YOU PRICED MY HOUSE TOO LOW!
When I put my house up for sale in Brooklyn “By Owner” I had a grin on my face from ear to ear. I was NOT going to pay some Broker a commission! After all I was a Real Estate Paralegal for a major Manhattan Law Firm, I had closed on more than 2,000 homes, condos, co-ops, cond-ops, REITS and commercial space in my 11 years as a Real Estate Para. Not only that, I love people and I am a great salesperson. I thought it would be easy! It was not! I learned some very valuable lessons. First I learned that the old adage “a lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client” also applies to Real Estate Paralegals and secondly a good, reliable Real Estate Broker/Sales Associate is an invaluable asset to a buyer or seller. The second mistake I made was to sign with a shyster Real Estate Broker who had no integrity. I chose them based on the demographic shift I observed was taking place rather than my tried and true neighborhood Broker who was known for his integrity. Additionally, I really knew nothing about Brokers or the high ethical standards they are held to and so I was unaware that the unscrupulous characters I hired were not up to the standards of the Real Estate Brokerage Community and were not representing MY best interests. Hard lesson learned well.
My impression of Brokers at the time was not good. It was formed at closings in schlock shop outfits in downtown Brooklyn. To me as a Paralegal the Broker was a nuisance who only showed up to a closing to collect a check most felt they really didn’t work very hard to earn. Nothing could be farther from the truth especially in New Jersey
PRICING : The next lesson I learned is that every Seller thinks their house is the best and the RE Broker assisting them is underpricing their home. That’s how I felt at the time I interviewed some brokers who I contemplated signing with. I went with the Broker with no integrity who let me price it and really was serving his demographic and not me. I was totally ignorant of the Realtor’s obligations to the seller and the buyer. The Realtor is knowledgeable about the area he/she serves and to think that he/she would underprice your house is not good business for them or for their company. The sentiment the Broker is just pricing my house to get a fast commission is most likely not accurate. That is if you use a Broker with integrity. The RE Broker whom you employ will do his/her best to get you the most money for your home and help you find another home of your dreams. After all, the more money you get the more money they make, however, they must honestly and without prejudice market your house according to a tried and true method of comparable sales in your area and treat all parties fairly. The wealth and easy availability of this information on line can assist a seller in discovering that his/her Sales Assistant or Broker is pricing their home to sell quickly.
REAL ESTATE VALUES ARE RISING: You will hear conflicting reports about Real Estate in the coming weeks as the Stock market gets whipsawed by news of a US strike against Syria, the pulling of government sponsored bond buying, the rise in interest rates and various reports about unemployment, sales figures, the job market and locust in Africa. Don’t fret! Home prices are rising. There is a shortage of houses. Some reports are claiming five buyers for every house for sale. Reports for our area in Howell show a dramatic rise in prices from the beginning of the year. Zillow reported an increase in home prices of almost two percent (2%) from September 2012 through June 2013 in the 07731 area from an average price of $310,000 to $315,000. While two percent (2%) doesn’t seem like much it translates into a $5,000 increase in an average one family home in our area. That type of return is better than a bank! And based on trends in spite of reports to the contrary I predict prices will continue to rise in a slow orderly fashion which in the long run is good for everyone.
Words of Wisdom: On home ownership – “Remember every nail you drive you drive for yourself.” The late great Erwin O’Donnell, former banker, friend and neighbor in Marine Park Brooklyn.
The ideas expressed in this report reflect my own personal views and opinions and are for reflection and personal discernment only and should not be relied upon as legal or investment advice. The foregoing report is for information only. No warranties are made regarding the truth or accuracy of this information and I specifically disclaim any and all liability for any reliance placed upon the materials that are here published. Always consult your lawyer for legal advice in matters of private or business importance. Nothing published in the Monti Real Estate Monitor should be construed as investment advice or as a solicitation to buy or sell any kind of financial instruments or Real Estate.
Originally posted August 27, 2013 – Amended November 14, 2013