I’ll call this a community page.
What is Community?
That is entirely up to you.
Depending on how you want to divide up the area you work, this could be a page about an individual city, a development, a neighborhood, or even an individual building. It’s up to you on how you want to best split it up.
You might want to have an iconic image that people will easily recognize that represents that community.
If you have an IDX you can showcase the local properties here. This is just a static image of what that might look like:
You’ll also want to put a search for all homes link somewhere too.
MEGA-BONUS: You could use the FAQ Custom Post Type to show custom searches on this page in an orderly manner. Remember each one is going to also be indexed by Google. I’ve created just 3 but you can see what I mean below.
Your offer being accepted and your experience during your transaction depends heavily on your lender. Get a referral from your agent and also explore previous lenders you’ve worked with or a referral from a co-worker, friend or family member. It should be a lender that agents in the community will recognize and has a good reputation for closing deals and being honest, diligent and a good communicator. Sometimes having one bank and one mortgage broker is a good way to shop the best value. Lenders can make or break your offer and will often be the difference between a smooth transaction and a very difficult and stressful one for you and everybody else involved.
This is a complicated question and worth exploring. While there is a ton of information and listings on the internet on sites like Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, Redfin, etc., nothing beats the local knowledge and connections that agents have with what is on the market. So, getting in your agent’s car, and going to view properties is still important! That beats you driving around to open houses and then calling your agent to ask questions. The multiple listing service (MLS) is still extremely powerful, accurate, and complete for searching what is on the market, pending and recently sold. Your agent can set up automatic notification searches for you also. You can as well on Zillow, Trulia, etc. An agent can also network with agents in their office and company, along with other agents in the area about what’s coming on the market soon or a transaction that might be failing and coming back on soon.
Listen to the advice of your agent! A good buyer’s agent knows what it takes besides price to get your offer accepted. Here are some items:
- Be pre-approved by your lender with a full pre-approval including income verification, credit scores, and source of funds verification. Your agent and lender can guide you here.
- Write your strongest offer for price the first time! Go to your top price because you may not get a chance to receive a counter offer.
- Waive the appraisal contingency. If the property appraises lower than your offer, you have to be prepared to add that difference in cash from your savings. The seller doesn’t want “an appraisal problem” especially if there are multiple offers.
- Keep other contingency periods short! 10 days for inspections and 15 days for loan approval. Make sure to read all reports that seller has provided through their listing agent.
- Purchase the property “as-is” without the seller doing any repairs or crediting you any money for repairs. You will still have 10 days for your own inspections, if needed, and you will have an opportunity to cancel or renegotiate if surprises come up in your additional inspections.
- Always allow the seller a rent back period, if they need it at no charge. This item can be tricky and a good agent can guide you on many fine points of rent backs.
- Don’t ask the seller to pay for small items like home warranties or to include appliances unless the seller has offered to do so.
- Ask your agent to personally present the offer for you with the seller and listing agent, whenever it’s possible. This can be a deciding factor, many times.
Commissions in California are NOT set by law and are negotiable between brokers and sellers. 5-6% is the commissions that has been normal for many years. The buyer’s agent usually receives half of the total commission. Meaning a total 6% commission will result in each brokerage firm receiving 3.0% of the sales price. The agents then split that with their respective companies (commissions belong to the broker, not the agent) minus a small transaction fee. So, a listing agent that charges a seller 6% of the sales price for a total commission would probably receive about 75% of 3% and the buyer’s agent would receive the same. Agents usually pay for the professional photography, signs, brochures, food for broker tour and any costs they pay to their assistants or transaction coordinator. Discuss this in detail with your agent.
In the current market we are in, it’s a good strategy to price a home at the lower end of the scale for homes that have recently sold in your area. Rather than to shoot ahead of the target price and leave room for negotiation, it’s better to shoot behind the target, and price a home under where you think it will sell. This creates multiple offers, a lot of buzz, and results in the home selling over list price with buyers competing to purchase the house. A recent example in Castro Valley… List price $699,950 Sold price $780,000 with 14 offers. A good agent will discuss these strategies with you and determine whether this is a good idea in your specific situation and segment of the market. It’s not always the right strategy, but usually is. There are exceptions to this rule.
Staging both occupied and vacant homes became the normal protocol about 10 years ago. A stager and their team can drastically help a seller present a listing in its best light, reduce clutter, eliminate over-furnishing, and give a listing instant appeal with some “wow factor”. Our company statistics at Pacific Union International show that the average days on market since 2016 for staged homes is 36 days and for un-staged homes is 56 days. Staged homes average sales price is 10% higher that un-staged homes. So, staging your home makes life easier for you, the seller, in preparing the house for sale. The property usually sells faster and for more money with multiple offers! Even skeptical sellers say “I’m glad I hired a stager”. The cost ranges from $800 for nominal staging work up to about $5,000 for a fully furnished house including paint color and flooring consultation. My stagers usually can do a good job for about $1000.