• Dealing with Stressful Situations & Real Estate

Dealing With Stressful Situations

Top Real Estate Agent, Lisa Treu and Brian Mudd, share strategies on dealing with stressful situations during the real estate deal. Lisa Treu is committed to bringing the latest information on Treu Real Estate 911 podcast. 

To listen to the show, click here. 

Brian Mudd:

Life could be stressful enough without outside influences and events that cause it to be that much more stressful, but we know that life happens, and so when we're taking a look at what can already be a very stressful process, Lisa is gonna walk us through how we can handle some difficult circumstances when real estate is involved. Before we get started, if you're not already there, go to TreuRealEstate911.com. It's TreuRealEstate911.com. The best local resource you're going to find for real estate. Once you get there, it will all make sense to you. The ability to search the MLS in real-time like a pro. You can get great information, the videos the Treus have up there, along with some of the advice about how the local real estate market is working right now. The Treus are always ready to answer your questions, so reach out to them. 561-972-8326. That's 561-972-8326. Lisa, before we get going, how is the real estate market looking as we're heading down the backstretch is summer at this point?

Lisa Treu:

We are still seeing some great activity. However, we're noticing the luxury market, and when I'm talking luxury, we're not talking ultra-luxury, we're talking from about 600 to about 1,250,000, that price range is struggling a bit out there. We're seeing inventory growing, we're seeing more options for buyers, and therefore days on markets increasing for sellers and prices are settling a bit.

Brian Mudd: 

Yeah. You bring up an interesting point even on the luxury side because everything would kind of get locked in together. We had recently the most expensive property to ever sell on Palm beach sell. Well, that can paper over a lot of other luxury properties that are far less expensive. Right?

Lisa Treu:

Oh, for sure. When you start talking about those big numbers, it obviously impacts the average number of things. Right? Yet, what we're doing is breaking it down, looking at it the way a buyer would look at it in kind of price points and saying, "Okay, if a buyer's in a luxury product from six to eight what is happening in that market?", versus saying, "All luxury properties, anything over let's say a million dollars."

The Opportunity in Real Estate 

The opportunity, just thinking out loud here, is definitely, still that move up buy. If you're looking to sell something in the more affordable end, especially if you're financing with the super low-interest-rate environment, and that's where the buyer's market is, is an entry-level luxury, that seems to be a good play.

Lisa Treu:

We're having many of our clients sell their property in, as you said, a very hot sellers market, getting multiple offers, driving the prices up, and then moving to the home that they thought they couldn't afford before because the difference between where they are and where want to go has diminished a bit, which is great news. Even though they can get more for their home, the step-up buy is more competitive, so they're able to get that property for less money.

Brian Mudd: 

All right, so let's talk about today's topic. It can be stressful. Talking about life, not so much the topic. Hopefully, this will be helpful if you are dealing with stressful situations. You talk about any time you're involved in a move, selling of real estate, there's naturally going to be some stress involved with all that. Moving in and of itself is one of life's top stresses. Then if you have a catalyst that happens to be a negative catalyst, like divorce for example, oh my gosh. Now, you've dealt with countless numbers of situations like this over the years. If somebody is dealing with already a very emotional situation, difficult situation, and then got the real estate component, what's your thought process going into it about the best way to handle that situation?

Lisa Treu:

When you look at the top stresses in life, you have death, divorce, buying and selling, any type of real estate transaction where you're personally involved, your primary residence, when you put that real estate with either of those other two options in an estate situation or a divorce situation, everything is amplified. The emotions that are involved causes stress that most people have never experienced at one time. We see that kind of come out in the way they make decisions, and the challenges that come up, and how they're able to kind of ebb and flow with a normal transaction that's coming along.

BrianMudd: 

Yeah. My first rule of money, never let your money and emotions cross paths, and there's a reason for it. When we make emotional decisions and money is involved, we often make mistakes. What are some of the mistakes that people can make when it comes to emotional real estate choices?

Lisa Treu:

Well, I think the first thing is just not understanding what they're mourning, why they're having such emotions, and I think when you kind of a deal with that, it does help kind of deal with the day to day issues coming up when buying, selling, dealing with all this stuff. I mean one of the things that we have realized in dealing with so many estates, which often many times can become a kind of conflict, like a divorce with siblings, and a divorce situation is that they're not just dealing with what's happening right now. They're mourning the past, so all their memories and all the things that they built together, the present, how life is going to change, life many times in a divorce changes dramatically for those involved, and then the loss of their dreams or their future. We're dealing really with three losses on top of one experience, and most people don't understand, that it is about the past, present, and future. That's why it can be so overwhelming for people.

Brian Mudd: 

Yeah, I mean a lot of that hits home. I went through a divorce, had to get involved in real estate, and I did make a series of bad decisions. You and Steve ended up helping me through some of that along with my wife Ashley, with one of her mistakes as well. I know firsthand that you are experts in dealing with this. Your first piece of advice if we're having to make a real estate transaction and there's a negative catalyst?

