Thursday, March 22, 2012

“Are you sure You know what you are doing?”

The issues that cross my desk are sometimes ordinary, comical and even bizarre.  They will stem from uncontrollable circumstances with clients, with property issues and just plain life.  They can also stem from dishonest parties to the contract (again uncontrollable on the part of the REALTOR®).

The ones that truly trouble me are the ones that come from ill prepared or uneducated  REALTORS®  working in an area of the business that is beyond their expertise.  The people that suffer are the clients from their loss or circumstance –----- it could have very easily been avoided.

I’ve asked permission of one of our REALTORS® to share his post from facebook the other day.  I did receive a call from the REALTOR® that is the “hero”  in this, confirming her position and authority to act for her client the way she intended. Confirmation, Preparation, Education, Diligence, and also keeping the clients best interests at heart.  I am very proud to say the Marlene Braun works with Coldwell Banker Horizon Realty.

I am very sorry for the clients that were not properly represented and lost out on something they likely really wanted only because their REALTOR® didn’t know what she was doing.  When that happens – the whole industry suffers.

Enjoy the read.

Quoted from Blake Robert’s FB post:

This is why you hire a real estate professional with experience who knows the ins and outs of the business:
This morning at 8:45AM, Marlene Braun gets a call from a client who wants to put an offer in on a property in the Shuswap that is in foreclosure. There is an offer already in from another REALTOR®  that is set to be presented at 10:00AM.
For those who don’t know how foreclosures work, the first offer in, the once accepted by the bank is publicly disclosed so others can appear in court to write their own offer as well.
While Marlene scrambles to wrap up an appointment she is already dealing with, I get three offers written... One sufficient to outbid the offer already in from the first REALTOR®, plus two more so we are ready to go head to head against others who may arrive in court or if the first offer written is increased when they learn someone else has arrived in court.
9:55AM Marlene arrives in court along with her buyer so they are ready for all circumstances.
The  REALTOR® with the initially accepted offer is in court, surprised that someone else has arrived to compete with the first offer.
The initial buyer has not accompanied that REALTOR®, nor is there another offer prepared in the event another REALTOR® and client (Marlene) arrives in court.
This story wraps up by 10:20AM with Marlene’s offer accepted, her client suitably impressed that she worked as hard and efficiently as she did on VERY short notice...the REALTOR® and client with the first accepted offer out in the cold.

When the going gets "Tough"...just call me.

Susan Tough

Thursday, March 15, 2012



 A recent survey of 700 Coldwell Banker® Real Estate professionals across North America revealed home buyers are motivated by lifestyle needs, with growing families ranking as top motivator on both sides of the Canadian/U.S. border.  Meanwhile, sellers are becoming increasingly aware of the value of presenting a home with buyers appeal, and are becoming more willing to go the extra mile as they compete for buyers’ attention.   

Sellers are More Willing to De-clutter, De-personalize
and Make Repairs To Increase Buyer Appeal
Of those Coldwell Banker professionals surveyed:

  • 94 percent say their sellers are getting rid of clutter and making cosmetic updates, such as fresh paint and minor repairs.  This percentage was the same for both Canadian and U.S. respondents
  • 60 percent of Canadian respondents agree that clients are willing to “de-personalize” the home.  This percentage was much higher in the challenging U.S. market, where 76 percent agree.
  • 59 percent of North American respondents say sellers are even bringing in new home decorations or furniture to help make the home more appealing.  

“When marketing your home, it’s important to help buyers imagine themselves living in the property. De-cluttering and de-personalizing is crucial to this process,” says Susanita de Diego,  Coldwell Banker Canadian Consumer Specialist. “Sellers need to recognize that while demand for Canadian homes remains strong; their home is competing with other listings to get results.  I always advise sellers that if their home is presented with a minimum of clutter and distracting personal items, it will appeal to buyers and improve their chances of a successful sale.”  

Buyers Get ‘Back to Basics’ ….
Preferring Updated Kitchens And Open Floor Plans Over Trendy Media Rooms  
Sellers, take note: when it comes to selecting a home, buyers are going back to the basics.  They value new or updated kitchens, bathrooms and open floor plans as the most important features for a new home. 

