A: It’s always useful to remind folks of a simple truth: We earn our livelihood by helping our clients buy and sell homes successfully. The good thing is that most of our buyers and sellers listen and trust our advice from day one.
• Ignore the list price. In most cases, it’s only a placeholder or teaser price, the market will find its own price.
• Get pre-approved early. There’s nothing worse than finding the “it” house and being unable to make a credible offer.
• Look at the bigger picture and understand your time frame. The first place you get may not be your forever home and that’s OK.
• List price has nothing to do with sale price. See above.
• You must hire property stagers. Self-staging is usually a bad idea.
• To make money, you’ll have to spend some. Your home is now a product that needs investment to perform well.
The sooner folks accept these real estate truths, the closer we are to fulfilling their goals.
Kevin K. Ho, Esq., Vanguard Properties, San Francisco 415-297-7462, firstname.lastname@example.org; Jonathan B. McNarry, Vanguard Properties, San Francisco 415-215-4393, email@example.com.
A: In this market, the most common regret for both buyers and sellers is around money — buyers question whether they paid too much, particularly in a competitive bidding situation, and sellers worry they left money on the table.
I help my clients avoid regrets by carefully going through comparables with them and using the data to support their choice.
For a buyer, I will remind them about all the other houses that went for high prices in comparison. For a seller, I remind them that their property was shown its best light, extensively and publicly marketed and the value of their home at the end of the day is the highest offer they receive.
When a client is feeling this way, it helps to have a live conversation to remind them about the many facets of their decision to offer or sell for that price, including convenience, timing and lifestyle, that may have outweighed their price considerations or constraints in the moment.
Nina Hatvany, Compass, 415-710-6462, firstname.lastname@example.org.
A: In the fast-paced world of Bay Area real estate, disclosures play a key role in assuring a smooth close for buyers and sellers. Buyers know they need to move quickly when they see their dream home, and sellers want to capture the buyers’ attention while the market is robust.
Because of compressed timelines associated with a quick sale, buyers and sellers can make mistakes on the disclosures. Sellers rush through the form completion and forget to note a previous leak. Buyers breeze through them online and fail to notice a neighborhood restriction.
This is where a Realtor is an important partner to both the buyer and seller. An agent’s trained eye can spot inconsistencies on the forms, notice missing documentation and work with the cooperating agent to fill in the gaps.
At a time when many offers are made without contingencies, well-prepared disclosures, and a thorough read of them, will prevent headaches down the road.
Anne Herrera, Sotheby’s International Realty, 415-601-3353, email@example.com