This past weekend was very productive. I had an out of town buyer come in on Saturday and we
negotiated a contract on Monday after we saw a total of 28 homes.
This is a very typical experience for me. It usually starts with a buyer finding me by doing a Google search. They begin to use my IDX home search tool. They begin to read some of the articles I wrote on my website and decide to give me a call.
They tell me their situation. If I feel that I can help them, I get them to
send me an email with a list of their criteria and a list of homes that they are interested in seeing.
This weekend's clients were only going to look at homes on Saturday with me and then spend Sunday driving around and exploring various neighborhoods by themselves. They were were planning on coming back in a few weeks for a real buying trip. They weren't certain about the specific neighborhoods but thought that they really wanted something a little newer.
I put together a tour of homes for Saturday. I ended up with 19 homes out of a stack of 60. I wanted to give them a taste of different areas (Northlake, Decatur, Oakhurst, Kirkwood, East Lake, Lake Claire, Midtown, Morningside, and Virginia Highlands.) and show them various styles of homes. I threw in a few old homes just to see their reaction. I plotted out an efficient route
so we wouldn't waste any time.
At each home I gave them the listing sheet for them to take notes on. The wife was taking pictures of each home until her batteries gave out. Then I filled in as the photographer. We completed the tour of 19 homes in 6 hours, which included a lunch break.
I noticed that they really liked a few of the older in-town houses. I brought along the 40 other listing sheets of homes that didn't make the initial cut. From these, we decided to take a look a three more homes. Home number 21 was a winner. The wife wanted to put in an offer right then and there. I recommended that they should see a few more homes in this particular neighborhood before they decide to put in an offer. I was planning on taking Sunday off but I volunteered to show them 6 more homes in the morning. If this home still seemed good, we would write up an offer before they headed out of town.
Between 6pm Saturday and 9 am Sunday,
- I searched for a few more homes to show them
- set up appointments for the next morning
- talked with the agent of the home they were interested in
- got the property disclosure
- ran a CMA for the neighborhood
- prepared a partially complete contract
- ran a CMA for the neighborhood of there second choice, just in case
On the way to meet them at the first house at 10am on Sunday, they called me to let me know that they had been driving around that morning and picked up some flyers of homes that they wanted to see in the neighborhood of their second choice. When we met at the first house, I was able to pull up the showing instructions for these homes using my
iPad. We set up 3 more homes to see on top of the six that I originally had set up.
We spent a lot of time going over various aspects of the home they loved from the previous day. It was a 1920 Craftsman bungalow with no garage and hardly any closet space.
They seemed to be changing their mind on this one.
We then went to take a look at their second choice along with 3 other homes in that particular neighborhood. One of the homes was even a for sale by owner. After seeing all of these homes, we sat down to discuss if they were ready to move forward on any of the homes.
The wife changed her mind about the first house and now wanted to make an offer on her previously second choice home. This home was only 6 years old, had a garage and plenty of storage areas. The location to them was as good as the first one.
I recommended that they spend the rest of the day exploring the immediate area and if they were still interested in it, I would meet them at my office at 9 am on Memorial Day to have them sign a contract to purchase.
I woke up early on Monday and
- prepared the contract
- talked with the listing agent
- met my clients at my office
- went over the contract in detail and I answered all the questions that they had
- prepared them for how the negotiations might develop. We thought about what we might do if they countered in various ways
- gave them recommendations for inspectors and attorneys in case our offer got accepted.
After two hours, they were on the road for a six hour drive back home.
I faxed over the contract to the listing agent. I discussed the details with her. She thought the offer was really low but said she would work see what the sellers wanted to do.
We received a counter back within an hour. I contacted my buyers on their cell phone. We countered verbally. The sellers countered verbally a second time. We accepted their offer, 6% below list price, and followed up with a signed contract on Tuesday morning.
On Tuesday we got signatures on everything, I got my buyers a copy of the covenants and restrictions, and my buyers started setting up all of the inspections.
I'll be here for them and be able to make everything go nice and smoothly.
This is a very typical transaction. I really don't know how these buyers could have accomplished this themselves. I guess that's the value of using a buyer's agent when moving to a new city.