I provide free information to sellers, (but shhh, let’s keep that between us!). Here’s a story to illustrate my point.
Sometime early this year, I was out for my morning jog. Several folks were outside of a house on my route. They asked me if I could help them out with something. I was happy to stop since I was on a steep hill and huffing and puffing, so I said, “Sure!” The people were in fact the homeowners who wanted to know which shade of shutters worked better. I not only gave them my opinion, but let them know I was a real estate professional. A pleasant chat ensued!
They indicated they were hoping to put their home on the market within the next few months. They also asked whether I would look at their house and let them know what kind of improvements they should do. I told them to give me a call and we could set up an official appointment. Showing up with some materials, at a time i wasn’t a hot sweaty mess, sounded like a perfect idea. Off I went to complete my run.
I followed up the next morning with a thank you card, which I sent in US Mail. In the card, I thanked them for allowing me to comment on their shutters. And I told them to feel free to contact me when they were ready to set up an appointment. Then I moved on to all my other work.
A few months later, my phone rang and it was the homeowner. We set up an appointment so I could look at their home and help them figure out what they might wish to fix prior to putting it on the market. I went over at the appointed time, and we had a very interesting visit. They took me on the tour of their home. I shared with them some of the things they should repair, and we talked about time frames. I had asked them if they would be interviewing agents when the time came, and they shared that they had already looked me up “online” and I was the one. They asked about potential price points, but I let them know the market was always changing. I indicated that the best time to discuss price is when they’re ready to sell because the data will be up-to-date.
When I left, they had lots of information in their hands about house upgrades, detailing, staging and the like. We agreed that when they were ready, I’d come over with a comparable market analysis and at that time we’d talk price and more in-depth marketing details.
The next few months
Over the next few months, the owners were busy making improvements on their home as I suggested. They refinished some well-worn hardwood floors, repainted where necessary and fixed some outside areas. I kept in touch by sending them some market information about the area. I also talked to one of the home owners one morning while out on my jog. He indicated they were almost ready, and it shouldn’t be long now! It looked as though the house was just about ready to go.
For Sale by Owner
And then one morning soon afterwards, I jogged past their home and saw a For Sale By Owner sign. It was planted firmly in front of their house. I looked online when I got home and did see the house listed on one site, at a very high price point. And you know what? I totally understood that they were trying to sell it by themselves. While that’s not usually a good idea for most sellers (because they just don’t know what they don’t know – selling a house is not simple), I did understand their motivation.
They probably wanted to see if they could get a huge payday with no real estate commission paid. The biggest bang for the buck. But I knew they would probably wind up listing it on MLS because there were several things about their listing that were mostly like to result in their failure. So I sent them some information on selling For Sale By Owner (FSBO) homes. I included information on what they should keep in mind when doing a FSBO, and reasons why they might decide not to. I told them to give me a call if selling it on their own did not work for them.
A month or so later, I was doing my typical morning check on our MLS system, and I saw their house. It was listed on MLS, obviously with different real estate agents. And that’s when it became obvious my advice was going to stay as free advice!
Real estate agents and associate brokers receive no salary of any kind. We don’t get reimbursed by our real estate companies for our time or our expenses. All of our work is done on our dime and time, and the only payment we will ever get is the portion of a commission check that we receive from our company after a closing or lease signing. We do a lot of work that is “free” although of course we hope we will eventually be able to recoup costs at closing. That is not always the way things work out.
More free advice
I am sure I will continue to dispense free advice! This experience was still a good use of my time. I was able to tour another house on the market so I am even more on top of what is going on in my town. In addition, I know things about the property that might be useful when I bring buyer clients there to see the house. I can give one heck of a buyer tour! Also, I met new people, and gained even more experience in how to run my business more successfully. I learn from every interaction.
So if you are thinking of selling your home in the Monroe, NY area, feel free to contact me for free advice! I will help you understand what the home selling process entails, and will provide you with information that might be helpful. All that information is free of charge, with the hope that you will contact me when you’re ready to sell. And if you do wind up hiring me to sell your home, you will be getting a dedicated, enthusiastic, knowledgeable and professional real estate associate broker. Try me!