It's Time for Real Estate Agents to Get Off Their Assets and Sell!
As you'll quickly discern, this month's article is a bit different, dominated by a lengthy "Dutch Uncle" lecture from the Author, who took his first lashes in real estate nearly 60 years ago. Based on those stripes, he therefore feels qualified to dish out some plain talk to those of you still out there on the firing line.
MAKE it a great 2008! (It's up to you!)
Get Off Your Assets and Sell!! (Your Dutch Uncle Speaking)
Especially if you've been in real estate for more than a couple of years, you've seen glimpses of the Promised Land in marketing: Hungry buyers, eager sellers, generous lenders and unshakable consumer optimism.
If so, and if you were on the ball, you racked up stunning commissions and socked away some of them in solid assets, which may have come in handy during recent weeks and months. A merry tune was played during those heydays, but now the piper must be paid in many markets ... and that's what this straight-talk sermonette is all about.
You may not like all of it, but none of it should be either ignored or taken lightly. Unless (actually, even IF) you're still setting production records, this is no time to drop anchor and weather the storms of slowdown that appear to be sweeping the nation until "things" get better.
Things WILL get better, of course, because they always have, but although, as the old saying goes, "they also serve who only stand and wait," those who do so in real estate serve only to make bad situations worse. Natural history teaches us that evolution doesn't involve "survival of the fattest." Rather, survival of a species depends on its ability to adapt to changing circumstances. (Ask any dinosaur you happen to meet about that!)
Your future success will depend (as it always has, incidentally) on your ability to help buyers to buy and sellers to sell. Market fluctuations have nothing whatever to do with that definition of your basic mission; when qualified customers are scarce, scared off and/or unrealistic, it simply means working harder to separate the wheat from the chaff.
There are two classes of people in marketing: Those who make things happen and those who watch things happen. (Please read that at least twice; you're on one of those categories!) Both groups prosper mightily during "good" times, such as the recent period in real estate history. The "watchers" were swept along with an upward tide of activity which demanded little more of them than dipping their nets into the water and hauling in easy catches. They are, if you'll forgive a mixed metaphor, the roadkill of the future, unless they can adapt to present reality. Those who make things happen will, as they always have, continue to search out buyers and sellers, identify their needs, inform them of their options, propose reasonable solutions and encourage them to take action.
Sounds easy, but it isn't all that simple.Today's would-be buyers tend to be suspicious and fearful of the future, while many potential sellers are still romantically involved with the past.
Your assignment - call it your "Mission Possible" - is to SELL the following two sets of "thinking points" to the hordes of prospects presently sitting on the sidelines...and on their hands:
Thinking Points for Buyers
- The doom and gloom you're hearing about in the mass media should not affect your decision to act if you are ready, willing, able and eager to do so.
- Prices may still go lower, but as soon as they hit bottom, they will rebound with a vengeance, quickly wiping out any advantage you might gain by waiting.
- Right now, you have an unusually wide selection of properties to choose from, including those owned by people highly motivated to sell immediately.
- With so many potential buyers holding off, you have a much smaller number of people competing with you for the available properties.
- When the turnaround comes, those "waiters" will be your competitors, making your offer less attractive to those selling their homes.
- Financing is still available at historically low interest rates, but are sure to escalate when activity resumes at more normal levels.
- Even if you SHOULD pay a little more than you would if you actually hit the "bottom" of the market, normal appreciation would make the difference irrelevant within a few short years.
- If you as an individual ARE ready willing, able and eager to make a move, the time for action is NOW!
Thinking Points for Sellers
- What you might have sold for a year or two ago is irrelevant. Properties sell for the best price obtainable in the CURRENT market - and not a dollar more.
- If you sell for present market value, even though the price is less than it would have been in the past, you can reinvest at the same relatively lower range.
- If your present property has appreciated in value over the years, a reduced price affects only "paper" value, which you never actually realized.
- If you genuinely want to sell and have a good reason for doing so, there is little to be gained by waiting for "things to get better," especially if you'll be reinvesting in the same market.
- If your home has been on the market for a considerable period of time and is not attracting the attention of prospective buyers, it is OVERPRICED (end of sentence).
- If you are unprepared to accept the best offer obtainable from the best buyer available in the present market, you should NOT list your home for sale!
Our 'Helping Hand' Offer
If your firm, your marketing group or your local board is willing to back the venture, we'll gadly sell case lots (30 copies) of "THE REAL WORLD OF SELLING REAL ESTATE" for less than half of its cover price. (Single copies and 5-packs also available at attractive discounts.) Between its covers are more than 400 pages of field-proven answers to the problems you're facing these days. NONE of them, by the way, suggest wasting your assets on the waiting game! Details at www.joeklock.com, including the endorsement of a "Who's Who" lineup of real estate experts.
(Joe Klock is the author of 432-page collection of sales tips, The Real World of Selling Real Estate. World renowned trainer Tom Hopkins says, "The wit and wisdom of Joe Klock is a great tool to lift you up as you face the daily challenges of the wonderful world of real estate sales." )