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Selling Houses Fast Today is Game of Catalyst and Mouse

If you are looking for that little something extra to get your house sold fast and for more money in the current real estate badlands, the good news is you can do just that.

The bad news is nine out of ten people are not going to be willing to do the something different that it takes

After two decades in real estate buying, selling, renting, rehabbing, we stumbled on a little used secret to radically change the way

you rent and sell houses. Not entirely by accident, mind you. We were looking everywhere for information on how to survive the current market.

Simply stated, you first have to know the truth. That’s pretty simple: the market has changed. So if you want to survive in the current market?

You have to change as well. If you don’t mind being a little dramatic, you need to reinvent yourself to survive today.


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I Could Have Stayed at the Ritz


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When it comes to renting houses, I suggest to veteran landlords in “911forLandlords” that the first step is to acknowledge that no matter how experienced you are, the times have changed and sometimes learning even one new technique may make the difference between sale and no sale.

Almost everything you do in the marketing of a home today whether it is a sale or a rental will be focused on the Internet. It is both cheaper and easier to market a home today than it was even five years ago, but the number of people who are ready and willing and able to buy is dramatically reduced making the most important step in the sale of a home what you do after you get an offer.

This has not changed, in my opinion, from what you should have done with an offer to buy five ten or fifty years ago.

When I ask most people what to do when you get an offer on a house they say read it carefully and see if it fits your needs.

Understanding why this answer is not only wrong but dangerous is in my opinion the most crucial understanding necessary to sell a home today.

In subsequent installments in this series we will talk about “theft,” one of the most valuable approaches to getting offers on the property you are trying to sell, some of the secrets of internet marketing that we explored in “911 for Landlords” which do translate to the sale of a home and a psychological technique which I call “confusion to consistency.”

But the sale of a home, especially in this market, is almost certainly doomed to failure or at least performance below your expectations if you do the wrong thing when you receive an offer and thoroughly evaluating the offer is definitely wrong.

The first thing you should do when you get an offer — any offer — is to sign it immediately.

Now once you do sign it and trust me on this DO NOT be in a hurry to fax or email or hand it back to the prospective buyer or his real estate agent.

Once you have signed it make the changes in the contract that will make it work for you. Don’t worry about reading it carefully. Once you know that your signature is on it there will be no question about reading it carefully.

Far too often I have seen contract offers that could have been put together rejected because one or two elements did not meet the expectations of the seller or the seller’s real estate agent, or other advisors.

A friend of mine in another state recently called to say that he had made an offer on a house and the real estate agent who was working for the seller called to say the cash my friend was putting down was not enough to cover the real estate commission so the real estate’s seller had refused the offer.

While I am not saying that any deal can be put together, I am saying that you should start off with the expectation that it can work when you get an offer and see what can be done to put the two sides together.


Be open to ideas that you may not have considered before. Today banks are not making loans to the vast majority of potential home buyers. If banks will not loan money to make the home sale work, who will?

Some potential candidates to play the role of bank are the seller, a friend of the seller, a friend of the buyer, buyer’s employer, individuals that have no relation to either buyer or seller and have money in a self directed IRA account and would like to make six to ten per cent interest on their retirement funds.

Some of these potential “bankers” will not be aware that they can make two, three or four times as much money as the bank would pay them, to make the same loan the bank might make. They could be paid more for the loans the bank would not make.

If you are looking to sell and you immediately say no to looking at alternative sources of financing you need to think again in this market where they bank is not there to make the deal work and if any of your advisors tell you don’t do it with the first words out of their mouths you need new advisors.

And yet I am not saying you should run full speed into owner financing or looking to private financing to get the home sold, but I am saying that there are alternatives to bank financing and alternatives to a simple purchase and sale that you should consider.

There are going to be techniques that you may never have heard of when you buy and sell a house unless you do it all the time and are continually studying new market trends. Keep your mind open to new ideas, have the person offering the idea explain it so that you understand it and if you understand and it makes sense then proceed carefully, seek professional advice from people with the attitude of helping you get the house sold.

If the Realtor says he can’t get paid as a reason for you to reject an offer, ask how he can solve that problem. In fact that is one of the questions I would ask before picking a Realtor (and I am one). Is he willing to work with you, taking part of the commission now and part later, or taking part of the commission as a second mortgage on the home? I have done both of those to get a house sold when I practiced traditional real estate and in this environment, it is even more important.

All deals cannot and many should not work, but start with the idea that there will be a positive outcome and surrounding yourself with positive creative professional when you start to sell your home.

The offer that you reject when a well thought out counter offer may keep the process alive a lot longer may be the only offer you get for a long time. The simple answer “that ain’t enough to pay my commission” so often comes from those that are already not getting a lot of commissions.

Never suggest the offer is an insult. Keep the dialog going, surround yourself with positive people who understand the current market and expect the best.

In the next installment we are going to look at how theft can help you sell your house faster in the current market.

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