Sales Prevention Program #84: Sorry It’s Rented

It really is a bear of a situation, being an agent selling a home that is rented. Of course you want that income stream. The fact is that it will impede what is perhaps the right buyer from finding it.

In many cases it is worse on your pocket book to have it rented and for sale at the same time. I say this because the longer the home is on the market the more likely it will be that you lower the price. I don’t and won’t encourage that, but it is a fact.

In almost every price range and location there is competition. Your home isn’t the only one to choose from. If you throw any hurdle in the way of showing your home it is possible the right buyer might miss it. Maybe I should use the work probable, not possible. Rented homes almost always need appointments. Some renters don’t cooperate. Often the rule is at least 24 hour notice. There is one condo currently for sale in downtown Salt Lake City that only allows showings once a month. It’s pretty ridiculous to even have it on the market. In lesser extremes it’s still a problem.

Having your home presented for sale is important. I believe in staging it as practical as possible. I showed a home this week that was rented and kept in sloppy condition. Hey the renter doesn’t care, it wasn’t their home. Instead of staging this home was, shall we say, destroyed. In many cases the buying or not buying decision is made the minute they walk through the door. It is an emotional decision. To some buyers the condition affects the decision.

Sales Prevention Program #84: Sorry It’s Rented. Do you like snakes? I showed one rented home that had a python to greet you as you entered the living room? We did a fast exit out of the front door.  I wonder if the home ever sold.

We showed one home where the renter was present. Hey “no problem” they said. We were then treated to a clear explanation of everything that was wrong with the place.

Do you like smells of the unusual nature? We have been subjected to them. Renters rarely care, so there.

Of course it’s a financial situation. My suggestion, if you really want it sold, wait until the renter is gone to put it on the market.

Posted on May 14, 2018 at 7:44 pm
Larry Cragun | Category: Sales Prevention Programs | Tagged , , ,

Sales Prevention Program #85 That Place Stunk

Sales Prevention Program #85 That Place Stunk. We could hardly wait to get out of there.

The smell was hard to identify.

It was even harder to put up with.
So guess what?
We didn’t stick around.
We left in the let’s get out of here mode.
When the potential buyer walks through the door they often make a quick decision. I like it. I don’t like it. It stinks. You want the opposite, I love this place response.
I don’t know if the home was rented or owner occupied. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a renter as all too many could care less. The beds weren’t made, the place was not neat.
Owners and agents need to be on top of this type of thing. If you live in the place, ask your agent if you need to fix an odor.
In this case I believe part of the smell was cigarette smoke. To most that is a big turn off. I’m just pointing this out. After all you put your home on the market to sell it. Why subscribe to a sales prevention program?
It is also important to consider than many people have allergies to fake smells. When coming upon them, they walk right in and then they walk right out.
Don’t use a fragrance to cover up a sin. This happened to a purchase I was the agent on a few years ago. The home had cats. That cats had a favorite place to pee, the corner of the living room, on the carpet. Seller, dishonest seller I might add, heavily fragranced the living room to cover up the pee smell. Yes, some people do do these doo doo type of acts. It didn’t take long for my buyer to gag and the ensuing legal action made the seller gag even more.
 Sales Prevention Program #85 That Place Stunk Amen
Posted on May 5, 2018 at 6:24 pm
Larry Cragun | Category: Sales Prevention Programs

Sales Prevention Items #’s 81 – 83 Ignoring Professional Counsel

Everyone Has The Right To:

Ignore professional counsel

be stubborn

ignore the facts

cover your eyes to the truth –

This article, as many or most that I publish is based on a recent experience. This situation has actually been tormenting, well tormenting may be too strong, but bothering me isn’t. It is about a condo I toured a few weeks ago. It wasn’t my listing but a part of my process of staying on top of the market, I call it touring homes.

One condo visited was spacious and well kept. The price seemed fine. Well kept is important as this condo obviously has children, several children living in it. Well kept is the magic phrase to this situation. The owners knew we were coming, as by appointment only (#83) is stated for agents, and had the place ship shape.

(#82)Things were neat but there were children’s toys, some big toys, everywhere. I mean everywhere, the place was stuffed: high chairs in the kitchen, wagons in the bedrooms, one room had little floor space not taken up with toys (all neatly in a pile), play tables in the living room and a push carriage in the corner, two bedrooms with bunk beds were stuffed – stuffed  – stuffed, you get the picture.

Even though all of these toys were in an organized order it was impossible for a potential buyer to visualize how it would work for them. This is a spacious unit and still it would be difficult for most buyers.

