Real Estate Agent Goes Along to Get Along

Scottsdale, AZ – Recent studies suggest that consumers still envision salesmen as fast-talking, slick-haired, turquoise-pinkie-ring-flashing hucksters who would sooner eat their own gold teeth than hesitate to push their mothers into traffic if caught standing between them and a sale.

Which makes the case of Agnes Friedman all the more unusual.

“I’m more of a go along to get along type,” Mrs. Friedman, a Real Estate agent with As You Wish Realty, LLC told BSRE news.

Admired by her peers for an amicable disposition which makes cross-transactions a breeze, she has come under fire as of late for her “path of least resistance” model of client advocacy.

“Nobody likes a salesman,” Friedman explained. “Well, I mean, maybe some people do, but I … I’m not saying it’s wrong if you do, just … what do you think?”

Bethany O’Leary, a former client of Friedman’s, was originally drawn to that very unsalesy manner when selecting a REALTOR to list her 4 bedroom McCormick Ranch home last May.

“She was such a breath of fresh air,” O’Leary told reporters when reached for comment at the same 4 bedroom McCormick Ranch home. “All the others wanted to talk about the market and toot their own horns. Agnes was willing to listen … and to ultimately do whatever I told her to do.”

Asked to corroborate, Friedman smiled and offered reporters coffee.

“No, the house didn’t sell,” O’Leary admitted. “But it didn’t sell on my terms.”

Dennis LeGrudge recently purchased a home utilizing Friedman’s services as a buyer’s agent.

“It started out great,” LeGrudge said over the sound of running water. “Agnes showed me everything, whether I was qualified to buy it or not. She even brought snacks.”

Things went awry once Mr. LeGrudge located a property that he wanted to purchase.

“At first, her advice made a lot of sense,” he allowed. “I didn’t want to insult the seller, so I gave him full price.”

In hindsight, LeGrudge thinks that may have been his first mistake.

“I wish I’d known the house had been on the market for fourteen months,” he lamented.

Problems compounded for LeGrudge when the home inspection revealed a bad roof and a missing air conditioning unit. Rather than banging heads with the seller on the deficiencies, his agent convinced him that all homes had issues, and not to upset the seller by requesting frivolous repairs.

“Frivolous,” LeGrudge scoffed. “Hear that burst pipe? I think they plumbed this place with twisty straws.”

One competitor, who chose to remain anonymous, hopes Friedman never lets the industry change her.

“It’s inspiring to see someone so determined to remain true to her benevolent nature in this dog eat dog business,” Agent X said. “I hope she never loses that.”

When pressed, Agent X admitted he has an ulterior motive for Friedman to continue with her current practices.

“Yeah,” he confirmed with a wink. “As long as Agnes negotiates like Bambi, I’m more than happy to thump’er.”

– Paul Slaybaugh, Disassociated Press

Please like & share:

Feedback

Damon’s cell phone buzzed in his pocket as he stepped out of the stately house and into the warmth of late April in Scottsdale, Arizona. Checking the display, he recognized the number from the four previous calls he’d let roll to voicemail. Whoever it was, his mystery caller was pretty keen on speaking with him right now. He sighed as the door closed behind him, deciding to break his personal rule about taking calls while showing property.

“Excuse me for a moment,” Damon said to the young couple waiting on the porch, pointing to the phone.

“No problem,” the wife answered, running a hand over the lone straggler in her otherwise perfectly coiffed, auburn hair. “We’ll go ahead and get Maddux in his seat.”

Nodding, Damon pressed the “receive” button and put the phone to his ear.

“This is Damon,” he informed the caller in a slightly quizzical tone. Not for the first time, he wondered if he sounded helpful or confused.

“Yes, um, hi, this is Peggy Dragic. You showed my listing on Oak? Just curious what the buyers thought.”

The vein over Damon’s right eye throbbed with aggravation as his cobalt blue eyes narrowed to angry slits.

“You’re kidding, right,” he demanded, the sing-songy eagerness in his voice replaced with an icy baritone. “You’ve called five times in the past ten minutes for feedback?”

“I have a very eager seller,” she responded, by way of an apology.

“Look, Peggy, I’m right in the middle of an appointment. If you want to call back with the property address, you can leave it on my voicemail. I’ll review my notes when I’m done here and call you back,” he directed, willing his rigid jaw to relax. The last thing he needed was a trip to the dentist to fix another filling.

