How Many Offers Does it Take?

Everyone wants to know just how many offers does it take to sell your home in Overland Park.

The local real estate market is so crazy in certain price ranges, but come on, how many offers do you really need to sell your house? Some agents like to brag about how many offers their latest listing received. It’s the best way to boost their ego and they think it will make all sellers want to use them to sell their home as well.

Other agents like to take advantage of the hot market. They will actually let offers stack up for a couple of days before presenting them to the seller. While there is nothing wrong with doing that, it does tend to make other Realtors and their buyers mad. When buyers make an offer, they like to know whether they are going to get the house or at least be considered. Wouldn’t you if you were a buyer? They don’t like waiting a couple of days to find out they had no chance of their offer being accepted.

What’s the best game plan?

There are many options an agent can employ when strategizing their game plan to sell your home. Each agent thinks their plan is the best and is unique to them. From what day is the best day to list your home for sale, to how many offers they will accept, to the number of days they will collect offers.

But after all, how many offers does it take on one house? Some agents say it’s in the best interest of their seller to let the offers pile up. Why? What’s the most any house is going to sell for? We’re in Kansas. This is not California. A $300,000 house in Overland Park is not going to sell for $350,000. How much can you push the price up before the house doesn’t appraise for the price offered – maybe $15,000?

Home buyers are desperate to buy

Today’s buyers are desperate to buy a home. With low inventory and reasonable prices in the local market, most buyers have lost out on more than one house. When I tell a buyer that they probably aren’t going to get the first house they make an offer on, they look at me with dismay. After losing out on many houses, they make crazy offers on houses that really aren’t worth what they are offering.

For example, a friend of mine told me her neighbor’s house had received 14 offers and sold for $22,000 over the asking price. When we researched that, the sale price was only $5,500 over the list price. 14 offers??? Really?

Did the house sell for $22,000 over asking and the appraiser didn’t see the value? Or did the seller exaggerate the sale price to my friend? If the house actually did sell for $22,000 over asking and it didn’t appraise, then the seller probably was forced to reduce the price to the appraised value.

But in the end, if you’re the seller, don’t plan on using that $22,000 extra money on your next house until you determine you are actually going to receive it. If your house doesn’t appraise, you may not have the money you were hoping for and it could sure screw up your next purchase in a hurry.

How many offers does it take to sell your house?

Here’s my strategy when I list your Overland Park home for sale. My goal for my listings is to get 3 great offers the first day on the market. Everyone will have a final chance to bring their best and final offer by the end of the day.

That’s exactly what happened with my house in Leawood South. My sellers ended up with $12,425 over their asking price. (In the end, they took the lowest offer but it was a cash deal and it closed in 2 weeks – with no appraisal).

Don’t expect agents and their buyers to wait around for a couple of days to hear whether or not they got the house. Buyers today certainly don’t want to miss out on another house while you’re busy collecting offers. Your best offer could end up walking away because they found another house.

If you have a great house that’s priced right and looks good, you only need one great offer in this market. You’ll keep everyone happy and save yourself unnecessary stress.

Call me at (913) 515-3250 or contact me here to see what it’s going to take to keep things stress-free when selling your home. I promise not to bring you 20 different offers that I have to present. I won’t put you through all that. 3 great offers will accomplish the same exact thing and in much less time.

Will St Joseph Sell Your Home?

While I’m all about doing everything you can do to sell your home faster, will St Joseph sell your home? Burying a St Joseph statue in your yard has never been anything I suggest. In addition, if you’ve ever used one of these statues and swear by them, then your house was probably on the market for some time and you probably finally got it priced right. But the folk custom that came to be that sellers should bury the statue in their yard as a sign of prayer asking to find a buyer for your home is pure folklore.

For that very reason, I actually decided to team up with St Joseph when I asked my seller, Melanie Dillon, if she buried one in her yard. Her response was they didn’t need to because they had St Melinda. Yes, St Melinda sold their Overland Park house the first day on the market a few years ago (it’s what I’ve always done) – when there was actually some inventory to sell.

No matter what the inventory is, there are only 3 reasons your house will sell. And St Joseph is not one of them.

  • It’s priced right
  • It looks spectacular
  • You have the right agent

There really are no gimmicks when it comes to selling homes. Never have been. Even praying doesn’t work. Me teaming up with St Joseph is a gimmick – in all reality, I don’t need him. Above all, too many agents focus on things that don’t really matter when it comes to selling houses.

