• Tips for Buying a Home Radio Show with Brian Mudd

Announcer:

This is the Treu Real Estate 911 podcast, with Lisa Treu. Lisa will share up-to-date real estate information with you that you need to know.

Brian Mudd:

Welcome to Treu Real Estate 911. It's Brian Mudd, along with your local real estate pro, Lisa Treu. Here to tell you about the hot, multiple offers in areas that are out there. If you're looking to buy, you need to make sure that you are positioned properly to make sure that you not only get a great deal, but you also get to the closing table. Because well, it can be challenging in today's landscape, and Lisa has so many great examples of success stories, and even overcoming obstacles to have success that she wants to share with you today.

Before we get started, I want to remind you that if you're not already there, go to treurealestate911.com, that's treurealestate911.com. The best local resource you're going to find for real estate. When you get there, you'll totally get it. Not only are there great resources, videos, information on local real estate that can really help you get started, whether you're looking to buy or sell. If you just have some questions about local real estate. But also, you're going to see tools like the ability to search the MLS in real time like the real estate pros do. Treu's made that available for free to you.

It's so neat, go check it out. Treurealestate911.com. Of course, buying and selling questions, Treu's ready to help you. 561-972-8326, 561-972-8326. Lisa, last time we talked, you were saying, "Yeah, it is really shaping out to be a super strong spring," and now that we are deep into the spring season, you are still saying that it looks like we are in a very, very aggressive buying mood right now.

Lisa Treu:

Yes, we are seeing multiple offers on our listings. We are seeing multiple listings on the properties that our buyers are making offers on, and we have a shortage of good inventory. There's some overpriced things out there that are just sitting, but the good stuff is selling. It's going for really strong prices, so it's a perfect time to put your home on the market. If you're selling in the next three to six months, you really should go ahead and accelerate that if at all possible, and let's get you sold for top dollar.

Brian Mudd:

The last time we were talking, you were saying that largely single-family homes, and more affordable properties were doing well. But that we're also seeing some recovery even on the luxury end. Is that still typically what we're seeing right now?

Lisa Treu:

Yes. We're definitely still seeing that trend, and the interesting thing is we're seeing some of our normal seasonal properties having good activity as well. We just had multiple offers on an active adult community condo, which, normally would be pretty much silent at this time of year. We were able to sell that for top dollar as well. Like I said, we had four offers on that property, at a time when we normally would not be seeing that kind of activity.

Brian Mudd:

Folks that had been here renting previously? Or people that had just had enough of the Northeast and are like, "Okay, I'm ready to come sell."

Lisa Treu:

I think it's a combination. I do think that a lot of people that tried Florida out, they stayed a little bit longer this year because, let's face it. There were still places that had snow two weeks ago. Then of course, the people that are worried about next season, and will they have a place to come to, or if they wait until the typical September, October, will everybody else have the same thought pattern? We're encouraging people that are looking for next season, to start looking sooner. Maybe come in the summer and start accelerating their home purchase for the seasonal product, because there won't be as much competition, and they may, A, get a better deal, and B, be confident that they're going to actually have a place for this winter.

Brian Mudd:

I'm hearing from more people in the last two to three weeks about taxes, than in the prior two to three months. It seems like a lot of people are starting to figure out what the change in the tax law means to them. Is that also part of this?

Lisa Treu:

It's definitely part of it. Especially, for our high-net earners in the Northeast. Many of those people are going to take a major tax hit this year. When the tax laws go into effect, they are really going to see it hit their checkbook. Many are looking for ways to make Florida their permanent residence. We're working with some CPAs and some tax attorneys because if you're still going to own property in some of the states, it's not as simple as just buying a property down here.

Yet, many are just saying, "You know what? I'm selling it all up there, and I'm just coming year round." We're seeing more of that for people that are earning a million dollars or more. It's one of the reasons why our luxury is seeing a little bit of a positive sign. Even though we're still a buyer's market, we're seeing that the properly priced luxury properties that are getting it right, we're seeing those starting to see some good activity.

Brian Mudd:

Yeah, it makes perfect sense. As we're talking about, some of these competitive situations, especially on the more affordable end. There is a story of one of the folks that runs our digital department here, at iHeart in West Palm Beach, who is raving about the Treu group. He's been talking about how amazing it actually has been throughout the process. Because, they were in a competitive situation, and didn't necessarily feel like they were going to have the best opportunity to be able to have their offer accepted on a property they were really interested in. But, you guys worked your magic again and got the job done.

