When another offer is accepted

When another offer gets accepted and your client is left to continue their search, it can be difficult. The hard thing is that in a lot of situations your client might have had the highest offer, but it might not have been the best offer for the seller. Loan to value ratio plays a huge role in this process and in our market, cash deals are always abundant. Last year 30% of real estate transactions were done with cash deals in the triangle. That is well above the national average and puts a lot of homebuyers on the outside looking in. If you are FHA, VA or conventional putting down less than 20% it can make the appraisal play the most important role in your transaction. Although you might be willing to pay the highest amount for the home, the lender might need be able to provide the offer price due to the home not appraising for that amount. Then you are left with the option of coming out of pocket for the difference or trying to negotiate the purchase price down. The purchase price is not likely to be negotiated, especially if you have multiple offers. The seller will just move on to another buyer who is willing to cover the difference. 

The moral of the story is that just because you didn’t get your offer accepted, that doesn’t mean that your offer wasn’t the highest. It just wasn’t the best. Keep the faith, stay positive and trust the process. Everything happens for a reason and you will find your perfect home. It might even be the one you lost out on the first time around! 

How to defeat “mega agents”

As a newer agent you will have to go up against so called “mega agents” and you better know how to sell your services during a listing appointment.  A “mega agent” will push their average of listing 30 houses per month, having a team of 40 agents working under them and being on the “best ever club” for their company. These agents have to list 30 houses a month because they need to use them for advertising to find buyers to cover overhead costs. It’s simple math to see that 40 agents listing 30 houses per month is less than 1 a month per agent, so it’s really not that impressive. My philosophy has always been that they sell the look, but fail the client. Most homes are overpriced and sit on the market longer. This is what they need to make their business work! They need the advertising and there is no better advertising than yard signs. Even if they feature what looks like a 1980’s glamour shot of the agent. 

The second thing to think about is if the “mega agent” will actually answer when you call at anytime of day. Most likely they will have one of their people in the pyramid assigned to your property and you will never speak with the person who puts their name on the sign when you have a question. I have built my business on personal service and being the one who answers the phone when a client calls. That means when you call, I answer! Doesn’t matter what is going on or what time it is. I joke that this is a 24/7 business, but there is more truth to it than you think. You will not find “personal service” with big agents. They simply don’t have the time to deal with every listing. They have to manage a team and not manage their client’s.  

It all comes down to what type of service and results you would like as a client. I prefer to deliver personal service, attention to detail and to follow through on what I say. My business is based on being ethical, honest and accountable in every transaction, for every  client. I would rather lose a listing by being honest than to compromise my integrity to cover my overhead. If that is the type of service you want from your agent, give me a call and let’s chat about your real estate needs. My goals are always your goals! 

