Every week, we ask a Houston real estate professional for their thoughts on the top three stories from the week before. This week, we talked to Dianne Moore, the managing broker at United Real Estate Houston.
Houston Agent (HA): If you’re not trained properly, real estate negotiations can be tough and you could end up getting a less-than-stellar deal for your clients. As someone who specializes in negotiating, what advice would you give to a young or new agent?
Dianne Moore (DM): You are correct. Training, knowledge and experience overall are all helpful in the negotiations process. As a new or newer agent, I would encourage them to first understand that the best negotiations are those that end with both parties coming away with something – a win-win – feeling reasonably satisfied and neither having feelings of remorse. And remember, a win-win scenario does not mean 50-50 or even, just simply both give and take.
To arrive at such a satisfactory conclusion, the agent must become a strategic detective, asking questions that involve an answer beyond yes or no. The agent must remember to listen to the whole answer/story without interrupting, and detecting where the other side’s pain points, wants and needs might be. Once they believe they have a reasonable grasp on the other side’s situation, the agent should summarize their understanding and repeat it back to confirm or get additional clarification. Once the agent has this information, they can then find ways to have the other side’s basic needs or interests satisfied, and in turn, the other side will be more willing and flexible to provide them with a similarly satisfactory outcome.
HA: A recent report from the National Association of Realtors found that cash sales have been leaving the market on account of dwindling investor interest. NAR’s president and chief economist have said this represent a return to normalcy in the market, with cash investors clearing the way for buyers who depend on financing. Do you agree with their assessment, and have you seen this trend in Houston?
DM: Most recently, our office has actually noticed a considerable increase in cash buyers compared to the norm. Though, they haven’t been the investor-buyer type. It’s mostly been luxury properties, and a few less than $500,000. We’ve also seen an influx in significant cash down payments – some as high as 50 percent down.
You will always have those who are in need of utilizing a financing option, and those capable of utilizing cash. However, I would agree that, in general, I have seen fewer investors purchasing this year.
HA: More and more, maintaining a strong online presence is becoming a part of being a successful real estate agent. What do you do online to help keep your business sustainable?
We try to always keep our websites current with fresh and active content. We’re also consistently making certain our sites are designed to work seamlessly on mobile platforms, and that we post, share and update on a variety of media, such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube. Combined, these avenues have proven to be very productive and fruitful!