When it comes to buying and selling real estate, in some ways the Sales Executives at The Trembley Group Real Estate are not that much different from the many clients they help on a daily basis. For most people, buying or selling a home will likely be the largest transaction of their lifetime. As such, buying or selling a home is a decision that needs to be entered into logically and with deliberation.
At the same time, a home is far more than just an architectural structure. For most people, their home is an extension of who they are – their personality, their style, their values. Consider that almost everything that’s ever purchased is purchased emotionally. Everyone has to wear clothes but the style, fit and color are certainly chosen with emotion. And that brand of pasta? Chances are it’s the brand a mother or grandmother bought. It’s unlikely the purchaser ever looks at the price. Those choices are not logical with far less at stake than buying or selling real estate.
Buying and selling a home is a decision that’s emotionally charged. Most people make the decision to buy or sell a home and then try to justify the decision logically. First, a Trembley Group Real Estate Sales Executive gets to know their clients, then shows them homes that they can get involved with emotionally. Next they give them all the good, logical reasons for them to own the property. The Trembley Group Real Estate Clients use the logic to justify their emotional decision.
A Sales Executive Sells Her Personal Home
Sharon Carroll, one of the first Sales Executives with The Trembley Group Real Estate, has been in the real estate business since 2011. Sharon recently sold her personal home in Myrtle Beach to move up to a more comfortable home for her and her family.
Pricing It Right
When she decided to sell, Sharon was not too worried. Her home was in a good area, she priced it correctly, and she priced it well. “I logically knew that overpricing could create problems with real estate appraisals and a buyer’s ability to get a mortgage loan,” Sharon said.
“Pricing it right only made sense. I simply followed the good, logical advice that I give my clients on a daily basis.”
Getting Unbiased, Expert Advice
All The Trembley Group Real Estate Sales Executives are experts in what makes a house sell. “I know that homeowners are oblivious to minor flaws in their homes because they look at them every day or simply don’t see them as flaws,” Sharon said. “So I asked some of my colleagues to walk through my home and give me some feedback about little things I could do to attract buyers and get the best offers. I knew I’d priced it right and wanted to be sure I hadn’t missed anything. They helped me have the confidence that I had done everything I needed to do to market my home and maximize its chances of selling quickly.”
Sharon says she spent about $3,500 to have her home painted, decluttered, and staged. “The home was staged like a model home. I was trying to maximize the emotional appeal to the buyers. I wanted buyers to imagine living in my home,” she says.
“I don’t think I would have ever gotten the offers I did without staging the home. In total, staging probably created an additional $10,000 of value.”
A Seller’s Market
Sharon was also confident that her home would sell because the Myrtle Beach real estate market is a currently a seller’s market. A seller’s market is a market when demand is strong and inventory is low. It’s a market when there are more benefits and advantages to being a home seller than a home buyer. It’s a situation when there are generally more buyers in the marketplace than there are sellers. And since inventory is low, less available inventory means there are fewer homes for sale relative to the number of buyers looking for a home.
Sharon was ready to go. She was confident her pricing strategy would achieve top dollar. Her price was fair but at the top of the market. A fair price combined with a seller’s market was a good indication that her home would sell fast. And following her own expertise and intuition, Sharon knew her house would appeal to most buyers.
What Sharon didn’t expect was the enviable position of having multiple offers on her home. Sharon’s home was on the market only a few days when she simultaneously received two offers. From a price standpoint, the offers were identical – 99% of asking price.
“It can be incredibly exciting to get a nice, clean offer on your home. Most sellers, including me, are hoping to make as much money as possible off of a sale, so getting excited about a strong offer is pretty normal.” Said Sharon.
“But two offers really exceeded all my expectations. While they don’t happen every day, with today’s seller’s market with low inventory, multiple offers are becoming increasingly more common.”
Now Sharon was faced with making the best logical, financial decision for herself and the fairest decision for her potential buyers.
