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Old 10-07-2019, 02:55 AM   #16
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Re: Selling Your Own Home. How to politely prequalify buyers?


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Originally Posted by carpdad View Post
Almost all will set it high to please you then cut it down bit by bit to satisfy the buyer, but that is wasting time and not to your advantage.

They don't do it to please you they do it because they don't want you to hate them. If you start throwing comps at them particularly if you send your wife out of the room so she can't hear the criticism of the house you often will get the real price as well as a list of excellent advice on what you can do to make the place look better and sell higher. Then you have to figure out how to tell that to your wife but that's a different problem.....
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Old 10-09-2019, 09:56 AM   #17
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Re: Selling Your Own Home. How to politely prequalify buyers?


I've also sold a few houses, not as the realtor, but simply as the homeowner. I also learned that I want a prequal letter before showing the home. Otherwise, it wastes everyone's time. I also learned that open houses are a complete waste of time and get people/neighbors just interested in seeing the house.


As long as you're not saying, "show me your f-en prequal letter", then it is polite. When a buying agent schedules a viewing of your house, it can be noted that the buyer must have a prequal letter. Any serious buyer would already have one and therefore they would not take it as an insult or impolite. Any non-serious buyer might take it as an insult or impolite. But the latter would not be a serious buyer and therefore, would you really even care that they are offended?


You are trying to sell your home in a major financial transaction, not make new friends.
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Old 10-09-2019, 10:32 AM   #18
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Re: Selling Your Own Home. How to politely prequalify buyers?


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Originally Posted by tmittelstaedt View Post
You are headed for a but whipping.


Here is what is going to happen to you. You will have a bunch of buyers come though and every last one of them will sense that your attitude is that this is a you vs them transaction and that you don't give a tinkers dam about anything other than their money. They will then conclude that you are hiding something really bad like a sinkhole under the house or a bunch of alligators in the basement and they will make polite excuses and leave.


As time passes you will get more desperate and start lowering the price. That won't work until one day someone like me walks in the door who really really wants to buy your house - but has done this before enough times to be really really savvy about it. They will go through your house with a fine tooth comb and find EVERY LAST LITLE THING WRONG with it and talk VERY knowledgeably about how expensive it will be to fix. Then at the end they will make an insultingly low verbal offer and walk out.


You naturally will be furious but that doesn't matter because they have properly set their hook. They will have a buyers Realtor call back and you will never talk to them again - you will always talk to that Realtor who will sympathize with you and say they will work on the buyer.


This is classic good-cop/bad-cop and the Realtor will play you like a fiddle, they will be "your friend" in trying to get the buyer to offer more. Of course you will continue to try selling but you won't get any other offers and eventually the buyers Realtor and the buyer will take you down the golden path with slightly higher and slightly higher offers and ultimately and walk off with your house at a very significantly lower price than what you COULD have gotten if you knew what the heck you were doing.


Home sales are NOT like vehicle sales. In vehicle sales (except for new vehicle sales) all buyers expect the seller is trying to screw them.


In home sales a successful seller creates a fantasy in the buyers mind along the following lines - that the seller absolutely loves selling and the selling process, the seller really likes the buyer, that the buyer reminds the seller of their grown child or grandma or [substitute family member] that the house is perfect with just a few minor issues, (which the seller will carefully leave unrepaired so as to give the buyer something to demand the seller fix so the buyer feels like they are doing a good job) that every idea the buyer has of repainting/remodeling/reorganizing is the most perfect idea ever and why didn't the seller ever think of that, etc. etc. etc.


In short, the smartest sellers are as obsequious as possible, because it costs them absolutely zero dollars to kiss the buyers ever-loving azz. (well OK maybe it costs $5 for a bag of cookies during the open house)
The smart seller knows that they have something - a house - that they DON'T want and the buyer has something - money - that they DO want. And the smart seller also knows they cannot risk teeing off a ringer. What is a ringer? A ringer is me - I am the sellers worst nightmare.


