There is a lot of uncertainty in every real estate transaction.
On the buy side, you need to worry about whether the price you pay is reasonable, whether the home will be a good investment over time, whether it will turn out to be a money pit that requires you to sink all your cash into as one thing after another goes wrong.
On the selling side, you need to worry about whether the valuation your agent gives you is accurate and whether you’re overpricing or underpricing the home, whether the buyer who signs the agreement of purchase and sale will close as planned, whether something will go wrong before closing that derails the entire deal and so forth.
If we put ourselves in the shoes of the people on the other side of the transaction and find ways to remove uncertainty from the transaction, it has a huge impact on the likelihood of a deal being done successfully.
We’ve come up with a number of ways to remove uncertainty in the minds of the other side of our deals and the results are clear. When you work to make the other party to the transaction comfortable and confident in their decision, you get the best outcome for yourself. It’s a win-win and here’s how we make it happen.
Worried about the condition of the home?
As the name says, “real estate” is a real, tangible good. You are buying or selling something that exists, that can be viewed, can be inspected, can be cared for or neglected.
The condition of homes vary tremendously and while some issues are apparent, others can be harder to identify. When we sell a home for a client, we almost always have a pre-list home inspection done before we list. This involves hiring a professional home inspector to come on site and go through the home from top to bottom.
Home inspections provide sellers and buyers with a wealth of useful information and are an effective way to remove lots of uncertainty about the condition of a home.
For our sellers, it identifies any deficiencies in the home, as well as any areas the home is exceptional. It gives us the opportunity to remedy issues or to adjust our list price and approach accordingly.
For buyers, a pre-list home inspection can remove a lot of the worry about whether the home is in good shape. While it is not a guarantee, an inspection from a reputable company tells buyers about such important (and potentially expensive to repair) aspects as the mechanicals, structure, electrical and plumbing.
By having a pre-listing home inspection in place, we replace the fear of unknown potential issues with the home with a current understanding of the home’s condition.
Not sure about how much it would cost to fix or improve an aspect?
Whether it is an aspect of the home that requires repair or an element that is lacking in the home, buyers often find it valuable to know what it would cost for the repair or improvement.
When we work with our seller clients, we put ourselves in the mind of potential buyers and identify aspects they may want to change and then work to get pricing on what it would cost in order to make it happen.
Whether it is redoing a roof at the end of its useful life, removing a popcorn ceiling, sanding and staining a dated hardwood floor or adding a powder room to the main floor, by reaching out to contractors and professionals for quotes, we are able to give buyers a framework for their decision.
In the absence of information, people often default to a worst-case scenario. It can be easy for a buyer to convince themselves that they shouldn’t buy your home because they have an inflated and unrealistic expectation around the work and cost to fix an issue or add an improvement. By providing specific information about what it would take to make it happen, we remove uncertainty from the buyer and allow them to move forward.
Concerned about what might happen in the area?
Whether it is the possibility of a new building going up beside a condo you’re considering buying or not certain if a transit improvement will impact a house you’re looking at, the fear of a change to the area negatively impacting a place you just bought can be very impactful.
When we work with our sellers, we identify concerns that buyers might have – about the neighbours, the street, the building, the area – and we investigate until we have the answers to those concerns. While it might be tempting to not know the answers in the hope that the buyers don’t bring it up, it is quite common for such concerns to show up later in the process and derail a potential deal. By sharing information early, we don’t waste time on deals that fall apart and we also allow buyers to come to terms with any issues rather than being blindsided and reacting from a place of fear.
On the purchase side, we think about what potential changes could negatively impact our buyers in the future. Even if our clients aren’t concerned about an aspect of the area changing over time, we need to make sure they understand that when they eventually sell it could impact their buyer pool. Whether it is planning applications, possible zoning changes nearby, environmental concerns or something related to changing demographics, information about what is coming to an area can be very important.
Wonder if you’re overpaying?
When the market is hot, buyers often feel pressured to pay a higher price than they might be comfortable paying. While budget and affordability are specific to each individual buyer, the common question for all buyers is what is the home “actually” worth?
We’ve devoted many, many hours to refining how we value real estate and we look at properties from a number of different aspects in order to get our clients very accurate valuations for what a home is worth.
On the sell side, we share lots of that information with buyers. While purchasing agents can and should do their own research, we consider ourselves to be the expert on the home we’re listing and there is lots of upside to sharing the data and thinking that went into our price. If we can substantiate a value to buyers, they understand why the home is worth what we’re saying it is and feel comfortable making an offer that reflects that value.
On the buy side, we do our own work to look at market changes, recent comparables and use aspects such as MPAC assessments, price per square foot and others as equalizers to compare against other sales. We come up with a good price, a fair price and a necessary price for the home. The goal is to get our clients the home at a good price, we’re content if the price is fair and if our buyers end up paying more than that, they do so understanding that this was the necessary price.
Having trouble knowing whether things will go smoothly?
One of the most overlooked aspects to successfully transacting a purchase or sale of real estate is confidence in the parties on the other side. Many real estate agents who are new to real estate don’t understand that deals can fail to close. While there may be legal options to try to remedy a deal that doesn’t occur despite the other side being contractually obligated, it doesn’t change the fact that the deal hasn’t gone through as planned.
When we work with buyers, we position ourselves and our clients as stable, serious and experienced people who they can trust to complete the deal smoothly and without issue. This involves respectful, professional communication, sharing of relevant information and respecting the process the seller and their agent have communicated. By making the seller and their agent comfortable with us our and client, we can leverage any uncertainty or unpleasant experience they have with other agents and buyers. On a number of occasions, our clients have been successful in buying a home despite not being the highest price or the “best” deal. We manage this by being a sure thing in the eyes of the seller, who respects the way we’ve handled the interaction and who is confident we will continue to behave that way.
For our seller clients, we monitor and share what we see and learn in our interactions with a potential buyer and their agent. From showing up on time for their appointment, responding to our follow up communication, working for a reputable full-service real estate brokerage and many more aspects, we can get a very clear sense as to whether the agent and their clients are worthy of our trust. While such considerations do not negate the need for an offer with the right price, closing date and conditions, they absolutely play a part in how confident we feel that we should do a deal with these buyers.