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Working for a ‘win-win’ in real estate transactions

Liz Venema of Venema Homes Real Estate Team shares her experience in navigating the current real estate landscape
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Real estate sales can easily go awry. Buyers pull out, sellers change their mind, inspections throw a wrench in what should be a smooth sale or the home doesn't appraise as expected, and communication can completely break down. But the overarching goal of any real estate transaction is to create an environment where everyone feels confident about the sale.

East Bay real estate agent Liz Venema of Venema Homes Real Estate Team believes the right agent can navigate issues that arise during real estate transactions, keeping the peace and serving as the mediator for any possible problems.

“There is more conversation between buyer’s agents and listing agents than ever before,” she said. “Buyer’s agents are having to get to know the listing agents so they will have a rapport with them for their buyer, and listing agents are beginning to make themselves available to discuss details the seller has allowed them to discuss about the home. Both agents have to be willing to communicate for it to be a win for their sellers and the buyers.”

Although communication is key to creating a win-win, employing an agent willing to put in the work for their client is also important.

Venema said the buyer’s agents should reach out to the listing agent to ask important questions before making an offer. This can include asking direct questions about what the seller is looking for in terms of a perfect transaction, which might be anything from a no contingency sale to a completely cash offer, with the latter often trumping offers above asking price.

“Sellers are looking at the buyer’s reserves more than ever to make sure that if a home doesn’t appraise, a buyer can make up the difference,” said Venema. “Sometimes a seller will choose a lower offer if that buyer is more qualified, but please don’t try to negotiate the price down because that will not happen in this market.”

Trust also plays a factor, said Venema, and buyers and sellers need to trust their agents and be truthful about their needs before homes are listed and offers are made. According to Venema, honesty and communication is vital.

“Trust your agent and be honest about what you need in price and terms,” said Venema. “It’s important for sellers to hire agents that are familiar with multiple offer situations. It’s a talent and takes experience. It can be a two-day process -- talking between the listing and buyer’s agent, talking with the buyer’s lender about qualifications and timing, and other pertinent aspects of the particular home.

“We tell buyers to avoid getting emotionally attached to a home,” she continued. “Choose where you want to live, the size of the home, bedrooms, yard, etc,, but be open to whatever comes on the market with such little inventory, prepared to trust your agent to give you the correct information on how high you need to make an offer to be competitive and put your best foot forward at the beginning. In this market it is rare to receive a counter offer back from the seller.”

While it can be difficult to avoid home attachment and place an offer well above asking price, many homes in the current market are being purchased sight unseen and offers often roll in before a home goes live on the market, making an already stressful experience even more worrisome.

However, Venema said it’s the agent’s job to ensure the process produces a win for all parties involved.

“I often say we are like the house whisperers,” said Venema with a laugh. “Our job is to do the footwork and the buyer’s and seller’s job is to allow us to represent them with their best interest in mind. We, as real estate professionals, must be easy to communicate with, willing to learn - I learn something new every day -- and have a stay the course mentally. We need to do whatever it takes to have all parties feel like they received a win-win!”

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