2016 Oct 5th

What is Your RE Agent Selling? Your Hoboken Home, or Themselves?

For-sale-signs

I just rode my bike up Bloomfield St. and was struck by the similarity of the all the realtor signs.   Almost 100% said “For Sale”, the name of the listing agent (and often a very flattering photo), their agency, their phone number and little more.  Some were on very fancy schmancy sign posts and many had rich, bold lettering and elegant color choices.  But they were almost all missing any description of the property they were selling.  Are they selling the building or a condo?  Is it a 1BR or 2 or 3?  How many bathrooms?  How much are the sellers asking?  Taxes?  Maintenance?  Square footage?  None of this information was offered.

Why would an agent not put these simple, readily-available, critical facts on their sign?  The answer is simple – they want passers-by to call them for that information so that they can try to capture them as their buyer.  They are putting their own selfish best interests before that of the sellers.  An agent’s primary fiduciary obligation is to try to get the most money possible for the seller, not to try to get double the commission by representing both the seller and the buyer.  Many buyers see that sign but keep walking, thinking they’ll call or notify their own agent later.  They’ve forgotten it by the time they get home.  The listing agents also want their pretty, photo-shopped picture all over town.  They serve as little mini-billboards, like those “Have a Crash, Get the Cash” signs you see on the highway down South.  They want you to remember how many times you saw their picture when you have to choose a realtor.  “Oh, so-and-s0 must be good, I see his signs everywhere.”  Sorry – effectively marketing yourself does not make you a good realtor.

Our Turoff Team signs are not fancy schmancy.  They are practical, efficient and they put the best interests of the seller first.  They attach to the gate so that they are within reach and they have an attached flyer box so potential buyers can grab a flyer as they pass.  They have a plaque affixed to the sign itself so that even if the flyer box is empty, people can see what kind of home is being sold along with the associated information.  It has our contact info so that people can call us if they’d like to schedule an appointment, but if they want to bring that flyer to their own agent, or give it to a friend, or attend an open house, that’s OK with us too.  Our job is to sell the home to the most qualified buyer for the most money possible and as quickly as possible.  If your agent’s goal is to make more commission dollars, even if it means you’re getting less for your home, it’s time to reassess your relationship.

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Oh, and the photo we use on our signs and business cards are not photoshopped.  They are not even professionally taken.  They are a picture of us with our (past) dog at the Mets game.  Because that’s who we are.  That’s who you are hiring.

If you’re thinking of selling your home, please call me first (201.993.9500) and give The Turoff Realty Team the opportunity to show you why we can help you sell your home faster and for more money!

2 Dog Day 2006

 

Posted by Lori Turoff | Currently 6 Comments »

2009 Aug 25th

What Would You Do?

Hypothetical Hoboken Condo Buyer Scenario QuestionMark

I thought it might be fun (and educational) to discuss a possible response from you, the Hoboken condo-buying public, to a pretty common situation that might arise when you’re home hunting in Hoboken. While I sometimes get ideas for blog posts from real life situations, this is a hypothetical that I made up for the sake of this post and bears no relation to any particular “deal” in reality.

Let’s say you’re looking to buy a condo in Hoboken. You’ve found a real estate agent whom you really like and whose expertise you think highly. Your agent has been taking you to see a bunch of properties. In fact, you’ve now spent a few months looking at Hoboken condos on a pretty regular basis. Your agent has been responsive, diligent, informative, and generally helpful to your search process. Overall, you have seen some really nice properties and you’ve been very happy with your agent’s work on your behalf.

Most people refer to a realtor as their ‘agent’. Now, in some parts of the country, a buyer will sign an agreement with an ‘agent’ that creates a true agency relationship. That agreement also obligates the buyer to compensate the agent for his or her services no matter where the buyer finds the property they ultimately buy. In addition, the agreement makes the buyer’s agent an actual legal agent of the buyer. In Hoboken, that is rarely the case.

Most buyers work with someone called an “agent” but that person is just there to help find you a new home and facilitate the deal from finding the property through closing. We call that realtor a “transaction broker” to differentiate them from a true agency role. If you ever sign a New Jersey standard form sales contract, you will see that term. There is no overt or express contractual relationship or legal agency between the buyer and the agent. So let’s say that is the case in our hypothetical scenario. Your agent and you have not signed a buyer’s agency agreement so your ‘agent’ is really a transaction broker.

One day, you are walking down the street, or browsing the web, when you see the condo of your dreams. It’s is for sale by the owner (we call them fsbo’s). Since you’ve got no contractual duty to include or compensate your agent in a transaction regarding this new fsbo property, what do you do? How do you handle it? The possibilities range from:

offering to sign a buyer’s agency agreement right away so that you will compensate your agent and they will represent you from start to finish in your fsbo deal.

informing your agent about the fsbo property you’ve found so your agent can find out if the seller is willing to pay a commission to your agent for bringing a buyer (you) to see the property and to handle the transaction on your behalf.

– you drop your agent like a hot potato and avoid his or her calls, emails and questions and persue the fsbo on your own. When they track you down to ask where you’ve been, you lie and say you no longer have any interest in buying.

Of course, there are many shades of grey in between these three options but you get my gist. I’m curious to hear what you all think is the right / best / moral / ethical/ honest / expedient way to handle this type of situation.

Does it matter what stage you are at of the buying process? What if you’ve found a place together with your agent, have made an offer which was negotiated by your agent, have done a home inspection with your agent, and are still in attorney review on the first property when you come across the fsbo you now wish to buy instead? You certainly have the right to cancel the contract on the first property and buy the second. But does that change your answer?

Remember, situations like this do on occasion arise in Hoboken, I’m posing the question merely because I’m curious to see what you all have to say on the subject and what your experiences in similar situations may have been.

Posted by Lori Turoff | Currently 17 Comments »

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