Call list agent for update on sq. ft.”


Is this an agent you would want to talk with about a $295,000 property?


While I can understanding needing to say that the square footage is an estimate, just how much does this listing agent expect a potential buyer to do? What has been “updated”? Why should a potential buyer obtain “an independent measurement”? Does that impact the price or the ability to buy?


Chances are a potential buyer, either for this same geographic area or seeking a resort area property, has plenty of other choices, and just one click away.


That’s not fair to the seller of this property, who is probably wondering why their property remains unsold after more than one year. But it’s also not fair to potential buyers, one of which could get an outstanding deal at a lower price, primarily due to the carelessness of the listing agent.


Frankly, this seller should “resort” to hiring someone capable.



Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Home Sellers' Biggest Problems - part 1

A huge reason that so many home owners can't sell their homes is because of how homes are marketed, and not necessarily because of anything being "wrong" with their own home.

For some reason that continues to baffle me, all purchased home are lumped into a single statistical category, whether they are, to use the term, distressed properties or not. Let me put it this way. Suppose a current year $25,000 car was repossessed by the lender and sold for $10,000 to recover the cost of that specific loan. If you took "proof" of that sale and went to your nearest car dealer and attempted to buy that current year for $10,000 because "that's what it is selling for", do you think the dealer would come down that far with the price?

I don't think so, either. However, for whatever reason, realty agents and real estate appraisers fail to do that when it comes to homes. Worse yet, realty associations across the country openly support this.

You see, the home sales figures, home price trends, and other comparative statistics released each month to the news media, treat foreclosed upon homes and short sale homes in the same realm as a paid up home seller looking to profit or needing to move. These foreclosure and short sale homes are sold for amounts designed to cover the outstanding loan, and are really less, often significantly less, than the actual value of the home.

Suppose there is a development with 20 houses which sold new for $300,000 each a few years ago. Now let's suppose that three of the owners of those 20 houses all defaulted on their monthly mortgage payments, forcing either foreclosure or short sales. Investors bought those three homes. One at $160,000, another at $170,000, and the third went for $180,000 in order to satisfy the outstanding loan amounts.  Now suppose you own a home in that development, have made all of your mortgage payments with no problem, and get a new job that creates the need for you to sell and move to a different area.

Guess what? An appraiser and potential buyers will point out to you that the "average" home sale in your development within the past six months was for $170,000, which is the middle and average price of those three distressed homes. While you continue to pay the mortgage and successfully maintain your home. Perhaps you have upgraded to increase its value. However, if you sell your home at a more than $120,000 loss, you might even owe money to get it off your hands, when you haven't done anything wrong.

At the same time, based on those three so-called sales, the local real estate report will include how local sales are "up", based on those three homes in your development which were documented as having been sold. Let's say there is another foreclosure next month, and THAT house is sold by the bank for $200,000. Guess what? You'll have realty associations spreading the news that home sales in your neighborhood are UP 10% over three months ago. And guess what? YOU would still lose at least $100,000 in order to sell your home under those conditions.

THIS is what is happening in much of the country. Even though foreclosures and short sales should NOT count toward home sale statistics and pricing, they still do. And for whatever bizarre reason, realty associations publish the sales and price increase statistics every month no matter what the consequences. They seem to think this is a positive. It is not.

They must think that people actually buy and sell homes based on monthly and yearly comparative statistics.

However, this all ties in with marketing. Anything to tell people that home sales are up and prices are good for buyers, when it hides how many legitimate sellers, who can pay their bills, are being screwed by the foreclosures and short sales. That's why marketing is a problem. People are being made to think the market is better than it is, all because of distressed properties.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Now "Lou Grant" Has Spunk

As much as we thank and respect Ed Asner for his TV work over the years, at the age of 84 he deserves a ton of credit for his real estate prowess. Stories like this were once commonplace, especially in Southern California, but these days all too rare.

Asner just sold his Studio City estate for more than double what he reportedly paid for it back in 1996. The reported amount is near $800,000. 

This is wonderful to see, especially in this era of homes stuck being sold at or under what was paid for them only a few years ago. 

Frankly, THIS is the story that should be published by the local realty associations in California, instead of the usual data about home sales and prices, even when they decline.

Way to go, "Mr. Grant"!,0,3714979.story#axzz2ujLMypns 

NOTE: Mr. Kohl's new book, "8 Hours To Sell Your Home", is specifically designed to help home owners prepare to sell their home for a higher price.