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Sunday, April 12, 2015

Seller’s remorse can spring from lack of planning

When some home-owners latch onto the idea of selling the family homestead, the whirlwind of necessary preparations can easily obscure the importance of planning beyond the final closing.  They’re swept away in a flurry of small repairs indoors, pruning and planting outdoors, often organizing yard sales.

“We see this happen more often in an up-market,” said Nikki.  “Owners whose homes have long been ‘under water’ suddenly discover they can now sell out and do better than break even.  Sometimes far better.  An experienced agent will usually counsel that there’s no need to rush, but others may cave in to fears of losing the contract.”

There are more than a few reasons seemingly successful sellers turn remorseful, but these usually stem from a lack of planning.

·        Sellers don’t know where they’ll live after closure.  They haven’t researched less expensive or smaller homes, and haven’t discussed renting vs. owning again.

·       If the sale is prompted by a job promotion or relocation out of the area, what once sounded like great news suddenly seems a wrench.  The sellers begin to reevaluate the loss of friends, good neighbors, church, and other connections they once took for granted.

·         Loss of a job.  Though the local real estate market is perking up, our rise in business is too often based on down-sizing and automation.  The plight of seeking a mortgage on a new home without regular employment is daunting.

·       Offers from buyers come in above the listed price.  What’s the first question you’d ask yourself in a case like this?  Wouldn’t you wonder if you should hold off selling and maybe net out more in a few months?  Maybe that experienced agent of yours was right in advising you to slow down.  This kind of seller’s remorse can be remedied by withdrawing your home from the market, but you will owe your agent due compensation for finding the buyers you asked for.

In its mildest form, seller’s remorse is a sentiment probably shared by every owner who ever turned over a latchkey.  After all, you’re leaving a citadel that will always encapsulate part of your life.  But as you now know, this syndrome can get costly if you fail to map out the next stages. 

“Always scope out possible new digs,” said Nikki, “and decide whether you want to buy again or rent.  If you haven’t locked up a new home, we can sometimes arrange for you to rent back your “ex-home” for a short time while you sew up a new domicile.  But this search works far better when you run it in advance, and not out of desperation.”

5 Secrets Some Agents Hide

The Real estate business boasts a lot of dedicated agents, who’ll do
their darnedest to get you what you’re hoping for.
But you could run into one who takes short-cuts or is
looking out for number one, and that “one” isn’t you.

“Some of these practices spring from pure laziness,” said Nikki, “but
others are outright scams. And the end result is a loss to the
client. Here are some of the warning signs.”

• The agent withholds any comment on market value in an attempt to get
the seller to set a price, ignoring valuable information gleaned from
the list of recent comparable sales and number of days on the market.
This is usually a ruse to help the agent get the contract, but often
ends badly. This agent wants to play the hero, delivering a "promise" of
the highest possible price among the agents interviewed. But often,
the over-priced home languishes on the market and is eventually
withdrawn. Or after going unsold for a lengthy stretch it attracts
only bargain-hunters and low-ball offers.

• The agent takes listings only, waiting for buyers’ agents to do all
the work and does no marketing. The property usually makes it to the
Multiple Listing Service, but there are no photos, no internet
marketing, no open houses or staging; nothing but the agent’s sign in
the front yard.

• The agent persuades you to advertise your home as “coming soon,”
though you may not be prepared to sell till school’s out, or that new
job opens up. This benefits the agent, but can be a losing
proposition for the client. When your home finally does hit the
market, your agent will dazzle you with a bunch of potential buyers,
hoping to “double-end" the transaction. But you’ll surely do better to
advertise to the widest possible array of buyers.

• An agent who’s a part-timer, and is not investing in marketing or
other tools to sell your home effectively, and couldn’t possibly give
your listing the attention it deserves.

• An agent who urges you to keep your home off the Multiple Listing
Service. Maybe he knows the perfect buyer who’s out of town, or needs
to first sell a current home. So-called “pocket listing” is
discouraged by many associations as marginally ethical, and unlikely
to fetch the best possible price.

“So how do you avoid these costly come-ons?” asked Nikki. “By
following the number-one rule in choosing your agent. Interview three
agents. Ask for a printout of their past year’s transactions. If your
agent’s a part-timer, meet the broker. It’s our job as brokers,” she said, “to back all
our agents with as much support as they need.”