3 Steps to Handling a Low Appraisal

Receiving a low appraisal can be frustrating. If you’ve done the appropriate research and if all the parties agreed to the price, then it can’t be too far off base, right? So what options are available to you if the appraisal you received isn’t what you and your client expected?

If you’re one of those TL;DR types, then start your seven-day free trial of AgentEDU today and watch the full course, “How to Handle a Bad Appraisal“.

Here are three steps to handling a bad appraisal:

  1. Try to get the appraisal adjusted. Before taking this route, be sure to let your clients know that it’s difficult to get an appraisal changed. You can ask the appraiser to return, provide additional information to support your own findings, or have the lender send out a different appraiser take a look, but this is an extra expense and rarely yields positive results.
  2. Apply for a loan with another lender. Another route you can take is to have the buyer apply for a loan with a different lender. There may be new fees incurred, but if you’re sure that the appraisal was simply wrong and you can’t get it changed, this may be the best way to get the property reappraised and produce a more favorable outcome.
  3. Have the clients agree to a new price. You may have to ask your buyer to agree to a new price or put in a higher down payment, or ask the seller to lower the price to meet the appraisal results. If you’re representing the buyer, you may want to try to get the price renegotiated. Putting the price in line with the appraisal can be a chance to get a better value for your client. If you’re representing the seller, your goal is to get the buyer to make a higher down payment — because the lender is really only concerned with the amount of the loan, not the total price of the property.

These negotiations can be tricky, and both sides might have to give a little. What happens will depend on the market and how motivated the buyers and sellers are. But at the end of the day, the most successful agents avoid this situation by having an appraisal strategy already in place.

To learn more about how to overcome a bad appraisal and how to make the most of the appraisals process, explore our Appraisal track at AgentEDU.

AgentEDU features more than 70 different courses, each designed to teach agents the best practices for every situation. From daily core skills to high-level negotiations and everything in between, AgentEDU helps agents become top producers with increased earnings and a plan for continued growth.

 

 

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How to Connect with First Time Homebuyers in 2018

For the first time in over a decade, there seems to be an influx of first-time home buyers entering the marketplace. But is it more than just anecdotal? Are more first time buyers actually in a position to purchase, and if so, what does it mean for agents?

In 2017, more than 2 million new or existing homes were purchased by first-time homebuyers, according to the First-Time Homebuyer Market Report from Genworth Mortgage Insurance, an operating segment of Genworth Financial, Inc. The report, which measured data from the fourth quarter of 2017, revealed the number of homes purchased by first-time buyers increased nearly 7 percent from the same time in 2016, making last year the best for the first-time homebuyer market since 2006.

“The first-time homebuyer segment had one of its strongest years on record, and we expect it to continue growing in market share and driving the purchase market in 2018,” says Tian Liu, chief economist at Genworth Mortgage Insurance. “Since 2014, the segment has accounted for 82 percent of home purchases, but is still facing many headwinds.”

First-time homebuyers are a unique group — one  that has its own set of needs that you as an agent must be prepare to address and . That’s why we created the two-part training course, “How to Find the Perfect Home for Your Clients.”

The most common complaint that buyers will about their agents is that they were shown homes that did not fit their needs. Knowing how to find the right home for each client’s situation is a core skill that every buyer’s agent must possess.

Whether your client is a first-time homebuyer or an empty nester who is looking to downsize, you need to be prepared to understand the market — as well as how to set expectations, how to interpret the clues your client is giving you and how to eventually close the deal.

By guiding a first-time homebuyer through the sales process successfully, not only have you completed a sale and earned your commission, you may have landed a lifelong client.

Don’t miss your opportunity. Sign up for AgentEDU and learn how to find the perfect home for your clients.

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The 10 steps to a successful sale

Every real estate agent has his or her own methods for getting to know clients and moving them through the homebuying process. But there are some tried-and-true steps that every agent should follow:

1. Greet the client and develop rapport – Help the client get comfortable with you. Build trust through authentic interactions.

2. Ask qualifying questions – Ask about what the client is looking for, their financial situation, buying motivation, and timeframe.

3. Set expectations – Lay out the procedure for the client: how to prepare their lender paperwork, timing for making a decision, preview of a blank contract if it’s a resale, and review new construction contracts. Walk them through what happens after deciding on a home.

4. Present their options – Talk about homes on the market that fit their criteria. Present your plan for picking the best one or extending the search.

5. Demonstrate the homes – Show the homes, going over every detail and focusing on the home’s features and benefits. Keep client motivations and desires in mind at all times. (Though it’s really the listing agent’s job, this important step is often left to the buyer’s agent.)

6. Narrow it down to one home – Narrow down the options until the client is left with one home that meets their needs and that they’re able to buy.

7. Overcome objections – Anticipate objections and remove them before they even come up. When objections do arise, be prepared to address them.

8. Close the sale – You may know the saying “ABC” (Always Be Closing), which means that good closers keep closing in mind throughout the whole process, and use every opportunity to move the buying process forward.

9. Make sure the steps between sale and closing go smoothly – Stay on top of the lender, inspector, and appraiser. Assist with arranging movers or other tasks to help the client transition into their new home.

10. Follow up and get referrals – Seek client feedback via phone calls or a survey. Agents can ask for ways to help clients with any of their post-close suggestions and put them on a long-term referral plan.

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A luxury home sitting room with chandelier, brocade sofa and marble floors.

The 4 things all successful luxury agents do

All agents strive to reach high levels of production, so we’ve put together four tips for making your way in luxury real estate.

