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Ronda Allen's Blog

By Ronda Allen | Agent in Amarillo, TX
  • That distressed property may very well be move-in ready!

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Dallas  |  August 24, 2010 6:03 AM  |  625 views  |  No comments

    As we picked up the pieces after the tsunami that hit our housing market in Summer, 2008, the North Texas region took stock of the situation.  We took a hit, but it wasn't quite the catastrophe that we feared.  Some sections of DFW are still digging out of the rubble, but we're mostly back on high ground with merely a few bumps and bruises.  I never thought I would be so thankful for working in a single-digit appreciation market. 

    It's now end of Summer, 2010.  We've been in a steady recovery mode all year.  What's left in our distressed property market must surely be so picked over that only gross, unsellable properties remain, right?  Why would anyone in their right mind want to buy a home at the Bargain Basement, and then have to spend money to fix them up?  Where is the deal in that?

    A best-kept secret:  DFW's distressed property market is filled with homes that may still be available, but aren't necessarily in poor condition.  Some of them are move-in ready.  Some of them are completely new.  And, even the ones that are damaged seem, from my most recent showings, to need not a whole lot more investment than paint and flooring - just like any typical resale investment. 

    So, why haven't these little gems been picked up?

    1.  The term Distressed Property is misleading!

    These properties were not distressed.  These owners were distressed.  It was the finances of the owners that became the issue and the complete lack of effort by major banking institutions to mitigate loans in the early days of the recession that caused the situation.  The house was just another victim. 

    2.  The agents are burnt out on the short sale debaucle!!!

    Three exclamations.  Seriously, I mean this.  Real estate agents are exhausted from the mess inside some of the largest lenders in our country.  How many dozens of times would your work have to be for naught before you burned out?  It is hard to fight the groan that wants to escape when you pick up the phone to speak with a buyer and the home they saw online turns out to be a short sale.  Here we go again.  These are NOT easy transactions.  It's like being blindfolded and told to walk across a field mottled with land mines.  I put together a really great short sale packet, and have successfully closed short sales.  I've even obtained the SFR designation (Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource).  But, even I am burned out on the high percentage of buyer back-outs on short sales.  You see, it isn't so much the buyer not wanting the house.  And, in many cases the buyer is perfectly qualified and the paperwork is pristine.  But, no matter how much you coach them on the length of time it could take to get the transaction completed, the buyer who says they are willing to wait gets tired of waiting and moves on.  You end up selling them a regular resale home, builder home, or build job - it just took 2-6 months longer to do what you knew you'd be doing eventually.

    3.  The buyers who stepped forward previously weren't making serious offers.

    With so many of these homes, the buyers who stepped forward were not taking the local sale comparatives into account.  And, agents were letting them just throw offers in at whatever price the buyer wanted to offer.  This isn't how distressed properties get sold.  Comps rule in the North Texas region.  There isn't a bank out there who cares that the tax value is 'X' or the offer is 'Y' if the 90-day sale comparatives reflect a higher fair market value.  The bank has the right to accept, reject, or counter-offer in a short sale situation.  The bank is going to order a Broker Price Opinion (BPO), to get an up-to-date value to define as fair market.  So, many of these short sale homes continue to sit on the market in active status pending review, or fall back out of contract along the way.  That doesn't mean that there was anything wrong with the house.  It just means that the negotiations broke down - in some cases, even before they really began.

    4.  The buyer(s) could not qualify under tighter lending rules.

    Some of these properties simply fell out of contract because the buyer was not provided with the loan for which they applied.  I won't say the buyer was denied their loan, because some of the larger banking institutions don't want the reputation of having denied home loans.  So, they hang the home up in the Underwriting process until the buyers get so frustrated that they go find another lender.  The lender may hold that loan up for weeks, and even come back and ask for more information, like they are really planning to make that loan.  But, they aren't.  It's a stall tactic so you'll leave, rather than have to be formally denied.  We agents have countered back hard on this tactic by taking business to smaller, local banks and credit unions.  But, by the time all of this has occured, the buyer is feeling pretty beat up by lenders, and their perception of the home may be tarnished.  A normal resale house with a seller and  buyer both having agents representing them begins to look like the more sane choice.  So, their agent finds them a different house.

