Tips for Weathering the Perfect Storm

stormWhere did we leave off last week?  Oh yeah. Right in the eye of a perfect storm. “Perfect” in a good news or a bad news kinda way depending on whether you are a Seller or a Buyer in this suddenly transformed marketplace of ours.  You know- a market where the volume has cranked past decibel level twelve and the artist formerly known as Prince is partying again like it’s 1999 and there’s no tomorrow.

My newest west side listing went “live” exactly 12 days ago. Calls began. People rushed the gates.  Madness ensued.  Buyers continue to lay siege while curious neighbors continue to look on, scratching their heads, wondering what all the hubbub is about.  Perhaps somewhere deep inside starting to get the tiniest notion that maybe now wouldn’t be a bad time to sell their homes either.

Let’s tabulate up the results.  Some simple metrics might provide a snapshot of what’s going on in the larger marketplace.  Specially when it comes to properties “in the zone”.  The special sweet spot that includes anything and everything listed between $500k and $800k.

Take an average $649,000 listing.  Add a decent sized lot or location. Toss in some curb appeal or a little touch of soul or upside potential. And voila – the price is right.  Whatever it is.  That’s what buyers can afford.  That’s what buyers are looking for in bunches.

In 12 days there were: 150 phone calls, 97 separate showings,  80 Realtors through a Brokers Open, 436 visitors through two weekend opens, 682 flyers taken,  275 e mails sent,  19 offers received (18 over list price), 10 multiple counter offers issued.

And hopefully, by the end of the day today…we’ll have the 1 right Buyer for the property.

Great for the Seller right?  But what if you are a Buyer? And what if this is your price range too?  How do you compete with the crushing tide of other like-minded buyers that are crowding each other into and out of contention?

Complicated stuff. A grueling test of patience and perseverance with a little bit of luck, fate, synchronicity, kismet, karma and divine intervention thrown in for good measure.  Buckle up. It’s going to be a marathon and a hundred yard dash all rolled into one.

So what do you do? Where do you start?  Here are just a few suggestions culled from the experience of the past 12 days. Read em and weep. Or read em and begin to reap a better perspective.

⁃    Accept the fact that you will be competing. Don’t fight it. Embrace it.
⁃    Be prepared. Then be more prepared. Just when you think you couldn’t be more prepared, prepare some more.
⁃    Get a local Agent. Get a local Mortgage person.  The quality of the people representing your offer makes a huge difference.
⁃    Don’t call the listing agent and ask them to show you the property if you have your own Agent.
⁃    If you have your own Agent don’t pretend you don’t.
⁃     Don’t stiff your own Agent – it sends a message about who you are as a person.
⁃    Don’t wander onto someone’s property without an Agent. Don’t harass or call the Seller of the property. Don’t drive by 26 times and stalk them.
⁃     Don’t try to cut a deal with the listing Agent to represent you by offering veiled bribes.
⁃     Don’t ask for a Sellers Home Warranty or a Termite Clearance when you are competing against 10 other offers.
⁃    Two words: Short timelines.
⁃     Don’t try to negotiate the price before making an offer. Criticizing a property to the listing Agent  telegraphs the fact you’ll probably come back and grind for more.
⁃     As soon as you walk through the door of an open house you are auditioning for the role of buyer. Impress the listing agent with your sincerity and the win-win nature of your personality.

Just the tip of the iceberg folks. There’s so much more to know.  Hopefully your Agent knows it and can instruct you. And hopefully you are willing to listen.
Next week: Two Multiple Offer Strategies:  The “Pre-emptive Strike” or “What do I have to do to make the first cut?”

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