LIFE IN THE FAST LANE
What To Do When the Clock’s Ticking
Congratulations, you’ve landed the job of your dreams!
The catch is, it’s located across the country and now you need to sell your home, buy a new one, plus move your spouse, your children, your mother-in-law, every stick of furniture you’ve collected since college, and your two poorly-behaved French bulldogs ten states away before the school year begins. (No stress there, especially given your MIL’s running commentary and love of catastrophizing.)
Fortunately, I can help you with the transition, so let’s get to this week’s Glennda Gazette right now, because there’s no time to waste.
THE REALITY OF REAL ESTATE
A Van by the River Is Not an Option
Okay, here’s what we know: the US housing market is slowing, thanks to everything from the rise in mortgage rates to the decline in housing affordability. Let’s not forget all those folks–14 million of them, in fact–who refinanced during the pandemic, locking in those rates that are just too hard to give up for an unnecessary move. Of course, everyone can agree we had a good run for the past few years, but times like these are what separates the everyday agents from the shining stars.
How do these conditions impact Bobby and Suzie, your average buyer or seller?
Well, the housing market has definitely cooled in some areas and pockets. What that means is there are more homes for sale and those listed are staying on the market for longer. As of March of 2022, the average home spent about 54 days on the market, which is up from last May’s average of 30 days, and down from what we saw in January, clocking in at an agonizing 74 days. The median sales price has declined 0.9% to $375,700, per the National Organization of Realtors. This is positive for buyers, who now have more options and less competition. However, it’s not so great for sellers, who may have to lower their asking prices in order to sell their homes.
Now, I don’t have a crystal ball, so I can’t say if the real estate market is going to crash. But if I were to predict, I’d say the market will continue to poke along for a while in 2023, until something changes. I can’t control the market (yet), but what we agents can do is our best to make everything easy-peasy, lemon-squeezy for our clients. Even though conditions aren’t ideal, right now we still have people who need to buy a home and people who need to sell a home, and the idea of living in a van by the river just isn’t feasible for anyone who isn’t an influencer. (Plus, your mother-in-law would never let you hear the end of #vanlife.)
So, here’s how I suggest we all navigate the housing market we have in front of us:
Buyers: He who hesitates is lost. When you find a home you like, be ready to act. Don’t let another buyer beat you to the punch. In plenty of places, homes are still selling quickly, so it’s imperative you are poised to make an offer as soon as possible.
Sellers: Price your home competitively. If you price your home too high, it may sit on the market for a long time. At some point, you’re going to want to stop vacuuming for showings and start packing to move, so be realistic with your pricing.
Both buyers and sellers: Before you do anything, get your mortgage preapproval in line before you even look at listings. Why? Because this shows sellers that you’re not messing around and you’ll be able to get that loan. (Again, unless you like strangers touring your home and vacuuming daily.)
Agents: Have your finger on the pulse of everything happening in your marketplace so you can best serve your buyers and sellers. And like my friend Josh Flagg says in his book The Deal, when the phone rings, answer it, because it could be money calling.
In summary? I want you to remember the Scout motto: be prepared.
SUGAR & SPICE REAL ESTATE ADVICE
Consider the Source
There are a lot of great sources out there that can help you narrow down your home choice. But there’s only one true authority, one with the entire picture, and that source does not reside on the internet.
Don’t depend on just one source for property listings! #GlenndaBaker #RealEstate #AtlantaRealEstate #RealEstateTiktok￼
ONCE UPON A TIME WITH GLENNDA
If you want to buy or sell quickly, you must work with the right agent.
And if you’re in real estate, you must be the right agent. (This matters when time’s not a factor, too.)
Let me give y’all an example. A few years back, I went on this listing appointment where the house was owned by a mother and daughter. The daughter lived in town and the mother was out of state. That day, I was set to meet with the daughter.