When my wife bought our last house we had $400k cash in the bank. Not contingent on a sale, not a prequalified loan. Real cash. I could have written a personal check for it right there anytime we viewed a house (and in fact, I DID during the actual sale of the house we bought)


I showed up at every showing wearing old torn clothes looking like I had crawled out from under a bridge. I then proceeded to crawl through every attic, crawl space, utility closet, etc. in the house. We ended up looking at around 20 houses. I found a LOT of stuff people were trying to conceal. The house we DID buy had that of course - but it also had been on the market long enough that while the seller wasn't desperate, they were too tired to lie to me when I started laying out the problems. And because they didn't try to jack me I didn't try to jack them and they got just about what they wanted.


If I had met you with your attitude I would have had no qualms about putting the screws to you. None at all.

You got issues.
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Old 10-09-2019, 10:43 AM   #19
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Re: Selling Your Own Home. How to politely prequalify buyers?


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I wanted to get ideas or thoughts on how to do this without outright saying, "I will need a prequal letter from a lender or a bank letter stating that you currently have at least X amount in the bank".
I would never tell you or anyone else my bank account balance, much less ask my bank to do it. And a demand for a prequal letter would completely turn me off. For example, I am soon closing on a house - and never bothered with a prequal letter until I made the offer. Why? Because I knew what I could afford.

In other words, doing either of those things is just going to annoy people, potentially to the point where they don't bother even trying to look at your house.

This is just basic marketing. If you want to sell something, make it EASY for a potential customer to see it and buy it. Making things easier for the buyer might inconvenience you, but that's the price of doing business.
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Old 10-09-2019, 10:48 AM   #20
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Re: Selling Your Own Home. How to politely prequalify buyers?


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Originally Posted by mramj4 View Post
As long as you're not saying, "show me your f-en prequal letter", then it is polite. When a buying agent schedules a viewing of your house, it can be noted that the buyer must have a prequal letter. Any serious buyer would already have one and therefore they would not take it as an insult or impolite.
As I said above, I'm about to buy a house, and my entire search, visiting multiple promising houses, was conducted without having a prequal letter. If a FSBO seller had asked me for one, I would have laughed and suggested they get an agent - otherwise I'm not going to waste my time dealing with someone who is probably just going to make trouble throughout the whole process.

Also, what about people who can actually afford to buy your house for cash? They won't have a prequal letter, either.
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Old 10-09-2019, 10:58 AM   #21
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Re: Selling Your Own Home. How to politely prequalify buyers?


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Originally Posted by snic View Post
I would never tell you or anyone else my bank account balance, much less ask my bank to do it. And a demand for a prequal letter would completely turn me off. For example, I am soon closing on a house - and never bothered with a prequal letter until I made the offer. Why? Because I knew what I could afford.
You may know what you can afford, but no one else does. A buyer's own agent will also ask, because they don't want to waste time showing you houses you can't afford, and will also recommend a buyer get one so they don't limit themselves with an offer ("I'll give you $X and here's a letter proving the closing will go through without hiccups"). In fact, sometimes realtors will expedite pre-q and pre-appr paperwork behind the scenes. And you don't have to tell anyone your exact savings account balance, they essentially say you are able to afford that price range.
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Old 10-09-2019, 10:59 AM   #22
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Re: Selling Your Own Home. How to politely prequalify buyers?


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Originally Posted by tmittelstaedt View Post
But a bidding war is actually properly viewed as a FAILURE of the Sellers Realtor because they underpriced the house.
Not necessarily. It depends on the market. If, due to high demand and low supply, a bidding war is just the way things are done (as it's become in the Bay Area), then the agent should take advantage of it by purposefully underpricing the house. Then they specify a day on which the buyer will entertain offers. The agent should always make sure everyone knows how many people are interested in the house, which will drive buyers to make the best possible bid (and take risks they wouldn't other wise take, like spending too much or not including a financing contingency).

This works beautifully - I know from experience, having bought and sold a house in the Bay Area in the 2000s.
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Old 10-09-2019, 11:33 AM   #23
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Re: Selling Your Own Home. How to politely prequalify buyers?


Viper.... I know you have experience....you told us so......

And I know you have visions of capturing that 6% commission for yourself with a FSBO..... and FSBO's are a much more viable marketing technique nowadays with the advent of internet exposure and the non-propriatary listing services of MLS's.

Asking for a prequal letter will exclude a lot of potential legitimate buyers.

Think about it, most buyers (in normal markets) don't get a prequal before they are making an offer. Who want's to get a prequal they can afford 500K when they are making an offer at 400K home. Most prequals are designed written for a specific property.

