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Tequesta real estate and the 4% commission, why pay more?

The real estate industry has been changing for years. The current Coronavirus crisis is changing it right now. Something else will be changing it tomorrow. One thing that almost always holds true is somebody selling their home is looking to get the highest price. This is not the shortest article you will ever read, but if you are thinking about selling your home, it may end up the best time you will ever spend.

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Selling a home for the highest price is not easy. It takes a game plan with a broker who understands the market and how it operates. There are a lot of excellent real estate brokers out there, but there are also a lot who aren’t so good. Paradise Sharks always suggests anyone seriously looking at selling their home to interview brokers and ask questions. Lots of them. You want to find a broker who is going to help you meet your goals, while disrupting your life as little as possible. You want to find out what they are going to do for you and how much it will end up costing you.

In Tequesta, the costs of selling a home are not inexpensive. In almost all transactions, the seller will not only be responsible for real estate commissions, but also title work, State of Florida documentary stamp tax on the deed transfer, owners title insurance policy and a variety of other charges depending on a number of factors. When interviewing, make sure that you are made aware of these expenses as they too affect your bottom line.

At this moment, there are 61 single family homes on the market in the Village of Tequesta with list prices between $285,000 and $9,500,000. Don’t be fooled into thinking a less expensive house is easier to sell, because that is not necessarily true. One Tequesta home that sold recently closed at $273,000 and was on the market for 248 days. I can show you many multi-million dollar sales that closed over the past year at a fraction of that time. Many sell in a week or two.

Paradise Sharks looks at the real estate transaction a little differently than most brokers. We consider what that sale is going to take from a time perspective. I would much rather, as would most of our clients, sell a home quickly. But we also want to sell it for the most amount of money. It’s a fine line and there are no right answers. It’s that moment in time when a ready, willing and able buyer, who has a large set of variables about that home, their needs, market conditions and each parties motivation meet and a final sales price is determined. It’s complicated and a seasoned broker is your best friend to ensure you make educated decisions.

Recently, Paradise Sharks sold a home in the Tequesta Country Club that our research told us was worth around $430,000 to $435,000. It was at the height of market strength and our clients were relocating out of state. Their motivation was high. We felt the right strategy was a list price of $429,900 and were confident this price would attract numerous buyers the first week and a sales price with multiple offers that would drive the sales price into that $430,000 to $435,000 range. Our client felt that was too low and they wanted to list the home at $449,000. Paradise Sharks wants to educate our clients, but we are also happy to do as they wish as in the end we are working for them and there are times we are wrong.

After two weeks on the market, we had a total of two showings scheduled and my weekly update to the clients included a strong recommendation to lower the price. They agreed after much discussion and that evening we lowered the price to $435,000. Mind you, after two weeks, we had just two showings and no offers. What appeared to be a fairly insignificant cut of $14,000 was not insignificant at all. We had 7 showings the following day, 3 offers and the house closed at $435,000. Selecting the right list price is critical. Reacting to what the market is telling you during the listing period is critical. Hiring a broker who understands this is critical to your success.

Back in the day, almost everybody paid a real estate broker 6% and few asked questions. I remember about 12 years ago when I hung my license at a very large brokerage and an established, well respected, broker told me she would not show a house if there was not a 3% co-broke commission offered. I told her that was OK as there were plenty of brokers who would and that she would not be in business long without the ability to change with the times. She is no longer in business, The vast majority of listings these days offer a 2.5% co-broke and so far Paradise Sharks has kept that as our co-broke commission but realize one day that too will change and 2% will be the next threshold.

Paradise Sharks live in Tequesta and we can list any home in Tequesta for a total commission of 4%. We offer 2.5% as a co-broke so our fee for marketing your home and handling the sale is 1.5%. Last year, the median single family home in Tequesta sold for $552,500. The median days on market was 24. At 1.5% we would be paid a commission of $8,280 for a part time job that lasted less than a month. If your home is worth more than a million dollars, the commissions are larger and we can typically handle those sales at 3.5% or even less. If your home is in remarkable condition, sells within a week, is vacant, or if Paradise Sharks handles both sides of the transaction, we can save you even more money. Our passion is providing world class service at the best value in the industry.

