Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Dont list your home for sale unless!

As a South Florida licensed real estate professional Realtor, I often find myself looking up listings for my buyers that do not showcase the property to its fullest potential and so are subpar. So what do I mean when I say "Subpar", lets say not showcasing the property to its maximum. I'll touch on a few of the most glaring short comings that owners who hire these agents should look out for.

IMO the four most glaring deficits in most property listings include the property Pricing, Staging, Photos, Property description.

1) Pricing- A recent survey of professional realtors said that the biggest problem with most listings is that they are over priced. Over 77% of professional respondents said listing were over priced, so why does this matter? For one very important reason, over priced listings take longer to sell, while there are several other fundamental reasons why over priced listing negatively impact a sale the most important reason to consider is, buyers do not want to pay more then a property is worth. With over 90% of buyers looking for properties on the internet, buyers also have access to public records as well as home price estimates from multiple though rarely accurate sources, so its very important for the agent to get the listing price close to true Fair Market Value. So one may ask, why do agents take over priced listings? Generally its because they want that listing at any price and hope by telling the seller what they want to hear that the seller will let them have the listing and eventually will agree to drop the price to reflex actual fair market value. Well I'm here to tell you, hope is not a good plan, nor is it ethical because the seller is relying on the agents expertise to guide them through all aspects of the process. They may not like what the agents has to say about what there property is worth and they may not want to work with the agent because of it, but that's a chance the agent should take.

IMO the agent should do whats right for the seller without compromising the process or themselves even if it means not getting the listing!

2) Staging- Staging means arranging things (furniture, lighting etc) in a property so that it reflects and or shows offs the properties best attributes. Once again most agents will leave everything just the way they find it. One reason is most sellers like the way they have staged their home, so to avoid conflict the agents don't even discuss the subject with them. Rest assure that buyers will look and discuss it and they may walk away with bad feelings about the property that could have been avoided if some staging was done, that's why it important to have that conversation with the seller. Now when you have that conversation I understand "best attributes" is subjective, so lets just say organize things so the property looks better after then before. Also how one stages a property depends on the listing, while it may make sense to bring in a professional to stage a million + listing for most other listings its not about spending money but more about spending some time rearranging things to better showcase the property.

IMO every agent should make sure the property is set up to show its best side, "You only get one chance to make a good first impression"! 

3) Photos- Its said " A picture is worth a thousand words" so why aren't more  agents take heed! Great question! sadly the answer to that eludes me! When an agent lists a property they are able to upload over 30 photos and include a virtual tour but most do not. My unscientific analysis of listings indicated more then 90% of home for sale listing have approximately 15 photos on average,including at least one industry standard "agent standing in front of the mirror taking a picture of them self shot" and no photo virtual tour. Considering that over 90% of buyers look for a virtual property tour it amazes me that over 90% of agents refuse to comply, I don't get it but  "it is what it is"!

To make matters worse most of these photos are taken with the agents cell phone, and usually taken without maximizing the properties natural and artificial lighting. Then to add insult to injury the photos are not even touched up with the software that every camera comes with. So sadly most property listing photos end up looking just like what they are "poorly taken unedited photos.

IMO if the agent is not willing to do there best to provide their seller with above average property photos they should then hire a professional photographer when warranted.

4) Property Description- Every property listing gives the agent plenty of room to provide as detailed a property description as possible. This doesn't mean providing every detail for the property, or providing a list of items included with the property. A good property description tells a short story about the property that pulls in the reader, with important facts, items etc weaved into the narrative. Most agents write a flat cold contents based description that reads more like an invoice rather than a Hallmark card.

IMO Agents should chose their words carefully and make sure the property description draws in the reader without being misleading.

Check out my featured listing 3222 Embassy Dr and its virtual tour, all 4 points discussed here in were taken into consideration when setting up this listing. Your feedback would be very much appreciated. 

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Home Buyers Frustration in a tight market is a real conundrum

