The Zebra Blog

Ask Denise: Overpriced Listing

Denise Lones

Q:  Denise, I am the listing agent for an overpriced property. Unfortunately, I allowed it to be priced optimistically when I listed it a few months ago and my client is only allowing a minimal price reduction instead of the larger price reduction needed to bring it in line with the market. I told her if we didn’t have traffic or calls in the next ten days that we would need to reduce it to a significantly lower price. I am 90% sure she isn’t going to agree to this. What should I do?

A: The solution to this problem and to all your future price reduction challenges can be solved via having a rule around price reductions in your business.

In my business, I used to utilize the following system:

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Summer Blowout Branding Special

Summer Sun

Our Summer Blowout Branding Special Package Includes:

  • Instant Identity brand
  • 25 template credits
  • 2 Listing Presentation Boards
  • Seller Brochure
  • Website
  • Business Blueprint
  • 12 months Club Zebra PRO

This Special Package is valued at $8,576!  Now as low as only $4,990!

We are also giving 3 different ways to pay. You can choose your own payment plan from these options:

1.  Pay-in-full price: $4,990 (a 41.8% savings!)

2.  Pay two payments of $2,590 ($5180 total – a 39.6% savings!)

3.  Monthly payments: 6 payments of $895 ($5370 – a 37.4% savings!)

Call our office at 360-527-8904 or email Nick at [email protected] to sign up for this super hot Summer Special!


The Market Now and What Is Coming

office workers with a bar graph

The spring and early summer brought a very robust real estate market in many areas and many price points. Multiple offers became the norm in many markets and agents found themselves busier than they had been in years. The market was moving, buyers were out looking and sellers who previously couldn’t sell were finally getting the offers they needed to make a move possible. Pending home sales rose consistently and real estate was back in the media in a positive way.

However, agents in many areas may have noticed a slight slowdown in August prompting concern about whether the market was taking a turn downward. To answer this question I want to address some key things that we need to look at to answer that question.

The housing affordability index is measured looking at median home prices, median family incomes and the mortgage interest rate. The higher the index, the more buying power a buyer has. As the index reduces, so does the buyer’s buying power. The recent increase in home sale prices nationally and regionally has caused the Housing Affordability Index to decline from 196.5 in 2012 to 175.8 in 2013. It is going down even further in many areas. The West Coast has been particularly affected because of the high price gains in the past 18 months.

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Ask Denise: Out-of-Town Sellers

Denise Lones

Q:  Denise, I have a lot of out-of-town sellers who were hired and relocated before their homes sold. Some of these listings might be overpriced, but more often than not, they are selling in about two months which is not uncommon. My sellers are busy during the week, but inevitably I get a long email on Saturday morning complaining about not getting an offer in the past week, asking me to step up my efforts. It stresses me out and is ruining my weekends! What do I do?

A: There is a very simple solution to this problem which will also help you with the listings that you say are overpriced and are lingering on the market. It is called the Marketing Activity Report and it goes out each week to your sellers. I usually sent mine out on Mondays, but you can determine the day of the week that works best for you.

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Seven Steps to the Perfect Buyer Client Experience

agent giving good new to buyers

If you want to create a memorable buying experience that will have your new homeowners singing your praises, here are seven steps to really enhance the services you currently offer and some ideas of how you can improve some of the things that you are already doing.

1)  Mind the money – Have you ever watched a home buying show and asked yourself why the real estate agent is showing the buyer homes much higher than their price range? If a buyer asks to see $300,000 homes, assume this is the price range they can afford. They will let you know soon enough if they want to up the budget, because of the compromises they may have to make at a lower budget, but NEVER up the budget for a buyer before they give you the go-ahead. What if the buyer falls in love with a home that is out of their price range? You are setting them up for a big disappointment that is not easy for a buyer to get over.

It is easy to go up in price visually (by seeing nicer homes in a higher price range) but trying to go down in price will make your job all the harder.

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Making Goals and Striving to Reach Them: The Pros and Cons

Woman with Tunnel Vision

When I encourage my clients to set realistic goals I also help them set up a strategic plan to achieve them. When a plan is followed, success usually follows! The challenge is when they focus too much on the goal and not enough on the plan.

When setting realistic goals you have to first have a clear vision of what you want to achieve. You then need to be realistic about the plan to reach your goal. The goal is the vision of what you want and the plan is the gasoline that will get you there.

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Design Spotlight: Against the Grain

Against the Grain

Today’s design spotlight features the newly refreshed Instant Identity design, “Against the Grain.” This branding design has a classical structure that uses contrasting textures to create visual interest. Brown swirling silk is juxtaposed next to a soft, fluffy cotton-like background and framed by bright crinkling, metallic strips. then set off by a cool, smooth, turquoise band of color. An elegant, swirling script font brings all the elements together into a cohesive finished design. For a brand that will indulge your sense of touch as well as your sense of sight you need look no further!

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Ask Denise: Liberal vs Traditional Loans

Denise Lones

Q:  Denise, I have a lot of clients who don’t qualify for traditional loans. However, I am hesitant to suggest they talk to other lenders with more liberal programs as I am concerned that it looks like we are pushing for the same conditions that led to the mortgage meltdown in the first place. So, how do I know a good loan program from one that is predatory?

A:  I am so glad you are looking out for your clients. I have had this question several times over the last few months. It seem that several buyers or sellers who could not qualify under the very stringent conditions of years past are now out looking at their options. There could be a number of reasons why an otherwise-qualified buyer cannot get a loan – divorce, not-easily documented income, past foreclosure, inconsistent monthly income, or perhaps the seller has to buy before they sell their own home and use the proceeds.

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