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Jim Valentine: Still more questions for your agent

By Jim Valentine

Showing feedback is important for Listing Agents and Sellers alike.  It is a peek into the perception of a Buyer that has looked at your home.  They are asked to give their opinion on price.  Are they interested in the property after seeing it?  Additional comments they may have.  After a showing Sellers want to ask their Agent what the people thought that went through their home.  Ideally you will get the opinion of the Buyer and their Agent.  It is amazing how few Agents are providing feedback these days.  You can ask your Agent what the feedback was, but if they aren’t getting it there isn’t much they can do without the cooperation of the other Agent.

The next logical question is why aren’t Agents providing feedback?  It is a reciprocal activity – when you show their listing you give them feedback and vice versa.  They will want it then, why don’t they give it now?  We saw this phenomenon in the early 2000’s when there was a tremendous influx of new Agents trying to capitalize on the dynamic market.  Is that what is happening now?  Are they too busy?  Not a good answer as the feedback action doesn’t take long to finish.  Are they writing an offer and don’t want to “tip their hand”?  If so, where are the offers?  Are they ignorant of this vital phase of our industry?  If so, then they better get schooled up if they want a successful career as this industry relies on good cooperation between professional Agents.

Another recent phenomenon is Agents not leaving a business card.  This is very basic – it shows respect for the homeowner by telling them who was in their house. We even put a card in our own listing if we are there for something just to let the Seller know we were, indeed, in their home.  The new Agent influx of early 2000’s was the last time we saw this disrespectful behavior.  Time and experience cured it.  Hopefully, Brokers will school their new Sales People in the basics of the industry so they have a solid foundation on which to build a career.

Whether a Buyer or Seller, it is good to know what happens if the appraisal comes in short of the sales price.  In a rising market such as we are now in, new sales prices are higher than old sales prices.  Appraisers look back up to 6 months for “comps”, comparable homes that have sold, to get their estimate of value.  If the appraised value is short of your agreed sales price there are a few options you should be aware of before you make or accept that ambitious offer.  Since Lenders will usually make a loan at an agreed on Loan to Value.  If the appraisal is low you might still have enough “equity” if you are putting up a large enough down payment.  You can then decide if you want to proceed or not.  It is still the same house that you thought had the value you offered when you made it.

If you are short in the down payment department you can ask the Seller to adjust the price downward.  Sometimes that works.  You might be able to get a small gift from a family member to fill the gap.  The final resolution is to rescind the transaction, get your deposit back, and look for another property that might be priced such that it can appraise.  Not an easy situation, especially if you are competing with cash Buyers because they aren’t restrained by appraisal results.  Remember that there are options that can be worked on before you park your hopes for the home you want.  Ask your Agent for help.

Our Advice:  A real estate transaction has many twists and turns along the way from start to finish.  You will encounter nudges, speed bumps and brick walls, and will be asked to make a decision on each occasion so as to keep things moving.  Consequences will involve money, time and emotion so be sure you understand what you are being asked to decide, and the options you have to choose from. Ask your Agent for details and perspective.

With so many inexperienced Agents learning their craft be sure to ask your Agent details about the property or offer details to confirm what you are relying on that was provided by the Agent from the other side.  You are signing a contract and must do your own work to protect yourself.  Your Agent will help protect you. 

When it comes to choosing professionals to assist you with your real estate needs… Experience is Priceless!  Jim Valentine, RE/MAX Realty Affiliates, 775-781-3704. dpwtigers@hotmail.com