The legend has it that once upon a time there was one book per real estate office that had each real estate home for sale. Likely updated MONTHLY! Then the data moved to computers, but only for agents to see, and then the data went online where the agent OR the buyer could check it WEEKLY for new homes.
Then consumers demanded faster, so Realtors got fancy and delivered DAILY email alerts for new listings. That was earth shaking. But that wasn’t good enough. Sites like FranklyMLS.com started offering nearly INSTANT ALERTS for new listings. Beating out other buyers.
But now the time has come. To be even faster. Even more Instant-er!
Are we talking mere seconds? No. How about going Back to the Future and knowing what will be on the MLS BEFORE IT HAPPENS!! And in a large quantity! Possibly 10-20% of the marketplace one day.
How is that possible?
Consumers demanded it, so Frankly made it, and the Agent community embraced it.
A FREE agent-only Facebook forum for Coming Soon homes! Over 1,000 agents and dozens of brokerage firms have joined in the last few weeks alone. 100s of homes (literally) have been added to the forum. I thank all the agents that have helped grow it to the size it is today and will be in the future.
Is this idea new? Kind of. But not. Going back to the prehistoric times of the book in the office, another Coming Soon was commonplace. At the traditional Tuesday meeting, all the agents would go around the room and verbally share what that agent has coming soon. Sometimes this is referred to as a POCKET LISTING (that phrase has 10 definitions depending on who you talk to, also called Private or Exclusive Listings see L&F talk about it sometimes being bad here, this new service is NOT the bad type).
This new coming soon forum is a virtual version of the office stand up and announce system, but across 50 brokerage firms and 1,000 agents (hopefully more after this).
Before some of you Freak out! Let me preempt the common agent misunderstandings:
1) It is against MRIS (the local MLS gatekeeper) rules to advertise coming soon homes.
Reply: Nobody has yet to show me exactly where this rule is. It doesn’t exist as far as I can see. If it did, then the decades long process of standing up in the office and announcing what you have would be “illegal.” Or those “coming soon” signs sold at the local associations would be like selling Marijuana pipes and claiming it doesn’t increase pot smoking.
Oh, and MRIS hosted a Coming Soon forum last week, so there goes that argument! D’oh!
2) One pissed agent posted: “A listing agent representing the seller in this market is doing the client no favor what so ever [sic] to sell it before putting it into the MLS period.” Actual quote!! This guy was pissed. I love the “period.”
Reply: First of all, this agent works for a company that does the stand up announcement of coming soon listings and was not seen performing ear muffs or running out of the office when agents were verbally sharing homes coming up. Secondly, this person didn’t read the rules and suggested use. The PreMLS postings (unlike the MLS that requires a home be immediately available) does not mean you have to sell it before it hits the MLS. Heck you don’t even need to allow showings before it hits the MLS! Some might say “well then what good is that.” Easy to answer by one replier to the above commenter that stated “Sellers love the idea of generating pre-market excitement about their listings”. In this marketplace homes sell in 2-3 days. That is crazy! Do you think 100% of buyers get to see it? No way! It is hard to even schedule a showing that fast (for some firms, not us). So why not let 1,000 agents get a heads up that a hot home will come up in X days. Put everyone on notice to not go out of town, or whatever.
Or others might welcome showings before it is on the MLS. Why? In this market?! Well, many reasons.
a) Not every home sells immediately in a bidding war, the average is still like 30 days.
b) The listing agent can use the looming MLS listing like some use the 1st open house with a “we want X or we will post it tomorrow on the MLS.”
c) Some don’t want their home swarmed or pillaged by strangers. Have you seen this video? If a buyer wants to offer cash and full list, or heck $25k to not list it… the seller might just like that. It is all negotiable, and having a great agent to navigate that, matters.
CONSUMER QUESTIONS (all in all every consumer I have spoken to loves it)
1) Why isn’t this public?
If the home was ready for the public, it would be on the MLS and the MLS doesn’t have a “Coming Soon” system (it does have Temp Off, which your buyer agent should know about! but we are not allowed to show those on FranklyMLS or any site). And sellers don’t want to be bombarded by potentially unqualified buyers before they are even ready- that’s why i said sellers would want the info shared only with Realtors.