Here’s my secret sauce

If you start with a realistic price and create a product worth that price, you’ll get more money every time. That’s exactly why I learned the art of home staging 10 years ago. At that time, houses that were for sale didn’t show well. Many of them still don’t show well because sellers and their agents don’t understand what home staging is and how it works.

The right price and a great look will boost the right priced home every time. But even in today’s market, savvy buyers will not buy a house that’s overpriced. They will however pay you more for a house that’s priced right and that they can see themselves living in. For that reason, buyers must get emotional about your house and if they don’t, they’re not going to buy it. My job, as your home stager, creates that emotion. My job will sell your home for more money.

Will St Joseph sell your home?

No! If you’re set on selling your house with St Joseph buried in your yard – you need to rethink things. Obviously, your house hasn’t sold for one of the above 3 reasons. What is it that isn’t working for you? If your agent is telling you it’s the market, they are lying.

There’s a Melinda-ism I may have jacked from someone else…you make excuses or get results but you don’t get both. If you want to sell your house, quit making excuses, make the changes necessary and you’ll get results.

There are buyers out there but you’ve got to give them what they want. If your house is on the market and not selling, look at the pictures online. Does it compare to the house you want to buy? If not, get a new price, new look or new agent.

I get calls from people around the country who can’t sell their house. When I see their homes, I understand why their house hasn’t sold. The time spent buying the St Joseph statue and burying it could be time better spent on figuring out why your house hasn’t sold and making the necessary changes.

If your house hasn’t sold and you need help understanding why, ask St Melinda at (913) 515-3250 or contact me here. Time is of the essence in real estate and every day your house is on the market is costing you thousands of dollars!

Selling Your Home this Winter

If you are selling your home this winter, you have to be willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen. Keeping it ready for showings though can be challenging especially when it’s snowing outside.

Bad weather poses a problem for agents, buyers and sellers. But if you think you won’t get any showings in this cold weather, don’t ever underestimate home buyers and their agents.

In February 2011, I had a listing sell in Overland Park the day it snowed 2 feet. The sellers were out of town and nothing had been shoveled. As most people were hunkered down at home, I had a showing scheduled. Those were some serious buyers. I did call the buyer’s agent and ask him if he was crazy and told him to take a shovel with him. He shoveled his way to the front door and they bought the house. 

Here are 3 helpful tips for winter home selling

  1. Be sure to clear your driveway and front walk when it snows – if you want buyers to come into your house make it easy for them to get there. Don’t expect them to trudge through a foot of snow to get into your house. You may think they’re crazy for looking on a snowy day but everybody has their reasons. They might be in from out of town to buy a house. It’s not their fault it snowed. If they’re out looking at houses in bad weather, they are obviously very serious buyers.
  2. Have a big rug inside your front door – with snow on the ground, it’s more than likely going to end up in your house. Having a large, washable rug inside your front door will give your buyers the opportunity to remove their boots without worrying about tracking snow through your house. If there is room, you might also include a small chair in case they need to sit down to get their boots back on. They will appreciate your thoughtfulness and you will appreciate them not tracking snow through your house.
  3. Keep your front door lock lubricated– there has always been a problem with front door keys freezing in the lockbox and breaking off in the lock. If your key doesn’t work easily, you’re probably going to end up with a broken key in the lock.

Additional tips that agents appreciate

Do yourself and the buyer’s agents a favor. Go to the hardware store and buy a graphite spray (for about $5) that is specifically made for door locks and spray it into the lock. DO NOT USE POWDERED GRAPHITE OR WD-40. These do not evaporate and will tend to make the lock even dirtier and literally impossible to work.

Even with showing restrictions, give the agents a bit of a break on the time frame when showing your home. They might need a little extra time to get there which might get them off schedule a bit. Showing houses in bad weather always takes more time.

Do these 3 things and you’ll be way ahead of the other houses for sale that those motivated buyers may be looking at on a cold, snowy day in Overland Park. Little niceties pay off!

If you want to learn more tips and nice things you can do when selling your home this winter, call or text NICE to (913) 515-3250 or contact me here. I have a whole list of things I do to help my sellers stand out from their competition. Why be average when you can be SOLD FAST and get more money?