 

 

1. Capitalize on a Unique Skill Set – Many luxury agents did not start their professional careers in real estate. Some worked in investment banking; others were appraisers; and some worked in the corporate business world. But regardless of one’s background, there is one constant – they all bring something unique to their business. So even if you did not work in corporate America for 10 years, you should still consider what distinguished skill set you can bring to your luxury business and advertise to differentiate yourself. Failing to advertise your unique skill sets means you’ll get lost in the crowd of agents and lose potential clients who might look elsewhere for their home-buying and selling needs.

 

 

2. Complement the Lifestyle – Sure, luxury homebuyers want premium finishes and top-notch appliances, but more importantly, they want a home that complements their lifestyle. For instance, if your buyer is a fitness freak, look into luxury new construction developments in your area with state-of-the-art fitness centers and amenities like yoga rooms and juice bars. Perhaps the buyer is a gourmand, and loves sampling different cuisines? Target homes with top-notch custom kitchens or areas known for their culinary offerings. You’ll need to understand your clients’ lifestyle standards as well as you know your local market to find the perfect home for them, so make sure your market research is up to date and you know what to ask in your initial meetings with prospective clients.

 

 

3. Know the Financing Pitfalls – Most lenders set $3 million as their maximum loan amount, and jumbo loans require multiple appraisals. As a luxury agent, you’ll need to be well-versed in the particulars of financing high-end home purchases, especially for international clients who may not have the same access to conventional financing as American consumers. Clients turn to you as the expert – don’t fall short of their expectations or guide them in the wrong direction because your knowledge of the financing process is incomplete.

 

 

4. Market Outside the Box – Remember what we said earlier about a luxury home complementing the lifestyle of the client? That is similarly true for the buying and selling process. Your typical listing photos and open houses won’t cut it with luxury properties. If you want to impress your clients and draw in potential buyer, you’ll need to use marketing materials that are similarly consistent with the luxury brand and lifestyle. Whether it be high-quality glossy pamphlets, drone video or an elegant, professionally designed website featuring high-definition photography, you should be prepared to think big, invest and meet high standards with your marketing efforts.

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The First Rule Of Winning Real Estate Negotiations For Your Clients

A successful agent always positions their client to have the most power during negotiations. Watch our video below to learn how to get your clients the outcome they need at the negotiation table.

How can you negotiate the best deal for your clients? Take a look at our selection of real estate negotiation courses.

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5 Questions First-Time Home Sellers Want Answered

Your job as an agent is not just to make the deals happen, but also to keep your clients happy and reassured throughout the process.

 

How can you help your clients buy their new home, while managing the stress that comes with selling their current home on the same timeline? Start things off on the right foot by focusing on these five questions about the home-selling process that sellers around the country say they wish they’d had the answers to before listing their first home, according to Trulia.

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Low Inventory Levels Spark Bidding Wars Across The Nation

In metros across the nation, buyers are seeing steeper competition spurred by low inventory levels.

Redfin agents in Oakland, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Denver and Austin saw large percentages of homes enter bidding wars in March, with the most extreme case being Oakland, where 84% of homes were at the center of a bidding war, according to the residential real estate company.

The trend is particularly concerning for first-time buyers, or those looking for more affordable homes. Redfin agent Andrew Vallejo, who serves the Greater Austin area, commented on the bidding war crisis in his market. (more…)

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An agent types on a laptop working on a real estate business plan.

Create an Effective Real Estate Business Plan in Only 8 Simple Steps

All successful real estate professionals begin their career with a well thought-out and crafted business plan.

This beginning step is essential for agents looking to thrive in the profession, because it allows you to anticipate potential problems, estimate cost, determine best marketing practices and, in the end, make money.

Unfortunately, some agents jump in without first organizing their plan of action, which more often than not results in failure.

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A large suburban single-family home with a multiple-car garage and a manicured lawn.

This Week in Real Estate: #PanamaPapers, McMansions and More

What real estate news did you miss this week? With the spring selling season in full swing, we know you’ve probably been busy. Here’s what happened:

  • There goes the neighborhood: how does the sudden appearance of a McMansion in their neighborhood affect homeowners? Realtor.com‘s Audrey Braschich has the story.
  • How will the #PanamaPapers revelations affect housing markets that benefit greatly from foreign money, like Miami’s? The Miami Herald‘s Nicholas Nehamas explored potential consequences for Miami’s residential real estate market.
  • A common lament among homebuilders is that it’s becoming increasingly difficult, as they face rising construction costs and labor shortages, to build affordable homes. Could a German affordable housing concept called Baugruppen offer a solution? Barbara Eldredge explores this affordable condo/citizen collective concept at Curbed.
  • Recent NAR numbers show that while vacation home purchases have lagged, investment property purchases are up, and median prices for both have risen. Construction Dive’s Kim Slowey breaks down the data.
  • Do you know how to tell if a kitchen is wheelchair friendly? Redfin published a great guide to home accommodations for people living with disabilities this week that agents can adapt to build their own awareness of what home characteristics and features to keep in mind when working with a client living with a disability.

 

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The 5 Steps of A Killer Listing Presentation

Real estate agents have a lot to prove. How do you show prospective clients you have what it takes to sell their home?

 

Your value to your clients (and potential clients) lies largely in your ability to handle the details of their home search, transaction and closing that they aren’t equipped to handle themselves. They need to believe in you.

If your listing presentations aren’t earning you business, to put it simply: you’re doing it wrong.

(more…)

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