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How I Won a New Client: Stay Relevant with Social Media

posted by Joyce Evans   [ updated ]

By PSAR Past President Carey Guthrie

The best advice I can give to any REALTOR® who wants to win a new client is to be the best you can be in all avenues of real estate. Strive for excellence. Never settle for mediocrity. Excellence is not an act but a habit. Our life journey is certain to have both peaks and valleys, and some days will be better than others. But, resolve to think only of the best, work only for the best and to expect the best in yourself in others.
 
So, how can you be the best to win over new clients? Here are a couple of recommendations:
 
-- Stay relevant. That means keep up with social media (otherwise, you’re missing the boat). Include in your repertoire such tools as video, high-resolution photos and 3-D (Matterport offers a good product). Use Instagram and Linkedin to tell about yourself. The more people know about you, the more they will trust you and feel secure about selecting you. Tell them plainly about your high standards, how you hate careless ways, that you demand the best and make no allowances for error.
 
-- Tell the prospective client how you will give their property a story. Everyone loves a good story. Friends don’t keep good news from other friends. So, share with the prospect how you are a good storyteller and how it can make the difference. Explain how you overcame problems because you view problems as opportunities to do your best.
 
-- Work with an established brokerage. When companies connect with customers’ emotions, the payoff can be huge. I have always felt that a major brand name can help prospective clients feel secure and have a sense of belonging. Clients want to believe that the company they choose will be there tomorrow and will help them pursue their goals and dreams without worry.
 
-- You won’t win a new client by being a “secret agent.” Give the prospect a variety of ways to contact you, including phone, texts, and e-mail. Build additional confidence with contact info for your assistant or transaction coordinator.
 
-- You can win them over by explaining up front the entire transaction process step-by-step. For example, let them know they will first see the “for sale” sign, then the photo shoot, then the brokers’ open house, then additional open houses and so forth. Explain appraisal, title and escrow and how it all will benefit them. From the first to the last, explain everything to convey expertise and commitment to serve their needs. Be honest, promise a quality experience and provide quality communications.
 
-- Be yourself. One of the major causes of stress comes from trying to be somebody that you’re not. When you are fearful that someone’s going to find out what you’re really like and that you might not be able to keep up the façade, it can cause stress. The only way you can counterbalance outside external pressures is to have an internal sense of confident satisfaction about who you are. Until you overcome your insecurity and feel good about yourself, you won’t feel like helping anyone else. So, be secure in who you are and whose you are so that you can effectively serve others.

C.A.R. position on Congress’ Tax Cut and Jobs Act

posted Nov 17, 2017, 9:37 AM by Joyce Evans   [ updated Nov 17, 2017, 9:38 AM ]

The California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.), one of the largest real estate trade organizations in the U.S. with more than 190,000 members, recently undertook a high-visibility campaign against proposed tax reform under consideration by members of Congress.
 
All Association members are encouraged to participate in C.A.R.’s Call to Action. For information, visit www.car.org.
 
C.A.R.’s anti-tax reform campaign gained traction this past week with the purchase of full-page newspaper ads in several of California’s major daily newspapers and national publications, including the San Diego Union-Tribune, Orange County Register, Los Angeles Times, Bakersfield Californian, Sacramento Bee, Modest Bee and Fresno Bee, as well as The Wall Street Journal’s D.C. edition and Politico’s print edition. The newspaper ads, dated Nov. 14, were formatted as an open letter to President Trump and California’s Congressional Delegation and signed by C.A.R. President Steve White.
 
The full-page newspaper ad stated: “Congress is considering legislation that would punish homeowners, eliminate the financial benefits for homebuyers and leave hundreds of thousands of people across California much worse off than they are today. If the goal of tax reform is to help middle-class Americans keep more of their hard-earned money, this proposal fails miserably. Tax reform shouldn’t hurt Californians, but the House of Representatives proposal does, in a big way. It eliminates important incentives that help first-time homebuyers by capping the Mortgage Interest Deduction, limiting property tax deductibility and changing capital gains exemptions. From the Oregon border south to San Diego, working Californians take a beating.”
 
