Negotiating Tactics That Will Kill A Sale

Bargaining is a subtle art in real estate and the way you handle the back and forth that happens during contract negotiations can make or break a sale. Skilled negotiators can usually find some common ground that satisfies all parties and helps close a home smoothly, but if you’re not careful, a wrong move could cause a deal to crumble for the seller or buyer.

Here are some negotiation tactics buyers and real estate professionals should avoid:

  1. Lowball offers: Going far below market value when you make an offer damages your credibility as a buyer and can be insulting to the seller. The seller has a range in mind that they’ll accept, and if you’re not even approaching the low end of that range, they won’t even consider the offer.  This can leave a bad taste in their mouths in regards to you as a buyer and cause them to not want to accept any other offers you may make. Keep this in mind when you want to make a low ball offer and your agent advises otherwise. They have seen the downfalls of this tactic many times and are just looking out for you best interest.
  2. Incremental negotiations: Don’t continue to go back to the seller with small increases in your offer ($1,000 or less). Fighting over a small dollar amount makes you look bad and makes the seller think you will be a difficult buyer to work with. The constant back-and-forth can grow tiresome and lead the seller to consider other opportunities.
  3. “Take it or leave it”: Try not to draw a line in the sand with your initial offer. The seller can get defensive and consider other offers if you immediately show that you’re unwilling to budge. Even if it’s true, don’t make a show of it. People do not like to be given ultimatums and will not feel happy if they feel you are painting them into a corner.
  4. Nitpicking after inspection: Obviously if the inspection reveals a major issue, it should be factored into the final sale price. But insisting on a lower price for every minor repair can put negotiations in a stalemate. Buyers must understand that unless they are buying a newly built home, every house has it’s little quirks of wear and tear from years of use. Combing the house with a magnifying glass and demanding it be in perfect condition could lead to the seller refusing to do ANY repairs, therefore leaving you as the buyer to do them all yourself, or walk away from the home that you possibly really like.
  5. Asking for more, more, more: Some buyers will request that the sellers throw in add-ons like furniture or appliances that weren’t included in the listing. Try to avoid giving the seller a reason to build up resentment and think that you’re being greedy. There should be realistic give and take on both sides of the contract to help foster a good relationship during your escrow, and help make everything go smoothly.

These are just a few things you want to avoid while negotiating a contract in order to not kill the sale. Remember that if your agent advises against these tactics, they are speaking from experience and out of their best interest for you.

Sharp Declines In Home Bidding Wars

If you have been looking to buy a home in the past few years and perhaps even put in a few offers on homes, then you know it has been a buyer eat buyer real estate world out there!

Homes would hit the market and instantly have multiple offers on them (if they didn’t already have offers on them before technically even being on the market). There were so many people looking to buy that the market had become incredibly competitive for buyers, yet also incredibly good for sellers who had their choice of highest and best offers to pick from.

You can imagine how these situations would be extremely frustrating for buyers who would be constantly outbid or their highest and best wasn’t as good as someone else’s highest and best.

Well, according to the National Association of Realtors, the amount of competition in Real Estate as we come into these Spring and Summer seasons will mostly likely be seeing a decline.  “There will likely be less competition for home buyers this spring—a widely reported index from Redfin shows a significant decrease among real estate professionals reporting bidding wars this month, compared to a year ago. Only 16 percent of offers written by Redfin agents on behalf of their customers in the first three weeks of March faced a bidding war, down from 61 percent a year ago, according to the brokerage’s index.”

This is good news for buyers because your chances of getting into a bidding war when making an offer on a home have sharply declined. This means you don’t have to come in at the very tip top of your home buying budget just to have a hope and a prayer of getting the home you have your eye on – you could possibly make a more reasonable bid and have it accepted because there isn’t another buyer breathing down your neck.

In Phoenix, the amount of offers that faced competition was at 41% in March of 2018. That number has gone down to just 14% calculated in March of 2019. Prescott is a lot different than Phoenix market wise, but agents here have noticed a decline in bidding wars as well, which means if you have been wanting to buy in Prescott, Arizona, now might be the time!

