A Minimalist by design

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Minimalist Blog #1 (1)

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5 Ways to make a Real Estate Comeback

By Verl Workman

The last several years have been filled with challenges associated with too much inventory, distressed properties and even more distressed sellers, agents working hard only to have deals fail, and so on. During this time, I discovered that there are two types of agents: those who adjusted their business accordingly and put themselves in the middle of the available business, and those who did not. Those who excelled helped a lot of people out of difficult situations and assisted the banks in getting properties back on the market and sold. The other group cut their spending, tightened their belts and went into survival mode. Now the wind is blowing in a more favorable direction and it’s time for the ultimate comeback.

Today, the game is all about gaining listings in order to control market share. When you list a home, every agent with buyers is scrambling to get their offers in. On the flip side, if you have a buyer, you sometimes must compete with dozens of other buyers and agents that want that same house. It’s not rocket science that if you have the listings, you have a greater chance of success in this ever-changing market.

So, how do we stage our own personal ultimate comeback? We list! If you want more
listings, you may want to follow a few of these proven strategies:

1. Really work your database. Be in constant contact with your real relationships so they know how strong the market has become and that you’re ready and willing to help. In addition, increase the touches you have with your “A” clients so you stay top of mind.

2. Work your farm at a higher level. A postcard every other month is not enough. Focus your mailings on the seller and what’s in it for them. Work the neighborhoods and become part of the fabric of the community

3. Work expired listings and FSBOs. There are sellers out there who have a desire, at some level, to sell their home. Change your scripts and dialogue to offer real value and follow up until they list. Consistent follow up and value wins; don’t give up after one phone call. Deliver items of value, and remember that you’ll probably hear “no” seven times before you get a “yes.”

4. Ask every buyer if they need to sell their home. I know this sounds simple, but we are so good at generating buyer leads from sign calls, floor time, the Internet and social media that we often fail to realize that many of these buyers need to sell their homes as well. So ask the question, “Will you be selling a home in order to purchase your next one?”

5. Reach out to investors. Call on For Rent signs and find property owners to see if they would consider an offer and then follow up.

A Diamond In The Rough

Searching for your new home can be very exciting. But exactly how do you go about finding that “diamond in the rough”?

The number one thing to remember is that cosmetic issues are easy to fix. So is the home you are considering a diamond in the rough or a nightmare that should cause you to turn and run?

Here are a few things to consider:

1. Don’t look at things like: bad decorating, dirty walls and floors, no grass or no landscaping. Not everyone is a good housekeeper so don’t let cleanliness get in the way of a potentially good home.
2. Don’t look at minor repair items such as: bent mini blinds, ripped carpets or linoleum, drippy faucets, broken light fixtures or holes in the walls (unless they have been opened to complete some type of major maintenance issue) etc.
3. Do look at the floorplan. If the floorplan does not suit you, look a little closer and see if the space can be reworked or if you can add on a room addition.
4. Remember that all surface issues are usually cosmetic. A little paint, carpet and linoleum can go a long way to making a home look as good as new. You can even ask the homeowner for a carpet allowance as a condition of the sale. Most homeowners realize that the carpet will need to be changed and are more than happy to accommodate you just to get the deal.
5. If the home lacks storage due to a converted garage, ask yourself if that space can be easily converted back to its original use.
6. If you don’t like the kitchen, don’t let that stop you from buying the home if you like everything but the kitchen. You can spruce up the kitchen later by adding new cabinets, countertops, flooring and some new appliances. These things will do wonders for the appearance of a kitchen.
7. If you want a pool, but the home you are looking at has a pool that needs repairs, the cost of a new pool will far exceed the cost of repairing an existing pool. So buy the house with a pool versus one without a pool. This will save you money in the long run. A pool is something that will not bring you a good return on your investment when you go to sell.

The very best advice we can give you is this – unless you build your dream home from scratch, you are probably not going to find everything you want. So make a list of the things that are the most important to you and make an offer on a home that has those qualities.