As I've been writing about for quite a while now, we're in the midst of an unprecedented Seller's Market with far more Buyers looking to buy homes than there are home owners looking to sell.
North Redondo Beach has become the epitome of the inventory imbalance. And as a result, I'm seeing consumers being taken advantage of. And not Buyers but Sellers! Because almost any listing in N Redondo will sell and it is a guaranteed paycheck for agents, many are not acting in the best interest of their clients. Here's how and what to look at for if you are a home owner thinking of selling.
OFF MARKET LISTINGS
For some reason that totally eludes me, some Sellers are NOT putting their home on the market. At least in the traditional way of the home being offered for sale in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).
Agents are convincing their Seller clients that there is some benefit of selling their home "off market" or as "pocket listings". There really isn't. At least not in most instances. And I'm not a fan of the MLS in general. But it is the gold standard for listing your home.
Yes, I get it that if you have extreme privacy concerns (you're a celebrity) or an ill family member or some other extenuating circumstances you may have to go the "off market" route.
But outside of that, you are agreeing to something that most likely will benefit your agent's bank account more than yours, Here's why.....
A game that agents are playing is making listings active on Thursday because that's the day of the local Broker's Open tour and having the listing in escrow the following Monday or Tuesday. Does anyone really think that 3-4 days of market exposure is enough? To make matters worse, some agents are making their listings live on Saturday morning. Just in time to get the Open House traffic but not enough time to get the market saturation you need.
SELLING OVER THE LIST PRICE VS THE HIGHEST PRICE
It has almost become a joke. "Sold for $100K over the asking price." Let's set the record straight. Resale homes do not have a "list price" like an iPhone or anything else you buy (car, TV, refrigerator). There is no "MSRP". So there is no truth to the metric or sold for 102% of the asking price or for $57,000 over the list price. The agent makes up a price, the Seller agrees (or doesn't) and that becomes the baseline for measurement. Kind of like grading on a curve.
The logical end game would be that we start to list homes for $1. Not a misprint ONE DOLLAR. Then we can all brag that we've sold the house for $849,999 over the asking price or $999,999 over the asking price.
Beware the agent who tells you that their last sales were all tens of thousands of dollars over the asking price. That just tells me, they don't know how to price their listings.
Maybe the Sellers should ask those agents how many millions they left on the table and cost their clients.
YOU ARE NOT A GREAT NEGOTIATOR BUT I AMWell at least when it comes to Real Estate negotiating your agent knows more than you do. A lot more (assuming he or she is experienced).
Real Estate negotiating is unlike other business or legal negotiations. To start with, we are negotiating both price and terms and the negotiations can continue up until the time someone gets their money and someone gets their keys.
And, there are many junctions when it is very easy for one (or both) parties to disengage.
I'm involved in hundreds of Real Estate negotiations each year. Think about it: on any listing I might receive 5-10 offers and for any Buyer I may have to submit an equal number of offers until we get into escrow.
Most people may buy or sell 3-4 homes in their life. I sometimes sell 3-4 homes in a month.
So, Buyers and Sellers, beware in this market or you might get burned.
But not by me. Call me for straight talk on Real Estate.