Lisa Treu:

The first thing that you need to do is to select an agent that has experience in dealing with stressful situations and most importantly, that can remain neutral. We really don't get involved in the "he said, she said" world because as soon as we do, we're not going to align with what's best for them both. We're going to kind of pick, pick and choose. That does not benefit the real estate transaction at all. I don't really care what happened. What I care about is helping them maximize the opportunity and get them out of it as "whole" as possible.

Brian Mudd: 

It makes all the sense. You don't really know how someone's going to deal with adversity until they face it. If you haven't had somebody that has that kind of experience, you don't want to find out that they're not good at handling adversity once you get there. All right, so if we have reached out to an agent like you that can help us through this type of situation, it's step one. It's progress. Now what?

Lisa Treu:

Now we need to remember, and this is really, really hard to do at that moment, that cooperation with the sales process means a better result period. That benefits everyone, not just one side. Looking for where you can find areas to agree on and focus on that versus focusing on that one little sticking point, and being honest about what's important and why it's important, and let us find a solution on how to make that happen. When people dig their heels in it does impact the experience and, let's face it, the money and the result that people get. It feels good maybe during that moment; however, that doesn't mean it feels good long-term.

Brian Mudd: 

Yeah, no question. The only thing that matters, in the end, is are you going to have the successful outcome you're looking for. Lisa, really, when we reach out to you, if we follow your advice, you're not setting us up for failure. What is your evaluation process as a real estate agent in dealing with these types of stressful situations? Obviously, there are a lot of similarities from one divorce situation to another for example, but they're all unique to the individuals involved. How do you handle the approach?

Lisa Treu:

Well, first of all, it's understanding what people want to happen, and is that possible? We had a recent client that one did not live in the home, and that's very typical. One did not live in the home, and the other one needed certain things to happen for them to transition. Knowing that we were able to put together an offer that accomplished both what the person who had moved out wanted, which was the most money for the property, and we got multiple offers over asking price, and we were able to help the person that needed to transition with their goals. Understanding what people need, why they need it, and then putting a plan together that allows that to happen. If they're not cohesive, having a conversation about, "Okay, how do we deal with the fact that we have two people wanting two different things?"

Brian Mudd: 

Which often is the case. In my situation with my first wife, she was fine living in the house we were living in. I was not. That was one of those situations, and I made a bad decision at that point because I wanted to put an end to that situation because I didn't think it was healthy for me, which I still believe is the case. There are right and wrong ways to go about dealing with these things, and I can tell you the implications are significant if you make those mistakes. All right, so the cooperation. That is good. Now whatWhen you decided to go ahead and start showing the property, having the home lose that feeling or appearance that is distressed is key.

Preparing to Sell

Lisa Treu:

Yeah. Considering staging's really important, moving things around. Empty closets are never a good thing. If you have maybe a closet full of stuff, kind of move it around and make it feel like, "Okay, this is supposed to look this way." Motivation, especially in some of those price points where maybe it's a little more competitive from there are fewer buyers and more sellers, you don't want to give them an insight as to what's really going on, because a great agent and a buyer will use that against you. It will cost you money. We will help you come up with a way to maybe inexpensively make the home feel like, "Okay, this is the way it's supposed to be."

Brian Mudd: 

Do you think so staging is always a better outcome than just an empty house?

Lisa Treu:

It depends. It depends on what is expected in the product and the price point. Statistically, staged homes do sell for more money, they sell faster, and sometimes it's just not possible. There are some ways to virtually stage it, so online people can see what is possible and yet not have to put furniture in there. 

Brian Mudd: 

Well, that's pretty cool.

Lisa Treu:

Yeah, it's an economical way to do it. Especially if some, a room is hard to figure out, a buyer can look at the picture and understand the room better. What I can tell you, if you're living in the home, having rooms and having space empty is never a great idea because it kind of causes people to go, "Huh, what's going on?" We're going to help you with those things to make sure that the showing experience is better. Then my advice for all sellers is not to be there during showings. Especially if you loved your home and this is an emotionally hard time, they're going to feel that, and it's going to be harder on you. The buyers are going to take advantage of that whether they realize they are or they aren't. Go away for the showing, go outside, take a walk, don't be there. It's going to be a lot better experience for the person living in the home.

Lisa Treu:

It is awkward. They're opening your closets, and they're opening your cabinets, and then they're making comments. They either are exceptionally kind, and they make comments that make you think they love your house and they're going to buy it. Right? Then they really don't like the floor plan. They're just being kind, or they aren't really aware that you're there, and they just say whatever they think, which can also be a little bit painful.

Questions to Ask to Avoid Mistakes 

We often see in a divorce situation is people are making mistakes, and they're making decisions in the moment. Then a year or two later they're calling me going, "Oops, what did I do?" There are videos to help you ask the right questions during this challenging time. It's on our website. You can opt in if you want the divorce videos.

What's the next step? 

Well, that is great advice. The Treu's, again, they have plenty of it at the website. If you're not there, go to TreuRealEstate911.com. Treu's are ready to help you, buying, selling questions. at 561-972-8320, 561-972-8320. 

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