If you are looking to buy a home, or even sell a home in Prescott, you should give us a call! Working Real Estate in the community for the last fifteen years, we have a lot of experience and would love to help you in your next Real Estate transaction. 928-771-1111.

 

Why Should You Use a Real Estate Agent to Buy or Sell?

With websites around today such as Realtor.com, Trulia, and Zillow, many buyers and sellers tend to think, “Who needs a real estate agent?” The answer is everyone!

Even though these websites are extremely user friendly and can make the whole real estate process seem like a piece of cake, the truth is there is so much more that goes into a real estate transaction other than finding a home, or selling your home.

While it might seem like we are being a little biased on the topic, hear us out! This is probably the biggest financial decision/investment you will ever make. That’s a big deal! Here are some reasons why we believe it is so important to use an agent rather than try to venture the industry of real estate alone.

Real estate Agents have a ton of experience: “Want to check the MLS for a 4B/2B with an EIK and a W/D? Real estate has its own language, full of acronyms and semi-arcane jargon, and your Realtor is trained to speak that language fluently,” notes Realtor.com. This isn’t exactly an end all reason to use an agent, but wouldn’t it be nice to be working with someone who knows what they’re doing rather than scratching your head in confusion and having to look things up at every turn? What if you miss something, or overlook something? Well, an agent is paid to avoid exactly that! They are also very familiar with the dozens of lengthy contract forms you will be required to sign both as a buyer and a seller, and help you navigate those wordy jungles so you fully understand what it is you’re signing exactly. Any mistake could end up costing you financially, legally, and emotionally. Real estate agents work hard to prevent that.

They have access to all the best home searches: With websites like those mentioned above, realtors and the public alike have access to them, and there are so many places to look for homes on the internet. However, realtors have even more! They have access to the MLS (Multiple Listing Service), which every home has to be listed on except FSBO (For Sale By Owner) – see what we mean about the acronyms? Realtors also often have some homes not yet on the market they could show you, giving you a jumpstart on any new listings. Good local realtors also know their areas better than anyone and will be your best resource for finding a home in the neighborhood and price range you want.

They’re master negotiators: When looking to buy or sell a home, you better believe there will be some negotiating involved in today’s real estate market. Depending on the home, there could be a lot of competition, all cash offers, bidding wars, and more. Do you want to try to traverse these waters alone, or would you rather have a knowledgeable and experienced agent at your side that has dealt with these types of situations before? Your realtor will always have your back, fight for you, and look out for your best interest to make your transaction as smooth as possible.

They know everyone: After years in the real estate business, real estate agents know the best people when it comes to buying and selling homes. Mortgage companies, real estate attorneys, Escrow companies, home inspectors, and the list could go on and on. Real estate agents will know who’s the best, who they’ve had trouble with in the past, and everything in between. This expertise is priceless considering a bad home inspection could cause a home to fall out of contract, or a mortgage company that isn’t on the ball could delay closings.

They have to stick to a strict code of ethics: Not every licensed real estate agent is a Realtor. A Realtor is an agent that also belongs to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), which is the largest trade group in the country. To be a Realtor with NAR, you have to adhere to a strict code of ethics that not only protects the agents, but also protects the buyer and sellers from any agents looking to take advantage.

They wear a lot of different hats: A Realtor is a parental voice, data analyst, therapist, expert, and so much more. They do a lot of work to earn their commission even though it might not always look like it. They are constantly looking for new homes for their buyers and using their own money to market their seller’s homes. They drive around neighborhoods and towns with you to make sure you find exactly what you are looking for. They do a comparative market analysis (CMA) on your home to see what you could possibly sell it for to make sure you are getting the most out of your investment. They are texting, calling, and e-mailing at all hours of the day. This is not a 9-5, Monday-Friday job. It is 24/7 all week long job because your real estate agent wants to be there for you!

We hope some of these reasons make sense and that in your next real estate transaction, you’ll consider using an agent.

If you’re looking for an agent’s assistance now, or have any questions about what it looks like to use an agent, give us a call. We’d love to help! 928-771-1111.