When I got to the potential listing, oh, my stars, the house was completely cattywampus. It was only half painted and everything was in the middle of the floor. The carpet was ripped up and the agent had already put it up for sale, instead of giving the owners the time to get it squared away first. (Now, when this happened, the market was at its absolute pandemic peak. I’d normally tell my clients they shouldn’t be too concerned about making repairs because people just wanted to get in these houses, and they’d be willing to take on the work, be it painting or re-carpeting.)
But there’s a difference between a listing that could use some updating and a place in total chaos. No one could look past the piles of what was undone and see themselves living there—it looked like a war zone! Even worse, I saw the listing pictures where all that chaos was captured on film and I thought, This can't be real.
It occurred to me that no one had leveled with these sellers, because if they had, the house wouldn’t be listed in this condition. I said to the daughter, “I'm telling you, your agent has done you a disservice because no one is going to pay you the money that you want for the house in this condition.”
The daughter replied, “I agree with you 100%, thank you so much for your honest input. But the tricky part is, you're going to need to talk to my mom and get her on board.” I'm, like, “Absolutely, no problem I'll give her a call as soon as I get into the car.”
(Let me say this, if as an agent, you aren’t comfortable picking up the phone and talking to anyone in any situation, tell me and we’ll work on boosting your confidence in a later newsletter.)
But before I could do anything, the daughter placed a hand on my arm and said, “Please don't call her from the car. I’m not kidding, she's really, really, really difficult and I don't want you to be distracted driving.”
I nodded, but I knew in my head I’d call the mom as soon as I got in the car because bad news doesn't get better with time. So, I called and I laid out what needed to be done. The mother said, “Okay, great, what's your fee?”
I told the mother what my fee was and she said, “You're joking, right? My current real estate agent is doing it for X.” (Now, if your first inclination in this situation would be to cut your fee, again, drop me a line so I can coach you past this in a future edition.) I laid out the facts for that mother. I said, “You're not happy with your current real estate agent and your real estate agent now has cost you thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars with their advice.” But this woman was not about to be dissuaded by facts. She said, “I'm not paying you more than X.”
My response? I told her, “I’ve got bad news for you. Michael Jordan doesn't work for a discount. I am the Michael Jordan of real estate. If you want to work with me, this is my fee.” This is not a negotiation—this is a hard and fast fact. Never undervalue what you bring to the table as an agent. So she said, “Then I don't need to talk to you anymore,” and she hung up the phone.
But I wasn’t worried.
Not more than three days later, guess who called me? That’s right, the daughter! She said, “Hey, Glennda, I'm almost done with everything that you recommended. I'd love for you to come back out and take a look at the house.” I just laughed and said, “I can, but I don't think your mom is gonna work with me.”
The daughter said, “No, I've talked to her, I've told her you're our only option because you told me the good, the bad, and the ugly. And you handled my difficult mom so great that you are the only choice for us.”
Do y’all know what happened next?
I got that listing sold and closed over list price with multiple offers. Because I am the Michael Jordan of real estate and no one can throw me off my game.
Let’s all be more like Mike.
I may not be @garyvee and T Rex may be extinct but I stand by the Michael Jordan comment! #GlenndaBaker #RealEstate #AtlantaRealEstate #garyvee
Spoiler Alert: I Am Oh-My-Starstruck
I slid into Mikey Taylor’s DMs and y’all would not believe what happened next—he agreed to be one of my gurus! I am so excited to share our conversation with Glenndarattis everywhere!
This Renaissance man and X Games athlete has worn many hats in his career, starting off as a professional skateboarder. After fourteen years, he hung up his deck (did I get that right?) (don’t tell me if I didn’t), transitioning into entrepreneurship, having recognized an opportunity in the craft beer business. He became a co-founder of the Saint Archer Brewery, which was purchased by Miller/Coors. His passion to do more led him to creating Commune Capital, which is a private equity firm that invests in commercial real estate, with a guiding principle to leave a positive impact on the cities in which they build or improve infrastructure.
Mikey has some fascinating things to say about empowering people with the tools to financial success, but I’ll let him fill you in on those details in our chat!
Word to the Wise
If you sleep on it,
you may not sleep in it.”