“Surely you remember it,” the agent pressed. “8423 North Oak – the beautifully remodeled Tudor with a split guest suite and stained glass clerestory windows in the foyer.”

He glanced at his black Yukon, where his clients were struggling to load their squirming nine month old. He couldn’t help but smile at their plight. Dylan had started reacting to his seat like a cat to an ice bath at about the same age. Damon suspected it was because he didn’t want to face backwards anymore. No longer content within his own little world, he was ready to join the big, forward-facing one.

“Hmm, doesn’t ring a bell,” he lied, deciding to play along. “What day did you say I showed it?”

“Today, between ten and eleven,” the incredulous agent informed him.

Damon pulled the phone away from his ear to check the time.

10:31 AM.

“Today? We must not have gotten to it yet. Nothing but overpriced dogs to this point,” he said. His mouth curved into a toothless grin.

“But I just got off the phone with the seller! She said you were just there!”

“Wait … did you say Oak,” he asked.

“Yes, Oak! There’s a koi pond in the front courtyard,” the agent clarified.

“No koi ponds today, just a stagnant bog that someone is using to brew West Nile virus. Couldn’t have been your listing,” he assured her, looking down at the half dozen carp of varied brilliant colors loitering near his feet.

“She was home when you came through,” the agent insisted. “You were there for half an hour!”

Movement in the living room window caught Damon’s attention.  A wrinkled face disappeared behind the elegant taupe curtain when he turned to look.

“Tudor, you say? We did see one Tudor, but it needed a lot of work,” he replied.

“My listing has newer appliances and a tankless hot water system,” the agent corrected.

“Well the one I’m thinking of smelled like an old lady’s apothecary chest and had the most garish flooring I have ever seen. The husband called it the “La Vida Loca House.”

“I’ll have you know that is the finest terracotta tile money can buy, imported directly from an artisan in Pienza. Each piece is handmade, baked in the sun for seventy two hours and fired in a 16th century kiln,” she huffed.

“No kidding? It looked like something my kid made in art class,” Damon responded. “And not for nothing, but Michelangelo he is not.”

“Well, what did they think about the kitchen? Is that not a gourmet’s delight,” she asked.

“If you are into cherry wood and granite, I suppose,” Damon admitted. “My people are alderwood and corian people. The kitchen would be the first thing they’d have to gut.”

“You won’t find another piece of property like this,” she pressed. “Where else can you get an acre and a half backing to state trust land in Scottsdale?”

“Maintenance would be a killer,” Damon countered. “My people are relocating from a studio apartment in San Francisco. He doesn’t even own a lawnmower.”

“How about the price,” she asked, hesitating slightly.

Damon allowed an audible sigh to preface his reply.

“You already know you’re overpriced by two hundred thousand, Peggy. No sense belaboring the point. It’s out of their range, but we wanted to take a look just in case it was move-in ready and the seller was willing to deal a little bit.”

“She is open to all offers,” the agent replied.

Damon realized he was pacing and began walking towards the SUV, where his clients had finally wrestled their sobbing child into his seat. He made a mental note to stop for a snack, toy, bottle of methadone or any other anti-tantrum talisman one could purchase at a Circle K.

“I appreciate that, but I just don’t see this house working for my people, Peggy. They want a split master, need an extra half bath, hate stairs …”

“Any suggestions? She really needs out of that house,” the desperate agent interrupted. “Since her husband passed away last year, it’s become too much for her to handle. Her family is all waiting for her back in Toledo.”

“Just between me and you, as a professional courtesy, it’s not going to sell while she’s living there. Her stuff is all over the place, family pictures staring down at you from every wall. Didn’t help that she followed us through the entire house, pointing out where one of her kids bumped his head forty years ago and the laundry room baseboard that Daisy, the Golden Retriever, chewed up in the mid eighties. My people felt like intruders.”

“I know, I know,” the crestfallen agent confessed. “I keep telling her to take the dog for a walk during showings. It died ten years ago, but she doesn’t know that.”

“Put her on a plane to Toledo and crash the price. It’s too far gone for a mom and pop. Your buyer is an investor.”

Damon climbed behind the wheel and buckled his seat belt while pinning the phone between his ear and shoulder in a well-practiced maneuver. After checking his passengers to ensure that everyone was secure, he started the car.

“Well, not what I wanted to hear, but I appreciate your candor,” the agent said, partially obscured by the throaty engine roaring to life.

