Any real estate agent or broker can make a property sale look easy.
To make the process appear seamless as if each property listing transfer could be done with one hand tied behind their back or wearing a blindfold. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. Because real estate is an emotional job dealing with all personality types and working around tremendous pressures caused from rushed relocation, dwindling resources to carry the expenses of a property listing. And add in the added stress of a divorce, poor health or death and the estate sale squabbling that can add to the difficulty of the real estate sale.
But a seasoned, experienced real estate professional has weathered many markets, dealt with lots of property sale situations and the folks involved in each and every property sale.
So our job is to give advice that sometimes is taken in whole, part or not at all. If the struggle to suggest the best course of action goes on deaf ears, the real estate professional should see the red flags. To wave his or her own white one to surrender. To take a step back and thank the buyer or seller for their time but to suggest there is a better fit out there to represent them. Realizing that you can not help them and that you are not able to meet their expectations. So you can move along to the listings and real estate sales that you can do your best work for results.
This blog post highlights a few of the unknowns that can raise havoc in a real estate sale. MOOERS REALTY has blogged before on areas where sellers can help or hurt their sale. When buyers can do good or harm the process in the real estate sale.
Besides whether the buyers or sellers take your advice or not, what are the wrenches that get thrown into the cogs of a real estate sale that are harder to control or plan for in a transaction? There are plenty that have nothing to do with the buyer or the seller and that can easily get missed early on to only rise up and show their ugly head later.
In the case of an inherited renter when a real estate agent or broker lists a property, there is a world of difference in how strong or weak the tenant is to help or hurt the sales process.
If the renter is respectful to the property, if they both work for a living and are gone most of the day, less wear and tear means a better property to market to a new house buyer. If there are a slew of dogs, cats and half the animals Noah marched up the loading plank to fill the ark, the property can smell, be noisy during showings where families with kids are more concerned about avoiding getting a set of tooth marks on one of their limbs. Watery eyes from foul smells animals can produce don’t help a real estate sale either.
If the renter does not want the property to sell because it means they are evicted and out on the streets to find another form of rental housing, that is another wrench that can jam and slow the turn of the real estate wheels. Delay in getting into a property for a showing is never a good thing. Buyers lose interest in this place for sale or move on to one that is easy to get into do the property tour. Renters know this and serve their own goals of staying right where they are. Acting like they own the property and they do control the gate that opens or closes for access to actually wander through the property with buyers considering a purchase.
The best renter is a former house owner who mows lawns, trims bushes and acts like the place is there and they are proud of the property.
But this buyer is not an obstacle for a sale, is thinking short term housing and realizes the home owner has the place listed and needs to sell. A considerate real estate agent or broker qualifies each and every buyer, gives the renter a day’s warning or more if they can on a future showing. You want the place picked up and presentable for a showing and just dropping in unannounced or with no warning is not going to guarantee that.
So besides renters that be neat and tidy or non-paying and destructive, what other wrenches thrown into the cogs of a real estate sale can appear?
Economic situations in the local community where the property for sale is located impact the real estate sale. Mill closures, sky high property taxes from poorly run municipalities can make a sale less likely without whittling away at the listing price to compensate for the change in the local real estate market.
Unusual weather patterns where blue skies, warm temperatures and plenty of sunshine are missing do not help a real estate sale. During a Maine winter, heavy snow loads distract long distance real estate buyers afraid of travel. Like an ice cream dairy bar that has a wet, cold and dark dreary summer season, those dairy delights not ordered through the take out windows over the summer months are lost.
People don’t trot in at the tail end of the season to consume all their missed opportunities to order their milk shakes, banana splits and twist cones with sprinkles. Farmers know all too well what the weather can do to help or hurt their end of the year bottom line for income and expenses.
So what else impacts a real estate sale in Maine?
Because it is not just buyers and seller splitting hairs over whether the lawn mower or fuel oil or split and stacked wood stays or not in a property sale. Or arm wrestling over possession dates and removal of garbage in the garage or junk in the basement. There are other bigger factors that affect the real estate sale in Maine.
How’s the market outside the local one? When listings are moving briskly and sale prices are pretty close to the listing figure elsewhere, that helps the rural Maine real estate market warm up. To speed up because easier, more plentiful sales elsewhere means money to buy something in the small population Maine market where prices are lower like the crime and traffic. The local days on market is much different when the national economy is good or bad.
Supply and demand affects the local real estate market. Shortage of one type of listing is good for the owner, not so good for the buyer after that type of property. To build takes time and is more expensive than buying existing housing stock in small rural Maine. And not everyone has the time or expertise to tackle a build from scratch housing project.
Weather is always a factor in the calculations. Where do you live in the mean time is a big component and winter in Maine tightens up the options for building and rental housing while you wait for the ground to thaw out and the white blanket of snow to disappear.
When you the seller list a property for sale, how many other pretty similar listings are going to come onto the market to compete for buyers?
That is an unknown you the seller, the real estate agent or broker either, can possible know. But study of the market shows increased sales in their sector and a slow down in this other area. And listing when there is a shortage of other properties like it benefits the seller and their real estate sale big time.