Will the House Appraise?

When your house sells with multiple offers and for $35,000 over asking price, everybody wants to know…will the house appraise? Before accepting that very attractive offer, you need to ask yourself lots of questions.

First of all, waiting to look at all offers after being on the market for 3 days is probably going to be your first problem. Don’t be greedy. You know what your house is worth…if you sell it for $20,000 over asking price, will the house appraise? Probably not. Don’t blame the appraiser. He’s just doing his job. Don’t expect him to put some unrealistic value on your house when it doesn’t exist. He’s working for the buyer and the lender. He’s going to say, “Show me the comps you used to arrive at this price.” Do they exist?

Appraisers need proof. In order to complete their paperwork and assign a value to your home, they need to be able to show 3 other comparable properties that have sold for your selling price in the last 3 months. There again, ask yourself…will the house appraise?

I sold Rick and Karen’s house by the end of the first day on the market to a cash buyer and for $15,000 over asking – with no appraisal. Cash buyers don’t require appraisals because there is no lender involved.

In that same transaction, we had one offer of $23,000 over asking that was going to be financed. As an experienced Realtor, I thought that one was going to be a problem and shared my concerns with my sellers.

How important is the appraisal?

Your appraisal is going to be done very late in the game…maybe a couple of weeks before closing. If this is the case, you still need to do everything you can to make your house look its best. Impressing the appraiser is especially important if your house sold for over asking price.

The foremost thing on your mind should always be will the house appraise? While the appraiser is still going to compare apples to apples, I’ve had them tell me, “That house sure does show well.” BINGO! That will usually raise the price to an extent. That’s where home staging comes into play. The showings may be over, but next to your showings to nab the perfect buyer, the appraiser’s opinion of your home is the next most important showing there is. Get this one wrong and it could not only botch your sale, it could make a big difference in your next purchase.

Understanding the home selling process

Have a plan with your agent before your house comes on the market. IFTTT, is what I call it. If this, then that. Work through some scenarios of what might happen. If you have a brand new agent, they may not have enough experience of what will happen. But an experienced agent should be able to walk you through what to expect when your house sells with multiple offers, without multiple offers or with offers less than asking price.

Have that discussion before you come on the market and definitely before you’re running high on emotion and you’re unable to make a good decision based on facts. My average house sells the first day on the market because I set it up to happen that way. It’s part of my marketing plan so I pretty much know what’s going to happen, I expect it and share how it’s going to happen with my sellers. So, the details may change but my sellers are never surprised because we already had that conversation.

What are your expectations when selling your home?

It always surprises me when sellers have no clue what’s going to happen when they sell their home. It’s not your fault…you might be a first time seller or repeat seller. It doesn’t matter. Real estate changes constantly and your agent should inform you of what to expect when your home comes on the market.

Having a game plan is a big part of will the house appraise? You should always think things through before you make some potential huge mistakes. If your house doesn’t appraise for the price it sold for, be ready for that as well. Don’t make your next transaction dependent on every dime you’re expecting to receive on your house. You might not get what you thought and could end up not having enough money to close on your next home. I hear horror stories other agents tell. The job of your agent is to guide you through a successful transaction. Remember, the results you get will be because of the agent you choose. Choose carefully!

If you are selling your home, want a smooth transaction, a house that appraises, and more money in your pocket, call me at (913) 515-3250 or contact me here.

Click here for your home’s real value versus the Zillow Zestimate. It’s fast, easy, accurate and FREE.

Choosing the Right Realtor

My friend in Omaha called me with the problem of choosing the right Realtor to sell her home. She has several friends “in the business” and she wasn’t sure what to do.

I hear that same thing when interviewing to list a home for sale. Home sellers just don’t know how to make a decision when choosing the right Realtor.

Once I am chosen, I always ask them why they chose me over their other Realtor friends. Typically they tell me they like the passion I have about creating their best Model Home Look and they know my average house sells in 3 days or less and for thousands over the asking price. Those 2 things set me apart from the other agents.

There are over 10,000 Realtors in the Kansas City area. It seems as though everybody knows a dozen or so Realtors. What is the trick when choosing the right Realtor to sell your home? And is it really that big of a deal? YES it is…it’s huge because it’s your money at stake!

