Boise Homes: Contingent Offers

Contingent offers are usually a losing proposition for all concerned.

Contingent offers make sellers feel warm and fuzzy for about a week ~ until they realize they didn’t really sell their home.

Contingent offers do, however, make contingent buyers feel good for considerably longer because they know they tied up a seller’s home without  making a firm commitment.

Instead, they “kind of” made an offer that gives them a way out if everything doesn’t go perfectly.

If You’re The Seller

  • When you accept a contingent offer, you’ve  effectively taken your home off the market.
  • You may have negotiated the right to continue to market your home, but most agents won’t show a home with a contingent sale because it’s not 100% available.
  • When you accept a contingent offer, you become dependent upon the sale of your buyer’s home and you have zero control over that process.

Seller Questions For Contingent Offers

  • What if your buyer’s home never sells?
  • What if your buyer sells their home to yet another contingent buyer?
  • What if your buyer’s home is overpriced?
  • What if your buyers don’t care if their home sells? (aka “we don’t have to sell and we’re not gonna give it away!”)
  • What if your buyers decide to sell their home FSBO?
  • What if your buyers list with an inexperienced or part-time agent?

The bottom line?

A real buyer is a buyer who doesn’t have to sell their present home before buying, has totally-underwritten pre-approved financing, and needs or wants to buy a home now!

Buyers who must buy contingent upon selling their present home are not real buyers.


Boise Homes: Why I Decline Some Listings

I approach listings differently than many (most?) agents.

For as long as I can remember, the real estate profession has always favored taking every possible listing and worrying about how to sell it later.

I know agents who think they must maintain a personal listing inventory of at least 24 homes at all times.

The underlying logic in real estate has long been that it’s good to have a lot of listings because some of them will sell.

That amounts to a listing agent having to “get lucky” to get paid.

Given the amount of time, energy, and money I invest in each of my listings, that has never made sense to me.

Most would agree that getting lucky isn’t a sound business model.

That’s why I only accept listings that I’m sure I can sell.

I rarely have more than a few listings at any one time and focus my full attention to getting those listings sold vs. hoping some of them will sell.

When I take a listing, I spend considerable time with my seller to ensure that I clearly understand what they wish to accomplish (it’s often more than just selling their home).

I also analyze the true market value, comparable listings and sales, and the pros and cons of the property so I can view it as prospective buyers will view it.

After that, I work with my sellers to make changes that will enhance the salability of their home.

In other words, I don’t rush into “getting the listing”, as many agents do.

Then comes professional photography, post-processing of the images, creating a full-color flyer, building a virtual tour, social media promotion, and numerous other tasks.

Given that thorough approach, I simply can’t afford to invest all of my precious resources into a listing that doesn’t sell.

Is this any way to run a real estate practice?

Apparently so, as it has been years since I’ve had an unsold listing.

Looking for results when you’re ready to sell?

Give me a call at (208)938-5533 or e-mail me and let’s discuss how I will get your home SOLD!


Boise Homes: 10 Things That Turn Off Buyers

Sellers of Boise homes should be aware of these 10 things that turn off buyers.

1. Converted Garages

Homes have garages for a reason.

Their purpose is for buyers to have a place to park their cars.

Buyers who like converted garages probably don’t own cars.

There aren’t a lot of buyers who don’t own cars.

2. Pets

Some buyers like pets.

Most buyers  who like pets like their own pets more than yours.

When your pet stinks up the house, or makes buyers uncomfortable, they will buy another house.

Buyers especially do not want a kiss from Brutus or a leg massage from Fluffy.

Fragrant cat boxes are not high on most buyers’ want lists.

3. Worn Carpets

Buyers like carpets that are in good condition.

Buyers don’t view it as their responsibility or a fantastic opportunity to replace your worn carpets.

You should consider replacing your worn carpets because you’ll end up compensating the buyer for them if you don’t.

4. Walls That Look Like Photo Galleries

Some buyers like photos, but they usually like photos of their own choosing.

It’s nice to be proud of your extended family with 214 members, but it’s not a selling point to display photos of them throughout your home when it’s for sale.

5. Dated Kitchens

Buyers are a fickle bunch of buyers these days.

They used to like Harvest Gold, Avocado Green, and Burnt Orange, but their tastes have changed.

Now, they want stainless steel appliances and slab granite counters with under-mount stainless steel sinks.

They also like the monochrome look with appliances that are all the same brand.

Laminate counters, 4” tile counters with thick grout, mixed brands/colors of appliances, and chipped white porcelain sinks are no longer found on most buyers’ want lists.

6. Above-Ground Swimming Pools

There might be a few buyers in the Treasure Valley who get really excited about having their own above-ground swimming pool, but I haven’t met any of them yet.

If you have an above-tround pool, you might want to consider removing it before listing your home.

