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Real estate agents must think outside the box in today’s market

The market has shifted, and now real estate teams across the region are returning to the basics and coming up with unique ways to serve their community and keep the market moving

In real estate, the market will always ebb and flow. For quite some time, sellers were on a high, receiving above-market value for their homes. Interest rates were low and, although inventory was also low, investors, first-time buyers and those relocating found their way into Tri-Valley homes. Buyers fiercely bid to make purchases, often going well over their preferred budget.

But the market has shifted, and now real estate teams across the region are returning to the basics and coming up with unique ways to serve their community and keep the market moving.

“It has been a crazy market since April with lots of twists and turns,” said Realtor Liz Venema of Venema Homes Real Estate Team. “The peak stopped in April and we are now getting back to a normal real estate market.

“Buyers and sellers need to be curious,” she continued. “Realtors can help them research the answers and come up with some of these creative ways to get the financing and loans from a lender.”

In the current market, lenders are the best ally, said Venema, and finding one with an innovative strategy is imperative. According to Venema, there are a number of questions buyers and sellers can ask. For example, can the seller pay down the interest rate, or can the buyer assume the seller’s loan with a lower interest rate?

Another question, Venema said, is asking if the buyer can take on a five-year adjustable rate mortgage with the options of refinancing when the interest rates correct and return to a reasonable rate and finding out just how creative a lender can be with financing.

“Let buyers know they are ‘dating the rate and marrying the home’,” she said.

Realtors also can assist sellers by getting more foot traffic through a home currently on the market or coming soon to the market. Venema said sellers can host an open house at twilight or invite their neighbors over to see the inside of their home, since sellers never know whose friends or relatives might be on the market for a new home.

Additionally, sellers must trust their real estate agent when it comes to pricing. Their Realtor has knowledge of the community, knows every strategy needed to navigate pricing in this market and can find out what comparable homes sold for within the neighborhood. They should have knowledge of the seller’s community.

“Make sure you hire an agent who knows your neighborhood,” said Venema. “Choose one who knows the local real estate market, has standards they follow, systems in place and who networks with vendors to negotiate the best prices for you - whether it’s inspections, staging, lenders or contractors. Even more than expertise in negotiation and marketing, it takes a love and understanding of the community for an agent to be exceptional.”

Venema has lived in the Tri-Valley for over 40 years and said she’s continually charmed by the region. Her love for the community and dedication to helping others find their own “slice of paradise” has given her firsthand knowledge of local market trends and is one of the reasons she enjoys going the extra mile for her clients.

“As my involvement in the community has grown and I’ve come to know the people and faces that make the Tri-Valley an oasis in Northern California, I’ve become more dedicated to fulfilling the dreams of those who live here, as well as those who want to become part of its magic,” Venema said.

“I’m proud to call this area my home and love that so many people are enamored with this area.”

She said exceptional real estate agents follow the market and weather the storm of shifts like the current market.

“Remember, if we are on the listing side of the transaction, we are in this together,” Venema said. “We are part of the team that was hired to sell your home. Realtors don’t get paid unless the home sells, so there is a huge incentive for us to sell your home.

“When supporting a buyer, the same applies,” she said. “Know the market, know the sellers’ motivation, know the neighborhood and never assume a seller will not take your offer.

“Along the same lines,” she continued, “buyers shouldn’t try to educate the sellers on homes that sold within the last year. There may have been a bit of a market downturn, but real estate will always rebound."

To learn more, connect with the team at Venema Homes online.

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