“No sweat, hope it helps,” Damon offered.

“It does, thanks for taking the time.”

“Sure thing, Peggy. Best of luck,” Damon concluded, terminating the call and dropping the phone into the grey cup holder in the console. He looked in the rearview at the young woman in the back seat, beaming despite the now shrieking child next to her.

“So what do you think, guys? Still feeling it,” he asked.

“Absolutely, it’s everything we’ve ever wanted,” the computer programmer with the prematurely salt and pepper flecked buzz cut sitting next to him gushed, breaking from his usual recalcitrance to answer for them both.

“Terrific, let’s go back to the office and write it up. One thing, though,” Damon teased.

“What,” both spouses asked in unison.

“We’re gonna offer a hundred grand less than we discussed.”

All three smiled as they pulled away from the curb, leaving 8423 N. Oak Drive in their wake.

Please like & share:

Repair Demand Negotiation: Behind the Scenes of a Real Estate Transaction

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

OU812 E. Impasse Trail …GOOD NEWS!!! Jan 1 (5 days ago)   Reply [v]

 

Dear Barry,

 

I am happy to inform you that the buyer has concluded his inspections for Impasse TL. Outside of a few minor issues that he would like the seller to address, we should be good to go. Please find the following list of repair items, and let me know if you have any questions. I’ll go ahead and schedule contractors while we await seller signature.

 

Action Items:
  • Repair wood rot at NE fascia board above garage.
  • Repair leak at main water valve and install pressure regulator to bring pressure below 90 PSI.
  • Remove dated 30” oak cabinetry in kitchen and replace with 42” dove-tailed, raised-panel cherry.
  • Laminate counter tops throughout home to be replaced with level 5 granite of buyer’s choice. Beveled edge or beaver cut.
  • Seller to credit buyer $20,000 towards stainless steel appliance package.
  • Water staining at SW corner of third bedroom closet ceiling. Roof to be replaced.
  • Garage to be enclosed as livable square footage with 18 Seer A/C unit and R-19 factor insulation batts installed.
  • Neighbors on east side of home to paint their trim.
  • Water heater is six months old. Nearing the end of its useful life. Seller to upgrade to solar and assign tax credit to buyer.
  • 50’ x 500’ moat to be constructed between front yard planter and porch by licensed contractor under the guidance of medieval historian. Seller to credit buyer $5000 towards stocking with reptilian of buyer’s choice.
  • Helipad with Starbucks kiosk installed above third story addition (see permit plans already submitted to the city).
  • Stucco damage at front facade to be patched.
  • “My Little Pony” theme in bedroom 4 to be changed to “Toy Story” motif, complete with life-sized Buzz Lightyear figurine and fully operational rocket ship.
  • Ceiling fan in master bedroom to be removed to make room for trapeze.
  • Strike plate on hall bathroom door to be realigned to close properly.
  • In addition to these minor fixes, buyer requests that seller agree to personally return to premises to make needed repairs to property for up to five (5) years after closing.

 

I look forward to your positive response. Please fax executed agreement to (888) 317-1635.

 

Thanks!
Chet

 

Chester Montgomery, REALTOR
VelociRealtors, LLC
We pin’em, you skin’em

 

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

RE: OU812 E. Impasse Trail …GOOD NEWS!!! Jan 3 (3 days ago)   Reply [v]

 

Chet,

 

Thank you for furnishing the buyer’s inspection notice. After careful consideration of the repair items, the seller proposes a closing cost credit en lieu of repairs in the amount of go f&%$ yourself. Please find official response attached and forward to title once executed.

 

Best,
Barry

 

Bartholomew Shackles CRS GRI ABR CDPE
Shack and Awe Realty
Alienate, Detonate & Move Into What’s Left!

 

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

RE: RE: OU812 E. Impasse Trail … GOOD NEWS!!! Jan 4 (2 days ago)   Reply [v]

 

Barry,

 

My client thanks the seller for the considerate response. Just a minor tweak to the addendum and we’re all set. Please see counter offer and have seller initial changes.