Some agents do already post coming soons on Craigslist or with a “Coming Soon” sign in the yard (A warning, is the agent putting the CS sign in order to try and get a double commission? Just make sure all of their actions are being done for their client’s best interest, and not for the agent). Bottom line is, if the agent and seller wanted it public, they would, but they usually aren’t, so in this forum they feel comfortable sharing the heads up to other agents, so it is thriving.
2) As a buyer how can I learn about the homes?
Ask your agent!! Have them Facebook friend me over at www.Facebook.com/FrankLLosa and ask me to add them to the NoVa group, DC group or MD (Montgomery County). And of course (come on, I have spent 100-200 hours on this, I can do one little plug) if you don’t have an agent, nope, we are not too busy for you. See Video to prove it, and reach out.
3) As a seller how can I make sure my home is added?
Ask your agent to put you on there!! I also recommend posting the home immediately upon signing the Listing Agreement. Just the basic details such as “Coming Soon Arlington Condo 22201 in Clarendon 1021, 2 bdr, low $600s, photos to come later.” or more details if you want. In the comments photos and exact price can be added later (it moves it to the top).
We ask that it not be a one way street. While an agents doesn’t have to put ALL of their Premls listings on there (because each home and seller is different), I don’t want agents just using the forum for their buyers and not sharing their listings. Otherwise the group will never grow and the goal is to get 10-20% of ALL MLS homes to be listed here first. This is a hard feat. Other tidbit: the forum isn’t for Rentals, Want ads, or already listed homes and Open Houses.
I know some don’t get it or appreciate this, but this was done to initially help our Frankly clients. Help them not settle for that wrong house when the perfect house might be hitting in 2 weeks. I obsess about helping our clients, but I believe this will help everyone.
Love to hear your comments! Nothing worse than somebody walking up to me during cherry picking (true story) and saying “I have read all your blog posts before I bought, they were great,” to which I reply “not great enough, if you didn’t hire me”, and after the awkward silence, I laughed “No problem, but next time you like a read, at least add your comments, or retweet, nobody likes a quiet post!”
Update 10am: We have our first official sale! 100% premarket. We have had reports of tons of premarket showings, but I hadn’t heard of a sale until today! If you aren’t on here… you are missing out!
Written by Frank Borges LLosa Esq. and not some ghost writer.
Principal Broker Frankly Real Estate Inc MD DC VA
Attorney only in NJ
Favorite photo yet of my sons Tayo 6 mo (next week) and Hartly 3 years last week.
Ps. Upcoming post on how the registered portion of FranklyMLS is no longer open to those with another non-Frankly agent (see video).
P.p.s. Please report typos.
Dear Listing Agent,
You were sent a link to this post, because a Frankly agent has submitted an offer to buy one of your coveted listings. We understand you may have several offers, but we hope you will consider the reputation and technological abilities of our firm, as the agent might be just as important to getting a deal closed on-time and as promised, as the buyer’s ability to buy.
While our offer might not be the highest in price, it is realistic and likely the cleanest offer you have seen. Still undecided? If necessary, know that our use of technology also allows us get you a written and signed response to any written counter in 15-20 minutes, vs the average agent’s 3-6 hour delay. So what do you have to lose to give us a shot?
Here is a video testimonial from the listing side of a recent 5 offer bidding war that we won. We had a super clean offer, we did what we said we would do, we did not renegotiate, and we closed on-time.
Thank you for your consideration,
Frank LLosa Esq.
Principal Broker Frankly Real Estate Inc.
Attorney at Law, only in NJ
My buyers were US military and buying sight unseen from China, they contacted me 100% from my website. They picked me over “another Realtor I was considering, he was really cute, but I like your spunk.” I wondered if I should be offended for basically being called ugly.
Also their last experience years ago with a Realtor was a bad one, a USAA recommended Realtor that they fired mid-deal (those Realtors pay kickbacks to USAA, thus newer agents gravitate to those programs).
They entrusted me to be their eyes and I took buyer agent photos and videos of properties to make them feel as if they were there. They loved this home and it was UNDER their max budget. The only problem was the 4 other offers AND they had a VA loan which is historically much more difficult to win a bidding war (the appraisal system is tougher and there is much less money down vs conventional 20-25% down buyer).
