Richards Real Estate


Q. Some Realtors use SOLD signs, others never show them as SOLD. Is there some sort of protocol for that? W.O. Rio Vista

A. Sign riders (6”x 24”) are used on yard signs to convey tidbits of information not included on the main sign, such as the Realtors cell phone, or a location perk like waterfront or golf course or lake view, and so on. Some Realtors use multiple riders, some don’t use any. There is no protocol other than your own personal marketing plan.

When a home gets an accepted offer, the sign rider may be one that says CONTINGENT if the buyer has a home to sell to buy that one, or PENDING if it is a cash purchase or the buyer is pre-qualified for a loan. Some use UNDER CONTRACT, yet any accepted offer creates a contract so you don’t really know what’s going on there.

On a CONTINGENT home, if you make an offer the seller finds acceptable, the first buyer has 72 hours to commit to the purchase regardless of the sale of their home, or step aside for your offer which would then change to PENDING.

Just because a home has a sign rider that indicates it could be sold, always have your Realtor check the status of the purchase. Deals fall apart all the time for any number of reasons, so you could get in a backup position!

The first 2-3 weeks of a sale move through inspections, negotiation for repairs (if any), and appraisal. Concurrently the loan goes through underwriter approval and any conditions of the loan that have to be satisfied. At this point around 30-45 days have passed, and some Realtors put up a SOLD sign, but it’s not sold yet!

The buyer and seller have to go to the escrow office and sign documents that lock in the terms of the sale, and the buyer may have loan documents as well. Once this package is complete, it goes back to the underwriters for loan funding. Once it funds, then it usually records in the buyer’s name the following day. Now it is SOLD.

So, if your sign is truthful, you might have a SOLD sign up for 2-3 days, and then once it’s recorded, the new owner doesn’t want the sign in the yard so it gets picked up. I arrange pick up of the sign on the day of recording.

I think some Realtors use SOLD signs as a gauge to show how fast they got an offer, that way maybe a neighbor thinking of listing their home may think favorably of listing with them.  That makes the SOLD sign a marketing tool, and who knows, maybe it is a good one!

Q. What is the best formula to get my home sold? D.W. Rio Vista

A. That’s easy: right product, right price, at the right time!

Taking the last first, the right time could be in sunny weather, active market, and few homes like yours. The right price should be born from comparable sales, days on the market, and if there is indication of price increase/decrease based on sales data. Then set a realistic price within the scope of that data, not what you would like to have. Over-priced homes linger on the market and become “stale”. Any offers come in low at that point because you can’t overcome the rule of substitution, that a buyer will not pay more for what costs less elsewhere.

Then you come to the first one, the right product. How do you show in comparison to other homes in your price bracket? Is yours updated, or at least in premier condition? You should go to some open houses and listen to your Realtor.

Put this program together and the sale will be yours!

Posted on February 21, 2019 at 9:32 am by Sam Richards

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