Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Ahhhh, January in SoIL


May I say I love Southern Illinois in January? I consider this to be spring...we started the first weekend this month with a Polar Vortex: wind chills -30 and then today it, January 14, it was 51 degrees. Lovely.

I listed a house during the snow storm/Polar Vortex madness. Took the photo with all the snow. The seller just sent me some shots he'd taken last spring....I switched them out. In another few weeks we will have all that grass greening up.

I've been having a lot of buyers calling me, now, too, that the weather warmed up. See...that's the thing. Warm weather brings out the buyers.

I've really been trying to push up my listings. I love that the NAR ((National Association of Realtors)) have put out some wonderful stats.

All those first time homebuyers are using Realtors. (89%)

All those first time homebuyers using financing. (96%)

All those repeat buyers using financing. (81%)

All those buyers who see Realtors as a useful resource. (87%)

All those buyers (with NAR now saying the average buyer is 42 years old) under the age of 44 looking online for houses. (96%)

Of all those buyers? Only 15% will contact a For-Sale-By-Owner. Why? Probably because they are intimated and stressed out enough by the whole process without the extra heart-pounding experience of talking to a stranger about a house this buyer may or may not like.

See. That's what you have to factor in: People are not typically ready, willing or able to walk up to a stranger and negotiate a transaction as stressful as buying a house. Add in the first time homebuyer's jitters, the newly divorced or widowed still-fresh trauma or the newly relocated transplanted buyer's anxiety about the neighborhood/schools/taxes/commute distance and when the Allied Van truck is arriving. That's why I'm called in by these buyers. It is an alarmingly daunting task they are more than happy to hand off to a Realtor.

Me? I ease them into the transaction. I call their banker and start a dialog. I get them insurance quotes, house inspectors who are kind to first timers and tough on issues. I get them closing costs or carpet allowances. I know what to do, who to call, where to take them for title work, legal issues, insurability and how to negotiate not only the price but the place and timing of the closing.

See? People who are buying houses? They usually have some sort place...oh, I don't know...like a job! Where they have to be at certain days and times. Realtors like me? We get to know all these personal, intimate, sometimes TMI details about our clients. Stuff we wouldn't dream of sharing with anyone because...well...outside the deal? Its just too complex to start to relay to someone outside the deal even if we weren't obligated and compelled to keep undisclosed by law.

It is time to call me to help you sell your house, keeping in mind since I'm a small business owner, it helps the local economy. So... maybe... its time to call me to help you sell or help your daughter/son/niece/grandson/neighbor/cousin/best friend sell their house. Realtors are in business to list and sell property. We get our buyers not only from our own circle of friends but from your listing.

Me? I have a huge circle of family/friends/people in SoIL. If you are, at all, daunted, frightened, discouraged about stories of unscrupulous real estate practitioners...please rest assured when I tell you: I know too many people and far too many people watch what I'm doing for me to "pull a fast one" on you the seller or the buyer.

Me? I LIVE IN SCHELLER!! Do you think, for a second, that I could live in this small, rural, almost too-close-nose-in-your-business-gossipy-tiny-village community and do something as public as real estate without being squeaky clean in my dealings? A hint, an allusion, a soupcon (hee hee...that's French but I don't have the proper accent markings on my keyboard), a taint or nuance of wrong-doing that would put me in a short line for a public shaming with siblings, cousins, classmates and former babysitters ((yes, people who babysat ME)), still living and monitoring my actions with an interest that I, personally, find very, very endearing. I would never compromise my integrity with them. I would rather chew glass than disappoint these people, these folks who are my people.

I recently did a listing appointment with a couple who told me a dastardly deed done by a real estate practitioner that soured them on using a Realtor to sell their house. Notice I am not calling the person that soured them a Realtor...that's a name we earn and the practitioner they told me about doesn't deserve the title. That person needs to retire her license because she's making us all look bad. Shame on her. I have her name and I am currently in the process of, if not public shaming, at least a broker-to-broker shaming of her actions. She needs to know I'm out here and I have heard her buyer's side of a story in which I wouldn't want to be the heroine. She needs to be ashamed of herself for letting them down. And she needs to feel shame for tainting our profession, shaking the public perception of Realtors. Hopefully, my local connections will convince this couple I am worthy of their trust.

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