Technology vs. Human-ology – by Ashley Leigh

25 06 2010

Most real estate agents have computers which store vast amounts of data about local housing and prices. Some even use wireless modems enabling them to access data or submit purchase offers from just about anywhere.  Cell phones provide their communications link back to the office and with clients. And others even use an infrared tape measure to assist them in determining room sizes in your home.

Futuristic technology is already in place, quickening the pace of real estate activity.  The array of electronic equipment is both impressive and effective.  Yet, for all the whiz-bang features, this technology lacks the ability to replace a single small part of the human anatomy . . .  the ear.

Whether you plan to buy or sell a home, you need me because I have great ears!  I use technology to its maximum benefit.  However, my greatest benefit to you is that I listen to you carefully. No amount of technology can replace, or improve upon the time you spend describing your needs and desires when selling a home.

The first step in any real estate transaction involves attentive listening.  To sellers, it is critical that any agent understands their objectives and their timetable.  To buyers, an attentive agent will preview and show only homes that meet their specific criteria and budget.  Our real estate market has been in and continues to be in a challenging environment.  Listening attentively is my hallmark.

Today’s most successful agents use advanced tools to save time, yet attribute their achievements to their ability to listening closely to clients.  Technology in the hands of a warm, sensitive human being can turn real estate dreams into reality.  Expect it.

After I understand your real estate objectives, I turn my attention to marketing your home.  Have you ever noticed the racks and stacks of colorful merchandise displayed near the checkout lane of your grocery or department store?  Known as “impulse” displays, they catch your attention, giving you the opportunity to consider one last selection “on impulse.”  This kind of merchandising works because it grabs your attention when you literally have your money in your hand.

Merchandising is important in real estate, too.  I understand these marketing concepts. My past experience demonstrates a history of merchandising homes by positioning them favorably in the eyes of prospective buyers. 

Three ingredients produce successful merchandising: 1) an attractive product, 2) the right price, and 3) exposure to buyers.  First, you must offer an attractive product  . .  your home in excellent condition.  I can provide tips to make your home stand out. 

You must also price your home fairly.  That means it must be at fair market value.  I provide all of the statistics and my market knowledge to help you arrive at the right price. 

The third ingredient . . . exposure to buyers . . .  is my responsibility.  If you offer your home in dazzling condition at the right price, you should expect, and will receive, an aggressive marketing plan, targeting all potential buyers, as well as other real estate agents who bring their buyers.  Ask me to explain my entire marketing plan to merchandise your home.  It really makes a difference.

Finally, the credit crunch is working itself out.  The Federal Reserve’s recent cut in its key interest rate has helped a lot.  Yet, buyers continue to face a more expensive money market.  Consequently, as a seller, you may be asked to provide financial assistance to the buyers.

Let’s assume hypothetical sellers offer their home for sale at a fair market value of $530,000.  Let’s just look at some financing scenarios.  I’ll just consider the impact of differing financing packages and not other selling costs such as fees charged by the State, the title and escrow company, and Realtor® fees.

Finally let’s say the seller received two offers.  Let’s see how much money they would “net” from each offer after buyer financing is taken into consideration .

Anytime a home is sold, even for cash, the seller will have at least a small amount of closing costs, sometimes including buyer’s financing costs.  Those costs are deducted from the “gross” price to determine the seller’s “net.”  Strangely enough, sometimes a lower offer may result in a higher “net” sale price to the sellers.

Example:  The first buyer plans to secure a new mortgage loan of $430,000.   The lender will be charging three “points” in order to give the buyers the lowest possible interest rate.   The buyers’ offer asks that the sellers pay the three discount points. 

The first buyers offer full price . . . $530,000 . . .  but the sellers will net only about $517,100 after the financing expenses of sale.

The second buyers offer $522,000 which is $8,000 less than the asking price. However, they plan to secure a $422,000 loan with no discount points.  In this case, the sellers will “net” $522,000 since there are no financing expenses.

In other words, the sellers will net $4,900 more from the lower offer!  Therefore, when considering any offers to purchase your home, ask me to explain your net proceeds in detail.  You may be pleasantly surprised.

So, remember . . . I listen, I market, and I consult.  This is a triple winner for you!




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