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Posts tagged ‘multiple offers’

26
Jan

List High To Double End? That’s An Interesting Strategy.

stubborn
Let me first say right off the bat, that I have no way of knowing if this was the intended strategy, but in Mastermind last week we heard from an agent who showed a house that, by his own estimation, was a bit over-priced. His clients really liked it but they were $50k apart. The listing agent was quite adamant about the price and said that the owner had no interest in negotiating. Our agent said his clients were prepared to play the waiting game. Give it a month, the home was sure to get reduced. But than it sold…the listing agent double ended it….at a price closer to where my agent’s clients were thinking.

The story highlighted our discussion on pricing to get listings. It planted a seed in our minds that maybe, just maybe, an agent would give a price that was on the higher side of the CMA scale in order to get the listing. Well certainly that is well within the realm of possibilities. I mean if you bring in three agents to price your house, and one gives you a price $50K more than the other two, wouldn’t you at least consider going with the higher number? It’s called buying the listing. And while it’s probably not the best marketing strategy, it does put your face on a sign. Of course the other side of the story is that the owner has unrealistic expectations but an agent takes the listing anyway. There are enough stories out there about walking away from overpriced homes but that is probably a discussion for another day.

Then the penny dropped. What if the intent was to eliminate all other buyer agents and then just wait for the call? You know…the one from the person who saw it on Realtor.ca and who’s plan is to only work with the listing agent to score a better deal? Again, I’m thinking to myself, “no, it can’t be. It’s way to risky”. But here’s the thing. There are lots of people out there who believe that working with the listing agent is the best way to win a listing in multiple offers AND get the home at the best price. So I suppose it is conceivable. Sometimes agents agree to drop commissions if they double end (bring in their own buyer) but it is a dangerous tactic for ANY realtor. So many things can go wrong. At the end of the day, representing two people (a buyer and a seller) is actually double the work. Everyone should know that going in.

I still believe that pricing is, in many ways, an art. It’s not just looking at what the neighbour’s house sold for (although that factors into it). There are hundreds of minute details that determine price. It’s something that can’t be learned in a day. My advice…stay on top of the market, wow Seller’s with your knowledge, marketing genius, and sales prowess.

mark mclean is the Broker/Manager at the Bosley Real Estate Queen St W office and President-Elect for the Toronto Real Estate Board. The opinions expressed here do not reflect the opinions of TREB or Bosley RE.

5
Jan

The RealtyLab Top Five Posts of 2014

top 5 RL 2014Happy New Year everyone. I hope that you are as excited as I am to start 2015 off with a bang. I find myself in such a great place these days. In 2014 I ran 1300 kilometres including two half-marathons, and was elected to President Elect of Toronto Real Estate Board. In addition I took on the position of Creative Director of Bosley Real Estate and grew my office significantly. All and all, I would put 2014 in the “win” category. We will just have to wait to see how 2015 unfolds, but I have already laid out my goals, although they are more like hopes, dreams and aspirations.
With all the other “stuff” that I was doing, my blog took a bit of a beating. While I actually collected a few more followers last year, I recorded fewer views because I was writing less. Finding time is increasingly becoming a challenge. Still and all, I had a couple of successes, so without further ado, I present the top five posts of 2014.

5. In this post I posed a simple question. Would our lives as realtors be easier if the Seller paid the listing agent and the buyer paid the buyer’s agent. Kind of an interesting theory once you work out how to roll the buyer agent’s commission into the purchase price. it is certainly one revolving topic around our office.

4. Nearly a year ago we had an office meeting where we discussed the pain of losing a listing presentation. What emerged was a discussion on removing all the variables from the equation. Being prepared seemed to be the most important point of the exercise, but the office got a lot out of this shared experience.

3. No other post received as much discussion. It revolved around the multiple offer scenarios. In this case we played out a fake multiple offer where the listing agent held back the highest offer but then made counter offers to each of the lowest offers. Confusing? Only a lot. At the end of the day, this type of negotiating required nerves of steel. The ultimate response was just to set the ground rules early and negotiate in good faith.

