Friday, October 30, 2015

A Health Care Benefit While Selling Your Home?

Some property listings and advertisements for listings provide information about the local school district, most likely when it is a school district worth bragging about to potential buyers.

While that makes sense and has its merits, so does providing helpful information about what is nearby to the appropriate demographics. Other than schools, that doesn't seem to happen, and that needs to change.

Of course, the quality of a school district is important. But not if it is a smaller home which does not have room for a family with children, and/or a home in an area which does not cater to school age children.

Just as the school district is a concern for potential buyers with children, there are aspects of a community which appeal to different age groups, even though they are rarely pointed out in a sales situation. Not doing so can cost some home sellers an edge they may have when buyers compare with another property.

Listing agents need to find and utilize more factors about the community when promoting a home for sale. The idea is to sell "this" home ahead of "homes" in general.

These days, the information needed is more readily available than ever before, and should be taken into consideration.

For example, for potential buyers either without children, with grown children, or whose children do not live with them, could very well be in need of convenient health care. To that point, the quality of the local hospital is as important to some potential buyers and sellers as the school district is to others.

Why can't home sale listings include something like "close to 'A' rated West Central Hospital" within the description?

To further the point, here are the recently updated statistics for the 100 largest hospitals within the State of Illinois:

This information is generally available for every state. Right now, your home could be close to the top hospital in your region.

If you are looking to sell your home, and it is nearby to one of the top hospitals in the state (or within 50 miles, for example), shouldn't that be pointed out to potential buyers? If you didn't know about it, how do you expect them to?

Frankly, that might be more helpful to a potential buyer than learning about the "vaulted ceiling in the upstairs bedroom".

Providing a possible health care "benefit", especially at no additional cost, to a potential buyer just might make the difference when the potential buyer compares their needs vs. other properties they might be considering.

If you are a realty agent, this should become an element of your presentation. If you are a potential or current seller, you should research this ASAP in hope of finding another solid reason for a buyer to make an offer. It could be better for your health.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Why Are Las Cruces Home Sales Really Better Than "Reported" ??

The idea should be to promote the sales of homes and not break it down by category if you don't have to. However, this report for Las Cruces NM fails to do so. Even worse, it is the Las Cruces Association of Realtors which issued the report.

It shows that "new" home sales are up, and prices up an impressive 10%. However, the same report shows that "existing" home prices decreased over the same period, even though sales were up slightly. This report also shows that short sales and bank owned property sales are also down over the same period.

What could and should have been a positive report for the market instead becomes a negative for current and potential home sellers in the area. This report should have been ALL homes, whether they are new or "existing".

There is no "total" figure, so we don't know for sure, based on this report, whether or not home sales in total are up, along with prices. As a guess at interpreting the statistics, they are, but it is not worth doing the math that we (as consumers) should not have to do.

I'm sure that some agents will argue with me that with existing home prices being down that it makes those a better buy. However, from the standpoint of a potential seller, this means they likely won't get a more realistic (and higher) asking price than they would have if ALL home sales and prices were "up".

If it were the local home builders association putting out this sort of publicity, I could understand that they want to bring more appeal for their new construction. However, this is a report through the Association of Realtors, which is supposed to be representing home sellers just as much as buyers.

They don't have to lie. Just tell the public that "home sales and prices are up", and not break them down publicly to the detriment of a larger segment of the local population.

It's time to turn a positive into a positive.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Never Mind The Forecast - Stick With The Facts

Here is another example of why there are still so many problems, which should not be "problems", plaguing the real estate community.

I'm finally seeing positive results from certain parts of the country. The key word is "results". More and more communities are able to show that both home sales and home prices are on the rise. This shows that the particular community has a demand, and that a buyer stands a chance to actually be able to profit if they choose to sell in a few years. If not, real estate becomes less of an investment for the future and more of a way to gain tax benefits from basically paying rent with control over the "lease".

Then, I see "reports" such as this one. Leslie Appleton-Young has been a real estate expert in California for many years, and is well respected around the country by experts in the business, including myself.

However, the "story" from this week (10/8/15) does exactly what drives me nuts in this still challenged real estate market.

This story features "projections" for the coming months and into 2016 over and above the number of homes which have actually sold and where prices are going. Furthermore, her quote of “We still have a slightly troubled housing market” doesn't exactly make investors drop everything and call their real estate agent.

The "We still have problems, but expect them to get better" approach is, frankly, one of the things that is hurting the real estate process. And this one is not necessary.

Some publicity is not better than no publicity. This kind of publicity could have, and should have, been a lot more positive. You don't have to be a respected expert to realize that.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Agent's Newspaper Quote Hurts His Own Business

Obviously there are still some realty agents around who think that any publicity is good publicity. When I provide Media Coaching for agents I always stress the importance of being ready to say the right thing at the right time.

Unfortunately, an agent in Washington provides an example of why. Skagit County home sales showed a decline for the month of September. A local agent, given the chance to comment on the story, clearly didn't think before he spoke.

He is quoted in the local newspaper saying: "People do not want to list through the winter months,” “The perception is that things slow down. You don’t have as many buyers during the winter months.”

No wonder they "don't have as many buyers"! If I was a potential buyer within that area reading the local paper or reading it online, I would now think that there won't be any properties to choose from over the next four months.

If I were an owner in that area and considering selling soon, this agent just told me there "aren't as many buyers". According to him, I'd be stuck.

Although this is one small news article, the point is that it is another instance of an agent doing more harm than good.

I can't help but think of the large number of stories in the media about a property up for sale or just sold, especially involving celebrities, in which the agent "would not comment". Those are lost opportunities for major publicity.

This time, the agent was getting publicity for himself and his company, and blew it by not thinking. If that were me, my response would have been "With all of the desirable properties in this area, I'm confident that more people will be looking to come here", or something to that effect.

We need more positive thinking when it comes to getting more homes sold.