When it comes to selling your house for top dollar, good marketing is hands down the most important factor. You can have a beautiful home at a fair price, but if few people know about it you won’t be able to sell, at least not at a favorable price.
Recently we saw a local real estate agent from another brokerage post a national poll (unsourced) claiming that only 1% of buyers found their house through the local newspaper. Now, that may or may not be true (we can’t really verify without knowing where that came from), but if we give the benefit of the doubt it was a national poll. We may all be one country, but you’ve got to admit there are some pretty big differences between various parts of the United States. Even if that is true that only 1% of people in the bigger metropolitan regions like New York and Los Angeles find their home through the paper, we had a hunch that that just wasn’t true for the Nevada/Vernon County area.
So, to test our theory we conducted our own poll, of only people in Vernon County. Surely more than 1% of people here find their home through the paper. Boy, were we right, and then some! With 125 respondents a full 62% of them said that they or people they know use the newspaper to find a home! That’s right folks, almost 2/3rds of people are looking for their next home in the paper!
While we don’t know the motivation of that other agent, it does seem possible that they were using it as an argument for not posting your home for sale in the paper. Now it’s easy to imagine why that might be the case, frankly, print advertising is expensive. As a matter of fact we guarantee to run your home in the paper, EVERY SINGLE WEEK, until it sells. Other brokerages might not want to make that investment in your home, and are fine only targeting 1/3 of potential buyers.
No matter who you choose to list your home with, ask them about their marketing, and why they do what they do. Interview some other brokerages, then come talk to a Curtis and Sons agent last, and you’ll understand why we have listed and sold nearly 2.5 times the number of properties in the area than our nearest local competitor (in the last 365 days)- we’re willing to invest the money and the research into properly marketing your home! Give us a call at 417-667-7868- you won’t regret it!
Moving day is here! You’ve had your home on the market for two months, got a great offer, accepted, and been in escrow for the last month and a half! About three weeks in it seems like everything is good to go, the buyer’s agent has assured you they have loan approval and enough money to close. You’ve found your dream home on the other side of town, and gotten an offer accepted! In the meantime you’ve just put everything in storage for a few weeks in between closing the old house and the new one! The whole family is really excited, the new home is bigger than your old one, has a gorgeous kitchen, and a great view of the lake! The last 3 weeks have been hectic, you never imagined it would take so much time to move all that furniture out of the house, and clean everything and get it all ready to move in for the new folks! All that is finally done, and you’re just about to go over to the title company to sign all the papers formally transferring ownership. You feel your phone buzz in your pocket. It’s your agent, and she asks if you can talk now. You start feeling a knot in the pit of your stomach… You call your agent, and she starts off with, “I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news…. The buyers aren’t going to close….”
Unfortunately, this scenario has, and continues to happen. You’ve moved all your furniture out, you’re in escrow on a new house (and need to sell your old one first), and at the last minute the buyers can’t close. Maybe they got cold feet, maybe they experienced a job loss, maybe they made a bad decision and ran up their credit card and no longer qualify- really it could be anything. The fact of the matter is, you’re now in a pickle….what do you do?
There’s a lot of complicated aspects to even a seemingly simple real estate sale that many people don’t understand (yet another reason why it’s important to work with an experienced Curtis and Sons agent!) Earnest money is one of those. So what is that? Well, simply put, earnest money is a certain amount of money you put upfront with an offer to buy a home. If you end up closing on the home as planned, it gets applied to your purchase price. If you don’t close on the house (with a few time limited exceptions), then you (the buyer) lose that money.
Sounds pretty harsh, right? You might say, “I signed a contract, I’m promising to buy the house, why do I need to put up money?” Well, the unfortunate reality is that not all transactions end up working out. Sometimes it’s the buyer’s fault, sometimes its the lenders fault. However, it can rarely be the seller’s fault- when they sign a contract to sell a house they are legally obligated to go through with the sale for the agreed upon price, as long as the buyer is able to pay. If the seller refuses for some reason, the buyer can get a court order forcing the sale.
So, as you can see, once a sales contract is signed, the seller is basically stuck with what they agreed to (subject to some negotiations involving repairs after an inspection). However, the buyer has a lot of “outs”. On a typical sales contract with a mortgage the buyer has a period of time to get an inspection, and back out with no penalty if they don’t like the results. If the house doesn’t appraise for enough, or they end up not being able to get a loan (within agreed upon timelines), they can also back out with no penalty. This tilts the playing field even further in favor of the buyer.
It gets even more biased against the seller though- if it’s someone selling their personal residence to move, they are most likely going to need a professional moving company, and have to pay them up to $5630 (the national average for an interstate move according to US News and World Report), as well as schedule that a couple weeks in advance. So, our unfortunate seller could be at a week from closing, having laid out almost $6,000 to a moving company, gone through all sorts of stress, strain and time invested in the move, and then the buyer has a change of heart, something bad happens with their credit, etc, and they back out of the deal. What on earth does our seller do there??
Well, pardon the long buildup, but we finally get to the answer to our initial question. That’s where earnest money comes in. Hopefully the seller had a good agent, who collected a significant, earnest money deposit, that, according to law, as well as just plain common sense and ethics, should go to the seller. This hopefully compensates them for their moving expenses, stress and strain, as well as potentially missing out on a better offer or stronger buyer while their house was in escrow.