Lisa Treu:

Yes. We were actually up against a cash buyer that had put in an offer when obviously they wanted to buy this property. There is a strategy to everything we do. This is not just a, "We'll give this a try." Our strategies are based on years and years of mastery and honestly failing, and learning from each failure. We know what to do in a competitive situation, and putting that feel together in such a way that A, we humanize the buyer, and B, the terms aren't quite cash, but they're very attractive to cash. It's having the right people on our side.

For example, a great lender, who was able to get a complete approval in seven days. It's just unheard of and that includes the appraisal by the way. Just having that kind of confidence of having a seven day a week lender with full operations. That's how our lenders can do those things is because they have the right team, the right structure, and they're willing to do what we're willing to do, is that word commit. Committed. They are committed to our clients as much as we are.

Brian Mudd:

You mentioned something that ended up resonating with me. It reminded me of our situation. You talked about humanizing. That's another facet of the real estate process that I think is largely overlooked, and ended up being extremely relevant in our situation. We were interested in the property we were interested in. This goes back to the Fall of 2011, but it turns out that there is a very emotional connection with the seller. It was her father's home. You ended up walking us through a process that took a couple of months to get from here to there, but ultimately, it was that factor. She needed to sell, was interested in selling, but had a hard time getting from here to there.

As things turned out, by taking your advice, and following down the path, and realizing that it wasn't just dollars and cents, that there was more to that story. We ended up having success in the home that we're in. Which, we absolutely love. As it turns out, she lives two doors down from us, and that was another part of this entire picture. A lot of times, there can be those contextual things that can make the difference that are easily overlooked.

Lisa Treu:

I run the marketing side of the company, and so I work with a lot of our sellers on the market. I bring to the equation how does a listing agent and a seller think, and I hear that concept with our buyer's agents all the time. Reminding them that this isn't a house, this is a home for many people. How you win with a listing agent, how you win with a seller, often comes in the strategy of how you make that offer. Even starts before that. If the seller's home, and often they are, how you behave with the seller during that showing.

We coach our clients on how to behave, what to say, what to do to create that human connection so that in theory, the seller's rooting for you. They want you to win over somebody else who maybe came in and didn't use those same strategies. The other thing we do is we always have our client write a letter to the seller. We can't guarantee that it's presented but odds are it's going to be, and once again, it just has somebody on your side. Your terms have to be good. You can't go in there with four terms and have a seller say, "Well, I just lied to you." Occasionally, that happens.

Brian Mudd:

There is balance right?

Lisa Treu:

Yeah, we still have to do everything right, but, it does help. It is that tipping point. We're able to commit to things that others just can't commit to. Like I said, a seven-day complete loan approval is almost unheard of including appraisal, and yet, we actually have the team together that can write the check that the mouth does. That's the goal. Is that, can you actually perform on your promises? We've got that team, we know the strategies.

I see so many agents making mistakes. We had multiple offers on one of my listings, and the buyer came in and said, "This is the most I can do. It's all I'm qualified for." Okay, well the numbers don't work. So, we rejected the offer. If that's really the most you can do, and the seller can't take the deal and have a higher offer, there's no conversation. Then they came back and said, "Well, what about this? And what about that?" The first buyer came in with a solid, great offer right away. Did everything we encouraged them, which we had shared with both parties. They did everything right, and we rewarded the good behavior of the first buyer because clearly, they wanted it, they listened to the seller's desires, and they put together a solid offer to begin with.

The other one kept going, "Well, what about this? I'll come up to that." Well, your credibility was shot because you said, "This is the most I'm going to do, there will be no negotiating." Part of it is, I think agents think that my job is to get the best deal for the client. Your number one job if you ask buyers, is to get them the house they want. That's what buyers want. "Yes, we want a great deal, we want all those perks," but ultimately if a buyer wants a house, our job is to help come up with strategy to allow that to happen.

Brian Mudd:

It's funny, you reminded me of another situation when I was actually moving down here. It was selling my home in Savannah. We had multiple offers. When the housing market was hot, that would have been what, 2005? The market was right, we had a good home on the water, everything else, but, my inclination was ... and the real estate agent I was working with out there, "Well, just take the highest offer." We did that without consideration to anything else. I think it was five grand more than the next offer. Okay fine.