Home Buyer frustration is real and frustrating for both the buyer and the buyers Realtor. 
Most people look for a deal, always have and always will. With the advent of online shopping its made it crazy easy for one to shop multiple outlets using your lap top in the comfort of your home to find the best price for the product one wants. Now while shopping for a home is very different in many ways home buyers still want the same result, a deal. No matter when or how tight the market is the majority of buyers, high 99%  CRINGE, HAVE ALLERGIC REACTION, to making an offer at full or above list price. Why? Easy, buyers have been conditioned to NEVER PAY FULL PRICE and worse NEVER PAY MORE THEN FULL PRICE. That's because we all believe that Negotiation is a normal part of the buying process, or is supposed to be.
In a normalized balanced market, when there are enough homes to satisfy buyers,  price negotiation would  be considered as normal. However when there are more homes for sale then there are buyers, its a buyers market and very ripe for serious price negotiation favoring the buyer. We saw this buyers market after the housing crash in 2008 and depending on location continued into 2013-14.  If your seeing rising home prices in your market then it would seem safe to say its turned or is turning into a sellers market, favoring the seller more so than the buyer. As a result NEGOTIATION of price is not a tactic that will work for the buyer, trying will just frustrate the buyer. In fact if the home in consideration was priced right and or in good condition it will sell quickly so the question will then become which contract offer will the seller accept. OUCH! 
So what is a buyer in a sellers market to do? To start accept the reality of your local real estate market and prepare yourself. You have to know what you want in a home, be very specific. Know what you have to have, what you would like to have and what you can do without. This is important because you cant have it all, there has to be some trade offs so its important for you to address this upfront. Then you have to determine when you want to take possession, where you want to move to, how much you want to spend, if you will finance the purchase know precisely what you qualify for and what you can afford  because there is a very big difference.
Then ask yourself the following: If you find a home you really like the meets your preferred criteria are you prepared to immediately make an offer, possibly above list price? If your not then IMO you shouldn't bother to even be looking because your not ready to deal with the reality of your market.
What should a Realtor be doing with a buyer in a sellers market? See the above, read it, internalize it and unless you need the practice I wouldn't be taking any buyer out that hasn't proven to you in one way or another that they are ready, willing and able to immediately act!  
Unless both parties ( buyer and Realtor) are honest with each other, any attempt of their working together will be an EFFORT IN FUTILITY

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Selling tip " Show them so they will see it"

What do you do with a property that is seriously outdated in every regard, or in Realtor speak
"original". You've heard all the helpful selling ideas before like, bake a loaf of fresh bread, paint the front door, stage the property, de clutter and so on, good tips but none would help sell an outdated home.

No,  if you want to sell your "original" home you must help buyers see it as it could be and show them how little it would cost. This is important especially when you consider that most buyers and Realtors have no clue what it costs to remodel/update a home so they guess wrong and that normally doesn't bode well for the seller. If you want to sell your home quickly and for the highest possible price, take the guess work out of the equation.

All you have to do is go to your local Home Depot or Lowes and let them know you want to find out how much it will cost to remodel your home or kitchen or bath, whatever.  They will help you every step of the way and they will do it for free. When your finished you will have color renderings and prices which you can share with buyers to show them what can be done and for how much or little. This will be a tremendous help to potential buyers and beneficial to you, by your removing the guess work they can see your home as it could be and not as it is. In sales this is called " selling the sizzle not the steak" Its works, so be sure to try it, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain!

Take a look at this example

What Is

Completely redesigned kitchen, Corian counter tops, new high end Stainless appliance all for under $14,000

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Is the rebound in housing for real? Really!

While our national real estate market has clearly been on the mend for at least the past year, building positive momentum month after month there are still many potential buyers who refuse to believe what they read, hear and see as it relates to housing.

These doubters are scared  to their own detriment. Which brings to mind this saying " The error of optimism dies in the crisis but in dying it gives birth to the error of pessimism. This new error is born, not an infant, but a giant." Which is exactly what has happened to many who now look at home ownership as high risk.

So while they will believe what they believe, lets look at some simple clear signals that in my opinion tell a very different story.

1-For the first time since the housing collapse most areas throughout the nation are experiencing home price appreciation. Many of these have realized year or year gains of 10% with estimates for continued positive gains ranging from 3-5% yearly for the next  five years. Home prices are going up for real which cannot be disputed.

2- Those who are still fearful have decided its better to rent then own. As a result of this phenomenon rental rates have been rising at double digits rates year over year. So it should come as no surprise that investors are buying up houses at a steady clip because they know its better for them to own and collect rent because there is no shortage of tenants.

3-  When you look at builders stock prices you will see that many have rebounded quite nicely the past two years and since the markets looks forward not backwards its been signally investors believe the turn around in housing is for real.

4- Another way to gauge the housing markets is to look at housing related commodity prices, for instance, look at lumber prices which collapsed in 2009 but have since rebounded to their old highs. If you do not believe the housing industry is in recovery how do you explain such price appreciation if there is no demand? Where is all the lumber going? What is it being used for if not the construction industry?

5-Yearly housing starts have risen to a little over 1 million, almost double from their lows of just a  few years ago but still half what they were at the height of construction. So housing starts are rebounding and have room to grow.

6- Another telling signal the real estate market is on our minds is seen in the rise of Internet searches concerning real estate which have doubled the last few years.

7- Then who hasn't heard the local stories about houses hitting the market one day, getting multiple offers the same day and going to contract. Its happening all over the country.