Events that happen in the personal life of the real estate agent or broker, their age, health and degree of fire in their belly to list and sell. That impacts the property sale and is not always easily displayed to make the best call on who to list with or not. But the reach of the marketing, the frequency of the advertising and everything from the quality and quantity of images, detailed narrative that has lots or missing information.
The lack of passion for the property shows and affects the buyer receiving the marketing message.
Ho hum lacking and a sea of sameness in what is advertised makes the property listing get lost in the blur of properties. (NOTE: Over priced properties don’t sell in any market.)
The longer a property is on the market, especially when it is a musical brokers situation and everyone has had the listing at one time or another is not going to help a real estate sale. Why isn’t this property selling? When it won’t go away and rides round and round the property MLS listing carousel like unclaimed luggage at an airport, buyers online and driving by the faded, rusting real estate sign draw their own conclusions as to why won’t it sell. Shelf life is a problem with a loaf of molding bread and stale real estate listings.
The price of gas increasing can impacts the amount of miles real estate buyers are willing to make to see property that is not right next door to where they live now. You and I don’t have much in the way to control the price at the gas pumps. But as a real estate agent or broker, producing easy helpful property listing videos can eliminate a lot of the miles running up and down the roads, the highway tolls, the motel lodging and dining expenses. But does your real estate agent or broker shoot, edit, upload real estate videos? MOOERS REALTY sure does use Maine real estate video as one powerful component in their property listing marketing.
Who the out of town buyer for your property runs into for locals when they are brand new to the area where the listing is. This is huge in helping or hurting a sale. Because when you the buyer knows no one, whoever you do meet and their attitude can sway you either way on whether this is the place to invest, to relocate, to raise a family or spend vacations.
Just imagine if you found the house or land acreage of your dreams, have a retirement monthly check following you or can work remotely online for an income.
And the guy next to you at the restaurant booth or lunch counter bar stool growls “why would anyone want to move to this God forsaken place or state”? Hear enough grumbling and it rains on anyone’s parade. You start to wonder if you are making a mistake, missing something in the home work assignment.
Attitude is everything in buying, marketing, selling Maine real estate. Optimistic, grateful, friendly works better than Oscar who lives in the garbage can or Eeyore who walks head low to the ground under the overhead dark gray dismal cloud of dispair.
The neighbors barking dog, hearing hollering in a knock down drawn out fight next door or one trailer truck after another on a busy highway out in front of the real estate listing for sale. That back drop to a Maine real estate sale does not make a buyer feel warm and fuzzy. People move to Maine to feel space, have peace in the Valley and not worry about crime. Maine is the 4th lowest crime state but not matter how sleepy a hamlet or village is, any area takes it’s turn at a sharp headline every thirty or forty years.
Robberies, murders, gang turf wars, emergency response siren news happen daily, around the clock on the city news channels and across police band scanner channels. Not like that in Maine.
One negative news story is all it takes for the online real estate buyer to figure this is what happens day in and out. One meth lab report taints the area like a cup of spilled gas or oil destroys the water quality of thousands of gallons right?
News of a proposed prison, casino, legalizing marijuana or a state’s stance on gun control all impact the where do we go out of state real estate buyer looking for a new location. The Internet makes local news easily obtained but just because you read it online does not guarantee accuracy. Remember how everyone on the grapevine warned Christoper Columbus the World was flat? He set sail and found out for himself first hand rather than believing those land lubbers who did not relish sea air and nautical life on a large smelly boat hanging out with pirates.
Local banks use local appraisers and know the lay of the land.
Anyone working in the local turf where the real estate is located provides way better service. The lawyers providing the real estate title searches and certifying the abstracts better be local too! These professionals understand the local area, the customs and traditions. The out of town gypsies do not and you end up paying for what is lacking or footing the bill for duplication of services. There is nothing like having the home court advantage in buying or selling real estate.
The agent or broker involved better be local for the best experience and to protect the local economy that keeps the small town alive and prospering. A slow out of town bank mortgage lender, the wrong appraiser who nit picks a place to death, a closing agent who is near the end of their career and out of the office traveling or with nursing medical ailments more than they are searching titles at the registry of deeds all combine to cause a train wreck and costly delayed sale.
One more item that impacts a real estate sale that buyers, sellers, their agents or brokers can not control.
How the new area compares to where they lived before is big. The nice little town they used to live in outside the city has changed. They want to go back to not locking doors, to pitching in and being community minded, to feeling the connection that small town communities in Maine ooze with that does not happen in large crowded population centers. Where you don’t know your neighbor and maybe like keeping your distance because trust in your fellow man is low.
The energy put into personal safety is a city is not needed in small town Maine and gets rechanneled into recreation or rewarding endeavors volunteering. (FACT: People retreat to what they liked where they lived before that disappears because of rapid growth, too much traffic and high priced sprawl.)
What is taking so long for my house to sell? Why didn’t my property listing fair to attract a buyer to purchase it ?
It’s more than planting a pretty sign with the logo speared in the front lawn that causes a successful, quick, profitable, hassle free real estate sale. This blog post pointed out a few wrenches that can get thrown into the well oiled cogs of a perfectly good real estate sale to help or hurt it. That buyers and sellers lack control over but have to realize their impact because they speed up, slow down or stall a real estate sale altogether.
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MOOERS REALTY 69 North ST Houlton ME 04730 USA