On the surface, both offers were the same. They were very near full-price offers. But Sharon’s years of experience in the business of buying and selling homes had proven the “cleaner” the contract, the better. “The fewer contingencies in a real estate contract, the better,” says Sharon. “All things being equal, if you can find a great offer without contingencies, you should be great shape.” Buyers frequently want to include stipulations in their offer that can make the deal difficult to consummate. Contingencies may require that a house appraise for a certain amount, or that the buyer must get approved for a loan, or that the home has to pass an inspection.
In Sharon’s sale, the offer she accepted called for an inspection but also offered a quick closing. “Evidently, the buyer had already been talking to an inspector and had lined up someone who was willing to do the inspection on short notice.” Being a real estate professional, Sharon knew her home and was confident it would pass an inspection without a major issue.
“I’ve seen sales delayed by weeks or completely fall apart because of a bad inspection,” says Sharon. “Being able to do an inspection quickly so any deficiencies can be addressed is an important consideration.”
The offer Sharon ultimately accepted had a substantial amount of earnest money attached. “Combining few contingencies and a quick closing with a large earnest money deposit really got my attention,” Said Sharon. “I knew the buyer was dead serious. He had some ‘skin in the game’ and had a lot to lose if he didn’t perform.” The other potential buyer included several hundred dollars as an earnest money deposit. “They essentially wanted to option my home for two months for a few hundred dollars.”
Cash is King
The Trembley Group Blog recently addressed the difference between a mortgage preapproval and a mortgage prequalification. For Sharon, that difference made “all the difference in the world. For me, one of the deal clinchers was one of the buyers had already been talking to a local mortgage lender. I knew the buyer had already started the mortgage process and was going to get a mortgage. They had been pre-approved and had a substantial down payment. Knowing that they were serious enough and confident enough to put down substantial earnest money and that they were already meeting with a mortgage broker made all the difference in the world.”
“The losing offer also wanted me to pay some closing costs,” Sharon said. “While the purchase price was identical, when I put all the numbers down on paper, accepting one offer over the other netted me an additional $1,800.”
Selling a home is an emotionally charged transaction but it can also be exciting and rewarding. In today’s seller’s market, buyers and sellers find themselves in situations with multiple offers more and more frequently. Based on Sharon Carroll’s personal experience for her clients and for her own account, she recommends that potential buyers always write the cleanest offer with the fewest contingencies.
Always attach the largest earnest money deposit possible, make sure the seller knows the buyer is qualified by attaching a loan preapproval, be flexible with possession (an extra week or two to move might be important to the seller), and write the best offer possible.
“And since a real estate transaction is an emotional decision for the seller, too – the house may be the home where a couple raised their children or cared for aging parents – including a personal letter explaining why the home is special to the buyer might make a difference,” Sharon says. “All else being equal, it certainly won’t hurt and might make the difference between getting the home or not. I tell buyers somebody will be the winning offer, why can’t that person be you?”
And of course, it goes without saying someone shouldn’t go it alone when making what will likely be one of the biggest transactions of their life. Hiring an agent with the experience of Sharon Carroll has many advantages. Sharon can get broader exposure for a property, she can help negotiate a better deal, and Sharon can dedicate the necessary time to bring a sale to closing. Sharon has the experience to keep emotions from sabotaging the deal. Sharon brings expertise, which few home sellers and home buyers have, to an emotionally charged and complex transaction with many financial and legal pitfalls.
Need help? Call The Trembley Group at 843.945.1880 ext. 1 and we’ll help you look for the perfect listing or buyers agent!
At The Trembley Group, we pride ourselves on being the experts at more than just selling real estate. We are local residents, some of us have been here for a lifetime. The rest of us will be here until the end of time. We love living, working, and playing in the diverse backyard of Coastal Carolina, and look forward to helping you live and love your dreams soon too. Please reach out to us by phone or email for personalized service and one-on-one advice.