I know you don't want to waste your time....but selling a home is work if you want a good price.

I would suggest if you want to do your own internet marketing with pic's etc, at least offer a buyers agent commission. Remember, two things:

1) Buyers represented by an agent, are your very best population of prequals (letter or not). Realtor's don't waste their time without qualifying their buyer thru normal conversation.

2)Many (MOST) buyers are basically novices at home purchasing...probably their biggest investment....and they want professional representation thru the 10 page offer contract, financing phases, inspection phases, and closing phases.

3) Yes, there are unrepresented FSBO buyers, and you have just targeted and limited your market to the most sophisticated and professional buyers in the market. Now, you may be a better professional....but you will be on the market longer and you likely will not be taking that whole 6% commission with you at final sale.

JMO (I too have a lot of personal and professional experience.)

(As a side note, as a buyer I often do target FSBO's.... but not as my primary home where I am being selective....I target FSBO's to test the circumstance and see if there is price/time/condition wesakness that I can flip on.
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Old 10-09-2019, 12:50 PM   #24
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Re: Selling Your Own Home. How to politely prequalify buyers?


To cut out the nonsense that some interested buyers portray, insist that you will only consider inquiries from pre-qualified buyers with a CURRENT letter of credit from their bank, credit union, financial institution, or mortgage company.


If they don't have one and are greatly interested, they can certainly get one in a day or two.

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Old 10-09-2019, 01:22 PM   #25
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Re: Selling Your Own Home. How to politely prequalify buyers?


Ceartainly there are some "looky-loos" and some "hopefulls" that you will exclude with requiring a pre-qual letter.

It is my experience and opinion, that they are a very minor part of the markets 1 tp 2 % maybe.

I do find it very interesting that there are such justaposition in everyone's opinion.

When playing with a significant investment, it sure seems worthwhile to me to get as great exposure as possible...even if it sometimes is wasted on a few looky-loos.

One advantage I sometimes find in a FSBO offering is that it has not garnered alot of exposure, and consequently the owner is getting discouraged with no offers, thus softening up his expected price.

It's sorta like placing a way to high price on your home, with no consequent offers or showing action. It has never been realistically on the market. Plus sometimes it gets "white elephantly"
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Old 10-09-2019, 02:57 PM   #26
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Re: Selling Your Own Home. How to politely prequalify buyers?


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I do find it very interesting that there are such justaposition in everyone's opinion.
Part of that is personal opinion kind of like a Ford vs Chevy argument.

But part of it could be legitimate based on local market conditions. There are some areas where the market is a lot slower and you are waiting for someone to come along and make an offer. Homes may take 6 months or more to sell.

There are other areas where the opposite is true. You will be stampeded with people wanting to buy. If you don’t like taking a lot of walks while the agents show the place, you better move out before it’s listed. If you don’t have a good valid offer in 2-3 weeks, you need to start looking for what is wrong.

Using a professional real estate agent will bring more money. If they get you 10% more than a FSBO, who cares about the 6% commission. It’s 4% more money in your pocket, they covered their own fees, and they spent money upfront that is not coming out of your pocket.

For most houses, I also believe in hiring a good stager. If you don’t know one, your agent will.
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Old 10-09-2019, 03:37 PM   #27
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Re: Selling Your Own Home. How to politely prequalify buyers?


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Originally Posted by Highlander86 View Post
To cut out the nonsense that some interested buyers portray, insist that you will only consider inquiries from pre-qualified buyers with a CURRENT letter of credit from their bank, credit union, financial institution, or mortgage company.


If they don't have one and are greatly interested, they can certainly get one in a day or two.
How will a buyer know she's interested if she hasn't seen the house, because you haven't let her because she hasn't bothered to please you with a letter of credit?

Seriously, the attitude that you should make demands of potential buyers just makes no sense. Maybe she's a looky-loo. Fine - maybe she is nosy because she likes to gab with a huge circle of friends. She tells them there's this nice house for sale on her street. And you gain a buyer.

But, of course, go right ahead and inconvenience your potential buyers. More chance they'll buy my house and not yours.


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For most houses, I also believe in hiring a good stager. If you donít know one, your agent will.
And if your agent doesn't know a good stager, get a different agent.