The ad featured a question followed by a response:  “How could any member of the California Delegation think this plan is good for the Golden State? The average California house costs two-and-a-half times the national average and housing supply projections show the state will be nearly 3 million houses short by 2020. Only 32 percent of California families are able to purchase a median-priced home. With homeownership already a stretch, or out of reach altogether for so many Californians, now is NOT the time to make owning a home more difficult.”
 
 
The ad did not include details from a C.A.R. press release about provisions in the House bill, such as: lowering the mortgage interest deduction cap from $1 million to $500,000; eliminating the mortgage interest deduction on second homes; eliminating moving expenses; eliminating state and local income tax deductions; capping property tax deductions at $10,000; and, extending the capital gains exclusion qualification period from two years to five years.
 
Other features of the House bill included doubling of the standard deduction for couples from $12,700 to $24,000 per family, increasing the child tax credit from $1,000 to $1,600 per child and lowing inheritance taxes on large estates. Popular 401(k) retirement savings plans used by many Americans would be unchanged.
 
According to a C.A.R. press release, the Senate bill retains the $1 million mortgage interest deduction but completely eliminates the ability to deduct state and local income taxes, including eliminating property tax deductions. It also contains many of the real estate provisions in the House bill.
 
Also this past week, C.A.R. was joined by members of California’s homebuilding and housing community, including the California Building Industry Association and the California Housing Consortium, in calling attention to the proposed tax reform’s numerous disincentives to homeownership. 
 
In a related development, the Orange County Register newspaper this past week published an opinion column by Diane Harkey, chair of the California State Board of Equalization and California’s highest-ranking Republican. Harkey wrote in her op/ed: “Unfortunately, the Republican plan in D.C. is mimicking the California model by penalizing professionals, businesses and home ownership for those of us in states with an already high cost of living. It encourages retooling of industries and skewing tax refunds toward less-populated, smaller states with a lower cost of living. The plan reduces tax rates by eliminating worthy incentives to home ownership, which is for most Americans their largest investment and pathway to financial security.
 
“Reductions in corporate tax rates and repatriation of offshore dollars are worthy goals that will stimulate job growth, but our politicians in D.C. seem to be getting lost in ideological warfare to prove that they are not robbing the poor. Transferring benefits to beleaguered states attempting to rekindle manufacturing jobs and allowing ‘refunds’ for taxes that many did not pay is not tax reform.
 
“Elimination of the State and Local Tax deduction will harm the people of California who have worked hard to save and build equity in their homes and communities. Estimates are that property values will drop precipitously, affecting all as the market readjusts.  While our state income tax is the highest in the nation, we do thanks to Proposition 13 have the benefit of relatively low property taxes. If property values and assessments drop, communities will be impacted, prodding our legislature to fill the gap by demanding higher property taxes, or local debt to fill the voids. I can envision a spiral effect and blame that will be laid on the doorstep of Republicans in D.C. and those who support them.”
 
 
On Thursday, Nov. 16, the House of Representatives passed its version of the tax reform bill. The bill, called the Tax Cuts and Job Act, passed 227-205, with every Democrat and 13 Republican members voting no. The House version would reduce the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent and reduce the number of tax brackets from even to four. It would also recalibrate the tax code to work in similar ways as an international system already used by foreign nations across the globe.
 
House passage is just one step, however. The Senate Finance Committee is working on a separate measure that could be brought to a vote within two weeks.
 
Here is C.A.R.’s statement in response to the House tax bill that passed: “We are disappointed with today’s passage of H.R. 1, the so-called Tax Cut and Jobs Act,” said C.A.R. President Steve White. “This bill is simply a direct attack on California housing and homeownership. Eliminating the incentive for people to buy homes and raising taxes on hundreds of thousands of California homeowners only puts the American dream further out of reach. We support fiscally responsible tax reform but lowering corporate taxes on the backs of middle-class families would be catastrophic. C.A.R. thanks the many courageous California Congressional members who believed their constituents deserved better and voted to do the right thing by opposing the bill.”