    You'll be pleasantly surprised by the age of the distressed homes left in DFW, the relatively good condition, the location, and the price.  I continue to be pleased with them.  From the $90k cottage to the $500k mcmansion , these poor homes were built in 2008 or earlier and they need someone to rescue them.  They need to be cleared out of our market in 2010.  The condition of a home deteriorates over time from lack of use.  The sooner we clear them out, the better it is for our community.

    Have a blessed day!

    Ronda



    Ronda Allen - Realtor

    Certified Purchasing Manager - C.P.M.

    Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource - SFR

    Texas Affordable Housing Specialist - TAHS

    CEO of comingsoonhomes.com since 2005

    Activerain #1 Realtor in Prosper, TX and Top 135 in Texas (8/2010)

    RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs #1 Office for RE/MAX in the North Texas region 2009 AND first half 2010!

    Follow us on twitter:  www.twitter.com/comingsoonhomes and http://www.twitter.com/prospertxhomes

  • New Texas Realtors: Learn to Trust your Gut!

    Posted Under: Agent2Agent in Dallas  |  May 8, 2010 6:40 AM  |  868 views  |  1 comment

    I've asked around to a few of my most trusted peers in Collin County, TX, and found that the one piece of advice they would share with a new agent is:  Trust your gut.

    Sometimes, your gut will tell you that you are: 1. About to work with a difficult client. 2. About to attempt to sell an unsellable house. 3. Spending too much time with people for too little income.  4. Mis-matched from the very start. 

    Listen to your gut.  You are very likely correct.  The decisions you have to make, when your gut tells you that the circumstances you face aren't favoring you, will be difficult ones.  But, if you make the right one, you will realize that a little discomfort is worth it.  This industry comes with a big responsibility - to have honest and truthful conversations with people that are not always going to be pleasant.  Being tactful as you have those candid conversations is a must. 

    1.  The difficult client.

    You just thought you knew difficult people before you got into real estate.  Now, you get to see people making what is likely their single largest investment.  Melt-downs are fairly common - for them, and unacceptable - for you.  You are their expert.  You must remain calm at all times.  But, you also have to draw an imaginary line for yourself.  Determine what you'll take from people.  You aren't a door mat.  My own philosophy is that nobody gets to speak to me in a way that I would not tolerate from my spouse.  I have a great spouse.  He doesn't yell, he isn't mean, and he would never give me the cold shoulder.  He's actually really cool to be around.  If I'm going to be your expert, you're going to be pretty cool to be around.  One time in 9 years, I asked a gentleman to remove himself from my vehicle.  I'm very good about staying out of the conversations that occur between couples in the car during a home tour.  But, on day 3 of a home tour, I had just about all the witnessing of disrespect directed toward his wife that I could tolerate from this man.  He and I left the vehicle, and I advised him that I am a self-employed individual and he crossed over a limit that I maintain in my business.  I offered to have the broker come pick them up and return them to their car, or we could agree that there are limits to acceptable behavior and continue on with the home search.  He thought for a minute and apologized.  He apologized to me and to his wife.  We continued on the home search, found the home, and the rest of he transaction came off without a hitch.  He could have opted to discontinue the home search, which is something I would have had to be okay with, since I was the one who drew the line in the sand.   Be respectful, be calm, and have the integrity to not allow people to cross over you own personal boundaries.

    2.  The unsellable house.

    The public assumes that if you list a home for sale, it is reasonable to assume that their home will sell.  But, the reality is that not every home sells in a single cycle.  Some homes take 2, 3, 4, or more buyer cycles.  Other homes just don't sell, and get the reputation of being the 'unsellable' house.  When you see the signs, you have to have the guts, as a Texas Realtor, to tell people that they have the potential of being that unsellable house.  More often than not, it is because the sellers discount the objections that a buyer may have to their home in comparison to others.  Location is a big one.  Condition is another.  Price goals that are out of whack with comparative sales are also a cause.  The last thing any seller wants to be is the home that took over a year to sell.  But, it happens.  An agent can give a home all the exposure possible, and yet a buyer may not select it.  Solicit feedback, and follow up to ensure the feedback is really related to what specifically was liked or disliked about that particular home in the buyers' minds.  Of the homes the buyer toured (maybe 8-10 homes in an average showing appointment), was this home #2 or #10? And, why?  Now, share that information with the owners.  Be real with the client.  Your job is provide options to them to become the sellable house.  It is best to get them on board right from the start.  Overcoming objections up front is best.  If not possible, then you have no choice than to price the home with the objections addressed and explaining to the seller why the list price needs to be lower.  Taking the listing, and then correcting along the way, is the more popular route.   