7. Different Colors In Every Room

It was really, really fun when Amber, Bobbie, Missy, and little Justin picked out lemon yellow, tangerine, lime green, and sky blue colors for their rooms.

But, today’s buyers prefer boring neutral colors so they can decorate with accents instead of feeling like they’re living in a kaleidoscope with a roof on it.

8. Cigarette Smoke

Most buyers and their agents will turn around at the front door if they smell cigarette smoke.

Despite all of those 3:00 a.m. cable tv ads promising to rid your home of odors for only $19.95 + $20 shipping and handling, cigarette smoke lasts forever.

If your home reeks of cigarette smoke, plan on owning it until you find one of the other three smokers in the Treasure Valley who must own your home.

9. Shared Driveways

I have yet to meet those buyers who get goose bumps when I tell them they will be sharing their driveway with the next door neighbor.

It’s great to bond with your BFF neighbor, but backing into each others’ cars when you’re half asleep and leaving for work? Not so good.

Buyers prefer to have their own driveway.

10. Homes That Are Difficult To See

Those pesky buyers can sometimes be unreasonable; wanting to see homes when it’s convenient for them.

While it’s normal for a buyer’s agent to coordinate a showing with a seller, buyers and their agents often avoid looking at homes that have no lockbox and require an appointment to see.

The worst situation is a listing requiring an appointment arranged through the listing agent who doesn’t return a call for two days.

If you’re a seller, make your home easy for buyers to see if you want to sell it.



Boise Homes For Sale: Showing Feedback

Most Boise homes for sale have MLS lockboxes installed by their listing agent to facilitate access to the property when the sellers aren’t at home.

Those lockboxes can only be accessed by members of Intermountain MLS using their secure lockbox key.

Many sellers aren’t aware that their listing agent has an opportunity to request feedback from every buyer’s agent who shows their home.

When an agent opens a lockbox, the listing agent receives an e-mail notification with the name and contact information of the agent who opened the lockbox.

Listing agents can set up a reply to that e-mail, requesting showing feedback with questions composed by the listing agent.

Most buyer’s agents ignore those requests because it gets tiresome replying to them if they’re showing several homes to their buyer.

I have developed a better way to get showing feedback.

I send the buyer’s agent a simple, informal, 3-line e-mail that thanks them for showing my listing and asks them how it went.

That approach usually results in a response with useful feedback because it’s a personal request instead of a “canned” autoresponder e-mail.

Then, I forward that feedback to my seller.

This approach works well and my sellers love hearing what buyers think of their home (most of the time ).


Boise Homes: How To Find A Good Listing Agent

Sellers often find it confusing when it comes to finding a good listing agent.

Here are a few tips on how to find a good listing agent.

Ask Other Sellers

One of the best things you can do is ask your neighbors, friends, and co-workers if they can recommend a competent agent.

Referrals from people you know and trust are often the best way to find a good listing agent.

Check References

Ask potential listing agents for references from their past clients.

Talk with those references and ask them about their experiences with the agent.

It’s important to realize, however, that few agents will provide references for dissatisfied clients.

Confirm Past Experience

Ask your potential listing agent for proof of past sales over the past year and during their career.

If your potential listing agent sells a couple of homes a year and has never sold a home like yours, keep on looking for a better agent.

In Idaho, you can visit the Idaho Real Estate Commission website and see when the agent was first licensed, how many companies they’ve worked for, and check for formal license complaints.

Carefully consider listing your most valuable asset with someone who’s brand-new in real estate.

Confirm Internet Marketing Presence

90% or more of all buyers begin their home search online, which is why you should list with an agent who has mastered internet marketing.

Google your potential listing agent’s name and see what comes up.

If the agent has nothing more than a web page on their broker’s website, it’s a clue that your listing will suffer from inadequate internet marketing.

And, if the agent hasn’t figured out how to upload their personal photo to their website, consider how they’re going to present your home on their website.

Test Responsiveness

Responsive service is vital when you hire a listing agent.

Unreturned phone calls and/or e-mails with prospective buyers and buyer agents can quickly cost you a sale.

Try calling the potential listing agent to see if they answer their phone.

If they don’t answer, leave a voicemail and see how long it takes for them to return your call.

Likewise with e-mails or texts.

If the agent doesn’t respond quickly, you have a clear indication of unresponsive service.

A lack of response can also reveal that you’re considering a part-time agent who can’t respond because they’re “at work” (on their real job).

Don’t Fall For The Best Story

Don’t list with the potential listing agent who promises the highest price.

Your potential listing agent isn’t the buyer.

The oldest trick in the book is a potential listing agent promising more than they can deliver to obtain your listing.

If you’re considering selling, why not compare my services by testing me on all of the above criteria?

For more information on my 42-year track record of exceptional seller services, give me a call at (208)938-5533 or e-mail me.

I  answer my own phone and respond promptly (often instantly) to calls and e-mails.

P.S. ~ Don’t be surprised if I answer your call!