Real Estate: How To Price Your Property

Prices going up or down? 

Everyone has an opinion. Conflicting predictions about another real estate recession vs continued price increases, constantly confuse us. When we’re confused, we tend to do nothing. My best real estate advice to you is to find the actual value of your property now and use it as a basis to decide what to do with this asset or liability. Appraisers and the internet are often wrong because of limited information about your home and motivation.

When you get current information about what today’s buyers CAN PAY, DID PAY or REFUSED TO PAY for a property like yours, you are in control of your pricing decision. Then you can decide to buy, sell, rent, remodel, invest or stay. Many of us price property according to what we want or need without having a clue about real value. Here are 3 steps for you to take or direct your agent to take. Compare features, advantages and benefits and select 15 properties like yours.

Step 1. Find at least 5 current listings like yours (what buyers CAN PAY).

Step 2. Find 5 sold homes like yours (what buyers DID PAY).

Step 3. Find 5 expired or withdrawn listings (what buyers REFUSED TO PAY).

Now average the prices in the 3 categories. Let’s say that the Can Pays average $600,000, Did Pays $550,000 and Refused to Pays $700,000. You then know that if you price it at $600,000 buyers will look at it but probably offer you $550,000. You also notice that if you price it above $700,000 you may be just wasting your time selling, because few buyers will even come to look. Once you know the average prices in each of the 3 steps you can revise the numbers as the market changes. I know this sounds complicated but it’s “critical” to do before you decide to sell. If you or your agent want further instructions, email or text me and ask for Strategic Pricing Analysis information. As a Florida Broker through the past  4 recessions, I see the fifth one coming  soon. I’m recommending that my clients who plan on moving do so sooner rather than later while inventory is down and prices are steady. I host a 1-hour weekly Real Beach Talk on Tuesdays from 4 – 5 pm for sellers, buyers and anyone interested in local real estate and our beach lifestyle. I call it  “Informed Confusion”.  It’s at our St. Pete Beach office, 5050 Gulf Blvd. 33706. Please RSVP if you’d like to attend or contact me directly to chat about your personal situation. I will earn your trust by telling you the truth as I see it.

All the best, Jim “Property Wizard” Beggins, Broker 

CENTURY 21Beggins Enterprises, has  13 offices and 400 agents serving Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee and Sarasota Counties. Since most opinions about real estate can be supported with facts. I will inform you to the best of my ability so you can unconfuse the facts to your personal advantage. I think you can use my “hands on” experience in Florida real estate since 1970 to achieve your desired outcome.

Please let me know how I’m doing. Call, text or email with any questions. Cell – 727-254-8144 or email to: jimbeggins@c21be.com.

Real Estate: Who Do Agents Represent? 

Get Real about Property! Travels through Real Estate Law by Tom Brodersen, Esq.

It used to be that listing agents always represented Sellers, in the fullest legal sense. The problem was, under the structure of most Multiple Listing Systems (MLS), the cooperating agent, who drives Buyers around in his or her car all day (maybe even buying them lunch to win their loyalty, or beers at the end of the day) also represented the Seller (under what was called a sub-agency agreement, which was triggered by an agent showing properties listed in the MLS).

The Buyers often didn’t understand that.  It is true that some agents executed special agreements to be Buyers agents exclusively, but that wasn’t typically the case.

In recent years, Florida law has changed and all agents are presumed to be what is called  “transaction brokers,” unless the paperwork clearly says differently.  Transaction brokers (or agents) don’t truly represent anyone and as some would (inartfully) say, they  “represent the deal.” What does that mean? Do they really only represent themselves?  It’s a fair question.

The truth is, there is a list of seven specific duties, all of which add up to full representation, but in the case of a transaction broker, three of those duties are reduced or eliminated. They are confidentiality (for example, does the agent tell the Seller that the Buyer could afford or is willing to pay more for the property than is being offered, if necessary), disclosure (everyone is entitled to full disclosure as to property condition and value, but not necessarily information about the parties bargaining position), and loyalty.

I don’t think this framework is a good idea, because agents charge the same, but give the public less as transaction brokers.  And just try to explain to people that you can’t give them your undivided loyalty.  It’s a real hard sell.  However, that’s up to brokers and their business strategy, and, in all fairness, this all doesn’t really add up to much practical difference to Buyers and Sellers, in most cases.

Sometimes, however, it counts for a lot.  When one party has little or no experience with buying and selling real estate, they need more help, maybe a lot more help.  They should be fully represented, but they need to ask for it very clearly, or they probably won’t get it.

If you don’t feel up to reading (and able to understand) every line of every document put in front of you, you should probably talk to a real estate lawyer.

Next month we’ll talk about a recent horror story caused by exactly these considerations.

Anderson & Brodersen, P.A. 727.363.6100, www.propertylawgroup.com