 

Thanks,
Chet

 

Chester Montgomery, REALTOR GPS SUV DR DRE ABBA STD
*National Junior Honor Society Member, Outstanding Achievement in Reading Recipient, Cochise Elementary – 1976, Melba Island Pie-Eating Contest Runner-Up: 1993, Eagle Scout, PTA Enthusiast*
VelociRealtors, LLC
We pin’em, you skin’em

 

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

RE:RE:RE: OU812 E. Impasse Trail …GOOD NEWS!!! Jan 5 (1 day ago)   Reply [v]

 

Chet,

 

Thank you for agreeing to our terms. Please crumple up the previous response which you erroneously forwarded and shove it straight up your @$$. I will watch my fax for the executed acceptance.

 

Barry

 

Batholomew Shackles CRS GRI ABR CDPE  (Can you even spell CRS?)
Shack and Awe Realty
Alienate, Detonate & Move Into What’s Left!

 

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

RE:RE:RE:RE: OU812 E. Impasse Trail … GOOD 1:17 PM(1 hour ago)   Reply [v]

 

Barry,

 

The buyer challenges the seller to a no-holds barred mud-wrestling match on 2/1 at Cesar‘s Palace. Standard Thunderdome rules apply, with the bout to be sanctioned by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Winner receives the losing party’s signature and 60% of the pay per view.

 

Chet

 

Chester Montgomery, REALTOR
VelociRealtors, LLC
We Pin’em, You Skin’em

 

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

RE:RE:RE:RE:RE: OU812 E. Impasse Trail … 2:04 PM (12 minutes ago)   Reply [v]

 

Chet,

 

The seller accepts on the condition that Flavor Flav, Sandra Day O’Connor and the guy who played the dad on Alf serve as celebrity judges.

 

Barry

 

Bartholomew Shackles CRS GRI ABR CDPE
Shack and Awe Realty
Alienate, Detonate & Move Into What’s Left!

 

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

RE:RE:RE:RE:RE: OU812 E. Impasse Trail 2:07 PM (9 minutes ago)   Reply [v]

 

Do you want to call title with the cancellation or should I?

 

Chester Montgomery, REALTOR
VelociRealtors, LLC
We Pin’em, You Skin’em

 

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE: OU812 E. Impasse Trail 2:10 PM (6 minutes ago)   Reply [v]

 

I’ll do it. Gotta check on loan docs for another file anyway. Tell Janet I said hello. We still on for Saturday?

 

Bartholomew Shackles CRS GRI ABR CDPE
Shack and Awe Realty
Alienate, Detonate & Move Into What’s Left!

 

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
RE: RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE: OU812 E. Impasse 2:13 PM (5 minutes ago)   Reply [v]

 

Yep, we’ll meet you at 8. Bring your wallet. Told you this one wasn’t going anywhere. 😉

 

Chester Montgomery, REALTOR
VelociRealtors, LLC
We Pin’em, You Skin’em

 

Please like & share:

Listing Price Reductions: Go Big or Go Home

Note:  The following is the opinion of Paul Slaybaugh only, and, therefore, patently correct.

Unless you are trying to get under a specific price barrier, you are better off leaving your asking price alone than making a minuscule reduction.

Sounds contrary to logic, doesn’t it? And contrary to the groveling we agents typically employ to wrangle an unrealistic seller into the wakeful world. Why on earth would the guy who has been hammering you on price from the listing’s inception reverse course now that you are willing to acquiesce slightly?

Because a 5k price adjustment to a property that needs to come down 50k sends a signal to buyers, and not the one you think it does. Assuming I did not hit the hooch prior to the initial listing consultation and abet your decision to list the house for $404,900 (thus making it entirely likely that the eventual buyer for your house is not currently seeing it due to his searches being constrained by a 400k ceiling), such insignificant tinkering with the price essentially puts buyers and their agents on notice that you are not all that open to negotiation. Shaving a few measly bucks off the list price is equal parts admission that the current pricing isn’t getting it done, and revelation of an unwillingness to give up on the sales price targeted.

That’s a sales molotov cocktail.

If you move your listing price from $425,000 to $419,000, everyone and their mother knows you are still looking to command upwards of 400k.

Perhaps this is the message you hope to impart, but it makes you appear even more recalcitrant than you did prior to showing the modest reduction. Of the two primary goals of price adjustment – attracting a new group of buyers, and re-energizing those who have already seen the home – you accomplish neither. Adjustment for the sake of adjustment isn’t going to fool anyone and should not be prescribed haphazardly. It is just going to perpetuate the belief that, even upon further reflection, your opinion of value is not compatible with reality.

