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How to Have a Successful Real Estate Transaction (BVO)

With summer winding down, I’m surprised to see that there are still so many homes on the market. On my way to work this morning, I counted more than 10 for sale signs! It made me question whether we are seeing so many signs because the market is back, or whether we are seeing signs because homes are not selling. My conservative nature is pushing me to the latter but, at the same time, we haven’t been having too hard of a time unloading homes here. So, maybe it’s a little of both. It could also be our approach here. We are pretty meticulous about the way we handle real estate transactions during relocation.

First, to ensure a low cost, high satisfaction real estate transaction, it is important to lay out the ground work to the transferee to help them have a complete understanding of the process and their responsibilities along the way. For the sake of this post, because we are all in the relocation industry, I put this through the BVO lens. How to Have a Successful Real Estate Transaction

Establish the rules.  We begin by explaining the relocations process and the guidelines, as well as the rationale behind them.  So, if the transferee is going to go through a BVO, we discuss upfront that they are responsible for finding a viable buyer. We then walk through the documentation needed and the timing of each piece of the puzzle.  Since this can be overwhelming, we also spell out the guidelines in the relocation policy and the important of aggressively marketing homes in today’s economy.

Get the pricing right. In any real estate transaction, the most critical step is properly pricing the home for sale.  If you get it wrong, you can add months to the process as well as thousands of dollars in added expenses.  In a BVO situation the Broker Market Analyses (BMA’s) is going to be the main tool. BMA’s, however, vary widely as to what information and comparable properties are provided. The Employee Relocation Council (ERC) has created standardized forms for BMAs that not only establish rules on comparable properties, proximity and square footage calculations, but also make it easier for a trained counselor to review multiple reports  in an apples to apples comparison.  Variances and discrepancies can quickly be identified and scrutinized to obtain an accurate understanding of the home’s value.  It is important, however, for everyone involved in the analysis to be trained on how to read a BMA.

Staging is still important.  We are often asked whether or not staging the home for sale is important. Preparing the home for marketing is essential for success in any real estate transaction.  It is one thing to get at the right price, but the seller also has to set the right atmosphere for potential buyers. Buyers need to imagine themselves, and their belongings, in the home.  A true listing strategy looks at price and appeal, from the curb and throughout the home.  Identifying cost effective improvements, such as areas needing fresh paint, carpeting, landscaping and de-cluttering, can greatly reduce marketing time and lower costs in the long run.

Set up regular check-ins. It is important to collect and review feedback from Realtors and their buyers that view the home.  It’s also important to continually monitor the market place for trends, as well as available inventory.  If there is an oversupply of similar homes, the seller can either wait it out, hoping for their turn, or they you can address the appeal and or price of the home.

I’m not so negative on the market that I think homes can’t sell. I do, however, think that they are not selling as easily as they did ten years ago. In a relocation situation, the policy has to first be right. Then, the team needs to come together immediately to get the price right and the marketing perfect.

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VP, Client Services

VP of Business Development Northeast Region


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