How People Choose an Agent

I like to ask people why they chose that person to list their home for sale. There are so many different answers but never one I’m looking for. It just proves, real estate is very confusing to most people and yet the public perceives every agent to be the same. As my home inspector recently said, “The public sees us – Realtors and Home Inspectors – as all just a can of green beans.” 🙁

Here are a few examples of what people tell me:

  • She’s my niece and just got her license and needs the money
  • My neighbor would never speak to me again if I didn’t list my home with her
  • We’ve been friends with them for years
  • She went to college with my husband and when we bumped into them recently, we felt obligated to use her (someone actually used that one on me years ago)
  • She goes to my church

Really? What’s the one thing all of those answers have in common? It’s all about the other person and the relationship you have with them. If you were having brain surgery and you knew a brain surgeon, would you go with that person or would you get a couple of different opinions?

Real estate is no different. Interview different agents. You should get different vibes after talking to them about the big business of selling your home.

Unfortunately, you may have forgotten a couple of details in all the hubbub of thinking about selling your home. This is about you, your home, and your money.

Choosing the right Realtor is not about the agent or the relationship you have with them. As much as you want to think that selling your home is personal, it’s really not. It may be personal to you but it’s a business transaction. At the end of the transaction, it will either make you money or cost you money depending on who you choose.

Just because someone goes to your church doesn’t necessarily mean they are the right Realtor to sell your house. Then what happens at church if things don’t go well when selling your home?

Choosing the Right Realtor to Sell Your Home

I’m not here to criticize other agents. I merely want to open your eyes to the fact that there is a difference in agents. You may not get the results you want if you choose an agent based on all the wrong reasons.

A few years ago, I received a call from a seller whose house had been on the market for over 6 months. It hadn’t sold and she was referred to me by a mutual friend. After going to the house, it didn’t sell because it was a horrible house, in a great neighborhood but the agent didn’t do anything to try to get it sold. The sellers had moved out but had left random stuff throughout the house. It showed terribly but I worked my tail off to sell that one and finally got it done.

Choosing an agent to sell your home in Overland Park should be based on their track record and what they can do for you to sell your house for the most money and in the shortest period of time – period.

The longer your house is on the market, the less money you will receive. So if you choose an agent whose average days on the market is 29, you’re probably going to have a couple of price reductions before you sell.

Remember, it’s your money! It has nothing to do with the agent. Are they capable of getting you the results you want or not? Have they done it for others?

Not all Agents Get the Same Results

Unfortunately, not all agents get the same results. I know that’s hard to hear. After all, your own family member, neighbor, or friend wouldn’t steer you wrong, would they? They aren’t going to tell you another agent might get you better results. But the truth of the matter is, Realtors, don’t have to be real good at their trade. That’s why there are so many of them. If they hang in there long enough, they will get the job done. But, it can be a long process with your money flying out the window as the days go by.

If you consider the current average days on the market for a resale house in Johnson County is 38 days, are you ok with that?

Every agent has their own statistics based on the results they get when listing a house for sale. They are available in our local MLS System.

Here are 4 Questions to ask any Agent:

  1. Average days on the market for your listings? (from list date to contract date)
  2. Original list price to final sale price? In other words, does your average listing have price reductions before selling? Or does it start out overpriced?
  3. What percentage of the houses you list actually close?
  4. Tell me 3 things you’re going to do to sell my house that another agent isn’t going to do. Please let me know what they tell you – I’d be curious!

If you interviewed 3 different agents and asked them these 4 questions, I’ll bet you would have a different perspective than what you thought. Just because you put your house on the market, doesn’t mean it will sell. MLS doesn’t sell houses. Your agent sells houses.

When you list your home with someone you know, it’s assumed they will do the best job for you. Did they tell you their plan to sell your home quickly and for the most money? Have they sold homes before quickly and for the most money?

Ask the right questions and you should be able to make a business decision about how to choose the right Realtor to sell your home in Overland Park. Results don’t lie. And if you base your decision on their results, it shouldn’t put a strain on your relationship. You chose the agent that had the best credentials to sell your house. It was a business decision you made regarding your money.

My success stories show that my sellers all received the attention to detail when it came to selling their home. I told them the truth about what it would take to get the best results.

If you are thinking about selling your home in Overland Park, call me at (913) 515-3250 or contact me here. I have solid answers to the above questions and would love to have the opportunity to show you how I will create your home’s best look so it sells faster and for more money.