How Do I Choose A Good Realtor in Orange County?

Since there are approximately 30,000 licensed Realtors in Orange County, CA (yes, you read that correctly), chances are you already know someone who is licensed.

The fact is, most Realtors do very little business. 

The MLS shows 31,590 closed Real Estate transactions in OC in 2017, spread out among 30,000 Realtors!  There are a core of professional Realtors who write anywhere from 20-200 transactions per year, which means that nearly everyone else is struggling to do even one transaction!  That is Crazy!!! 

So when you're looking for realtor, your first question should be “How many transactions did you complete in the last 12 months?”  I would suggest the answer be at least 10.  Why?  Because current knowledge and experience in RE laws, transaction pitfalls and opportunities, is the MOST important factor in choosing a Realtor.  It beats out your friend, the "local" realtor, everything.  You want to know above all that your RE professional is just that – professional, experienced, and knowledgeable. 

This is the largest financial transaction you handle in your lifetime (until you do it again), and so why would you entrust it to a rookie?  And just because someone has been in RE for 20 years, doesn’t mean much either.  They may be one of those folks who does maybe one sale a year, for 20 years. 

I’ve literally been sent offers on my listings on paperwork that is 10 years out of date from a Realtor who had held a license for about 15 years – simply because they did very little business and did not want to pay to keep their RE library up to date. 

So make sure you are working with someone who has the right balance of experience and personal attention for your needs and desired outcome.  Happy Home Shopping!

How Can I Get the Highest Sale Price for My House?

This is an understandably popular question, but it really does not have an obvious answer.  Getting a great sale price is important, and oddly enough, pushing the listing price too high for the area you live in, will actually most often give you the opposite result. 

The reason for this is the Internet.  It is both a blessing and a curse, as buyers become quickly educated on what to expect in terms of pricing, square footage, upgrades and so on, in any given neighborhood. 

The biggest issue here though, is Days On Market!  When a seller puts a higher-than-typical price on their home, buyers tend to hold off in both viewing and making offers.  As the days on market add up, buyers become wary, and wonder ‘What is wrong with this home?’  There is probably nothing wrong, it’s just the Seller priced it too high at the start of the marketing period, and perhaps even failed to respond to a lack of offers, by adjusting it modestly.  At the end of the day, these homes often end up having to drop the asking price too much, and selling for lower than they probably should have! 

Pricing at market value, or even a tiny bit below, will help to bring in offers.  Best case scenario, you get multiple offers, because buyers see it as a ‘deal’ and put their best foot forward to make sure they can scoop it up. 

This psychology can definitely lead to offers over asking.  Remember, you are always in control and never have to accept any offer – so there is no danger of you getting too little for your home with this strategy. 

Your realtor should be guiding you through the acceptable range on value for your home – given it’s location, maintenance level, upgrades, features etc.  This way, you will always make an informed decision and get the most possible for your home.

Should I Try to Sell My House Myself?

In most cases, Sellers are curious about this option (For Sale By Owner or FSBO) because they feel like they will make more money – or Net more money in the end. 

Of course, the Net proceeds of the sale of your home should be extremely important to you, and even if you end up working with a Realtor, it will be extremely important to them, too. 

Remember, the higher the price the home sells for, the more the Realtor’s paycheck will be, so they should be very motivated to get you a high price.

The problem with FSBO is twofold.  First, you just don’t get in front of enough people.  For instance, there are 30,000 licensed Realtors in Orange County alone (yes, you read that right), so none of those realtors are going to be looking at your home as an option for their buyers.  Even if you list the home online somehow, it will still be off-the-radar of the largest number of individuals who are actively searching for their clients. 

In fact, over 80% of all FSBO sellers end up listing their home with a Realtor in the end! 

Secondly, buyers who do come to look at your home, have the impression that a FSBO listing is going to be a bargain!  Oftentimes, they actually take the price of a realtor’s commission (and then some) off the asking price of the home when considering making an offer.  This ends up a bad scenario as most of the buyers you see aren’t really serious about paying market value.

The idea of not paying commission sounds attractive, but in fact, there are costs like marketing and advertising the home that the Realtor pays for, and in the end, statistics show that sellers who use a Realtor can end up netting approximately 11% MORE than FSBO sellers! 

So, do yourself a favor and save yourself the headache – call me instead, and I will get you top dollar for your home and handle all the most difficult parts of the transaction for you.