Most markets are experiencing extreme inflation and home appreciation. Depending on where you live, your market is becoming more of a buying challenge due to low housing inventory and high demand.
Buyers tell stories of making offers on 50 homes and still not “winning the bid.” Buyer agents sometimes even resort to songs and flower deliveries to appear more memorable and attractive to the seller.
Listing agents spend hours crafting offer comparison spreadsheets and fielding calls from buyers and their agents regarding the status of their offer. Sellers angst over who to choose when presented with multiple offers significantly over the asking price.
There are things agents, and their clients, can do to make the best of their situation in this crazy housing market. A combination of market knowledge, client education and the right technology solutions are the keys to success for seller’s and buyer’s agents.
Buyer and Seller Education
Alex Hernandez-Bobrow, an agent with Realty Austin in Austin, Texas, has specific systems in place to educate her clients. She takes her clients on a deep dive into market conditions and sets realistic expectations about mindset, timeline, pricing and handling the competition.
“Buyers are educated on adjusting their mindset to realize that buying a home is more of a marathon than a sprint right now,” says Hernandez-Bobrow.
“Sellers are educated on how to prepare their homes for sale and how to adjust their schedules to accommodate showings and open houses. We also promote our different technology solutions and processes that help streamline offers and interest, and help them navigate multiple-bid scenarios,” she added.
Aaron Lancaster, a Realty Austin broker associate, emphasizes that the right pricing makes a huge difference as well.
“The best conversation I can have with a seller is to let them know that you really cannot underprice in this market, but you can over-price. Pricing the property competitively provides the best opportunity to win!”
Technology for Improved Efficiency
Agents also need a way to present and manage multiple offers, as well as communicating to everyone involved. Delivering stacks of paper offers, and spending hours building and inputting spreadsheets, doesn’t cut it anymore. Plus, clients want transparency. It’s important to have a technological solution where everyone can easily view and compare offers and receive and send notifications from a centralized source.
There are several good online options available. Hernandez-Bobrow and Lancaster both use Propy Offer Manager and like how the system enables them to access offers all in one place, clients can easily view and compare them in a standardized format, and automatic alerts/notifications are sent to everyone when an offer is received or viewed. And even when the market slows down, platforms that help manage and standardize the buying and selling process, while providing the tracking and documentation that’s legally required, will be important.
Finally, take a breath and remember why so many of us found a career in real estate—to help people realize the dream of homeownership. While this might feel like a hectic time to be in this industry, remember that buying a home is more than a business purchase to our clients—it’s their current and future homes on the line.
Lisa Fettner is a real estate marketing and industry relations consultant. For more information on managing your offers, visit propy.com.