What we didn't end up realizing until we were well into the process, one of the buyers was a hypochondriac, ended up wanting the mold testing, there was no reason to suspect mold, no history of it. We had a decision and I'm already at this point down here staying in a hotel. Do we hold up the process even longer or do we just go ahead? We went ahead and got a mold test done, and that came back and there was no mold. Then they wanted an air quality test inside the house. We're back to this again, so I went ahead and did an air quality. By the time I got done, thinking of doing over $2000 in silly tests, a lot of additional headaches, time that I didn't really have, and I would've gladly taken the other offer over not having to deal with that. That's a lot of what you're talking about here too, is that there are so many other factors that go into it, that many agents just never look into.

Lisa Treu:

One of the things that has helped us, is that when the market was not a great market for sellers, and we were doing short sales, we had to get really great at deciding which buyer had the ability to actually stick it out and go through the pain of a short sale, and get it to the closing table. We became really great at reading the deal. Because what you didn't want to do with a short sale, was take a deal, and then go through all the pain, and then have the buyer walk on you at the last minute, once you have the approval.

We've been able to take that knowledge of reading the deal, and translate it to the multiple offer situation. Because, when you say yes to know, you say no to others. It isn't always about the highest price, it's about the deal that will actually make it to closing with the highest price. What a lot of buyers are doing, is they're doing whatever to get the house, and then in layman's terms, re-trading the deal with inspections or appraisals, or things like that. Making sure that the deal that they're offering, they actually stand behind, and are able to get to closing.

Often, we come down to who loves the house the most? Who's willing to fight for it? We always convey that to the sellers when we represent a buyer, is that we've got a great buyer who loves the house and who, barring anything major, is going to still love the house. I think that a lot of times, agents are not conveying that, and they're not having those honest conversations that, if you're in a competitive price point, you're going to have to be willing to fight for the deal. You're going to have to sometimes know that everything's not going to be perfect. You're gonna have to work through challenges, but it's gonna be worth it because you're getting your dream home.

Brian Mudd:

Getting the balance of everything right's important. Because, on one hand you hear fighting for multiple offers. A lot of people think, "Oh my gosh, the prices are getting out of control, this isn't sustainable or anything." It's not necessarily that, is it?

Lisa Treu:

No, it's not. It's having a deal that can get to the closing table. Yet, you can't always say ... and people call me and say, "Oh, I want something below market." Well, let's talk about your price range first of all. What price range are you in? If you're in that competitive price point, that's just not the market for this. You're going to pay market value, and you're going to have the protection if you're getting a mortgage of an appraisal. Yet, if you're looking for below market, going to the retail market's probably not the best plan.

Brian Mudd:

The one other message too, within this conversation, and I mentioned our digital director, who you guys have been able to help. Their conversation started with potentially looking for another place to rent. Because ultimately, they didn't necessarily think they were in a position to buy. We've talked about this for years. It's as true now as ever before, and especially before rates go up any further and the affordability becomes that much less for first timers in particular. The message for those that might not think that they're able to buy. What is your word for them?

Lisa Treu:

Just call us. We'll do a consultation either in person or over the phone. We'll have you speak with our lender, have you have those conversations, and let's explore if it's possible. The other thing is we're really going to ask a lot of questions, and listen, and help you formulate, okay, have you considered this? A lot of times what you think you want can be fulfilled in maybe a little different way. It's where us knowing the inventory, the options, the lifestyle after speaking to the buyer's team, they'll have a pretty clear picture of okay, this would be a great strategy.

If we think you should still rent, we're gonna probably share that with you, and just say, "Look, either you need to save more money, or you need to do the following steps." Yet, the reality is, most people that call us can purchase, and should be purchasing. Especially, if you're gonna be here three to five years, you should absolutely get out of that rental market. Because, rents are not going to go down in South Florida. They're just not.

Investors keep calling me, and large hedge funds are calling. There's a reason they're looking to buy investment properties and turn them into rentals. Because, it's profitable, and if it's profitable for them, it's kind of like going to the casino. Somebody might win, in theory, otherwise people wouldn't go. Yet, when you look at the shows, and you look at all these amazing casinos in Las Vegas, you know most people don't win right?

Brian Mudd:

Yes.

Lisa Treu:

They lose. If you're renting, odds are, you're building wealth for someone else, and I don't think that's what we at least intend to do. We want to build some wealth for ourselves, and you do that by the first thing you do, is buying your own home. One that makes sense, that you can afford, that the financial strategy is there, and then building wealth from there.

Brian Mudd:

Lisa said, if you have questions, call her, well do so. 561-972-8326. That's 561-972-8326. Remember, you may always get started at treurealestate911.com.

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