Sometimes, I have to rack my brain for hours to think of a good topic for the RAM, but this one practically wrote itself.
Last Thursday, I got a call from prospective buyers from Edmonton (I’m in Calgary). They’ve lived in Edmonton for years, but their kids (and grandkids) all live in Calgary now, so it’s time to move closer to their family.
Also, Edmonton sucks… (As a Calgarian, I’m required to state this fact.) 🤣
I’m talking to her, and she lets on that I’m the second REALTOR® she’s talked to, but they weren’t very impressed with the first guy. Apparently, he was “very negative,” saying stuff like this:
The market is insane in this price range. Everything is selling in multiple offers way above asking. It’s super-difficult for buyers, especially when you’re not in the city and unable to react quickly—blah, blah, doom, gloom, etc. 😠
So, she asks me, “What do you think?”
Well, the market is what it is. There’s nothing much we can do about that. But here’s what we can do:
I’ll set you up on a Web Portal so that you can see all the listings on the market in your price range and geographical area and be notified automatically whenever there is a new listing, a conditional sale, or a firm sale. This way, you’ll start to learn the market a bit.
Next, I recommend that you come down on a Saturday, and I’ll set aside 2-3 hours, and we’ll drive around and look at several listings. By doing this, you’ll learn more, and hopefully, you’ll be ready to react quickly when the right property comes on the market. When it does, I’ll give you all the benefit of my experience to increase your odds of getting it for a reasonable price. I can even FaceTime you if you’re in Edmonton and if I think it’s a good one.
How does that sound? I can set you up on the Web Portal right away.
“Super! Please do that, and we’ll be in touch soon. Perhaps we can come down this Saturday.
Within an hour, they let me know they could come, and I set up six showings for Saturday afternoon.
Well, you wouldn’t believe what happened next! On Friday, she emails me about a new listing, “This house looks perfect. It’s in the exact area we want to be in, and the price seems reasonable. It’s got everything we want.”
OK, great! I’ll add that to our tour on Saturday!
But unfortunately, I went to book the showing, and the listing agent had the entire day on Saturday blocked out. I checked in with the buyer, and they were staying over Saturday night, so I tried to book it for Sunday morning.
No can do! The tenant apparently had Zoom meetings on Sunday morning and couldn’t accommodate showings then, either.
Well, this is getting stupid. You can predict what’s going to happen. The showings get backed up to Sunday afternoon and all day Monday, and then it sells way over asking on Monday evening.
I contacted the agent and resisted the urge to give him hell about listing a property that could not be shown within 24 hours (breaking our board rule). Instead, I had a friendly chat with him. Apparently, the tenant kept the house impeccable, but she was also very particular about when the house could be shown or not. The owner went along with it because she was such a great tenant overall. I should also say that it was apparent this agent was new—super enthusiastic but lacking experience in this crazy market.
I conveyed all this to my client, and she asked, “Well, is there anything we can do? We really feel like this is the perfect house!”
So, I told her the only possible chance of getting it before it went into multiple offers would be to write a strong offer sight unseen but with a home inspection condition.
Now, understand I’m not in the habit of making these types of suggestions to my clients, and I explained all the risks, up, down, and sideways. But they were so convinced this was the right house that they decided to try it.
I wasn’t holding out much hope because, honestly, if they were my sellers, I would have convinced them never to accept such an offer. But due to the right combination of circumstances (difficult tenant/motivated seller/inexperienced agent), I figured it was worth a shot.
And it worked! We got an accepted conditional contract in place before any other agent could even see the property! And for a very reasonable price which is difficult to accomplish in this market.
But now, the scary part! The buyers came down on Sunday at 1:00 pm to see the home, keeping our original appointment. 😬
Well, what a pleasant surprise! The house was even better than it looked in the listing, and the buyers were thrilled! We had the home inspection yesterday, and it’s now a firm deal. 😃
This was the easiest transaction I’ve done for as long, albeit with a fair amount of luck on our side. However, the point of this story is that I landed these buyers as clients when the other agent did not because he was so negative. Even if we hadn’t been so lucky, I certainly would have found these folks a home eventually.
I didn’t make light of the market challenges, but at the same time, I focused on how they could succeed, giving a few examples of my recent success with buyers in the same market.
Always show some positivity to your clients. Show them some light. Be on their side.
Don’t be a bummer!