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By Emilio DiSpirito, Top Rhode Island Realtor at DiSpirito Team with HomeSmart Professionals.
We are in the hottest seller’s market on record! With the fewest homes available and lowest interest rates, buyers are losing out left and right on purchasing the homes they want here in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. We have assisted over 200 families during this anomaly of a market, to get the home of their dreams using these 10 proven Secrets! Give them a try, some of them may be weird… but don’t take any of them for granted! They work!!
Secret 1: Seek upfront underwriting!
Imagine you are the seller and you are reviewing 4 offers with mortgage contingencies. As you are flipping through these offers you notice that 3 of the buyers are “pre-qualified”, meaning that the bank took preliminary steps to review basic information about those buyers to provide an educated guess that these folks are good to go. Now, the 4th one really has you intrigued, because it states the buyer is clear to close, contingent upon a clear title and appraisal on the home! Buyer number 4 has already been fully vetted and the bank is guaranteeing that they will close providing the appraisal comes back good and the title is clean!! If you were the seller, which would you take?!
Pro Tip: Contact Mathew Bates with Movement Mortgage to leverage this necessary tool. www.RIMortgageGuy.com
Secret 2: Hire a Realtor from a team that lists a lot of properties!
The speed at which consumers expect business to happen is nearly too rapid for a single agent to compete with. Real estate teams have been commanding the lions-share of the real estate transactions here in Southern New England because there is power in numbers. Teams who list a lot of properties are likely to have a hunch about properties before they even hit the market! You want every opportunity to get in the door first. Find the team with the best track record and reviews on Google from actual clients. Call and interview 1 to 3 teams, to see what they offer!
Pro Tip: Google “(Team Name) Reviews” to see what their clients are saying about the service they offer!
Secret 3: Get a thorough understanding of the process!
When interviewing agents, ask if they offer a buyer consultation! No, this is not a fancy way to get you in the office where they can sell you the Cadillac with all the “bells and whistles”, but this is when the true real estate professionals learn everything they need to know about what you want, expect, and dream for in a home and a neighborhood! This is also where they should be walking you through the process of buying real estate and taking the time to educate you on the latest market trends.
Pro Tip: Stay up to date on the latest market trends with my real estate radio program, The DiSpirito Team Real Estate Show airing Sundays at 10 am on 104.7 FM, Newsradio 920 AM, streaming on iHeartradio WHJJ and on SoundCloud.
Secret 4: Off-Market Property Search!
What does it mean for a property to be “on the market”? This is the term used when a property is listed with a Realtor and on the Multiple Listings Service. Off market properties allow you to get into a home with very limited or no competition at all. When you speak with Realtors, ask them what they will offer you and if they do not mention off-market properties, keep looking!
Pro Tip: Here are some off-market property suggestions. For Sale By Owners, Withdrawn and Expired Listings, Sellers on the Fence, and Coming Soon listings, along with several others!
Secret 5: Understanding The Sellers Motivation!
There are countless reasons why someone is selling a home! When working with the right Realtor, they will look for clues during the showing as to why the homeowners are looking to get out. They may also ask the other agent to pry for any hints or useful information. There are a series of unfortunate events that happen in life such as divorce, bankruptcy, death, and illness that leave homeowners or their heirs in a spot where they are looking for a fast and easy sale. These sellers are not so price-driven as much as they are focused on the speed and ease of the transaction.
Pro Tip: When dealing with sellers who need to move fast, upfront underwriting can allow you to close in as little as 2 weeks! You can also either waive your home inspection or shorten the time period and offer inspections for information only! Each buyer should discuss thoroughly with their agent if this is right for them before doing so as there are some risks to skipping out on an inspection!
Secret 6: The Love Letter!
Have you ever walked into a home where everything is just so? Everything has its place and you can tell the owners love it and have cared for it?! Why not tell them how much you appreciate what they have done to their home and how you have the intention of continuing that tradition?! Think about it before you shoot this idea down! People are connected to their homes and an emotional bond between seller and buyer can make the difference! We have had some of our buyers win with offers thousands less with tougher demands and contingencies, all of which have been accepted by sellers who made the emotional decision to take ‘that buyer with the love letter’!
Pro Tip: Think of the letter as the ability for you to sell your offer to the seller! This is probably the only chance you will get to speak directly to them before the closing!
Pro Tip 2: If the sellers are in a stressful situation like a divorce, you may want to skip the part in your letter about how perfect your relationship and cut little family is ;)!