Earnest money does even more though. Having to pay some money upfront shows the seller that the buyer is serious, and intends to keep their word to the best of their ability. In any kind of competitive market, no seller will take an offer with no (or very low) earnest money seriously- it shows that the buyer is either unable or unwilling to “put their money where their mouth is”, and truly commit to buying the house.
So what to do if you don’t have very much money, but can qualify for a loan, and found a house you love? Well, that’s where working with an experienced agent can help-we can find creative solutions such as a “Possession After Closing” agreement. This is an agreement that simply allows the seller to stay in the house a little after closing, typically 1 or 2 weeks. This gives them enough time to move out, AFTER they’re sure that the deal has closed! Easy peasy, works for everyone!
So, apologies for the long post, but please, buyers and buyers’ agents, realize how important earnest (or other solutions like possession after closing) money is! It’s really the only way to make the transaction process fair to sellers. We hate when anyone loses their dream and a deal falls through, but we do have to protect sellers who can potentially end up in such a bad situation.
Well folks, we still have a few of the vintage signs we used back in the 1950’s and 1960’s (back when Monte was a young’un!) around the office! They don’t make an appearance very often, but for a home as special as this one we needed a special sign! Chris and Terri just closed on this gorgeous, restored brick Victorian beauty- one of the finest examples of classic architecture in Nevada! For an occasion this special we had to bring out the special sign too! The rooster used to be our calling card, and it’s welcoming you home with a proud cock-a-doodle-doo! Congratulations on your stunning home Chris and Terri- and thanks for being loyal repeat clients! We always enjoy working with you, and hope you have many happy years in this amazing part of Nevada history!
Joann Cash loves helping first time homebuyers achieve their piece of the American dream! It can sometimes be intimidating trying to buy your first home, but rest assured Joann has years of experience and will be right by your side helping you through the whole process. Thanks Josh and Alexis for choosing Joann to find your perfect first home! Even better, a fast closing with money to spare for new furniture! Congratulations and have fun moving in this weekend! Call Joann at 417-684-2303 to get your Home Sweet Home dreams started!
Well folks, the stats just came in, and we did pretty darn well, if we do say so ourselves! Our average number of days on market for Curtis and Sons listings in 2017 was only 93! For comparison’s sake, our closest major competitor in Nevada had an average of 125 days on market! How did we accomplish this you might ask? Well, we offer a full spectrum marketing campaign consisting of print media, local MLS, video tours, drone videography where appropriate, prominent placement on major websites, AND video tours of your home! But technology can only go so far- it’s the people that really make it! We have a fantastic team with over 100 years combined of experience, and our agents take the time to sit down with you, visit, and get to know you and your needs! This combination of great technology and a great team is what allows us to do so well!
Not only that, but our commissions start at 3% (5% if we find the buyer and handle both sides of the transaction) which means more money in YOUR pocket! On a $145,000 sale, you would net an extra $1450 selling with us that way!
Ever wonder why it’s a good idea to use a buyer’s agent? Well, in addition to bringing expertise on the purchase process, there are a couple of incredibly valuable reasons. Ever heard the term “fighting with one hand tied behind your back”? If you go into a negotiation against an experienced seller’s agent that’s exactly what you’re doing. You’ll be at every possible disadvantage there, right from the start without even being able to access MLS data to see what comparable properties have sold for in order to offer the correct amount. By contrast, if you work with any of our experienced Curtis and Sons agents you’ll have an entire office with over 100 years of combined experience and tens of millions of dollars of transactions fighting on YOUR behalf. With us on your side, you’re not only fighting with both hands, we’re giving you a set of brass knuckles too 🙂
Best of all, you know the saying about how nothing in life is free? That’s true in most things, but not here! That’s right, the services of a buyer’s agent are completely FREE to you as the buyer- in most cases, the commission is paid entirely by the seller.
Better representation, someone to fight for you and bring their years of experience to help you, and all for no charge? Why would you do anything else? Give us a call at 417-667-7868 today to see how we can work for you!
Becoming a homeowner is one of the most important, best decisions someone can make in their life! There’s no substitute for the security of knowing you own the walls and roof protecting you and keeping you warm! Additionally, the ability to benefit from building equity and eventually owning your home free and clear, as well as enjoying any appreciation in the value of the home are wonderful positives to homeownership! Congratulations Kristina on making that jump- we’re sorry to have you leave as a renter, but thrilled you’re now a homeowner! If you’re curious as to how you too can own your piece of America, give JJ or any of our friendly agents a call at 417-667-7868, and we’d be happy to help out!
Well folks, in real estate, just like in life, timing is everything. You’ve got to know the right time to buy, the right time to sell, the right time to list (all of which our experienced agents can help you with!), but, most importantly of all, the right time to schedule your closing to get free cookies! That’s right, our awesome partners at McFadden Land & Title bring in free, home made cookies every Friday! Last week they had some absolutely scrumptious strawberry turnover cookies! Thanks so much Lonnie and Cindy for the delicious treats, and oh, by the way, congratulations Peggy on your awesome new house! That home, along with the beautiful pond will make a great place to put down roots! And like the old saying, that’s just the way the cookie crumbles!
Wow, what a gorgeous home, classic brick, 3 stories, AND a pool! That’ll be a blast in the summer! Congratulations James and Beth, and thanks so much for working with us. We all hope you have many happy years in your new home, and don’t forget to invite us when you have that inaugural pool party! ;P