FSBOs, buying a better house, and real estate marketing – my Friday Update

Real estate

Real estateReal estate is a fun business, not for everyone, for those who like action maybe and the randomness that life offers up on a regular basis (when you let it).

Our clients who put in an offer at $248,000 and got knocked back, four days later successfully bought a better house within 100 meters for $240,000. With the $248,000 house, the other side dug in at $252,000 sending back our offer with the same price instead of meeting us half way, which they could have done because now they wont likely get a buyer till mid-january. That house has been on the market for five months. The one our clients bought was on the market for five hours.

Rule # 321 The best houses sell fast

365 Rules about Real EstateSpeaking of which, 365 Rules about Real Estate is almost through its first edit. I haven’t done any christmas shopping. I haven’t gone to the mall. I haven’t gone out to christmas parties and potlucks. I’ve been writing and writing and editing. I have a deadline and I always make my deadlines. Why have them if you’re not going to try your best to make them?

I read somewhere that 70% of real estate transactions are conducted before June 30. I don’t think that’s accurate. Besides never trusting round numbers, Alasdair and I are pretty busy and it’s only a few days before christmas. I think it may be somewhere in the range of 60-65%. That 70% may be an old statistic. I think nowadays, now that everyone is so busy at work, the only time they have is when things slow down before major holidays – we’ll likely be very busy over the Christmas break.

On Monday, I wrote a blog post about tied-selling. It doesn’t happen in real estate transactions. It’s a stretch trying to argue that it does. We have to assume the general public has some level of competence, even private home sellers.

I met some FSBOs last week. In the industry we call private home sellers FSBOs (For Sale by Owner). They tend to overprice their homes and blame everyone but themselves when their homes don’t sell. Naturally, the home was over priced, but by $100,000? Luckily the home had not been updated since the 1980’s both in decor and mechanically (it had knob and tube wiring, and original windows from the 1920’s) so my clients were not interested in entertaining the idea of helping the sellers. I foresaw an uphill battle that could only end in failure. Dodged the bullet that time.

Alasdair and I have been working on our marketing plan for next year. Over the past 18 months we’ve put put programs in place, streamlining our activities. We reviewed what has worked for us (we’ll do more of that) and what hasn’t (we’ll save our time and effort and not do those those things again). What we’re not going to do is spend a lot of money on advertising on buses, benches, glossy magazines and expensive newspaper ads. Actually, I think you’ll see the agents that are trying to “buy the market” cutting back this year. I hope so. I’m sick of their faces. They’ve put them selves in the position that they have to sell five or fifteen houses a month just to break even. If they are putting themselves under that kind of pressure, what kind of pressure are they going to put their clients under?

I bought a new furnace for my Dietz Ave bungalow. It’s notable because of how I bought it. I had a referral to a HVAC guy so I called him and told him my story. The house has an old furnace so the gas line has to be brought in from the street. He told me I had to arrange this myself. So I called the city and they told me to call Reliance. I called Reliance and they told me the contractor usually takes care of the paperwork and they’d send a guy out to have a look and give me a quote on the furnace as well. Long story short, the Reliance estimator said they would do everything – organizing the gas line, installing the furnace and air conditioner, getting rid of the old furnace… everything. The first guy (the referral) sent me to his competitor. The second company (Reliance)  made it easy for me to buy.

Screen Shot 2012-12-18 at 12.25.57 PMI was tracking our statistics. No one is interested in free home evaluations this time of year. However people still love house shopping online, perhaps getting ideas for the springtime.

In other news 365 Things to do in Kitchener Waterloo, our community site went over 1250 likes on our facebook page. I don’t really pay much attention to this though Ive noticed that the numbers always increase in batches. I guess one person likes it then her friends see that she likes it and likes it too.

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