Many times buyers and their agents will put a home on the watch list if it appears to fit their needs, but is overpriced. That very first price reduction goes a long way in their determination as to whether your home is to be a viable contender. If you show a meager concession after 90 days on the market, they will intuit that you will not be open to an offer more in line with current values. Further, at the current rate of adjustment, it will take another 2 years for you to eventually work your way down to where you need to be. Adios muchachos, it’s on to the next contender for them.

If you really have no flexibility to drop your price, you are better served to keep them guessing as to your motivations and likely openness to negotiation. Better to show nothing than to show you are thinking about haggling in cents when the buyer is thinking in dollars.

If you need to reduce your price to break into the appropriate buyer demographic, bite the faux-equity bullet and do it. Doing so piecemeal not only alerts potential buyers to your likely miserly approach to negotiations, but robs you of the impact an appreciable change brings.

I know you don’t want to give your home away, and I would be derelict in my duty to let you do so. Just bear in mind that you cannot give away that which you don’t have. If your list price does not reflect current market value, you are fretting about closing the door on money that was never yours.

If you need to make a price adjustment, make it count.

Please like & share:
Why Would the Seller Counter My Scottsdale Short Sale Offer?

Why Would the Seller Counter My Scottsdale Short Sale Offer?

If you were to stand in the center of Scottsdale and spit in any direction, chances are good that you’d hit a home with negative equity. Thus if you’ve been shopping for a home, chances are equally good that you have come across a short sale listing or fifty along the way. If you are willing to subject yourself to the short sale process for the right home, there is a mental hurdle that must be navigated when sitting down to draft an offer.

Prevailing wisdom holds that a Scottsdale short sale seller doesn’t give a fig about the ultimate sales price. Seeing that he won’t walk away from the transaction with one wooden nickel in his pocket, what would he care about the size of the loss that the bank(s) that holds his mortgage takes? The same bank that qualified him to buy a $750,000 home with zero down and an adjustable rate on a stated income loan. The same bank that bilked him of taxpayer bailout funds while he’s stuck with that albatross of a house. Screw the bank. He’d gladly facilitate a deal that calls for the lienholder to absorb as large a loss as possible while carving his initials in the front door on the way out, right? Right?

Not so fast, Johnny Oversimplifier.

There are several reasons why a seller with an interest in actually completing the transaction will attempt to negotiate the most favorable terms from his side of the table. First and foremost, the seller wants to submit an offer to the bank that has a chance of succeeding. If you come in with an offer of $200,000 on a $400,000 short sale listing, there is little chance that approval from the bank (the ultimate decision maker in the process) will be forthcoming. Knowing that, the seller will not be receptive to tying the bank up with an unrealistic offer. The higher the price the seller can negotiate before the package is sent to the bank for approval, the better the chances of getting out from under the house.

While gaining approval constitutes the lion’s share of the concern a seller will have with your supremely low offer, the approval itself will raise additional considerations. The larger the loss the bank takes, the larger the possible tax ramifications the seller faces for the forgiven debt (The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 has limitations on residence types and amount of the debt forgiven). Further, assuming full release from the lien is obtained from the bank once an offer is approved (something that cannot be taken for granted and should always be reviewed by a Real Estate attorney prior to ratification), the seller may be asked to bring additional monies to the table as part of the approval. Especially in instances in which there is more than one loan, the larger the loss, the more likely one of the banks will try to shake the seller by the feet to see if any loose change falls out of his bank account at closing.

Long post short, the seller has legitimate reasons to negotiate in full capacity against your initial purchase offer. Just because he stands to gain nothing in terms of cash at closing, he does stand to gain substantially. A new lease on life and release from the responsibilities of an underwater mortgage are pretty high stakes, after all.

Moreover, the seller that willingly accepts your lowball offer without a fight might not be interested in actually selling his home. There is plenty of gamesmanship and hidden motivation at play in the short sale arena at present. Your low offer may be forwarded to the bank merely to stall foreclosure. Knowing that it will never gain approval, the seller buys a little more time for rent-free living while the bank processes the file and ultimately returns with a rejection four months later.

The seller who counters your initial offer is doing you a favor. Not only is he demonstrating an interest in a successful conclusion to the sale, but he’s giving your offer a chance. If he signs off on your lowball without a fight, he is just prolonging the agony.

I’d recommend getting comfortable in that studio apartment you are renting if you are floating lowball offers on Scottsdale short sale listings.

Please like & share:

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)