Jeremy J. Burns 

Advice for new agents

My first piece of advice would be to check your ego at the door and let reality settle in. So many agents find themselves fresh out of the classroom with a brand new license in their hand and not much of a clue what to do next. Most of them seem to think that the real estate business is much like the reality shows you see on television. Drive around in a luxury car with an expensive suit and designer shades on. Meet a client at a million dollar home, sign some paperwork, close the deal and collect a big check. The thought of that is amazing, but the reality is that as a new agent you will be very lucky to cover your expenses in the first year. You don’t see $25,000 commission checks and it is not likely you will find someone willing to list their million dollar home with you. You will most likely be scraping out whatever buyers and listings you can. Doesn’t really matter if it $35k or $235k, you will have to take what you can get. Don’t get me wrong, everyone has to start somewhere so there is nothing wrong with taking anything and everything. The reality is that after you sell a $200k house, your firm takes their cut and government takes theirs, you will be left with a few thousand net. That first deal doesn’t even cover the cost of real estate school, membership dues and whatever other startup costs you incurred. Now start factoring marketing costs into the equation and your first two deals are probably going to get you to even. This is the most common misconception with new agents getting into the business. They see what seems to be a leisurely lifestyle with nice cars, a big home and plenty of free time to play golf.  What they don’t understand is the years that have gone into building that book of business. The real estate business is not even close to a 9-5 job that you leave at the office and pickup again the next morning. It is a 24/7 grind that will have you driving from one end of the county to the other, having the phone glued to your ear and never being more than arms length from your laptop. You need to be there when the phone rings whether it is 9am or 10pm. Whether it is a Tuesday or a Sunday. Your client’s depend on you to be there when they need you and often need answers asap. In this market you don’t have the option of making an appointment to show a house on Friday when it is Tuesday. Chances are that home will be under contract by then by someone who had an agent that was willing to go see the home asap. My schedule changes day to day and hour by hour depending on my client’s needs. I take everything I need with me when I go out of town because there is no such thing as a vacation without some work for a busy agent. If your goal is to be a successful agent, you have to be willing to put in the work to get there. I see a lot of new agents that come in and think it as easy as getting a website, printing business cards and waiting for the phone to ring. Those are the same agents that are typically getting out of the business less than a year later because they can’t make ends meet. This is not a business that you can fake it until you make it. It is commission only and only the strong survive.  You need to know what you are doing, have a plan and stick to it. Even in the beginning when it seems like things aren’t happening as fast as you would like, stay the course! Most people give up too soon and never get to see the results of their work. When times are slow, market harder! When times are good and you have some business in the pipeline, market harder! 80% of your business will come from your sphere of influence so you better get good at telling people what you do for a living. It is tough sometimes to reach out to friends and family with marketing, but those are the people that should be the easiest. You already know them and hopefully they already trust you. Lean on them and ask them to refer you to their friends, family and coworkers. It is never too early to start marketing. If you are in school to become a real estate agent, let people know that you will be getting licensed soon. Let them know that you will be able to give them all of your time because you don’t have any other clients yet. If they push back that you are a new agent and they would like an experienced agent, let them know that you have a BIC that oversees everything to make sure you do everything correct. They will take comfort in that! If it is possible for you to keep working and slowly work your way into the business, I would suggest that. It is very hard to make any type of significant income in your first year in the business. Year two should start providing you with more business and more steady income. In your third year you should start seeing that steady income grow into a sustainable book of business that keeps you busy and steady commission checks coming in every month. This is why I always tell new agents to have a 3 year plan and make it realistic. Don’t come in thinking you are going to make $60k in year one. Be realistic and do the work! It is very easy to stray off course and not stick to the plan, but if you can stay disciplined, you will be successful. This is a business that can provide a six figure income with well less than full time hours if you are willing to put in the work now. 

Jeremy J. Burns

Fonville Morisey 

New logo launch 

Today is a very exciting day for our company. So much research and work has gone into this new logo and the impact it will have on our business. I was truly blown away by the feedback that was provided on both the old logo and this new logo. This new logo represents the same great knowledge and customer service we are known for, but looking forward it represents a new, fresh, modern, clean and sophisticated look. If you would like to know more about the Triangle’s #1 Real Estate firm and how we can become partners in real estate, please contact me at 919-229-2051 or jburns@fmrealty.com 

Fantastic Wake forest Listing!

Located in the desirable River Stone subdivision in Wake Forest, this is a beautiful 3bd/2.5 bath home has a 1+ acre, private lot! Featuring hardwoods, beautiful master, open floorplan, stainless appliances, granite, sun porch and much more! Listed at $334,500 Call me today for additional information and showings 919-229-2051 or jburns@fmrealty.com