    3.  Working below the minimum wage is called CHARITY.

    Think of yourself as a free-standing business.  Just because your office is in your car and in your home doesn't make this any less a business.  Treat it with respect.  Fast-food restaurants are a great example.  They give you a preview sign in case you aren't sure what you want (we preview homes online in much the same way), and some have 2-3 windows for service.  The goal - get you through the line quickly, but with a pleasant experience, so you want to return.  Same with real estate.  As a business owner, you must always compare the amount of time it will take to service the clients needs against the time you put into it.  Total time needs to be taken into account - phone interviews, computer searches, previewing homes online together, meetings at the office, time touring properties, writing the offer, and managing the details to the closing table.  On occasion, you'll be asked to take on a client that is going to put you in the hole financially.  You'll spend way more time with them than you should, and your bottom line will result in having worked for just cents per hour.  Literally.  Cents per hour.  BELOW minimum wage.  You have to decide if these cases are charity, and you are really volunteering your time, or if they are a time-waster.  It is tough in a self-employed business to say 'no, thank you' to a client opportunity.  But, over time, you'll learn that you must do this to stay in business.  Like any other business, you have expenses and a wage that should be expected for your efforts.  No apologies.  There will not be a time when you regret having turned away what you know was a negative transaction from the start.

    4.  Mis-matched agents and clients.

    If you aren't the type who can tolerate many different personality styles, then you have no business in real estate.  Again, think of yourself as a free-standing business with a front door, through which all sorts of clients will enter.  Some of those will be looky-loo clients, some will be serious clients, and others might be serious clients, but not easy for you to serve.  Only you can decide how far you're willing to go to accommodate that client.  If you aren't happy, then the chances are that,the client isn't that happy with you, either.  A difficult relationship is uncomfortable for both of you, and makes it very hard to build trust and rapport.  With a little experience, you will come to recognize the clients with whom you work the best, and your targeted marketing program will attract your best clients your direction.  Until then, you are earning the thick skin that will see you through your career in real estate.  In the beginning, you may just have to grin and bear it, as they say.  Later on, you can recognize a mis-matched client, and introduce them to an agent you know who is better suited to serve them.  They'll be happier, and so will you.  There is nothing wrong with admitting that there may be an agent who can serve the customers' needs better and asking if you can make an introduction. 

    It isn't always a personality type that causes a mis-match.  Hours of the day, and days of the week can cause friction.  Personally, I start work at 7am.  So, a 6pm showing tour is not going to make me a happy camper.  Why?  I normally stop working at 7pm.  I would have already put in 11 hours that day, and now it's going to be a 13-14 hour day.  Is anybody happy about working 13-14 hours in a single day?  It's pretty exhausting, and it creeps into my already limited personal, family time.  I would much rather have that buyer wait until the weekend to see homes if they cannot start their tour earlier than 6pm.  I know other agents who would not ever dream of working on a Sunday.  Every agent is a freelance contractor and sets their own schedule.  If a buyer can only look for homes on weekends, and wants both Saturday and Sunday to tour homes, then that particular agent is not going to be well-suited for that client.  There isn't a buyer's agent around who hasn't sacrificed their schedule for a customer.  But, doing it too often makes for a very unhappy agent, and possibly problems on the homefront as well.  Success in real estate demands time and personal commitment - and some sacrifice of time by the agent's family. 

    Trust your gut, set your boundaries, and be flexible without sacrificing too much. 

    Have a blessed day!

    Ronda

    Ronda Allen - Realtor

    Certified Purchasing Manager - C.P.M.

    Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource - SFR

    Texas Affordable Housing Specialist - TAHS

    CEO of comingsoonhomes.com since 2005

    RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs

    #1 Office for RE/MAX in the North Texas region 2009!

    Follow us on twitter:  www.twitter.com/comingsoonhomes and http://www.twitter.com/prospertxhomes

    Friend me on Facebook:  Ronda Wise Allen

    Your client referrals R always welcome!

  • There are days when it really BITES to be a real estate agent in Anytown, USA!

    Posted Under: Home Selling in Dallas  |  March 17, 2010 5:29 PM  |  680 views  |  6 comments

    "Ronda, it takes a thick skin and a big savings account to be in real estate."  A top producing agent in Plano, TX told me that when I was a rookie nine years ago.  It has never held more true than today.  Why today?  I could say because of the state of the economy or the sad state of the lending industry.  Those would be true and valid reasons.  But, it really has to do with the fact that there are so many ways that buyers can flake out on a deal along the way, and the price that the seller, the agents, and others pay as a result of not knowing when the buyer is a flake! 

