Now that the end of 2016 is in sight, it’s time to start making your annual—empty or not—promises about the things you either plan to do or not to do in the year to come. In the real estate industry, this applies to agents themselves, buyers, and sellers. But what kind of resolutions are we talking about here?
To answer that question, we thought we’d try something a little interesting. Here are a few off-the-record New Year’s real estate resolutions for 2017, as suggested by the secondary parties who benefit from such improvements and individual commitments to be better.
New Year’s resolutions for real estate agents, as recommended by other agents…
“STOP TYPING YOUR LISTING DESCRIPTIONS IN ALL CAPS!!”
Listen, if something is a pain in the butt over text or email, it’s also going to a pain in the butt on the web. Not to mention an eyesore.
“Would it kill you to put photos on the listing? Or are you deliberately trying to sabotage it?”
Do you know why lots of agents decline to even show listings without photos? Because buyers love pictures and, more often than not, want them for reference to know what they are getting themselves into. Homes without images are usually the last ones to be seen, if at all.
“No more falsifying how many official bedrooms your listing actually has, it’s not like I don’t notice.”
For the record: A little cubby of space with no window, closet, or door is not an official bedroom. The stunt is not fooling anyone either. And if someone isn’t buying your lie, you probably shouldn’t be selling it.
“Maybe you can quit giving out the wrong code to your listing’s lockbox, and perhaps try making it easier for me to find while you’re at it?”
Believe it or not, this happens way too often. Sometimes the key isn’t even in the lockbox either! On top of that, it usually takes 20 minutes to even find the box on a rack with dozens and dozens of others, all because the listing agent gave zero instruction. Not exactly a good first impression to make when selling your client’s property.
“Start returning my damn calls. You’re not THAT busy!”
It won’t hurt to begin acting like a professional. Just saying.
New Year’s resolutions for buyers, as recommended by sellers…
“Try to feel out the market early.”
Being ready to buy doesn’t mean only going to open houses. A buyer needs several weeks—months even—to learn marketing, understand home values, and gauge the prices of different neighbourhoods.
“Don’t delay on getting pre-approved for a mortgage, because I’ll probably reject your financing condition.”
Getting pre-approved means you know precisely how much you can afford and how much the bank will lend you. It’s important because in Toronto’s competitive market, a ‘dependent on financing’ clause can weaken your offer and/or make a competing one look much better.
“Your down payment should be all saved up and ready to go, unless you want another offer to beat yours to the punch.”
When you get your pre-approval, your lender will tell you how much down payment you’ll need based on your maximum purchase price. Don’t delay in stashing that amount away in a bank account you can access quickly. Otherwise a the home of your dreams may pass you by because someone else was quicker to pull the trigger on producing the funds.
“Stop ignoring what we want!”
Real estate ain’t your typical kind of business transaction. The house you want to buy is owned by someone who has the right to deny you as the buyer. That means being amiable to their needs, no matter how trivial they sometimes seem, as sellers are motivated by different reasons.
“Reconsider lowballing us on the counter-offer.”
If you really want the house, don’t frustrate the seller and have them take the deal off the table. It doesn’t mean you have to overspend, but this isn’t the time for penny-pinching.
New Year’s resolutions for sellers, as recommended by buyers…
“I don’t care if it’s a seller’s market, make sure your home is actually ready to sell!”
Make no doubt about it, the place needs to look great. Paint it, rent storage and declutter the garage, install new lighting fixtures to make it look brighter, consider remodelling, get a realtor to give you their opinion, have someone come stage it… whatever it takes!
“The home down the street selling for way over asking doesn’t mean yours will, please get a professional evaluation of your own!”
Yes, lots of houses in Toronto are selling for wildly inflated prices. Doesn’t mean you should overprice yours.
“Please be flexible on closing! A prolonged one doesn’t do anything for either of us.”
The longer it’s dragged out, the more room for errors. Assuming there are no issues with title or inspections or anything of the sort, best to get it done nice, quick and cleanly.
… And on that note, Happy New Year, everyone! Let 2017 be as wild a ride as 2016.
All images via the Glitter Guide.