Older Homes and Renovation Loans!

If you live in Prescott, chances are you understand how even though we have a lot of new build homes, the majority of homes here are fairly old. As you can see in the graphic below, of the 601 single-family homes currently listed in Prescott, Arizona, 426 of them were built prior to 2009!

Older homes can tend to scare buyers away, but that doesn’t always need to be the case. Perhaps baring homes with larger ticket item fixes such as roofs and foundation issues, other fixer uppers you view don’t need to be so scary. Older homes can not only be an investment opportunity depending on the area they are in, but with a little TLC, they can also have potential to be the dream home you’ve always wanted.

The problem here is that most people don’t have the money to both buy a home and then invest thousands of dollars into it to make it their dream home, so what are they supposed to do then?

The same could be said for those who already own their home. Perhaps they are living in a more dated house and would love to do some of those renovations they’ve always dreamed of. Knocking down a wall, getting granite countertops, and so many other things. Where do homeowners get the money to do this if they haven’t been able to save for it over the years?

The answer to both these questions could quite possibly be a renovation loan. A renovation loan can look like a lot of different things depending on what you are qualified for. With new home buyers it can mean rolling the cost of fixing up your home into the same loan you’re using to finance your home. This means you can renovate that fixer upper right away and not “sometime in the future.” For current homeowners, a renovation loan might look like refinancing to roll the coast of upgrading your home into your loan.

Can you imagine buying a home that you plan to “one day” make your own, but instead of one day, you get to renovate it right away? Or, can you imagine being a homeowner and finally being able to get rid of that gaudy shag carpet and laminate counters?

Well, a renovation loan might be your answer and they aren’t as scary as perhaps you’ve heard. Don’t believe us? Why not talk to the experts? Tamara Jakubos with Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation specializes in renovation loans! Having helped numerous other clients with renovation loans in the past, she could tell you more about them and possibly help you with your own renovation loan.

Give her a call today, she’d love to answer your questions and see if you qualify for one of Fairway’s multiple renovation loan programs!

Tamara Jakubos

Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation

tamara.jakubos@fairwaymc.com, 480-467-3010

Frequently Asked Questions by Sellers

When it comes time to put your home on the market, there are many things sellers begin to ask themselves. We’re going to take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions by sellers and give you some advice from what we’ve found to be true in our collective years of real estate experience.

What do I need to do to my house before I list it?

The answer to this question is really on a case by case basis, but for the most part, sellers do not need to do a ton of work to their homes before they list. While many sellers can get very anxious and worried about all the things they imagine they’ll need to do to their home, most only require a good cleaning and perhaps a little staging, but that’s it. There is no need to drop a lot of money into your home in order to get it ready because that is money you may not get back when you sell. Unless otherwise advised by your real estate agent, the preparation to list is minimal.

How much is my home worth?

This is a question no good real estate agent should answer without first seeing your home and running what we call a comparative market analysis. A comparative market analysis, or “CMA” as we call it, looks at houses that have sold in your area that are similar to your own in order to generate a good price point for your home. This price will depend on many factors including the home’s size, neighborhood, location, amenities, upgrades, and so much more. Many sellers believe there home is the best home on the block, which it may very well be, but prepare yourself to be realistic about how nice your home is compared to others because you don’t want to overprice it. If you price your home too high, then it will likely sit on the market for far longer than you expected. However, if you price your home too low, then you aren’t maximizing on your investment the way you could be. Therefore, make sure you speak with an agent and listen to their advice so you can collectively land on a good price for your home.

How long will it take to sell my home?

According to Realtor.com, homes in the United States are spending an average of eighty-three days on the market. However, again, the answer to this question will vary greatly depending on the home. Some areas that are nicer sell far quicker than others, likewise, certain price points, no matter the home, will sell quicker than others. There are far too many factors here to have a cut and dry answer, so we would urge you again to speak to your real estate agent to make sure you are at the best price possible to make good on your investment, but to also sell relatively quickly.

Should I be present for showings of my home?