Granted these may not be the same indicators that the main stream media report on when talking about  the real estate market rebounding, but none the less they are worthy of consideration. Sooner or later all these bits and pieces of information will come together to form a real conclusion which will be " I don't want to say I told you so , but I told you so".

Peter ReJune
Realtor Broker Associate
Keller Williams Palm Beach

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Short Sales in Palm Beach County not handled well

As a real estate professional I find it very upsetting to find distressed owners in desperate need of help, getting little if any from their real estate agent. It unfortunate that so many of these distress owners have little or no idea how to traverse the complicated maze one needs to when dealing with a Short Sale workout. What's even worse is that their real estate agent who they are depending on for this help and guidance in most cases will provide neither.

Distressed owners looking to do a Short Sale workout with their lender need more then just finding a buyer for their home. While this is an important piece of the Short Sale work out puzzle, believe it or not it isn't the most critical piece of the puzzle.  I say this because unless the owner and lender can work out all the many other important details of the Short Sale and do it in the shortest period of time either the buyer will get frustrated and cancel the contract or the owner will end up in foreclosure canceling out the Short Sale contract. This happens because the lender will pursue both (Short Sale and Foreclosure) simultaneously to insure either way they will get this matter resolved without concern for what best for the owner.  

OK then so what does a distressed owner need to do to dramatically increase their chances they will resolve their differences with their lender.

First they must acknowledge their in trouble and need help. Second they need to find a professional Realtor who has the knowledge as well as access to the resources needed for a successful and expeditious Short Sale workout.  Realtors need to do more then just list a Short Sale home for sale, though this is where most agents stop, leaving the owner to deal directly with their lender which often ends very badly for the owner.

A professional Realtor will take the time needed to properly evaluate and determine if the owner will meet the lenders heart ship requirements for short sale consideration. Once that is established the Realtor would then get its support team in place to help with processing the owners work out package as well as monitor and assist the owner through what is actually a seven stage process that can take up to four months to complete.

Sadly, the failure of many distress owners to secure a Short sale workout from their lender is evident in Palm Beach County as our foreclosures are up 20% year to date. Also Per Realty Trac as of the end of January this year there was approximately 30,000 foreclosures pending in Palm Beach County. While foreclosure is the last and worst option for both distressed owner and lender, it is much worse for the owner then the lender. 

So the take away is that distressed owners need to find a professional Realtor like myself who has both the knowledge and support team needed to insure that they secure a Short Sale workout with their lender and not end up in Foreclosure.  

Peter ReJune
Realtor Broker Associate
Keller Williams Palm Beach

Friday, April 5, 2013

Palm Beach Home sales exploding

The residential Palm Beach real estate market is BACK. Although the national home real sale statistics had shown for many months that the nations real estate market in general was on the mend with many areas posting year or year double digits price gains, the same could not be said about Palm Beach. However now the Palm Beach residential real estate market can boast the same excellent results as well.

When you compare this years first four months Palm Beach residential sales with last year you can see a definite positive strong trend in place.  Compared to last year this time, there has been a 37% increase in homes under contract, a 40% increase in homes sold, the listing price to sales price ratio is up 4%, and the average sales price is up a whopping 20%. So the metrics for Palm Beach residential resales is looking very good, with the only negatives being a shortage of resale inventory, with active listings down 17% and new listing down by 13%. However this is precisely when a negative is actually a positive for sellers because when supply is down, with buyer demand remaining constant or improving, home prices rise and the market begins to turn. This is exactly what is going on right now in Palm Beach. Its a phenomenon we haven't seen in this market for many years, buyers competing for a limited supply of quality homes. Can somebody say " sellers market"

Sunday, March 24, 2013

West Palm Beach Foreclosures (REO) coming soon

Once again Palm Beach county is setting records in the world of real estate "according to RealtyTrac’s Foreclosure(REO)  Market Report for February 2013: One in every 282 housing units with a mortgage had a foreclosure filing during the month – more than three times the national average." that ups 6% from January 2013 and up 20% year to date. Florida has the honor to be #1 in the nation with the highest foreclosure rate for the past six months in a row!

Now dont let these stats get you down, on the contrary if your a buyer you should get excited because what this means to you is OPPORTUNITY. These REO homes coming to our markets soon have been in the REO pipeline for a long while. In the mean time Palm Beach County homes sales has been steadily growing with inventory drying up which has resulted in a shortage of good resale inventory.

So if you have been wanting to buy a home in our area look at the increase of REO properties coming as OPPORTUNITY to get a good quality home at below market prices.

You can keep track of REO inventory as well as daily changes through my website http://www.peterrejune.kwrealty.com. Just select the area of the county your interested in,