In this case our offer focused on clean terms, not on the highest price. Actually we were $35,000 lower than the highest well qualified buyer. Many factors led to us winning. Perhaps one was the sellers thinking I, the buyer agent, was courteous (see video). Another was how we write our offers to instill confidence and low stress for the seller, and lastly the use of technology. In this case text messaging, I was able to get a last minute text message to the listing agent that literally stopped the signing of another contract in its tracks. They pivoted and gave our client a shot and we accepted.
We proceeded to follow through and not renegotiate, like many wild offers tend to do, and we closed on time and in a stress free manner.
Just like this client, we are never too busy for you, hope you will contact me with the area and price you are looking in.
A bold new service that goes where no other brokerage firm has gone before! Revolutionizing the industry and furthering transparency! Further showing why Frank won Inman New’s 2009 Innovator of the Year award, video).
Times are tough! Our firm, Frankly Real Estate Inc, is finding that we are losing more and more listing appointments. Whether it be sellers looking to do it themselves FSBO (see post Save $20k? Selling By Owner) or just picking cheaper, more local or more knowledgeable alternatives. We know we are great, but not everyone else is agreeing with us.
So we had to look forward to a new revenue model. At least to help us cover the loss in gas and time wasted.
The idea came from a recent real estate class. The question was:
What happens if an agent meets with a seller and finds out secret details of that home for sale?And then if that agent is not hired, but they have a buyer that wants to buy that home. Can they share the seller’s secrets? To whom is the fiduciary duty?
Turns out the Fiduciary Duty is 100% to the buyer client (assuming they are a signed client with an Exclusive Buyer Agency Agreement, don’t miss that blog post!)
So that got me thinking. That data on the seller… that is damn valuable.
An agent that loses a listing might have this data, and could sell it at auction on LostListings.com, such as:
What would you pay for information on a hidden $30,000 defect?
Now on LostListings.com, unsuccessful listing agents can sell their acquired information at auction to either buyers directly, or to buyer’s agents.
This is currently only in the DC area, and soon we plan on launching a Kickstarter campaign to raise $350,000 to launch this idea nationwide. Will you join us?
I hope you will watch the video and check out LostListings.com . If you find it as revolutionary as I do, please leave a comment below on whether you think this is brilliant, won’t work, might be unethical, will work, etc. Let’s start a conversation. For comments go to: Blog.FranklyRealty.com, to also see what others have to say! And make sure to subscribe to this blog (upper right corner).
Oh and share this with friends! Tweet it, Facebook Like it, snail mail it to your relatives if you need to!
Update 11:05AM: While I am all for negative comments, please make sure you at least make a quick visit LostListings.com before completely passing judgment.
Written by: Frank LLosa Esq.
More and more I am seeing the technique of purposefully underpricing a listing in order to create an artificial bidding war. It is a very tempting pitch from your listing agent, but don’t fall for it! They may want you to underprice in order to sell your home quickly and to move on. Their goal might not be to net you the highest amount. And it doesn’t work, in my opinion.
Example (ass described in the video)
Listing 1, our listing. $429,000, sold for $432,600 or 101% of list.
Listing 2, not ours. $399,000, sold for $433,000 or 108% of list
One might initially think listing 2 did better. However, #2 was listed a month after #1 went Under Contract fast (so they should know that it went near full price, and newer listings in an up market tend to ask for about $2,500 more). Listing #2 was nearly identical, but two floors higher plus a fireplace. Two floors is about $6,000 in value, a fireplace, maybe $2k. Yet they only got $400 more on a place worth $8,000 more. The result of underpricing to create a bidding war… a loss of $7,600-$10,000 in value. Oops!
Why doesn’t it work? Bidding War Exhaustion ™,is what I call it (see Video at minute 4) . Buyers have a mental block for going over a certain % above list. Even though I frequently tell buyers to ignore the list price. Why take guidance from the listing agent who might not have a clue about the area.
IGNORE LIST PRICE! (sometimes)
I would rather you bid up a place $10k over list on $20k underpriced home then bid down $50k on a home that is overpriced by $80k. And for those of you that say “Oh no way man, I’m not getting involved in a bidding war” you REALLY need to talk to me. If you don’t want to buy this year because you think it is a bubble 2.0, that is fine, I wont argue (don’t miss the blog post “Lose $40,000″ the moment you buy a $500k home).
But if you are going to buy in the near future, that approach may cost you money. What, you are going to do? Wait until the NEXT house hits for $10k OVER the post bidding war price of the one you lost? Well that one will get bid up too, and you might be $25k worse off.