  • 33 percent of agents surveyed across North America say that   a new or updated kitchen is the most important feature to homebuyers. 
  • 14 percent say the most important feature to homebuyers is an open floor plan, while 12 percent say it is a new or updated bathroom. 
  • Only 1 percent of the real estate professionals surveyed say they believe that entertainment rooms or finished basements are the most important feature.

Home Buyers Moving for Babies and Careers
The survey also drilled down into which life events are motivating the most people to buy homes.  According to the Coldwell Banker Real Estate professionals surveyed, growing families is currently the biggest lifestyle driver for home buyers in both Canada and the United States.  
70 percent of real estate professionals surveyed say a new baby or growing family is the “most common”, or a “very common” lifestyle reason that North American buyers search for a new home.  Other key motivators include: 

  • Marriage - 59 percent.
  • Divorce - 48 percent.
  • Retirement - 37 percent. 

While the majority of survey responses regarding buyer motivators were similar between Canada and United States, and although job reasons was the No. 2 reason overall across North America, there was one marked difference.  Fifty-five percent of Canadian respondents cited job reasons vs. 69 percent of respondents in the United States, where the economy and job market have endured recent downturns.  

“For most of us, while a home is probably our largest investment, the fact remains that people move for lifestyle reasons,” says John Geha, president, Coldwell Banker Canada Operations ULC. “Regardless of market conditions, buying a home remains an investment in our lifestyles where the emotional and psychological benefits can hold equal value to the pure economic investment.”

Canada vs. U.S. Pricing Variances
The survey also indicated a clear difference between the two countries when it came to sellers’ pricing strategies.  Unlike the stable Canadian real estate market, much of the U.S. market has been challenging for the past few years.  The Coldwell Banker survey indicates that U.S. sellers are ready to ‘get real’ about real estate.  In the United States, 51 percent of those agents surveyed said sellers were more willing to price their home competitively than at the same time last year, while in Canada only 31 percent of surveyed agents said their sellers were willing to do so.    

“Canada continues to enjoy a stable, balanced market,” says Geha, “with near historic low interest rates, and a good inventory of homes for sale.  This supports demand for housing, and sellers here are continuing to price their homes according to our healthy market conditions.” 

When the going gets "Tough"...just call me.

Susan Tough

Survey Methodology: Coldwell Banker Real Estate conducted an online survey among Coldwell Banker real estate professionals across North America about housings trends in 2012. The survey was fielded between January 24 and February 7, 2012. 
The base (sample size) for calculating results varies slightly from question-to-question.  The approximate sample size answering each question was 615.  Maximum error range based on this sample size - at a 95% level of confidence - is +/- 4 points.   Note that standard error calculation applies to random probability samples and is included herein to serve as a guide-only.
*Some answer percentages in the above may not total 100 percent, if only the most popular responses are listed.  In other cases, respondents had the option to check all that apply, which may mean that percentages total more than 100 percent.

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Value of a Home

I cannot say enough about the new ad campaign released by Coldwell Banker® LLC on Monday March 5th. The ads remind us of the “value of a home” as being not just an investment for your money, but a place where memories are made and remembered.  Take a look for yourself:

By the way, do you recognize the voice in the ads?  Yes that’s right, it’s Tom Selleck.  Tom’s Dad worked for Coldwell Banker for 38 years, retiring as Executive Vice President.  The sentiment the campaign presents encouraged Mr. Selleck to participate in the ads, as you can see in his message to all the Coldwell Banker agents at our recent Generation Blue Experience in New Orleans:

These ads are not just for potential home buyers, but also speak to the agent as a reminder of the importance of relationships in our professional careers.  With the plethora of new technology out there pushing information, making our lives more efficient, it’s important to remember nothing can replace face to face contact with clients and colleagues to build the lasting relationships our business rewards us with.

Changes to the real estate industry will continue to morph and roll through our shifting times.  The constant has always been,

“Trusted Agents, with the Right Tools, helping you Make Better Decisions.”

When the going gets "Tough"...just call me.

Susan Tough