Seriously, the number of homes I've seen that just look terrible because of all the clutter and junk is just mind-boggling. In one case, it was the seller's parents' house. The parents had died - sad, but this was a year or two later and the sellers had done hardly anything to clear out their parents' junk. The house had potential, but just a bit of investment in decluttering, painting and staging would have made a huge difference. Yes, it costs money, and yes, it's inconvenient. But it's an investment that is almost certain to pay back far more than you put in.
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Old 10-09-2019, 03:56 PM   #28
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Re: Selling Your Own Home. How to politely prequalify buyers?


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Part of that is personal opinion kind of like a Ford vs Chevy argument.

But part of it could be legitimate based on local market conditions. There are some areas where the market is a lot slower and you are waiting for someone to come along and make an offer. Homes may take 6 months or more to sell.

There are other areas where the opposite is true. You will be stampeded with people wanting to buy. If you donít like taking a lot of walks while the agents show the place, you better move out before itís listed. If you donít have a good valid offer in 2-3 weeks, you need to start looking for what is wrong.

Using a professional real estate agent will bring more money. If they get you 10% more than a FSBO, who cares about the 6% commission. Itís 4% more money in your pocket, they covered their own fees, and they spent money upfront that is not coming out of your pocket.

For most houses, I also believe in hiring a good stager. If you donít know one, your agent will.
Could not agree more that marketing approach depends significantly on market conditions....my thoughts only apply to stable/normal/slow markets.

(I've never had the opportunity to sell in a hot market....but I've heard the stories.....rely on the sellers home inspection....submit your bid/offer prior to seeing the home (you can still have the contingency to view it and walk, but the market is so hot the listing agent will have a pile of bids to just rotate down to a final buyer....Reno/2006) accepting cash offers only etc.
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Old 10-09-2019, 04:42 PM   #29
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Re: Selling Your Own Home. How to politely prequalify buyers?


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How will a buyer know she's interested if she hasn't seen the house, because you haven't let her because she hasn't bothered to please you with a letter of credit?

Seriously, the attitude that you should make demands of potential buyers just makes no sense. Maybe she's a looky-loo. Fine - maybe she is nosy because she likes to gab with a huge circle of friends. She tells them there's this nice house for sale on her street. And you gain a buyer.

But, of course, go right ahead and inconvenience your potential buyers. More chance they'll buy my house and not yours.
This.

It seems like the OP doesn't quite grasp the concept of an open house. From my own personal experience with home buying, Open houses played pretty significantly in my transition from renter to owner. I'd always been are nter, because that was what had been working for me. Was looking for my next place to live and really hadn't put a lot of thought into home ownership, still looking for my next rental, when I happened to drive by an Open house with signs outside. Though what the hell, it's Saturday and I don't have anything better to do, so I stopped to take an idle look-see. Yeah, I was one of those damned "lookie-loos" that the OP hates with an irrational passion. When I walked in, I had absolutely no intention of buying a house, just killing time. The realtor, anticipating someone like me who had never owned a house, had put together a nice little handout with breakdown of what it would cost to own that house. I took a look at that and realized that it was well within my financial reach, a lot more than I had suspected, and actually looking pretty good compared to some of the rental options I'd been looking at. I went from one of those damned scumbag lookie-loos to someone who was actually putting some serious thought into the possibility of buying *that* house. As it turned out, I didn't buy *that* house, on reflection it wasn't quite the right house for me, but after doing some shopping for a few weeks, I attended another open house, a FSBO house. looked around the house, saw that it was checked most of my boxes and the price was about right, so I told the seller I'd take it for his asking price. We agreed on a deal he went outside and took down the open house signs, and in due course I bought the house. I'm pretty sure that if the seller had been some guy who thought he was above having strangers walk though *his* house without a financial disclosure, I wouldn't have ended up buying his house.
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Old 10-09-2019, 06:10 PM   #30
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Re: Selling Your Own Home. How to politely prequalify buyers?


Most buyers will use a realtor. Especially first time buyers. The service doesn't cost the buyer anything, so there usually is no reason not to use a realtor.

But one thing you can be certain of, is the realtor will not bring a perspective buyer to FSBO.

So right out of the gate you are drastically reducing your pool of perspective buyers.
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