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Njuneer
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Selling my home. I have sold 2 others so I am not new to this BUT I have learned a few things. Some people like to get in homes just to "look" and I don't want my time wasted or personal space invaded for lookers.

I know realtors can put a different spin on it, but 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 did learn NOT to do open houses. That is a time when ALL the neighbors come over and get nosy.
 

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Hammered Thumb
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If you're doing FSBO, hopefully prospectives would have already seen pictures on Zillow or somewhere. So serious ones are taking the next step with a walk-thru and will already have a prequalify letter (maybe even pre-approved), so don't worry about offending anyone asking for it.

I would definitely offer the 3.5% commission to realtors for bringing a buyer. Neighbors are always nosy, but, word of mouth can sometimes be really helpful. So I guess it depends on your patience and type of neighbors. And if you really want to sell, it can't have that "relaxed lived-in look" and too much personal stuff anyway. So there is going to be hassle and invasion, but it shouldn't matter if they see what you've done to it as you'll be gone soon anyway. You can limit appointments to certain weekday nights and weekends.
 

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Very Stable Genius
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I've wasted time showing houses to people who didn't have a chance of
getting the money.....annoyed me.
Even so, my opinion would be that requiring proof in writing would be a bit
much. Wouldn't be anything wrong though with asking them (before meeting)
where they are in the pre qualify process. Most people will answer truthfully.
Couple follow up questions will likely trip up the less truthful.
Another thought is that if it's a sellers market you do whatever you want, not
so much of houses are moving slowly.
 

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Njuneer
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
This one is sort of a crapshoot to determine marketability because though the home is smaller, it has a large shop and an oversized double lot. Some people but more weight in "just the house" but I suspect a guy will buy it for the shop and extra room for trailers and such.

Yeah, I think I will create some creative wording in my listings like "please be prequalified before you come here"....LOL Actually, I could use some ideas with that. I worked in sales for many years and sold hundreds of motorcycles at a dealership so I know how to figure people out quick but the issue is once they are here, they are going to walk through.

I find that in regards to home sales, many people in just ask "when can I come look?" That is exactly what I am trying to prevent. I will certainly always need to "schedule a showing" and probably "forget to reply" on the ones that say "well, we are just starting to look around". That usually is code for "I am not ready to buy today".....
 

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Hammered Thumb
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the ones that say "well, we are just starting to look around". That usually is code for "I am not ready to buy today".....
Look at all the threads on GarageJournal about trying to figure out how to build a bigger shop. So wife wants to look around for Sunday fun and drags hubby to a house. He's not really looking, but then pulls up and the jaw drops at the shop. You just never know if a button gets pushed that makes someone serious.

There are some sites where you can advertise house + "shop" properties geared toward that niche.
 

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In nj and always looked first online. I don't remember anybody asking for such conditions. If conditions, they came with fairly big money houses, I think. With a big lot, small house and big shop, you probably already qualified the property so I would not cut down your chances.

Is the shop convertible to a living space?
 

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Banned
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Take a crap ton of photos to give people a good idea of what the place looks like before making the decision to come look in person. Provide a floor plan of the house and any outbuildings. When I was looking for a house, my favorite listings were those that had floor plans, so I could figure out the flow of the house before schlepping over there and wasting my time.
 

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Words are important. It is 1 to 1 relationship here, between you and whoever will be buying your property. 90% of the visitors will be qualifying themselves since not many people are crazy enough to waste their time looking at houses they can't afford. But that may have changed already with fed interest rate cuts and more in the plan. Trump also wants to close fannie/freddie programs and people may be thinking buy now before the future becomes uncertain. If you say prove yourself before you even look at my house, many people will not want to take that much trouble for a house that is specific to the needs of fewer people.

Remember that once you decided to sell, it's not your house anymore. It is a product that you want to get paid for. Also, finding a good agent. I used to think they were a waste of good money but I think they are entranched part of the real estate industry therefore have become essential. In nj and the commission is now 5%. Half and half for buyers and sellers agents. If you want prequalifications and such, the agent will know it may be a difficult house to sell. One way to protect yourself is to set the time how long an agent can represent you. Once I set it to 3 months and when I wanted to change agent, they were very unhappy with me. But that is kind of a test for what the agent is doing and the house price they set it. 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.
 

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Property Mgt/Maint
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Sounds like you don't have time to be a realtor. So why try. Add 6% or whatever their fee is to your asking price and let them handle it. They may even suggest a higher price than what you have in mind. They will do a better job advertising, handle the showings. Assist with the purchase offer. Probably turn it faster than you will by your self.

That said, I screen tenant calls similarly to what you are considering. When they say, "when can I see it". My response is "mind if I ask you a few questions first". And my questions are always, how many people will be living with you? Do you have pets? What do you do for income and what is your approximate monthly income? Do you have the first months rent and security deposit available?
With just a few quick questions I can weed out most of the folks that I wouldn't rent to.

I see no reason why you couldn't tactfully do the same to screen prospective buyers.


But I also think requiring proof of their financial ability, just to view, is a bridge too far.
 

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Selling my home. I have sold 2 others so I am not new to this BUT I have learned a few things. Some people like to get in homes just to "look" and I don't want my time wasted or personal space invaded for lookers.

I know realtors can put a different spin on it, but 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 did learn NOT to do open houses. That is a time when ALL the neighbors come over and get nosy.

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.
 

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That said, I screen tenant calls similarly to what you are considering. When they say, "when can I see it". My response is "mind if I ask you a few questions first". And my questions are always, how many people will be living with you? Do you have pets? What do you do for income and what is your approximate monthly income? Do you have the first months rent and security deposit available?
With just a few quick questions I can weed out most of the folks that I wouldn't rent to.

I see no reason why you couldn't tactfully do the same to screen prospective buyers.

A Realtor which you advocate using would NEVER do that. As a landlord you can get away with that for 2 reasons - first in most areas there's a housing shortage and second everyone assumes landlords are ick-days who are only in it for the money and they expect it.


But with a Realtor..well for starters the majority of buyers that walk in will have a Buyer's Realtor with them already and that realtor wouldn't be there unless they knew there was some money in it - they knew the buyers could afford it. But the big reason is that you are hiring the Realtor to kiss the ever-loving azz of the buyer - to agree with the buyer that every tom-fool thing they want to do to the house is a fantastic idea, that the house is ready-to-run.


The majority of home sellers out there get emotionally attached to their house and cannot divorce themselves from those emotions when selling. They look at a prospective buyer and start thinking "would I want those people living in MY house" instead of thinking of their house as property that their job is to get rid of for the most money they can get.


ONLY in a bidding war - where the Realtor is as useful as teats on a boar - are tables turned and the seller has all the power and can demand ridiculous stuff from the buyer. We do have that on the West Coast in many markets and there is a new normal happening out here with home sales (and the Realtors hate it which is another story) But a bidding war is actually properly viewed as a FAILURE of the Sellers Realtor because they underpriced the house.


But if the sale is being properly handled the house is priced high enough so that the seller and the Realtor both work to sell it. The seller works by clearing all their carp out and putting it into storage if necessary and eating take out off paper plates, the Realtor works by kissing the buyer's behinds. That is how to sell a house at top dollar.
 

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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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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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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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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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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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