Commissions are 100% negotiable and you should have a frank discussion about them when interviewing brokers. But that commission is only part of the equation and getting you the best price is even more important. Don’t let brokers tell you that a 4% commission will get you cut rate service as that is not true. In fact, I can show you plenty of sellers paying far more in commission that are getting far less service than Paradise Sharks offers. We have been doing nothing but real estate for decades. We have been a licensed contractor in three states, we have been a licensed Realtor in two states, we have owned our own construction company and we own our own real estate brokerage. I would love to find anyone with more experience in the industry.

Paradise Sharks insist that our clients fire us if they are not satisfied anytime during the listing period. We want educated clients, we want happy clients and never would consider otherwise. Our clients expect the best and we give it to them. In Tequesta, your 4% total commission with Paradise Sharks gets you outstanding service and a broker who wants to ensure your happiness. Our future relies on your happiness. Here is what you should expect, and really demand, from any real estate broker, no matter what you pay them;

  1. Initial meeting with a frank discussion of your goals and needs. How are those going to be met? What needs to be done to best prepare your house for photos and showings? Ask a lot of questions. Look into their eyes and find someone you trust, or keep looking.
  2. An honest and well documented projected list price and pricing strategy. Ask questions, and remember the example above. A list price that is too high usually costs a seller money. It’s the worst mistake a seller can typically make so dig deep and ask questions. Be prepared to react to what the market tells you.
  3. A professional high resolution photo shoot. You want your house to shine on every computer, phone and tablet screen. Well over 90% of all buyers shop on line before contacting a broker. If your house does not shine online, the odds of getting the best price are diminished. Be careful, as more pictures is not better. In fact, they hurt you. The purpose of pictures is to attract the prospective buyer enough to make the next step and that is to schedule a showing, There are almost 1.500 single family homes on the market right now in Palm Beach and Martin County with over 50 pictures online. There is one listing with 159 pictures. It’s overkill and it hurts your odds of getting traffic that will get you the best price.
  4. As important as professional pictures, is the written description of the property. Again, not too long, but enough to make the prospective buyer want to learn more  and schedule that showing. Too few listings overlook this very important aspect of marketing.
  5. A strategy to hit the market at the right time, with the right information, to create the most demand. Don’t just put the home on the market without a strategy both for marketing and pricing. What marketing is going to take place besides putting the home on the market? Discuss these in detail during any interview. Ask questions!
  6. Make sure your calls and emails will be answered expeditiously by the broker you are hiring. Call a broker directly when scheduling an appointment. Leave a message if they do not answer, and if they do not call back in less than an hour then you are probably better calling someone else who is more attentive to your needs. Please make sure you leave a message as in today’s world, robocalls are so prevalent it prevents many of us from answering a call unless we know who it is on the other end.
  7. Constant communication during the inspection period. Paradise Sharks provides detailed weekly updates that include feedback from that week’s showings, what happened to other listings in the neighborhood and what happened in the overall market. It will include any recommendations for future action to ensure we are keeping on top of ever changing market conditions.
  8. Professional representation and consulting through the contract negotiations, inspection, appraisal, title work and closing. Its a complicated process and you need a professional handling this for you.

Selling a home is not easy. It takes a lot of communication and it is a team event. You are hiring someone you must trust and respect their expertise. If you have not found that broker, you need to keep interviewing. You can pay someone whatever you want. You can pay far more than 4% but you do not have to. No matter what you pay, you need world class representation as without you will not get your best price. Mistakes in real estate are very expensive and interviewing brokers and asking questions is your best method for minimizing them. 

Paradise Sharks love to interview. We love to answer your questions. We love saving you money and we love doing our best to get you the very best price and service. We won’t hold you to any listings agreement if we are not doing what we promise. If you are in Tequesta,  we won’t charge you over 4% and can save many even more. It’s super easy to reach us at 561.308.0175 (remember to leave a message) or tom@paradisesharks,com. Sure, you can pay more, and get less, but you certainly don’t have. If you interview and ask questions you can make a fully educated decision and that’s what truly is important.


Fins up…….