We started working with the Mador family in late spring of 2015. Having lived in their home approaching 25 years, they had done some updating to the kitchen and the master, and added a guest house, but they came to us looking to sell their home for top dollar. We have been watching the Phoenix Scottsdale market for the past few years, and a dichotomy has become apparent where a buyer will pay a significant difference for homes that have been completely redone, versus those homes needing some work.
We had our design team (www.SibbachDesignServices.com) go in and advise the Maddoxes as to which particular upgrade would help them get top dollar when the home sold. We assisted them with updating bathrooms, updating flooring and expanding some doorways to improve sightlines. Overall, we spent close to 90 days getting the house ready. We like to spend most of our time helping seller focusing on the right things to prepare their house to get top dollar, even with the knowledge that some of our services are beyond the normal scope of an agent. The Sibbach team believes that we and the sellers are in it together to get top dollar.
To list the Mador home, we put our marketing packets together, we took professional photos, we bought premium advertising, and we posted the listing on www.Sibbach.com, where we drove 150,000+ visitors last year. We were ready to get this home on the market right before the weekend, with a huge open house on Saturday, all in hopes of selling it for top dollar as we had discussed with the seller.
There I was on Saturday afternoon at 1 o’clock. I met the seller, Blare, in the driveway putting the last touches on his house. He and his wife Mari worked so hard in conjunction with us to convert their house and their guest house into something that is in demand by today’s buyer. No, I didn’t show up with the balloons and cookies of yesterday’s agents, but I did show up with tons of traffic, thanks to our strategically-placed Internet marketing of their open house, days before for maximum exposure. That day we had over 12 sets of buyers (30+ buyers) come through the home, with the majority coming from the Internet.
There was a young couple who came strolling in around 2:30, and I saw them taking a particular interest in the house. They mentioned they had a couple of kids, and they seemed to pay particular attention to the guesthouse. As the couple was leaving, I could see glimmer in their eyes as I asked the husband, “Do you have any feedback for the seller?” Jason turned to me and said, “Yes, we want to buy it!” Of course I was excited, because we had worked so hard, and this solidified our prediction that we would receive a reasonable offer from a buyer early in the process.
I asked the husband, Jason, where he found the house, and he said they had seen it hgonline. I asked Jason if he had been qualified to purchase the house, and if I could help them write the contract as soon as the open house ends. He then turned to me and said “Oh no, when I get home I’m going to call my agent and tell him we found the house. He’ll write it up and we will put the deal together.”
I represent the seller. So I was excited to sell the house, but this is a story that we’ve heard over and over again in the marketplace, as we have seen more and more agents letting their clients do their work for them, while still getting paid. We spent 90 days (transforming the home from lived in for 25 years, to a marketable home, with tons of man hours included in my listing side commission) and lots of marketing dollars to attract that buyer. Therefore, should the buyer’s agent who only writes the offer get paid the same as I do in this situation?
What is the value of finding the home? As a listing agent, do I still need to split the fees evenly, when I take on expenses, but the buyer’s agent swoops in and receives the full monty for minimal work? It used to be when I first got in the business the buyer’s agent would have to work very hard to find homes for people because there was not a lot of information online. Now, when listing agents post 35-100 photos of the home, buyers can preview homes online, doing all of the research themselves, and telling their agent which houses they want to see.
We do a lot of open houses, and in the past quarter, in 50% of our listings, the buyer came to us first, due to our marketing, but used another agent to write the deal. So has the buyer’s agent role changed? Is it fair that buyers are doing the work that the buyers agents are getting paid? We believe our industry is about to change! Come to our website www.TooManyListings.com, or Real Estate 2020 on YouTube to learn about how Real estate will be turned upside down in the next 5 years.