    Real estate agents are trained at overcoming objections and negotiating what should be a mutual gain for both the seller and buyer.  A home for a sum of money.  Certain repairs (if necessary) to ensure the home functions as it was intended.  A reasonable amount of time for loan processing and document preparation to allow for a smooth closing experience.  But, when it really BITES to be a real estate agent is when you have to be the bearer of bad news that all your efforts to sell a home were for naught, as the buyer decides to terminate the contract at the last minute and for a reason that should not have been a deal-breaker.

    Don't get me wrong.  There are times when termination is necessary.  There are times when termination of the contract is the most reasonable course of action.  But, for a buyer to terminate over what amounts to lame excuses, using a loophole in the contract as an exit strategy, is appalling.  I won't use specifics, because the specifics all result in the same result:  A Termination Notice.  Specifics only add insult to injury.  Even the best of us have encountered buyers like this.  The buyer's agent is totally embarrassed.  The seller is furious.  And, the listing agent has lost a ton of time and effort getting the contract so close to the closing table, but has no choice but to follow the letter of the law as established in the contract.   

    There are other people who are out in the cold, too, when the deal falls apart at the last minute.  The title company has a title commitment, a completed survey, and HOA resale certification ordered.  Their efforts are for naught.  The lender has an appraisal on-hand and a file that is 75-80% complete.  The home warranty has been ordered.  The seller is out for repairs.  There are so many people impacted negatively by the actions of the buyer, who offers only a simple 'sorry' and goes along the way with no more than the loss of their miniscule option fee.  Oh, and add the usual 'and thank you for your professionalism' tagged onto the back of their email, since they were too afraid to call you.  UGH!  Really?!?

    Flaky buyers are like flaky biscuits:  The heat of the moment causes their flakiness.  The days ticking by toward closing must sound like the heartbeat in Edgar Allen Poe's short story The Tell-Tale Heart -pounding louder and louder until they just can't stand it.  They must opt out before it's too late and they are forced to buy that big, beautiful home that they just loved a few weeks back.  The one they had to see four times before they wrote the contract.  They forget they loved it and they get 'spooked', even though the repairs were minor, the home appraised, and they got a great deal. 

    Yes, if you are selling your home, the person presenting themselves as the buyer could be a flake.  And, if they are, you won't know for certain until the 11th hour.  But, in order to get the house sold, we must open our minds, cross our fingers, and say a prayer.  As another dear veteran agent in Plano, TX told me back in 2001, "When real estate deals go astray, and accept that some of them do, all you can do is feel it with your client, and then say a prayer and let it go".   So, here is mine:   "Dear Lord, please don't let the next buyer be a flake.  Please let it be as it is with tornadoes and lightning - very rare that they strike twice in the same place.  Please make this home a flake-free zone.  And, Lord, bless my sellers and all the other innocent people involved in this transaction.  We certainly didn't deserve this.  All we can assume is that you have a better buyer in store for this seller, and we accept Your plan and remain in a place of Faith.  Amen!" 

    Have a blessed day!

    Ronda


    Ronda Allen - Realtor

    Certified Purchasing Manager - C.P.M.

    Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource - SFR

    Texas Affordable Housing Specialist - TAHS

    CEO of comingsoonhomes.com since 2005

    RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs

    #1 Office for RE/MAX in the North Texas region 2009!

    Follow us on twitter:  www.twitter.com/comingsoonhomes and http://www.twitter.com/prospertxhomes

    Friend me on Facebook:  Ronda Wise Allen

    Your client referrals R always welcome!

  • Buyer's Agent: ACTIVELY manage that purchase transaction!

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Dallas  |  March 16, 2010 8:58 AM  |  619 views  |  2 comments

    I feel, lately, like I'm doing a skit from Saturday Night Live called REALLY?!?  A little more care and diligence needs to be taken by some buyer's agents to ensure they do the right thing by their clients.  Two examples that are real life instances we're having to deal with right now prove this point:

    1.  The Option Check

    The Texas Real Estate Contract for 1-4 family dwellings calls for the option check to be delivered within 2 days of the execution of the contract.  That's about as black and white as the issue can be made.  Failure to do so voids the option period and the contract goes straight to contract pending status in the MLS.  REALLY?!?  Because a buyer's agent cannot be bothered to get in their car to deliver a check to the other agent's office, the buyer doesn't get the option period that they thought they were entitled to in the terms of the contract.  Read the fine print.  If the check isn't delivered on time, there is still an executed contract, but there is NO option period.  There are plenty of excuses under the sun, but none of them override the terms of the contract.  And, don't make the mistake of delivering the option check to the title company.  They won't take it.  Only the earnest money gets deposited with the contract at the title company.