More buyer DC area bidding war tips here including one crucial tip only supplied if you email me directly, or via a comment.
- It almost always takes at least 2 buyers to sell a home. One to low ball and one to get the other off the fence.
- Don’t believe ads that guarantee a bidding war or show stats that on their face might seem impressive. When in doubt, send them to me. If it is the real deal, I will tell you and probably recommend you go with them!
(more bidding war tips for sellers and a video here)
Thanks! Don’t forget to subscribe to this blog (upper right corner of Blog.FranklyRealty.com) and get sneakpeaks on future blogs by watching and subscribing to www.youtube.com/FranklyRealty I now tend to start with a video blog and follow with a written post.
And comment! The last post got tons of direct emails. Instead ask your questions here and your comments. Even if there are short. A blogger loves a conversation.
Written ghostwriter-free by: Frank LLosa Esq. who is never too busy for you, just email me.
Principal Broker for FranklyRealty.com
Attorney at Law, only in NJ and the above is not legal advice, in part because you didn’t pay me.
p.s. Anybody want to see me make a horrible attempt at a real estate rap video? Stay tuned.
Many Realtor blog posts will say “BUY NOW!!”, or “Interest rates can’t get lower!” Over here we first say DON’T BUY, ASK WHY (since 2006 when I had hair). Which means, let’s first figure out if buying is right for you, and THEN move forward. No “don’t want money on rent” B.S. Heck Rent is CHEAPER!!
Did you know the moment you buy a home, you lose 8% equity! For those of you that put down 10%, that is an 80% loss in your investment overnight, or with a stroke of a pen (actually hundreds of strokes, those damn stacks of closing paper).
I’m not trying to scare you, but just put into perspective how real and huge an investment this is. You better get it right, and have the right representation (subtle plug?? Contact us 3-6 months before you think you are ready! This ain’t a checkout in Target.). Did your mom’s friend’s agent warn you about this? Or that “great deal” agent? Probably not.
One of my first qualifying questions is “HOW LONG DO YOU PLAN ON LIVING IN YOUR HOME?”
Note I didn’t say “own” the home. But living in it yourself. I say this because many say “I can see living in it for 3 years and renting it for 3 or 4 more.” The problem with the rental equation is usually rent won’t cover most mortgages, so you actually lose $5,000 on a $500,000 home. I see it all the time. Owners bleeding money renting their place out. So after 3 years you lose $15,000! Well that defeats the purpose of holding to weather the ups and downs of the market, and scrambling back to break even.
I recommend a 7 year minimum hold! And I don’t believe in timing the market. Buy when it is right for your needs.
When you buy a $500,000, you immediately lose about $40,000! Meaning if you needed to sell it a week later you would net $440,000 after those pesky Realtor fees and 2-3% in closing costs and taxes. OUCH!
So your best bet is a long hold to get out of that ditch. Heck, let’s talk about getting back to break even, let alone making a buck.
The days of the starter home are dead. As declared in my 2009 blog post Death of the Starter home still holds true. (My older blog posts are sometimes better, unlike cars, my posts keep their value).
Not willing to hold it for 7 years? Maybe only 5, ok, no problem, just make sure you fully absorb the massive risk of homeownership. We have had clients sell in 2 or 3 years and broken even. They are lucky. The market skyrocketed during that time. I know far too many more people that got stuck. Stuck in a place they weren’t planning on holding for too long. They wish they rented.
(sidenote: Ok, so for all of the people that I just talked out of buying, you might be wondering how we can have a business this way. What way? Through honesty? We have people come back to us years later, when they are ready. Or I ask a favor, if we can’t win your business, just make a point to send us your friends and family. And sending them to use the wicked awesome FranklyMLS isn’t the same as telling them to use Frankly Real Estate Inc. and to read this blog post. Ok, guilt trip over.)
To D.V. that wrote on 2-25-2013 “I got encouraged to contact you after watching your ‘I am not too busy for your clients’ video :-)”, I replied in 16 minutes, sorry for the delay! Let’s get you a place in Vienna!
Love to get your comments! Both good and bad.
Written by: Frank LLosa Esq.*
Realtor/Broker FranklyRealty.com Maryland, DC, VA
*Attorney at Law, only in NJ
Report typos please.