Buyers

Know Your Negotiation: Tips for Real Estate Agents

By Guest Blogger
March 1, 2016
This was originally published on the official blog of Century 21® on February 17, 2016*

NegotiationSkills

One of the many reasons a home buyer or seller turns to you, the real estate agent, is for negotiation help. They might lack experience and feel insecure when it comes time to talk about money and their potential purchase or sale. While you may have already brushed up on some tactics, realize that negotiating in real estate presents a unique situation. Here are some tips that may help.

Check Your Emotions, Not Theirs
Common advice recommends negotiators to remain unbiased and objective — strong emotions can potentially hurt your deal. However, as a real estate agent, it’s important to remember that emotions do play a part in your business. A home may often be the largest investment in a client’s life. Acknowledge and understand that clients might have a lot at stake, while continuing to remain unemotional during negotiation. Your clients may appreciate that you understand their point of view while maintaining a professional demeanor.

Prepare Your Clients
Whether your clients are the ones buying or the ones selling, get them up to speed on how a typical negotiation occurs. Although you may be responsible for leading the process, you can still make your client feel like a participant. Lay out the procedural steps for them, so there are no surprises or unexpected obstacles. Answer as many questions as possible beforehand so they don’t feel out of the loop or overwhelmed when the negotiation occurs.

Manage Expectations
While you may have good intentions to get your client the best deal possible, don’t promise it. After all, you can’t. A negotiation is a live, working discussion that can take many turns. Make sure your clients understand the worst case scenario by talking to them beforehand about all potential outcomes. As mentioned before, buying or selling a home may be an emotional endeavor for them. Mentally preparing them for less than favorable outcomes takes the shock out of the situation and may reduce mental stress.

Discuss Alternatives
The “worst case scenario” conversation shouldn’t end with a simple acknowledgment of potential outcomes. Create a plan of action just in case those outcomes are realized. What would your client like to do if the buyer won’t budge on an asking price? What would the buyer like to do with certain home inspection results? Deciding on an action beforehand can reduce the time and effort of decision making in the moment, which may lead to more objective, unemotional choices.

Report Facts Only
Since it’s your job to remain detached during this process, make sure you remain that way when reporting negotiation outcomes to your client. If a seller is angered by an asking price, but accepts it anyway, you may want to leave out their emotional response when reporting the offer acceptance. Their reaction is unnecessary to the business transaction, and can only add superfluous feelings of attachment to the process.

Negotiating in real estate can be a high stakes game, but these tips may help you to remain calm while you work out the best deal for your client.

*Article reprinted with permission of Century 21 Real Estate LLC.

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Interview with C.A.R. Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young

By Joe Lins
February 15, 2016

I had the opportunity to interview California Association of REALTORS® Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young after her presentation at the Pacific West Association of REALTORS® February general membership meeting. I asked her three questions about the real estate industry and specifically Orange County real estate.

Those three questions were:

1) What is the biggest disruption facing the real estate industry?

2) How healthy is the Orange County real estate market?

3) What is the biggest opportunity for the consumer in Orange County?

She’s a smart woman and I value her insight. Watch this short video for her responses.

 

Joe Lins photo

 

About the author: Joe Lins is President and Co-owner of CENTURY 21 Discovery. If you are interested in becoming part of the CENTURY 21 Discovery team or would like more information about our services contact Joe at 714.626.2069.

Escrow and How It Works

By Nancy Mattaliano-Castaneda
February 2, 2016

Buying a home is a huge undertaking and requires a good understanding of the process. In California, once a buyer and seller agree to the terms of the sale the next step is to open escrow. First time buyers or people who have not bought or sold a home in awhile may not know what escrow is.

Couple taking a break from unpacking

Here is a brief overview of what escrow is and how it works.

What is Escrow?

Escrow is a process that protects the interest of all parties in a real estate transaction, ensuring that all the conditions of the sale have been met before property and money change hands.

Why Do I Need One?

You need escrow to ensure that all parties have complied with the escrow instructions before any funds are disbursed or title is transferred. The escrow company has an obligation to safeguard the funds and/or documents while they are in the officer’s possession and to disburse funds and/or convey title only when all parties have met the terms of the escrow instructions.

What is the Escrow process?

Once a purchase contract has been negotiated to the satisfaction of both the seller and buyer, a legible fully-signed copy is forwarded to the escrow company. The escrow officer will then prepare supplemental instructions and place the earnest money deposit into a trust account. The buyer and seller can move forward separately, but simultaneously, in obtaining inspections, reports, loan commitments, funds, deeds and many other items using escrow as the central depositing point.

Who to Contact with Questions:

Your REALTOR® will answer questions about your purchase contract agreement. Your loan officer will answer all questions about your loan status, conditions of your loan and the loan process. Your escrow officer will help or direct you with any other questions. A good escrow officer understands you will have questions and should be willing to answer them or direct you to the person who can.

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About the Author: Nancy Mattaliano-Castaneda is an Escrow Officer at Equity Escrow Group, Ltd. in Fullerton, California. For more information about Equity Escrow Group, Ltd. call 714.626.2095 or visit the website www.equityescrow.net.

5 Places You Forgot Potential Buyers Will Check

By Guest Blogger
October 15, 2015
This was originally published on the official blog of Century 21® on October 14, 2015 *

An open house is a crucial component of the home sale process. Start with these tips for staging an open house, but don’t stop there. Potential buyers are likely to inspect all areas of the house. Yes, even your “junk drawer” and closets. Here’s a list of five often forgotten places that potential homeowners may check.

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The sides of your house

When you spruce up your front yard and backyard, pay attention the sides of your home as well. Potential buyers will likely look at the exterior of your house from all angles. One unkempt side may turn them off from the rest of the home. Make sure the paint and landscaping is in good condition from all angles.

Inside your closets

Don’t stuff everything in your closets and hope no one will open them. Even if the potential buyers aren’t fashionistas, they may still care about closet space. Show it off by organizing it. You wouldn’t want a potential buyer to open a closet just to find a hodgepodge of the belongings you stashed there.

Under your bed

Removing the bulk of storage from your closets is a great way to make closet space appear bigger, but that doesn’t mean your stuff should be shoved under the bed. Not only is it an eyesore, but the potential homebuyer might also see it as a sign that there is not enough storage space. Your best bet is to invest in temporary external storage space so that your open house has all the space it needs.

Inside the shower

Chances are no one wants a small, cramped bathroom. Create storage solutions that may make your space appear bigger and brighter to buyers. For example, stash toiletries and cleaning supplies in a separate closet, a dresser, or under the sink.

Your drawers and cabinets

Potential buyers will probably open drawers and cabinets. Spend time getting inspired by these home organizers. Think about all of the details like your spice rack, whether your dishes match, and finally taming your “junk drawer.” In need of more inspiration? Our Pins may help!

Go the extra mile, and don’t get caught off guard. You wouldn’t want to scream a slow motion “nooooo” as a potential buyer innocently reaches to open a closet.

*Article reprinted with permission of Century 21 Real Estate LLC.