    2.  The Underwriter

    Wow!  Since when is the Underwriter like the great and powerful Wizard of Oz?  Nobody can peek behind the curtain, talk to them, or apply any pressure to perform to the terms of the contract.  REALLY?!?  This is insane!  So many files are now getting hung up in Underwriting that it is costing buyers homes that they really want to buy.  Is the lender using the Underwriting process as a black hole, to stall out files to give themselves more time?  Are they putting conditions on the buyer that are lame to stall?  Are they legitimately coming across issues that must be resolved, or have the rules just gotten so tight that they don't feel empowered to do their job?  Nobody can answer that.  But, what else can a seller do but refuse to give yet another extension while a file waits in Underwriting with no updates for a week, 10-days, 15-days or longer?  Sellers are moving on to their backup buyers and getting the deal done.  It's their only recourse when nobody at the original buyer's lender will give a substantial update as to the status of the file and the prospective release date.  "Maybe Monday", "Maybe Friday", "Maybe next week".  These are not valid responses.  Buyers and sellers are having to be somewhat flexible these days.  Lending rules have gotten outrageously tight.  The pendulum will eventually swing back to the sane and reasonable.  But, not right now.  So, for now, patience wears thin and prospective buyers are sent packing.  Very likely, poor choice of lender was more the reason than their own buying power.  Outsourcing of any part of the transaction causes a loss of control.  But, the result is heartbreaking no matter the reason.


    Agents:  Dot the I's and cross the T's.  Don't let oversights cause you to underperform the services that you owe your client.  Don't be surprised when a listing agent holds you to the terms of the contract.  That's what a good one will do.  And, don't sabotage the transaction by lazy monitoring of the loan progression between the contract execution and the closing date.  Don't allow your buyers to over-reach their buying power - that is NEVER a good policy.  Don't show your client homes they cannot afford.  There is not a good reason for closing a home purchase contract late.





    Ronda Allen - Realtor

    Certified Purchasing Manager - C.P.M.

    Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource - SFR

    Texas Affordable Housing Specialist - TAHS

    CEO of comingsoonhomes.com since 1995

    RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs

    #1 Office for RE/MAX in the North Texas region 2009!

    Follow us on twitter:  www.twitter.com/comingsoonhomes and http://www.twitter.com/prospertxhomes

    Friend me on Facebook:  Ronda Wise Allen

    Your client referrals R always welcome!

  • Dallas: Prosper, TX: Could an EXPIRED listing be your perfect match!

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Dallas  |  March 11, 2010 6:41 AM  |  518 views  |  1 comment

    Yesterday, I blogged about how lean the housing inventory has gotten for both homes for sale in Prosper, Texas and homes for lease.  When the market leans out like this, it becomes more difficult to find an adequate number of properties to match up to the buyer's search criteria.  In these times, we have to rely on our expertise in the area and the relationships we've developed in the community to create a larger pool of properties. 

    Expired Listings

    Going back over the MLS offerings that didn't sell in 2008 and 2009 is a great way to find properties matching the buyer's criteria.  Some of those buyers decided to stay put when their home wasn't sold.  But, others would still like to sell, but are just uncertain if the timing is right and wary from their last experience.  How surprised they are when I knock on their door and say I have a buyer who fits their home.  It's actually one of the most enjoyable parts of my job.  People just don't expect it, and they are usually very pleased and willing to set up a showing appointment.  This isn't a guarantee that the buyer is going to buy their home.  But, these people who weren't even in the open market are getting a shot at a buyer in their community without so much as a sign in the yard.  What does my buyer client get?  A chance at a home that has no competition.  It's a win:win.