How will this NEW Tax Measure impact the value of your home?

posted Nov 10, 2017, 3:02 PM by Richard D'Ascoli   [ updated Nov 10, 2017, 3:08 PM ]

Click below and see how the pending tax legislation devalues your home using an interactive map.  Call your congressmember and tell them to say NO!

Home ownership higher even with affordability challenges

posted Nov 9, 2017, 3:25 PM by Joyce Evans   [ updated Nov 9, 2017, 8:16 PM by Richard D'Ascoli ]

Check out PSAR's NEW Market Reports:
How bad is housing affordability? The California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.) recently reported that home affordability statewide has dropped to its lowest level in a decade, and it’s worse in San Diego County. The 10-year low in purchasing power was blamed on tight housing inventory that has pushed home prices higher.

 

In the third quarter of this year, C.A.R. said only 28 percent of California households could afford the state's $555,680 median-priced home, compared to 29 percent in the second quarter and 31 percent in the third quarter a year ago. In San Diego County, only 26 percent of households could afford to purchase a median-priced home, which remained unchanged from 2016.

 

C.A.R. said it was the 18th consecutive quarter for its statewide Housing Affordability Index (HAI) index to be below 40 percent, and the lowest since the third quarter of 2015. California's housing affordability index hit a peak of 56 percent in the first quarter of 2012.

 

C.A.R.’s HAI measures the percentage of all households that can afford to purchase a median-priced, single-family home in California. The index is considered the most fundamental measure of housing well-being for homebuyers in the state.

 

To afford the statewide median-priced single family home of $555,680, a household would need to earn $112,100 annually to make the necessary $2,800 monthly payments, according to C.A.R. The payment includes principal, interest, and taxes on a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage with a 20 percent down payment and an effective composite interest rate of 4.16 percent. The effective interest rate in the second quarter 2017 was 4.09 percent and 3.76 percent in the third quarter of 2016.

 

The C.A.R. report also said that the affordability of condominiums and townhomes also dipped slightly from 39 percent during the second quarter of 2017 to 38 percent during the third quarter of 2017. To qualify for the purchase of a $440,000 median-priced condominium or townhome, a California resident would need to earn $88,770 to make monthly payments of $2,200.

 

Meanwhile, in other recent real estate news, while affordability has been a long problem in San Diego and the rest of California, Zillow reports the rate of home ownership is still increasing. “Housing costs are rising, competition among buyers is fierce and the number of homes actually available to buy is at historic lows, and still, the U.S. homeownership rate is on the rise, climbing for the second straight quarter to its highest level since 2014 and proving American home buyers are nothing if not tenacious and resourceful,” said Dr. Svenja Gudell, Zillow’s chief economist.

 

Also on the bright side, the San Diego real estate market was the fourth “hottest” in the country in October, based on views of online sales listings. The website Realtor.com, the consumer website of the National Association of REALTORS®, reports a typical San Diego property was on the market for just 40 days in October, compared to the national median of 73 days. The only markets hotter than San Diego were also in California, including San Jose-Silicon Valley, Vallejo-Fairfield, and San Francisco-Oakland.

 

Regarding home prices, San Diego had the third highest annual home price increase in the nation in August, a distinction not reached since 2014, according to a leading real estate index. San Diego County’s home prices have risen 7.8 percent from August of last year and .09 percent between July and August, said Standard & Poor’s CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices. Only Seattle and Las Vegas had bigger increases in the 20-city index.

 

In the last two years, the San Diego region has averaged around 10th place in the S&P index, making August’s jump noteworthy. San Diego’s yearly increases outpaced the nationwide gain of 6.1 percent and the rest of CaliforniaSeattle had the biggest yearly increase at 13.2 percent, followed by Las Vegas at 8.6 percent. Los Angeles and San Francisco had 6.1 percent increases. The lowest increases were in Chicago at 3.7 percent and WashingtonD.C., at 3.4 percent.

