Tami and Steve's I-94 Minnesota Real Estate Blog: May 2012

Saint Cloud, MN Real Estate | Tami DeLand and Steve Hansen
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Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Top 5 Things All Great Realtors Wish Their Clients Knew

by Tami DeLand

1.       Real Estate is Local: Perhaps you’ve heard this before and dismissed it as a meaningless cliché. Yet it is true that every real estate market is unique. When you read/hear on the news that the market is falling or rising; that prices are up/down; that inventory is high/low, realize what is happening in Southern California is seldom the case in heart of the Midwest or upstate New York. The reason this is important is that these facts help determine how you go about your house search and successfully negotiate the purchase (or sale) of your home. Recently we met a newlywed couple excited to be first-time homeowners. They (thought they) had done their homework and were prepared buyers. They were thrilled that they would have so many homes to choose from! We had to inform them that this was actually the lowest inventory our area has seen in two years. They were confident that with all the foreclosures on the market they would be able to find a relatively new home at about 80% or less of its list price. We had to show them the recent sales statistics which reflect that foreclosed homes in our area are capturing—on average--95% of the sales price. It has been difficult for the happy couple to reconcile this data as reality, and as a result, after several house tours, the couple has fallen victim to “buyer paralysis,” unable to make a decision. Remember: all great realtors are willing and able to give you the true picture of your local real estate market. It’s up to you to listen.

2.       Market Average Matters. (Price per square foot doesn’t.) When it comes to determining the value of a home, one number is most significant: sales price to list price, or the market average. This number tells you what the sellers recently captured on comparable homes in the area. It helps you formulate a reasonable offer that stands a good chance of being accepted or negotiated to your liking. Other numbers, like price per square foot, are actually irrelevant and vary widely from sale to sale or cannot be measured at all. Think of it like this: the next time you go to buy a sheet set for your bed, instead of researching if its price is wholesale, retail or clearance, you ask the clerk what it costs per square inch. Answer = it doesn’t matter. That’s not how sheet sets are priced. Remember: a red herring in the negotiation process seldom—if ever--produces favorable results. 

3.       Your Best Interest is in Your Realtor’s Best Interest:  The simple fact is your realtor does not get paid if he/she doesn’t successfully negotiate a sale on your current home or the purchase of your new home. Pricing the listing of your home too high is not in anyone’s best interest because the house will not sell until it has taken the required number of price reductions to compete on the current market. (IF then.) But by that time, you will be disappointed in the process and your realtor, easily forgetting the price he/she suggested starting at in the first place. Similarly, bidding too low on a home reduces the likelihood that you will get the home you want. And after repeating the process two or three times, it is easy to become discouraged and give up. The answer is not to blindly follow any advice that is shoveled your way but to choose your realtor carefully and then trust that person to perform as the professional he/she is. Remember: All great realtors are able to demonstrate their value through their track record and skills.

4.       The Housing Market is Ever-Changing: Just like the newlywed couple who had a hard time adjusting to the fact that there were few homes to choose from in their price-bracket and those homes were selling rapidly at close to full price, buyers need to be attuned to the fact that the market they were shopping in (or reading about) just a few months ago may be an all-together different place today. Buyers must pay attention to the absorption rate in their specific price bracket. (The number of homes available per buyer.) This determines how quickly they must respond to a new listing. Foreclosures in most markets, for instance, require that buyers be pre-approved with a reputable lender before they walk in the door, the reason being (depending on the area) that foreclosures are selling within 24 hours - 10 days. A buyer under these circumstances must be first in and willing to write at full-price. Inventory in some areas is so critically low, we are seeing multiple-offers even in non-foreclosed homes. Remember: all great realtors will be able to show you the absorption rate in your market and explain its significance.

5.       Clarify Your Wants and Needs to Yourself and Your Realtor:  On the one hand, this describes your Wish List—all the things you want and need in your new home. But often there is an item that may be hidden from your realtor: that the number one need you have, for example, is to find “the deal.” The reality is if you are looking to purchase a home that will provide the lifestyle that you and/or family desires, expect to pay for a fair price for the property. If you are shopping for “the deal,” expect to write several offers and to give up several of the items on your wish list.  Your realtor can guide you in either direction, but he/she needs to know that your primary objective is the price tag. Remember: you will save yourself time and angst by clarifying your most important need and communicating it to your realtor right away.

Tami DeLand and Steve Hansen
St. Cloud MN and Central Minnesota REALTORS
Coldwell Banker Burnet
(320) 258-6675
St. Cloud Real Estate, Condos, Homes for Sale
Central Minnesota Real Estate

# posted by Tami DeLand and Steve Hansen @ 5:45 PM

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Coldwell Banker Burnet Direct: .. (320) 267-0076
Office: .. (320) 258-6675
3701 12th St. North, #203 Fax: (320) 258-6715
St. Cloud, MN 56303 Send Email to Tami and Steve
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Coldwell Banker Burnet, 3701 12th St. North, #203, St. Cloud, MN 56303

Saint Cloud, MN Real Estate | Tami DeLand and Steve Hansen
About Tami DeLand and Steve Hansen's Saint Cloud and Central Minnesota, MN Real Estate Website: The www.I-94homes.com web site provides Saint Cloud, Waite Park, Sartell, Sauk Rapids, St. Joseph, Clearwater, Clear Lake, Avon, Albany, St. Augusta, Rockville, Coldspring, Righmond, Becker, Rice, Royalton, Little Falls, Monticello, St. Michael, Albertville, Rogers, Otsego, Maple Grove, Buffalo, Annanndale, Rockford, Corcoran, and Central Minnesota, Minnesota real estate information and resources to guide homeowners, homebuyers and real estate investors through the process of selling and buying a house, condo or other realty property in the Saint Cloud and Central Minnesota area. Tami DeLand and Steve Hansen (sometimes misspelled as Tammy DiLand, Tammi Deeland, Steven Hanson or Stephen Hanson) have services to help you get the best value for your Saint Cloud and Central Minnesota home and this website offers home buyers and home sellers a superior comparative market analysis (CMA), a way to view real estate and MLS IDX listings including virtual tours, prepare your home for sale, and more. Investors looking for real estate investment properties to invest in need look no farther. Anyone selling a home, buying a home or seeking housing can learn more about our realty services, and will appreciate working with   Saint Cloud and Central Minnesota REALTORs who know  the area so well. Through trusted partners, we also provide real estate and financial services to consumers looking for houses for sale or selling their home in Saint Cloud and Central Minnesota, MN, such as mortgages, credit history, new homes, foreclosures and other services. If you've already tried to go the for sale by owner (FSBO) route and find you are needing a partner who you can trust in the sale of your most precious asset, Tami DeLand and Steve Hansen can take care of your special needs. It really doesn't matter if you spell it REALTOR, Realator or Realter, realty, realety or reality, real estate or realestate, Tami and Steve speak  your language.
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