ONE BAD APPLE …
You know the term – one bad apple spoils the whole barrel. Well, it’s the same for real estate…more specifically, Real Estate Agents and your neighbourhood.
Neighbourhoods can be microcosms when it comes to the real estate market. For example, in Oakville, specific areas like Oak Park or Joshua Creek or Bronte Creek may react differently to the macro market of the GTA, or even Oakville in general. As well, in aging neighbourhoods, similar models of homes are often completely different – in terms of upgrades, basement finishes, kitchen & bathroom renovations and other changes. What age is the furnace and A/C? Do windows need replacing? (Yikes – there’s $30-40,000.) How about the roof? How’s the landscaping? Does your Agent know all the home models and the upgrades undertaken by owners? This kind of intimate knowledge of an area is crucial to preparing your home for sale and pricing it at Fair Market Value.
If an Agent under-prices a home, it affects the marketability of all the surrounding homes. If an Agent fails to market a home properly and it sells poorly or expires, it affects the marketability of all the surrounding homes. If an Agent overprices a home and it ends up selling below Fair Market Value, it affects the marketability of all the surrounding homes.
I think you get the picture here. If an Agent is selling a home in your area and they are not knowledgeable of the area, not knowledgeable about the home models, not knowledgeable of the individual upgrades and changes, not speaking honestly about Fair Market Value, overvaluing the upgrades a homeowner has done or perhaps not using the right comparables for valuation of the property, then their mistakes can cost the entire neighbourhood!!
HERE ARE SOME OF MY PET PEEVES:
i) Agents who say Open Houses don’t work. I say they are 100% WRONG. Perhaps they don’t run a great Open House. Perhaps they don’t do their homework of what’s selling and what’s sold in both the neighbourhood and the price range in the last few days and weeks. Perhaps they aren’t as familiar with the area and its amenities. Perhaps they’d prefer to be at the cottage…or skiing…or on a weekend getaway. Bottom line, OPEN HOUSES WORK. And I have the track record to prove it.
ii) Agents who overprice properties – often caving to the Clients’ whims (and setting unrealistic expectations) rather than doing the work to show them the true Fair Market Value. This is ultimately a disservice to the Client as it has been proven that overpriced properties typically end up selling under Fair Market Value as they go through multiple price drops and the excitement of the listing is lost. And this means the home is on the market longer than it needed to be, disrupting the homeowners’ lives for a longer period of time.
iii) Agents who underprice for the easy sale. Remember: every $10,000 increase in price only nets the Agent $250. (And that’s assuming the Listing Agent is receiving 2.5% in commission. Some Agents will agree to a 2% or even 1.5% or 1% – thus you can see that their motivation to get you that extra $10,000, or $20,000, or $30,000 really isn’t there.) So it’s a lot of money in the homeowners’ pocket, but… I pride myself on fighting for every dollar for my Clients, whether we are buying or selling.
iv) Agents who brag about selling ‘WAAAY OVER ASKING’. Well, to me, they priced the property atypically low on purpose, rather than pricing it at or near Fair Market Value. And that’s fine – except – they were planning on selling the property ‘Way Over Asking’!! So it’s nothing to brag about!!!
v) Agents who give misleading opinions on the value of a homeowners’ upgrades in a sale. I’ve seen it happen quite often. A Client says they put in $100,000 to the property, therefore they want to recoup that money in the sale. But often, the upgrades they chose to do didn’t increase the value of the property!! (Believe me I have a lengthy list of upgrades that Clients wasted money on because they thought they knew best.) My preference? Having homeowners contact me for advice on where to invest $ in renos and upgrades for a better sale. (In fact, I’ve advised for people who want to sell in a few months, in a year, in 5 years and never!!)
I’m sure I have other pet peeves…but they are not necessarily real estate related!!
Thanks for reading.
Yours in Real Estate, Krisztina