 

The indices were created by taking the price of homes in those cities in January 2000, assigning them a value of 100, and tracking their subsequent rise and fall. In August, San Diego’s mark was at 245.55, representing a home value increase of nearly two and a half times over nearly 18 years. Prices have risen at a greater rate only in Los Angeles.

 

Trending nationally, unemployment is continuing to fall, despite the impact in September of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma on depressed payrolls in Texas and Florida. The nation’s jobless rate fell a notch further in October to a 17-year low of 4.1 percent. The unemployment figure has fallen sharply this year from 4.8 percent in January, suggesting the long-term expansion in the labor market remains solid under the Trump administration. Taking the last three months together, employers added on average 162,000 jobs a month. That is down slightly from last year and the first half of this year, but still well above what’s needed to absorb the natural increase in the workforce population, the government said.

Call-For-Action: Keep The Homeownership Incentive

posted Nov 6, 2017, 10:45 AM by Joyce Evans   [ updated Nov 9, 2017, 10:51 AM ]

By Sarah Heck, PSAR 2018 President
 
Proposed tax reform currently under discussion by Congress calls for careful consideration by local real estate professionals and Pacific Southwest Association of REALTORS® members. Lawmakers are discussing the biggest overall of the U.S. tax code in three decades. Tax reform is important but it should do no harm.
 
The plan would immediately slash the corporate tax rate to 20 percent from 35 percent and streamline and simplify a loophole-cluttered tax code for individuals from seven brackets to four to help lower effective tax rates. In addition, overall tax savings would be realized with the doubling of the standard deduction for couples from $12,700 to $24,000 per family. Popular 401(k) retirement savings plans used by many Americans would be unchanged. The bill also would increase the child tax credit from $1,000 per child to $1,600. The plan also lowers inheritance taxes on large estates.
 
However, also proposed would be the end of write-offs of state and local income or sales taxes. In addition, mortgage interest deductions for new loans would be limited to no more than $500,000, down from the current $1 million. Deductions for second homes would no longer be allowed and property tax deductions would be capped at $10,000. If passed into law, the tax changes would not affect existing mortgages under contract.
 
Our colleagues at the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) and California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.) say the proposals would amount to a tax increase on the middle class based on the elimination of the state and local tax deductions. They also say that limiting tax incentives for homeownership would lead to lower home prices, which probably would be welcomed by many first-time buyers in California.
 
Still others, including economists at the USC Lusk Center for Real Estates, say the market is too hot and the difference in tax savings is small enough that the overall impact on the housing market would probably be muted, especially for buyers of homes priced at several million dollars or higher.
 
Reducing the mortgage interest deduction could potentially take away a major selling point for buyers of luxury homes and second homes. It’s likely the trade-off between reducing tax rates while curtailing deductions means the impact could vary widely from one family to another. For example, families making less than $86,100 would get a tax cut. Many Americans who need to take out big loans to buy homes in the most expensive areas, such as New York, Boston and San Francisco, could see their taxes going up.  The plans sets a 25 percent tax rate starting at $90,000 for married couples, with a 35 percent rate at $260,000, which means many upper-income families whose rate is 33 percent would face higher taxes.
 
Meanwhile, NAR has launched a “Call to Action” campaign for all PSAR members and REALTORS® because threatening the property tax deduction could eliminate the time-honored tax incentives of owning a home for 95 percent of current and prospective homeowners. That incentive is critical for a strong housing market that creates jobs and builds stable communities. Eliminating or nullifying the tax incentives for homeownership puts home values and middle class homeowners at risk, said William Brown, NAR president. NAR also says it could lower the value of all homes by more than 10 percent and damage growth causing America to turn from a home-owning nation to a home-renting nation.
 