    Word-of-Mouth Listings

    The agent network has always been a good source of matching buyers and sellers.  We begin marketing a home as soon as we list it - even if the seller has some work to complete around the house before we can start showing it.  But, we also have casual conversations with people in our community.  These are folks who would like to move up to a larger home or move down to a smaller home if/when they feel the time is right.  We know they'd like to sell, but they aren't on the market and we have no current plans to put a sign in their yard.  It's just a casual conversation.  But, anytime we know we have a seller who would like to sell and a buyer who would like to buy, we have the opportunity to match up those individuals and see if we can make a deal. 

    Anybody can go online and view homes for sale on the internet and pick one.  But, it's the buyer who works with a Realtor, who is open to trusting that agent to find them the best match in the community, who gets the best home. 

    Have a blessed day!

    Ronda




    Ronda Allen - Realtor

    Certified Purchasing Manager - C.P.M.

    Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource - SFR

    Texas Affordable Housing Specialist - TAHS

    CEO of comingsoonhomes.com since 1995

    RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs

    #1 Office for RE/MAX in the North Texas region 2009!

    Follow us on twitter:  www.twitter.com/comingsoonhomes and http://www.twitter.com/prospertxhomes

    Friend me on Facebook:  Ronda Wise Allen

    Your client referrals R always welcome!

  • Anatomy of an Aged Home Listing in Anytown, USA

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Dallas  |  February 19, 2010 8:03 AM  |  815 views  |  No comments

    I know I'm preaching to the choir this morning, but I wanted to discuss aged listings today.  We all have them at one point or another.  Some listings sell so quick that we don't even get the marketing established on them or reap any benefits of meeting new clients through the listing of the home.  Yet, others, ripen on the vine for no apparent reason.  They just don't get picked.  We warn the public that they don't want to become one of those aged listings.  We warn them it is a horrible position to be in.  But, do we educate them on why it's not a good idea?  I don't think we always do the best job of telling people the back-story behind our experiences.  We get into the habit of expecting people just to take our word for it because the regional real estate market is our workplace. 

    I see these campaign tv spots and just shake my head.  The candidate touts that the 5 best housing markets in the nation are in Texas.  Oh, please.  Yes, when we can sell a home, we are working our tails off to negotiate the best deal possible and gain the top dollar for our clients.  All real estate agents would do the same.  But, we do have a market with a lot of new construction competition, and we're still saturated in some parts of the Metroplex.  We're not out of the woods entirely, yet.  We're tons better than 2008, and we're gaining over last year.  There is a stronger focus on resale sales than in just the past few years.  But, we have lots of homes sitting on the market and not getting picked.  The four biggest reasons I hear:

    1.  Contingencies.  "We have a home to sell first, before we can buy in DFW."

    2.  Lending issues.  "We have some credit issues that need to be cleared up before we can buy at the level we'd like.  We're going to rent for a year or two."

    3.  Confusion.  "We like the house, but we only want to buy it at a steal, and we're not sure how low we can offer. We're just going to keep watching to see if the list price comes down some more".

    4.  Criticism.  Buyers getting caught up with weighing the pros and cons of each house and losing sight of the fact that they're supposed to be picking one to purchase. 

    So, what's it like to be the owner of a home that is dealing with not just one, but maybe all of the issues stated above?  Incredibly frustrating.  Emotional.  Horrible. 

    You loved your home.  You maintained it.  You keep it show ready.  Every agent that brings someone through comments favorably, but no offers come.  Are you surprised by that?  NO offers come in on many of these homes.  They sit, they get showings, and no offers come.  Worse than that, maybe only a horrible low-ball, hit-and-run offer comes in.  You lower your price, and they still don't offer.  Some might want to, but their own personal circumstances (#1/Contingency) may be keeping them from being in a position to offer.  They may love the house, but their credit may be so messed up from riding out their previous home sale (#2/Lending issues) that they just aren't in a position to qualify for a loan at the price point of home they did before.  They may be so bold (#3/Confusion) as to think that you will be so desperate for a sale that they'll slam you with a lower offer than you can imagine, or even consider, accepting.  They may want to drive you into a possible short sale scenario.  Many of these people aren't good people.  They are self-centered and could care less about a gain:gain scenario of the traditional home sale.  Then, there is the critic (#4/Criticism).  This one has too many choices.  It's like being on the cereal aisle of the grocery store.  We have to reign that type of buyer back in and remind that that they are considering options for purchase, not appearing on a tv show like Sell This House.  This buyer works better with a rating system - give each home an A - F rating just like in school.  Keep the A's for 2nd showings, and pick one of those to buy.  Some feedback from the buyer is good.  When they get hung up on the criticism, and have lost sight of the goal, it's the agent's job to stop and refocus.