Most real estate agents would agree on this one when we say, “No.” When buyers go looking at homes, it can be either a very fun experience, or a very stressful one, either way, having the owner of the home at the house will only make the buyers feel uncomfortable. With the seller there, the buyers don’t feel free to be themselves, ask questions about the property to their agent, or voice any concerns they have as they view the property. The last thing you want is to scare off any potential buyers and their offers on your home with them, so it’s best to stay away.

How much do I pay my real estate agent?

This is something that can vary depending on the agency and town, but that will be something you and your agent discuss and agree upon before listing your home. A common commission is typically 6% of the home’s sales price, which is then shared with the buyer’s agent, giving each side of the transaction a 3% commission of the sale’s price. That may seem like a lot, but you have to keep in mind that agents don’t get paid by the hour, they get paid from sales. So, they don’t make money unless they sell your home. They are spending a lot of time and money networking, and advertising your home so it is seen by as many potential buyers as possible. However, not all agents are created equal, so make sure you find the right agent for you who will truly seek your best interest and do whatever they can to help you sell your home.

 

In all of your real estate adventures, remember to breath and take it easy. Find yourself a good agent who will make your transaction smooth and stress free, and not one full of fear and anxiety.

If you’re looking to list your home, you could call our office today for a free Comparative Market Analysis! Our number is 928-771-1111. We would love to help you sell your home!

Listing Feature – 2921 Vinny Drive

 

This is our new listing, an immaculate Cavco manufactured home, in the desirable Vista Verde Estates. Set on a quiet cul-de-sac, this home has a very desirable location right next to Willow Lake which has beautiful boulder views and flat nature trails for walking. Located in the city of Prescott, the home is close to city amenities like medical, grocery stores, and restaurants.

With three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and an attached two and a half car garage, this home has been extremely well-cared for. It is very clean and well maintained, making your move-in that much easier.

Offering a formal living room, informal dining spaces, and a deck for lounging in both the front and backyard, this home has a ton of extra space for you to make it your own.

The home also offers an open kitchen with a center island and large pantry, a master that is spacious and has an en-suite bathroom and walk-in closet, a separate indoor laundry room, and a two and a half car garage with room for storage. The outdoor living this home provides is the perfect place to enjoy your morning coffee with the surrounding trees that create a great sense of privacy. The backyard is completely fenced and has immaculate landscaping with mature, green trees, the entire landscaping of the home being low-maintenance.

Property Details:

  • $275,000
  • 1,387 Square Feet
  • 15 Acres
  • Built in 2004
  • 3 Bedroom
  • 2 Bathroom
  • 5 Car Garage

Interested in seeing this home for yourself? Call for your showing appointment today! 928-771-1111 OR e-mail us at info@kathleeny.com. We would love to answer any questions you may have!

Listing Feature – 6235 Almosta Ranch

You have to see this amazing new listing in The Reserve At The Ranch in Prescott!

This is an amazingly luxurious contemporary, single level home.

With jaw dropping, sweeping long distance views of the surrounding mountain ranges, this home gives the feel of being surrounded by nature, but still sits in the town of Prescott.

Located in the gated upscale community of the Preserve at The Ranch, this property boasts over four private acres and sits on a knoll with beautiful serene views from its many walls of windows.

With 4445 square feet and having been extensively remodeled to create a more open and livable space, you will have plenty of room to make this home your own and entertain guests.

The renovations include a temperature controlled wine cellar, an inviting wet bar with gorgeous three dimensional bluestone tiles, and an all new dream kitchen with four ovens, an 8-burner Viking gas range, and a 48” Subzero. A portion of the home that was once a portion of screened in porch is now the new family room, inviting and spacious for all to enjoy the amazing views.

This home also has a lot of outdoor living space that truly puts the icing on top of the cake of this immaculate house, allowing you to enjoy the remarkable views from both the outdoors and from the comfort within your own home.

The outdoor living includes a lower flagstone patio with a fireplace surrounded by a seating area, an outdoor BBQ kitchen area, and an inviting sunken spa surrounded by decking and that rests on a peninsula jutting from the patio to allow you to take in all your incredible views.