Homeowners must be treated fairly in tax reform. Homeowners already pay 83 percent of all federal income taxes, and homeowners should not have to pay more taxes so corporations can pay less. We cannot afford another housing crash. After the 1986 Tax Reform Act, property values in the commercial sector dropped significantly, negatively impacting state and local revenue. Homeownership is the gateway to wealth building for millions of middle-class Americans.
 
Letters that can be sent to members of Congress calling to reform our tax code and protect middle class homeowners can be found at www.NAR.com. More information also is available at www.car.org/difference/getinvolved/taxreform. Visit the PSAR website to learn how tax reform could mean that California homeowners would pay $3,000 more a year in taxes, www.psar.org/announcements/californiahomeownerswillway3000moreayearintaxes.
 
“Any change that would make homebuying less attractive will be detrimental to the housing industry and the nation’s economy because of the 2.5 million private-sector jobs created by the industry in an average year,” said C.A.R. President Geoff McIntosh.

Best Practices: Tips on a Successful Open House

posted Nov 3, 2017, 4:47 PM by Joyce Evans   [ updated Nov 3, 2017, 4:47 PM ]

Here is the latest in a series of occasional articles on “Best Practices” for PSAR members from 2017 PSAR President Sarah Heck.

Open houses can sell homes. Successful REALTORS® know this. It doesn’t matter how attractive the listing if people don’t know about it. Plus, it makes sense to expose your home to the largest possible maximum number of buyers and then attract buyers inside that home for a preview. The more people who look at your property, the better chance you have to sell it at top dollar. You never know who will fall in love with your listing. Here are a few ideas that may help our Association members.
 
-- Make a good impression with a clean-up. A fresh coat of paint and a few new items, such as mailbox or house numbers, can do wonders. You also might want to enhance curb appeal and freshen up the landscaping, trim the lawns, clean the driveway and sidewalks, as well as have the windows washed and carpets cleaned.
 
-- Get rid of clutter, including knickknacks and personal items, such as an animal head on the wall or a photo of the owner with a politician. Also, make sure valuables are secured. Lock up anything that might tempt sticky fingers, such as jewelry, personal electronics, and valuable trinkets. Your goal is for buyers to walk inside and visualize it as theirs. So, temporarily relocate family photos and ditch the children’s crayon drawings on the refrigerator. Also, open up the curtains and blinds and turn on lights in every room to set the mood as cheerful and sunny.
 
-- Remove pets if possible. Dogs, cats and litter boxes should be neither seen, heard or smelled during an open house. If removal is not possible, then keep them confined in a less-trafficked location. For sure, current owners also need to be out of the way.
 
-- Put up signs not only on the front lawn but at nearby intersections that direct visitors to the house. A string of balloons also draws attention. Help people find you. Be sure to follow local sign ordinances. Some municipalities have strict sign ordinances.
 
-- Use social media, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. A National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) study found 92 percent of homebuyers use the Internet in their search. And, many house hunters today are using apps to help them find open houses within a certain radius with maps and directions to each one. Realtor.com has a free real estate app for consumers. You never know who outside your circle of friends might stumble across your tweet or Facebook post. So, do some investigating and get your listing included.
 
-- Ask questions and seek feedback. Guests will be glad to tell you their opinion about certain home features, which you can use as selling points. Also, ask how they found out about your open house. Providing light refreshments will encourage guests to linger and engage in conversation.
 
-- Have a leave-behind that guests can take with them. Some REALTORS® will prepare a brochure or flyer with your name and photos of the property, while others will provide information on comparable home sales or school and community factoids. Don’t allow potential buyers to leave empty-handed. If you prefer online information, then get an e-mail address or phone number for texting.
 
-- Invite the neighborhood to attend. Even if they’re not looking to move, nosy neighbors might have friends or relatives who are considering a move. Consider the neighbors as your prospecting scouts. Plus, meeting new people could help you find new clients.

