I bet everyone has seen those "coming soon" signs appearing in yards across the valley. The question is, is it hurting or helping you as a seller in marketing your home?
We discussed this topic to a great extent at our Colorado Association of Realtors spring meetings in Vail last week. As you probably guessed, there are two sides to every debate.
Let's take a look at it from a sellers point of view. When I say seller, I mean owner-occupied. Not a property owned by a bank or another entity. Let's start with the seller and their favorite real estate agent.
Mr. and Mrs. Seller pick up the phone and give us a call. We jump in our cars and head out to visit our favorite clients. Upon arriving, we notice a large trash container in the yard and construction equipment. We ring the doorbell and are met with smiling faces. They are so excited to see us, because they know their home will sell immediately due to all the beautiful improvements they are in the process of making.
We sit down and get an idea of what improvements are being made. After the full interview, we have decided on a price that we can market their home for after the work is complete. Problem: We can't actively market their home until the trash container is gone and the home is ready to show.
So, we put up "coming soon" signs and let everyone know that showings are in two weeks. No one gets to see the property. That way everyone has an equal opportunity when the property comes on the market. For a seller, this is definitely to their advantage. The signs become teasers for the neighborhood and create quite the excitement. Work gets completed, the home can be shown and we get a buyer.
As a professional real estate agent, we have buyers that have been looking for a home for a couple of months. We are out showing them property, and they come across a home that is perfect for them. It is two blocks down and has a "coming soon" sign in the yard. The problem is that the sign has been in the yard for two months.
We attempt to get in to show them the property, but with no success. We call and find out the home is bank owned and is not being shown, but showings will start in three days. There is nothing wrong with this.
Three days later, we call and find out the property is under contract. When this happens, something is up and we know that all parties have not been treated equally.
As real estate agents, we work hard for our buyers and sellers. When working with a seller, we strive to help them receive the highest and best price for their property, and when working with buyer, we help them find a home that is a perfect fit for them at the best possible price So, you ask, what is the issue?
The issue is when the above scenario happens, not all buyers are being treated equally with an opportunity to view and place a bid on the property or getting a fair chance to compete for the purchase. As for the seller, if their home isn't being shown to all buyers, they are not having a chance to receive competing offers. Who does this hurt? It hurts both parties, buyers and sellers.
Bottom line is, ask your agent if he is a Realtor. Be sure that you are being represented fairly no matter what side of the transaction you are on.
Danette Dickey and Mary Huffine are brokers at Real Estate Out West.