    Sellers have to work with their agent and identify what type of buyer just toured their home.  If the buyer has a contingency, the only way you can get them interested in your home now is if you'll be flexible and let them lease it.  Otherwise, you cannot change their timing to match yours.  If a buyer has lending issues, you cannot fix those for them.  Again, you may consider taking them on as a tenant, with lots of documentation of current income and a hefty security deposit.  But, there is risk in that scenario, and it stalls out your ability to buy at your new destination.  I've seen it work time and again in the last 18 months, so it's not necessarily a bad option.  And, it's interesting that the tenant is just as afraid of a landlord falling into foreclosure as a landlord is that a tenant won't pay the rent.  Fear in leasing is rampant.  The confused and the critical buyer are the two you and your agent can help the most to make their purchase decision.  Educating the buyer, in a respectful way, as to the value of a home is an agent's job.  It's just a harder job these days, as the recession muddied the water.  And, there is so much information on the internet that buyers can feel that they know more about the situation, when in reality they aren't understanding the full picture from the pieces of info the internet holds about a home. 

    It is true that every home has a price.  When the pricing factor is the key element of a home listing strategy, we can turn a home with no demand into a home that people are fighting over with multiple, full-price offers.  It isn't rocket science.  A good agent can establish a 30-day sale price.  You aren't going to like that price, as the seller of the home, but chances are it's going to be an effective price.  The problem we have all over the nation is that people are holding onto invisible equity in their home.  It no longer exists, but they aren't willing to take it out of their asking price.  When those prices drop, showings go up, demand goes up, offers come in, more favorable offers come in, and negotiations begin.  Now, you've entered the real estate market.

    Have a blessed day!

    Ronda 

       


    Ronda Allen - Realtor

    Certified Purchasing Manager - C.P.M.

    Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource - SFR

    Texas Affordable Housing Specialist - TAHS

    CEO of comingsoonhomes.com since 1995

    RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs

    #1 Office for RE/MAX in the North Texas region 2009!

    Follow us on twitter:  www.twitter.com/comingsoonhomes and http://www.twitter.com/prospertxhomes

    Friend me on Facebook:  Ronda Wise Allen

    Your client referrals R always welcome!

     
  • Prosper, TX Neighborhoods: Grand is in Closeout at Vistas of Gentle Creek!

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Dallas  |  February 18, 2010 2:17 PM  |  711 views  |  No comments
    The two best times to buy new construction in any city are phase 1 as the area is breaking ground and the final phase, as the community is in closeout.  Grand Homes is in closeout phase at Vistas of Gentle Creek. 

    With only two golf course lots left, you will need to move quickly to get them.  These aren't normal golf lots, either.  These are PROSPER-SIZED golf lots of approximately a quarter acre. 

    Grand also has two finished specs on the ground in Vistas of Gentle Creek.  I toured both this morning.  I was impressed with the layout of each, the finish-out, and the backyard sizes - not to mention the price points, of both. 

    First, the Presidio.  At over 3100sf of living space, this is a contemporary plan with lots of wall space.  I liked the engineered hardwood floors in this home.  They were so dark, they were almost black.  This is a 1.5 story, but the half-story upstairs is substantial.  It has a gameroom, bedroom, and full bath.  At $275,714, this home is complete and a deal.  The address is 2650 Glen Haven, Prosper, TX 75078.  If you're in the market for a great value in Prosper between $250k-300k, this home needs to be included in your tour! 


    871 Wind Brook, Prosper, TX 75078 is the other finished spec.  The Grand Parkside VIII.  Deceptive from the curb, this is a big home.  You'll find 3923sf of living space in this home, and a price tag below $100.00/sf ($361,187 is the list price).  It's a toss up for best amenities in this home.  Personally, I think it's the big kitchen with tons of storage space, but I'm a cook.  My Hubby would tell you it's the huge back yard, but he's an outdoors kind of guy.  I like the separation between the bedrooms, too.  If you've got to keep your home search below $400,000, you'd be missing out if you left this home off your tour. 


    Now, if you thought Prosper was only for the luxury home market, drop your preconceived ideas and go see these two homes.  They're great examples of the homes Prosper has for you in the moderate $200-400k price point.  Tour the model:  820 Woodview Dr, Prosper, TX 75078.  Ask for Mike Sines. 
     
    Have a blessed day!
    Ronda 
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