Make Plans Now to Attend Installation Dinner

posted Oct 27, 2017, 4:35 PM by Joyce Evans   [ updated Oct 27, 2017, 4:36 PM ]

It will be an unforgettable experience that you don’t want to miss. PSAR will present its 2018 Officers and Directors Installation Dinner on Friday, Nov. 10, at the scenic Coasterra Restaurant on Harbor Island, 880 Harbor Island Dr., San Diego. Bigger and better than ever, this year’s Installation Dinner is destined to be the biggest real estate event of the year, as we welcome the 2018 board of directors in this exclusive event and celebrate success in the REALTOR® community with the top producers in the industry.
 
From complimentary champagne upon arrival to dancing to the sounds of “Old Skool San Diego,” a band featuring 2018 PSAR President Jan Farley, this fabulous gathering of love and laughter will be a memorable highlight for the ages.
 
Don’t be late. Networking with colleagues and industry peers starts at 5 p.m. All in one place, on the Coasterra floating barge event center, overlooking San Diego Harbor, this will be your opportunity to reconnect with old friends and engage with new friends, raising your profile, expanding your influence, telling your story and generating referrals and greater business. Remember, it’s not what you know, but who you know and who knows you. During the cocktail hour, enjoy the soothing strings of classical guitarist Jeff Bishop.
 
Coasterra is San Diego’s premier bayfront dining destination and the ideal destination for intimate sunset dining. Boasting stunning views of the San Diego Harbor and Downtown, Coasterra is a 28,000-square-foot restaurant, outdoor lounge and event space perched on the east end of Harbor Island developed by the Cohn Restaurant Group. Our PSAR event will be held on Coasterra’s heated solar-powered patio.
 
Dinner will begin at 7 p.m. Appetizer display will include local artisan cheeses, flatbread, dried fruits and nuts and fresh or grilled seasonable vegetables with blue cheese, ranch, and French onion dip. The plated dinner menu will be fabulous. The salad will feature wild rocket arugula and spinach with julienne apples, grapes, blue cheese and balsamic dressing, plus a garlic crostini. The entrée will feature a duo of filet mignon and chicken with lemon butter capers sauce, served with herb and garlic fingerling potatoes and seasonable vegetables (a vegetarian dish also is available). Dessert includes cheesecake, brownies, and caramel budino.
 
The program will feature the installation of the 2018 PSAR board of directors, including remarks by Jan Farley. Also announced will be winners of the East County Realtor of the Year, South County Realtor of the Year, East County Affiliate of the Year and South County Affiliate of the Year. Additional awards will include Broker/Office Manager of the Year for both East County and South County.
 
After the speeches and the awards, hang around to hear and dance to Old Skool’s performances of some classic Rock and Roll from the ‘50s and ‘60s with a little Blues mixed in. The seven-member group is known for legendary performances of Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode” and The Beatles’ “Roll Over Beethoven.” Then, get ready to sing along Creedence Clearwater Revival’s legendary “Proud Mary” (“Big wheel keep on turning'”). Jan has played keyboard with the band since 2011. One of the lead singers is Hugh Gaskins, a past nominee for Best Blues Album at the San Diego Music Awards. San Diego Troubadour, a local music publication said that Gaskins “will kidnap you for the set and won’t let you go until they have rocked you, socked you and left you beggin’ for more.” 
 
Tickets are priced at $85 per person, which is a tremendous bargain. RSVPs can be made at www.psar.org/installation
 
Sponsorship opportunities are still available for this special night. Several different affordable sponsorship opportunities are currently being offered. This is a prime advertising opportunity to situate your brand in front of other industry professionals and get the attention your brand deserves. More sponsorship information is available by contacting Sally Valdez at (619) 579-0333.

California Homeowners Will Pay $3,000 More a Year in Taxes

posted Oct 25, 2017, 8:29 PM by Richard D'Ascoli   [ updated Oct 31, 2017, 1:21 PM by Joyce Evans ]

CALL FOR ACTION:  FEDERAL TAX REFORM PLAN

Take Action Against Double Taxation


PSAR, C.A.R. and NAR are combining forces to defeat the Congressional Tax Reform Plan, which will shatter the dreams of California’s middle-class homeowners. 

