Photo Credit – Christopher Thiemet
Over the years, Karen has become a master at every aspect of residential real estate. Karen started her career working at a company that only worked with buyers. She spent every day working with people moving to the St. Louis area and helping them figure out which community would be best for them. After touring hundreds of homes with all kinds of buyers, Karen knows how buyers will respond to just about any home. Understanding buyers came in really handy when Karen decided it was time to transform her business to offering full service listing and buyer agent services. Starting with her first listing, Karen made sure that every listing was ready when it went on the market. She worked with sellers to de-clutter, rearrange furniture and make the easy cosmetic changes that would have an impact on the way buyers would react to the home. Then she analyzed the housing market to make sure that the home was priced appropriately, and put together a marketing program that wasn’t designed to impress sellers in hopes they would hire her…it was designed to get homes sold. It worked. Karen’s fist listing sold in 7 days even though it was during the worst housing market in history.
It’s All About Results:
Karen’s Statistics from 2007-2010:
- 52% of sold listings got a contract in 0-30 days
- 64% of sold listings got a contract in 0-60 days
- Median days on market – 28 days
- Average days on market – 52 days
- Listings that sold in 0-30 days averaged 98% of list price
At the beginning of 2011, Karen teamed up with another agent with the goal of offering better service to both of their clients. In theory, it should have worked. Karen’s new partner was a successful real estate agent who had owned her own brokerage at one point and had served at a RE/MAX company as a Vice President. She was the Keller Williams Realty St. Louis business coach for agents who wanted to improve their business. Instead of having 2 agents trying to be everything to all of their clients, Karen and her partner divided up the tasks that needed to be done the same way any large business would do it. Karen managed all listing pricing analysis and marketing, and her partner did listing contract negotiations through closing and represented buyers. Sometimes things don’t work out the way you hope. Homes weren’t selling as quickly, even though the market was getting better. From 2011-2012, only 29% of their home listings sold in 30 days or less, and only 47% sold in 60 days or less. Median days on market increased to 62 days. Average days on market increased to 83 days. That said, sellers were still getting a good price if they sold in 30 days or less averaging 97% of list price. Karen recognized that too much energy was being wasted on operational systems and she needed to get back to providing 100% of the services to her clients. So at the end of 2012, Karen and her partner parted ways, and Karen returned to running her business the way she did it in the earlier years. It worked. In 2013, the only home that didn’t sell in 60 days or less was a short sale. It actually sold fairly quickly, but since the bank took so long to give approval for the contract to go forward, the buyer walked away and we had to start over. The second contract came in just days later. However, days on market is calculated from the initial listing date until the day the property has a solid contract that ultimately closes, even if the property was under contract for much of the time between the initial listing date and when it got that solid contract.
2013 Sales Statistics:
- 55% of sold listings got a contract in 0-30 days
- 91% of sold listings got a contract in 0-60 days
- Median days on market – 27 days
- 60% of listings sold without a price reduction*
- 40% of listings sold with just one price reduction*
- All listings except 2 successfully sold – 1 was taken off the market and and will be relisted in spring 2014 and 1 was leased because the owners preferred keeping it as a rental rather than selling at the current market value
* Price reduction statistics exclude the short sale listing since the strategy to get it to get the bank to approve the short sale was to start with a high price and make regular price reductions to demonstrate that it couldn’t sell for a higher price. Discovering Technology:
Photo Credit – Jim French
So how does Karen sell home so quickly and for such a high percentage of the listing price? When Karen left the safety of a company which provided her with all the leads that she could handle to strike out on her own, she knew nothing about online marketing. She knew she needed to master the latest in technology in order to best serve her clients and develop new business. Within months she had a website and a blog. Then she signed up for Twitter and Facebook, and a tech savvy agent was born. One year later and she was teaching marketing to the other agents at her company and providing them with tools to market their listings through email newsletters. As Karen continued focusing on adding technology and social media to her business, she discovered that she was on a very short list of agents who understood how to use technology effectively to sell homes. Karen also understands how to analyze data. She knows what to look at to determine home values and how to set a listing price that is high enough to get sellers the best price while not being so high to decrease buyer interest. Karen has developed a custom report which allows her to monitor the micro and macro housing markets affecting each of her listings. And she shares this information with her clients so they are just as informed. Together, Karen and her clients make decisions based on the data in order to get the highest possible price and the fastest selling time. See a sample report…
Karen Only Works with Sellers:
Think about it…a single person can only do so many things at a time. There are things that simply can’t wait. Incoming contracts, problems with existing contracts that could kill the deal and potential new clients who call and want to talk about hiring an agent need immediate attention. Buyers who are ready to find a house today also require focused attention of their agent. When a real estate agent gets busy, everything else gets pushed aside. What are those ‘everything else’ things that don’t get done when agents are busy?
- Actively marketing homes listed for sale that aren’t yet under contract
- Analyzing what is happening in the market that affects an agent’s active listings
- Keeping clients informed of what is happening day to day
Karen simply isn’t willing to neglect her seller clients in order to juggle more clients. The solution was easy. Rather than spending hours driving from house to house with buyers actively looking for a home, Karen now connects buyers with a handful of great buyer agents who can give them the time they deserve. When you hire Karen Goodman to sell your home, you will be hiring a real estate market specialist who understands what works and what may look impressive, but won’t actually do a thing to get a SOLD sign in front of your house. Isn’t it time you hired someone who is going to put your needs over everything else.