2. Back in November 2013 I was lucky enough to attend the National Association of Realtor’s Convention in San Francisco. Although the conference has a distinctly U.S. feel, every Realtor should endeavour to attend one NAR in their lifetime. I made a ton of notes but it took me a few months to actually blog about predictive marketing. In a nut shell, predictive marketing was done by a company that could analyze a series of seller events to predict the likelihood of them selling their home. It’s not as crazy as it seems.

1. And, the number one post of 2014 was a story I wrote about the return of the real estate brand. In this early entry I theorized that commission was no longer a competitive advantage for Realtors entering the business. Today’s Realtors need to perform above and beyond the general real estate population if they were to survive and given the enormity of that task, a newer agent might want to consider working with a brand that did a lot of the heavy lifting.

So there you have it. RealtyLab’s top 5 blog posts of 2014. I’m looking forward to breaking new ground in 2015 and hope that you will check in to see what I will write about in 2015.

mark mclean is the Broker/Manager at the Bosley Real Estate Queen St W office and President-Elect for the Toronto Real Estate Board. The opinions expressed here do not reflect the opinions of TREB or Bosley RE.

4
Nov

Transparency at the Offer Table. Not Just a Pipe Dream

transparency blogAt a recent mastermind session our group talked about the frustrations we often feel when we are at the offer table. There are many opportunities for the evening to go wrong because the process is secretive and often skewed to favour the listing agent and there is always a chance that we, acting as a buying agent, will have to go back to the buyer and let them know that they didn’t get the house. Sure, it could be as simple as price, but as you know, there are many chances for error, incompetence or fraud.
So in our meeting, we wondered if there were a way to sell a home with complete transparency. Could we make the process so fair that everyone who offered and lost could walk away knowing they were given every opportunity to buy the house? We worked through several possibilities, talked through potential land mines, and played devil’s advocate on a number of different scenarios.
One of our solutions could be best demonstrated by this example. You’ve listed a property for $699k and have received 5 offers. You’ve told all the participating agents that you will be running the process as follows…after everyone presents you are going to meet with the agents collectively and disclose only the price of the highest bid. At that point you will give the agents 1/2 hour to speak to their clients and return, if they so wish, to participate in the second round. Four agents return for the second round and present their offers again and once more you meet with them and announce the winning bid. This process continues until there is only one agent standing. In many ways it mirrors an auction process but requires the skill of a buyer agent in negotiating fairly with the seller and the seller agent. All agents are present and counted for so there is no chance that there are phantom offers. At no time is it made clear which agent has the leading bid, nor does that agent know how close the other offers are. The winning offer is successful based on its merit (and or price) and there is no opportunity for shenanigans. In the event of an offer from the listing agent, the manager or someone else from the office manages the process and the listing agent is unaware of the other offers.
From the surface the idea seems to have merit until you dive into REBBA 2002, which is the Act that we must follow (in essence, our play book). In it, there is expressed direction that an agent does not have the right to disclose any terms of an offer even if directed to by the client seller. So if you liked the idea of a completely transparent offer night, don’t hold your breath.
It occurred to me that rules and regulations are brought about to govern the way business is conducted TODAY. When the way business is conducted changes, the rules (or laws) get updated. We see that happening today with the Condominium Act which was first enacted in 1998. Certainly a lot has happened in that world over the past 16 years and even with tweets and updates, one wonders if an act that old holds the answers to an ever-growing segment of the real estate market. Like the Condominium Act, I wonder if, when first established, REBBA 2002 could have ever imagined a market as strong and unrelenting, or something as strange (back then) as bully offers.
At the end of the day, the only answer is hard work. As the listing agent, our job is to run offer night in the most professional way which, among other things, means refusing to represent your own buyer. We need to keep the lines of communication open with every agent bringing an offer, explain the process that will steer the presentations and stick to them religiously, and above all be fair and honest to everyone involved in the transaction. For buyer agents, come prepared with your best offer, have a good deposit, and make sure your buyers are nearby. Keeping simple rules will make the transaction go smoothly, eliminate confusion, and keep everyone out of court.

mark mclean is the Broker/Manager at the Bosley Real Estate Queen St W office and President-Elect for the Toronto Real Estate Board. The opinions expressed here do not reflect the opinions of TREB or Bosley RE.

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