Whether you are looking for some peace and quiet or a beautiful home to bring your friends and family for get-togethers, or maybe both, this home has it all!

Call for you showing appointment today at 928-771-1111.

Using a Real Estate Agent VS. For Sale By Owner

When looking to sell real estate, one of the first questions one asks is, “Should I use a real estate agent?”

While it might be tempting to forgo an agent in order to save money, and people often think “How much do they really do anyway?”- using a real estate agent could be one of the best choices you make in your future home sales, and we aren’t just being biased.

Statistics show that selling your home with the help of a real estate professional will get you a higher profit in the end – enough to cover the commission as well as put more money in your pocket. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), in 2017, “for sale by owner” (also known as FSBO) homes accounted for only 7% of home sales. On top of that, the average FSBO home sold for $200,000, compared to $265,500 for agent assisted home sales (www.nar.realtor). That’s a $65,500 difference!

Though marketing and selling your home may seem like a breeze, there is actually a lot of work and thought that go into what real estate professionals do. Here are three main points to consider when debating on whether you should sell your home FSBO or use a real estate agent:

  • First off there is setting a price for your home. When you do this yourself, you run the danger of either 1) setting the price to low, therefore cutting the earnings you could have potentially made, or 2) setting the price too high and having your home sit on the market for FAR too long, which makes the home look bad and will make buyers hesitant about it when you drop the price later on.

These two things often happen because those who put their homes on the market as FSBO try to use an online assessment tool to gage their home price, which are not reliable, or go off what neighbors claim they were offered. The real estate market varies and changes constantly, and when you use an agent to sell your home, you are getting someone who works in the fluctuating market on a daily basis. They will have the best knowledge and experience to price your home at just the right spot to ensure you get the most for your home.

  • Another issue with doing a FSBO is that marketing your home is not as easy as it looks. You may have it on a few social media sites and listing websites, however, your home is unlikely to get the amount of exposure it needs – the amount it gets with a real estate agency – without using an agent.

For example, as opposed to a few websites when listing a home FSBO, when a seller lists their home with the Kathleen Yamauchi Group, we market their home in all of the following ways: professional photography, distinctive signage, short message service (SMS) sign riders, our website kathleeny.com, matterport 3D video tours, print in Homes and Land Magazine, print in Prescott Woman Magazine, realtor.com, zillow.com, trulia.com, tourfactory.com, homesandland.com, listhub.com, point2.com, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and the multiple listing services (MLS) in both Prescott and Phoenix.

When it comes to people marketing their home on their own, or with us, there is no comparison. We want your home to be exposed and viewable in as many places as possible to ensure we find a buyer, and we do everything we can to do that because we want to help you!

  • Lastly, one of the main reasons to use a real estate agent over listing your home as FSBO is the paperwork. Unless you have a background in contracts or law, this part of the transaction tends to get tricky. While every transaction has a contract, there can also be counter offers, the HOA Addendum, Lead Based Paint Disclosure, Seller Disclosures, any Addendums to change contract terms, Solar Lease Addendum, Buyer Contingency Addendum, Additional Clause Addendum, and more. Every transaction is different and you never know what you might need, but you will want to make sure that you are covered legally on every aspect of selling your home. If you use an agent, they will take care of everything for you, explain everything to you, and all you have to do is sign when you’re ready. This will help you avoid any liability and makes sure you will not open yourself up to any future lawsuits.

At the Kathleen Yamauchi Group, we seek to do all of the above for you and more! We want to make your real estate transaction as easy, stress-free, and painless as possible. We put your needs first, seek your best interest, and strive to remain a level of professionalism above reproach. With over fifty years of collective real estate experience, hearts that seek to help our client’s dreams come true and to continually improve ourselves, and a kindness and character that far outweigh the rest, you will not be disappointed with us.

If you’re interested in selling your home or looking to buy, check out our website at kathleeny.com, or give us a call at 928-771-1111. You could even stop by our office at 600 E. Gurley St, Suite A. We are open Mon-Sat from 9AM-5PM and Sunday from 11AM-3PM. We would love to talk to you, get to know you, and see how we can help you with your next real estate adventure!