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 Jul 20th

4 Mistakes Your Friend the Realtor Might Make

Back in April I wrote an article about Choosing the “Willie Mays” of Realtors.  It talked about how selecting someone to sell your property just because they are your friend may not be the optimal criteria for the sale of what is probably your most valuable asset.   This past weekend I came across a perfect illustration of this very situation.

A few years ago, Lori and I purchased a one bedroom condo unit in a three-unit building on one a very desirable Hoboken street.  It is an investment property which we rent out.  Our neighbors are very lovely, nice people, so I’ll not mention them by name to spare them any embarrassment.  Let’s call them the Nudniks.  A few weeks ago we learned that the Nudniks wanted sell their unit, a 3BR duplex with a private yard.  I contacted them to remind them that we are realtors and to ask for the opportunity to demonstrate why they might want to list their property for sale with us.  They responded that they had already decided to list with a friend.  I wished them the best of luck, and I really meant it.  The higher the price they could sell their property for, the more beneficial for us should we ever decide to sell.

As it turns out, my tenants’ lease is expiring and they chose not to renew so I need to take steps to find new tenants.  I had to list the rental on the MLS, go to the building to put out “For Rent” signs, get the property listed on Craigslist and the internet, etc.  In doing so, I couldn’t help noticing some questionable decisions the Nudniks agent had made.  For example:

1.  Bad Signage – One of the most effective ways to notify people that your apartment is for sale or rent is by hanging a sign on the building.  To be effective, however, the sign needs to be seen.  This particular street is a narrow street that is one way heading uptown.  The Nudniks’ agent put two signs on the building, directly facing the street.  Both signs are virtually invisible as you walk or drive up the street.  You need to be dead smack in front of the building to read them and then you only see them if you turn your head sideways.  I put my “For Rent” sign on a gate at the top of the stairs, facing due south so that the sign can easily be seen whether you walk or drive up the street.

2.  No Flyers – Once you have the attention of passerbys, you need to tell them exactly what it is you’re selling or renting.  I purposely placed my sign up high so that it could be seen from far away.  At the street level I put a flyer box.  Pedestrians can grab a flyer showing attractive pictures of the apartment with all the pertinent info like the number of bedrooms, the monthly rent and the availability date.  The Nudniks’ sign says only “Condo for Sale”.  There are no flyers at all.

3.  No Web Page, No Video – Next I started to create a webpage and YouTube video for my rental property.  Prospective tenants can preview the apartment and decide if they want to make an appointment to see it.  I couldn’t find a website or a YouTube video for the Nudniks significantly more expensive sale property.  Now, my video isn’t up yet (still a bit more work to do on it) but the rental has been on the market only 3 days.  The Nudniks’ place has been on the market long enough to already have had a price “improvement.”

4.  Squandered Opportunity – This one kills me.  Because the Nudniks have the largest unit in our little building the condo by-laws give them 51% of the vote on condominium matters so they single-handedly control the building.  Those same by-laws prohibit pets in the building.  I contacted the Nudniks a few weeks ago and pointed out that private, fenced outdoor space like their yard was a huge attraction for pet owners.  Since I would like my rental unit also to be pet friendly, I suggested we change the condo docs to allow pets in the building.  I even offered to hire an attorney to make the necessary changes and do all the leg work.  I received a polite email from them saying no.  Even though they are leaving, and their unit does not share a hallway or entrance with the other units in the building, they refuse to allow pets.  By doing so, they have excluded a huge number of buyers from purchasing their condo.   To a great extent they have negated one of their property’s finest selling points, and they are actually costing BOTH of us some dough-re-me.   Maybe they just don’t believe I’ve got their best interests at heart (I do), but perhaps their agent friend ought to educate them on why being pet friendly boosts the value of units like this one and this one.

Posted by Lori Turoff | Currently 16 Comments »

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