Steve Harney's Keeping Current Matters has an excellent post today on whether you should hire a professional to sell your home or try to do it yourself. You can see the whole post here, but one particular section really spoke to me. I have had several "commission negotiation" discussions lately, and what takes me 7 or 8 minutes to explain is summed up here in a concise and clear manner:
Realize that when an agent is
negotiating their commission with you, they are negotiating their own salary;
the salary that keeps a roof over their family’s head; the salary that puts
food on their family’s table. If they are quick to take less when negotiating
for themselves and their families, what makes you think they will not
act the same way when negotiating for you and your family? If they
were Clark Kent when negotiating with you, they will not turn into Superman
when negotiating with the buyer or seller in your deal.
I have joked before that if you think I am a bulldog with you, imagine how I am with people across the table who are not on my side! Considering how important my paycheck is to the livelihood of my family, it is very very difficult for me to give any of that up. If I negotiate (or settle) easily for my own family, how can you trust that I won't do the same for yours?
We are getting tons of questions about the government shutdown and how it will impact loans currently in process. Allen Tate Mortgage (thanks Tina Shields!) is giving us current info as it comes in. For now, if your loan is FHA, VA, or conventional, you should be processed as planned. The big upset is with a USDA loan -- USDA is a big part of the shutdown, and those WILL NOT CLOSE until everyone is back in session. So, for now, USDA borrowers have a closing date that is "unknown". Yuck, but so it goes with big government...
Many agents seem to go into hibernation mode on October 1. Like everyone else, it is hard to not get swept up in the excitement of festivals, changing leaves, spiced cider, and bean soup in the crock pot. But, I learned a few years back (and not as soon as I would have liked!), that October is really just the beginning of a new year.
You see, the things we do now as agents set the table for January and February. Prospecting, listing preparation, to do lists... all of these things may not seem important now, but come the "lean" months, you will be glad you didn't push them to the side!
The same advice goes for home sellers. Many folks see this as a time of year to go off the market, take a break, focus on holidays... all while thinking they will gear back up come Spring. But, things you do now, as far as maintenance, upgrades, etc., can really lay the groundwork for that not so far off "Spring market". Think of what happens in your neighborhood as flowers bloom and birds sing -- people begin remodeling, landscaping, etc. But, if you work on those things now, you can probably get jobs done more efficiently (and cheaper) simply because the demand for such tasks isn't as high as it will be in March or April. Go ahead and have a pre-marketing home inspection done NOW -- then you will have plenty of time to address items that need to be addressed and can make a more practical, informed decision about what not to do and what not to do. Begin looking at paint samples and flooring options... so that you don't feel rushed by some big sale the week before you list and end up getting the wrong thing.
The bottom line is this -- patience is a virtue, but diligence is even more so. The Lord blesses those who work and prepare and help themselves, so while others are living it up eating candy apples in their slippers by the fire, you can be getting a head start on what is forecasted to be a VERY busy 2014!