The real estate business is hard enough without agents making it even more difficult. Many of our clients assume we work 24/7 and the business practices of many agents essentially ensures that we do.
There’s no standardized best practice when it comes to lunching a home for sale. Homes pop up every day of the week and offers are entertained anywhere from before a home even hits the market, to hours, a few days or weeks later.
Take for example our local market where with very little inventory, homes are flying off the shelf. Unless there is some sort of structure to the launch and contract review day, one could never get a day off as every time a home would hit the MLS agents would have to scurry over and get their clients in within minutes or the home might be sold.
Thankfully, many local agents set a date to entertain offers so that buyers and their agents aren’t scrambling to see all of the available homes at a moment’s notice.
Recently, a new standard of practice has started to develop as some agents have begun listing properties before the weekend—holding one weekend of open homes, a Tuesday Broker tour, and listening to offers the following Friday. That equates to 7 days on the market. And while it brings some semblance of order to our otherwise chaotic trade, it’s not the best course of action to get the seller the most for their home.
The first issue is the earnest money deposit. Listening to offers on Friday is fraught with anxiety as our contracts default to 3 business days to deposit the buyer’s consideration (deposit) into escrow. A Friday offer date means the buyer’s deposit money doesn’t even hit escrow until Wednesday of the following week—five days after contract ratification. Even if the buyer’s agent changed that in the contract to 1 business day, the deposit is still not due until Monday after a weekend of new open homes. It’s not unusual to see a buyer get cold feet or see a better home over the weekend and decide not to deliver the deposit. No agent wants to find themselves trying to resurrect a highest offer a week later yet they continue to put themselves and their sellers at risk.
Another issue is sufficient market awareness and, the mere practicality of seeing a home, analyzing the recent sales in the area, reviewing the reports and making an informed offer. Most buyers today spend more time choosing their washer and dryer than they do actually buying their home—it’s an unsustainable pace and will invariably lead to lawsuits.
Anecdotally, we’ve encountered many buyers during our first open house praying that we will be open one more weekend as their spouse was out of town for the week. If you market your home for less than one week you’re potentially missing out on interested buyers who may be unavailable during that small window. And imagine the frustration when buyers who take just one week off to get away during their year long home search are out of luck when the ideal home gets listed by one of these agents the week they are away.
Our research indicates we’ve received some of our highest and best offers often from a buyer who saw the home at the second open home. On a home we just listed and sold with four offers in 11 days, had we heard offers before the second open house we would have missed out on two of the suitors (bidders) who came through the second weekend.
But who is to say our strategy works the best? The numbers do. We consistently outperform other agents with the percentage over the asking price we net our sellers. And it’s not because we under price our listings. We do this by sticking to a formula with proven results. We’ve also never had a buyer voluntarily back out of one of our listings once in contract. We contribute part of this success to slowing down the process and not putting people in a foot race. We think that market saturation is good for sellers and buyers as the sellers get maximum market attention and buyers have more time to digest whether a home is right for them before they get into escrow.
The numbers below represent all of the homes sold in Belmont year to date. Notice that there’s a sweet spot where too many days on the market and a home gets far less, and too few not enough.
Sellers who marketed their home on average for ten days received more than agents who took offers too soon. It’s also interesting to note that of the 67 homes which have sold thus far this year, the highest over asking a seller received was 46%–marketed for 10 days. In fact eight of the 14 homes which sold 20% or more over asking were listed for greater than 10 days but less than 14.
|% over Asking||Days on Market|
Many agents banter about claims that they will sell your home for more money in shorter period of time—but we have the numbers to back us up. We base our system for marketing homes on a proven strategy that nets our sellers consistently more than the other top agents in our territory. Our listings are all on the market for 11 days which accounts for two weekend of open houses, one broker tour and offer date after the second set of open houses. To find out what else we do, contact us directly to learn more about our progressive services.
Drew & Christine Morgan are REALTORS/NOTARY PUBLIC in Belmont, CA. with more than 20 years experience in helping sellers and buyers in their community. They may be reached at (650) 508.1441 or emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The information contained in this article is educational and intended for informational purposes only. It does not constitute real estate, tax or legal advice, nor does it substitute for advice specific to your situation. Always consult an appropriate professional familiar with your scenario.