Secret 7: Watch your mouth during the showing! Big Brother is Watching You!
First impressions are everything!! Today, nearly half of the homes we walk into have a Nest camera system, ring doorbell, or some sort of audio or video monitoring devices! You and anyone you are with should be dressed respectfully and should be courteous about people’s personal belongings and their homes. They are most likely watching while you are there!! It happens often where our clients will contact us after showings and are either happy or appalled by what they watched and heard in their home! Creepy, but true!!
Pro Tip: Your agent should ask every listing agent if the home has cameras or any monitoring in place. In the instance it does, it’s best not to discuss any personal feelings or financials, in addition to anything else you are not comfortable with the sellers knowing.
Secret 8: Creep!!
It may sound or even make you feel a bit “odd”, however it’s public record who owns each home. Find the owners on social media and see if you have any mutual connections! Do some sleuth work and see if you have any closer friends that know the homeowners and if they would put in a subtle but good word for you!! Word of mouth packs a powerful punch!!
Pro Tip: When looking for mutual connections on LinkedIn, make sure you are not logged in! They will see what you are up to and think you are a total creepo! Hey, creep on me while you are at it and shoot me a connection request! Let me know what you think about my article! https://www.linkedin.com/in/emiliodiv
Secret 9: Escalation Clause!!!
An escalation clause is probably one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal! So, what is it?! Imagine you walk into that perfect house and there is a line of cars down the road!! You impulsively may tell your agent to offer five, ten or even fifty thousand over asking price because you realize that the monthly cost is nominal, and you have to have this home! It’s perfect! Well, this is where your agent should suggest you place a list price offer with a clause that states you will pay an additional $500, $1000, etc. over the price of the highest offer up to “x”! You do not want to overpay and the clause states they must show you the bonafide offer! Confusing? It can be! Discuss this with a Realtor for a full-on explanation or message me direct firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll walk you through it!
Pro Tip: When interviewing agents, ask them what they will do in a multiple offer situation and how they will help your offer stand out! When they don’t mention this…. NEXT!!!!
Secret 10: Go after homes that have been sitting!
The current market has homes pending in “hours” in many price ranges!! It’s reasonable for most homes to go pending within 30 days on market in almost all areas of Rhode Island and Massachusetts! When a home has sat on the market for 60 days, 90 days or even longer, you may have a wonderful shot at placing a much lower offer with heavier demands!!
Pro Tip: Have your agent place you on a search on the local MLS which allows you to see every home which has been sitting on the market for 60 or more days!! I suggest going 10% above your current price range as these sellers may be apt to take 10% less and you’ll get the house that you want without the competition! The sellers will be thrilled they sold, and you’ll be moving in and enjoying some Chinese takeout before you know it!
BONUS Tip 11! Subscribe to my email list by sending me an email here with the subject line “Bonus Tip #11” email@example.com
For more information connect with Emilio www.DiSpiritoTeam.com
If you would have asked me what I wanted to be growing up, little Emilio would have told you “an archeologist” or “an architect” despite the fact that at age 8 I had my first lemonade stand, landscaping business and was recording my first “news show” on my boombox! Well, I never was much good at trigonometry and did could not see myself traveling for months and possibly years at a time, so becoming an architect or archaeologist clearly did not happen!
Fast forward 26 years later and I’m running a team of the finest residential real estate professionals, own a media company and host my very own radio news show about real estate!
In September of 2017, I married my best friend, Jaclynn, and we have two wonderful children, Destinee and Emilio, V. We have 3 dogs, one of which is a rescue and live in lovely Rhode Island. Jaclynn owns a high-end hair salon in addition to an on-location hair and makeup business!
For 7 years straight it seemed that I had put in more hours than the day had to give on my real estate business. 7 days a week, 14 to 16 hour days, without a break! Why? My friends and family did not understand the sheer magnitude of moving parts and services we offer to our clients during a transaction! One slip up or one missed call could mean make or break for someone’s dream home or even a lost deposit!
Running a team of like-minded, highly qualified and capable professionals has allowed me to offer a very streamlined, simplified and efficient approach to the sales process for our clients and allowed me to earn personal time again with my family while not missing a beat for my clients!
When I’m not working, I’m with my family, riding my mountain bike, eating at a number of local restaurants, enjoying live entertainment, hiking, skiing or reading!