15 tips for getting your home ready to list

  1. Do the needed repairs. You know what needs to be fixed around your house and it is easier to get those repairs taken care of prior to listing the home vs. waiting to get them back in the inspection report.
  2.  Paint. A fresh coat of paint will make your home have a fresh feel for a perspective buyer. It might not even be the color they would like, but it will give them a good feeling from the smell to the look!
  3. Update kitchen cabinets and countertops. You don’t have to purchase all new cabinets, but painting the cabinets white and updating them from the 90’s honey oak color will totally change the look of your kitchen. You can also change the hardware or paint it with an oil rubbed bronze. Countertops can be updated without spending thousands of dollars in granite. Go the extra mile and put in a new backsplash. It is not a tough project and will give your home a great look!
  4.  Landscape. Take time to make your home have great curb appeal. Buy some new flower/plants and make it look like a warm and inviting home from the street view. The number one factor in home purchasing is still curb appeal.
  5.  Clean the exterior and roof. This is  not a very expensive task and it will give your home a fresh, clean look that will give a potential buyer the feeling that if you take such good care of the exterior, you will take even better care of the interior.
  6. Update bathroom fixtures. Change the toilets and faucets for a new and updated look.
  7. Remove personal items. Try to take out as many personal items as possible to give the potential buyer a sense that this is their new home and not your old home.
  8. Clear the clutter. Rent a storage unit or donate items you are just saving for  no good reason. I’m sure that dress you had from prom isn’t needed these days or the suit you bought in 2002 that doesn’t fit anymore can go as well. Take 1/2 of the clothes out of your closet to make them look bigger.
  9. Find the right agent. Choose an agent that is ready to work hard for to market your home. Sometimes the misconception of “bigger is better” isn’t always the best option. If you choose an agent that has a team and claim to list 30 homes a month, be prepared to not talk to that agent when you call at 10pm or at dinner. Your home might just become a number in their monthly log and you might get lost in the shuffle. An agent that has a smaller book of business is the agent that will be there for you from start to finish and always be there when you call.
  10. Know your competition. Make  it a point to walk through the homes for sale in your neighborhood. A good agent will invite you to see the homes for sale around you so you know why your home is priced the way it is.
  11. Update master bath. Make your master bath feel like an inviting spa experience to the potential buyer. New fixtures, towels and lighting are some things you can do to give it a great new look.
  12. Improve lighting. Get new fixtures that brighten the room and give it a more modern look. More light will always make a space more inviting and updated fixtures will give it a fresh look.
  13. Don’t forget the backyard. Make your backyard a great place to entertain! Keep it clean and well kept  so that the potential buyer can picture themselves enjoying a bbq with their friends.
  14. Update the hardware on doors. This is a very inexpensive way to give your home a nice brushed nickel or oil rubbed bronze finish without breaking the bank. The 90’s brass look was good back then, but has long since lost its luster.
  15. Make it smell amazing. Get scents that make it smell like a warm and inviting experience. be careful that you don’t make it smell like you just walked by a Hollister at the mall though. Too much is not good when it comes to the way your home should smell. A good scent will definitely set the tone for the showing and cover up any unwanted odors.

Mixing friends and finances

Lets face it. Nobody likes to discuss their financial situation with friends. My real estate business depends heavily on my sphere of influence and a major part of that sphere is comprised of my friends who are reluctant to share their financial situation with me. This is a major factor in friends of mine not reaching out to me when they have a need for a real estate agent. There has been several occasions that I have had close friends not even contact me to represent them in their home purchase and I feel like this is the only reason for them not reaching out. I have made it a point to keep my role as an agent very separate from the lending side of the transaction. I have a great lender in my office (Thomas Brown 919-229-2049) that takes all of the financial information from the client and gives me a simple pre-approval letter, that we can submit with the offer. I never have to see what you make or what your credit score is at anytime during the process. You should choose an agent that you enjoy working with and that you feel that you can trust with this important decision. Why not choose your friend? You enjoy spending time with them, you feel open to discussing things you like/dislike about homes, you can trust them, you don’t have awkward conversations/moments of weird silence and you know that they have your best interest in mind. If you take away the thought of having your friend see all of your financial information and just focus on why you should choose a friend to help you with your real estate transaction, it really isn’t even a tough answer at that point! Click on the FM Lending link to get started with your approval process!

Thomas Brown   (919) 229-2049     http://www.fmlending.com