The current Congressional Tax Reform Plan will lower federal rates but double tax Californians by eliminating state and local tax deductions, harming homeowners. California REALTORS® must #SaveHomeownership!  Act now to help save California's middle-class homeowners from a devastating tax reform plan! 




zipForm® Plus Classic is Going Away!

posted Oct 24, 2017, 3:07 PM by Joyce Evans   [ updated Oct 24, 2017, 3:29 PM ]

http://www.car.org/knowledge/webinars/zipform/

> The last day members will have the option to toggle back & forth between the zipForm® Plus classic and new is 10/31/17
> Members must use the new platform beginning 11/1/17
> Various training webinars and helpful training videos are available on www.car.org 
> Ongoing live webinar training can be found at www.car.org/knowledge/webinars/zipform/ 



How I Saved the Deal: Relationships Matter

posted Oct 20, 2017, 4:16 PM by Joyce Evans   [ updated Oct 20, 2017, 4:17 PM ]

By PSAR Member REALTOR® Jeff Campbell

The client was a first-time homebuyer and a veteran. He had finally decided to pull the trigger and go for it. It was a thrilling time for him, as well as nerve-wracking because it would be the biggest purchase he had ever made.
 
He was trying to do everything the right way. He had built a good credit rating. He had listed his monthly expenses and calculated his monthly payment. He had remained firm to a price point that he could afford. He had collected all the necessary documentation and was pre-qualified for financing through a lender he selected. He had shopped around, talked to family and friends, collected recommendations and selected a lender who he thought would do a good job.
 
He had prepared himself that some things could go wrong during the home buying process before he was handed the front-door keys. But what happened was a total surprise and disappointment to both him and me: the lender failed to order an appraisal.
 
The lender’s excuse was weak. They said their corporate processer who worked in another city didn’t get the proper notification. Whatever the reason, the appraisal was not ordered in a timely manner. Some surprises are great, such as an unexpected bonus or a hotel upgrade. But, when it comes to closing on a home, a surprise is almost never a good thing.
 
The lender’s mistake would result in a delay. My client’s offer was contingent due to a number of factors, including a limited timeframe. Only a certain number of days were available. And the window of opportunity was quickly closing. The client was disheartened and despondent. He felt like his back was against the wall and the time was up.  No one wants termination of an entire deal because a delay isn’t acceptable” to the seller.
 
Here’s how I saved the deal. First, the message I gave to the client was “don’t give up just yet.” Second, I contacted a lender friend in the industry who I knew would perform. Clearly, the key to saving deals on thin ice is to keep warm and close friendships in the marketplace. An agent can resuscitate a deal that may be hanging by a thread by relying on their friends who are professional, friendly and honest.
 
In this case, we dismissed the buyer’s lender who had dropped the ball. Then, on one business day, I connected my lender. My lender was an experienced professional with whom I had done many previous deals and had a solid track record for coming through in hardship situations.
 
In the morning, my lender pre-approved the buyer. In the afternoon, we met with the listing agent and made a compelling argument to hang with us so we could save the transaction. Fortunately, I had done previous transactions with the listing agent so there was a level of trust already in place.
 
The advice I can give to any REALTOR® who wants to save a deal is to have your ducks in a row and the members of your team already groomed, wearing tuxedos and ready to step up to the plate to hit a grand slam. Also, treat other REALTORS® with elegance and courtesy. The relationships I had developed and fostered ahead of time with other professionals who knew the ins and outs of the local real estate market were crucial in saving this particular deal.
 
Escrow closed on time. I was able to make good on my promises and save the transaction because of synergy and teamwork. There may be nothing worse for an inaugural homebuyer than getting into the weeds of buying a home and realizing that his lender and real estate agent aren’t on the same page and are incapable of working together on their behalf.

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