Buyers make quick decisions in ruling out homes they consider. They usually fall in love with the home the minute they walk in. That won’t happen in this case. It is too much of a struggle.

Now to the point of the title of this post…. #(81) Ignore the counsel of your professional real estate agent) I ran into the seller when holding a open house on a listing in his building.  I told him I had been through his home and asked him “how it was going on selling it”? He is discouraged as the home has been on the market now for some 166 days with no offers. His answer had a wrong statement as he blamed the poor view. I informed him that wasn’t the problem, it was all of the children’s stuff.

My how quickly he rejected my statement. I Know I am correct. He had no interest in listening. Sure it is a challenge with children in a small condo. Yes, it is a valiant effort to keep things tidy as they have. This is the case in many instances, get things out of the home. Rent a storage unit if you must. Don’t prolong the pain and I know selling is a pain. I can tell that this unit should sell. The building is great, other units sell here, it’s location is terrific, it has a beautiful functional garden rooftop, it should sell at the price it is listed for.

This seller is hanging in there, dropped the price only one time, 2.5%. I can tell he is stubborn. He like all of us have that right. Is it always the right way to win is the question. No is the answer.

For those who use my services in listing their home or condo you have the benefit of my professional interior designer/ certified stager offers of making your home look in its possible selling condition.

Posted on March 29, 2018 at 7:00 pm
Larry Cragun | Category: Sales Prevention Programs

Sales Prevention Program #81 Rent To The Wrong Person

Rent Wrong Person? (SEO Key) word_

Rent Wrong Person. I wanted Sales Prevention Program #81 Rent To The Wrong Person to post this today as it was a recent event.

Renting to the wrong person can be costly, and cost you a sale. For this reason often the wise thing to do to use a professional rental company to manage your property. I will post one I trust, RESE Property Management,  on the main page of this site.

The story is simple and the consequences costly. The owner in this story rented his nice home in Salt Lake City. He had a garage that was behind the home and really not visible from the street. The deal was that the garage was off limits to the new renter, it was full of valuable tools that he didn’t want messed with.

He decided to sell and was able to put the home under contract. The lender’s appraiser went to the home one early morning to do his research. When he opened the garage there were three sad looking men in sleeping bags. Nothing else was in the garage. All of his valuable tools were gone.

What turned out to be the facts is that the renter had sold off the tools, was renting the garage to each of these men, who were druggies, for $100.00 per week. He was taking in more than he was paying.

I don’t know how much research the owner did in approving this renter. I don’t know if he ran a credit report on the guy, or even a criminal report. I don’t know how often he went back to the property to inspect it. These are the types of things management companies do. The one I prefer,Rese Property Management has an interesting business model. Instead of hiring one full time person to manage numerous properties, they hire semi retired professionals and give them a smaller portfolio of homes to manage. This way he can get the services of high quality people and pay them enough per hour to have them appreciate the income. These managers are limited in what duties they are asked to perform. This way the employee is able to stay closer to the renters and the units. They have the time and the responsibility to regularly do physical on site inspections.

I quote this from their website about their approach: This solid foundation provides us with the platform from which to deliver an ever improving property management solution through a group of people who are converted to our distinctive business philosophy.

The goal of saving money by self management often turns out the way this story did, with a bad tenant, doing bad things, with savory people, with drugs, and as in this case going full out to avoid being evicted. Not a good story. This story muddies the sale of the home, and possibly has caused it to fall apart. F

I wonder how many of my readers are considering owning rental properties. Some people have mentioned they are concerned about having their money in the stock market. I have thought long and hard about how to answer folks, who ask my opinion. It is just an opinion but I do conclude that owning rental properties is a safer investment for those who do worry that the market is over valued and risky. However, this story illustrates a risk in owning.

Sales Prevention Program #81 Rent To The Wrong Person

SEO KEYWORD: Rent Wrong Person

Posted on February 27, 2018 at 5:46 pm
Larry Cragun | Category: Sales Prevention Programs | Tagged ,

Selling Your Home Can Be A Burden

Selling Your Home Can Be A Burden. 

So you are going to put your home in the market. Talk about adding a burden to your life, come and see it folks, any time you wish. Welcome to the interrupted life process. Even when you say no showings after 5PM, an agent with the right buyer is going to knock on your door at 5:15 and want to show the home with the client sitting in the car. It’s just not fun anymore is it?
Why prolong the pain? You are putting yourself in for that if you just pick an agent based on friendship or fees.

The message in this article could be called, sales prevention program#80. Not only that, if you make a decision that results in your home being on the market for weeks and weeks, even months and months, you are going to be pressured to lower the asking price or be tempted to take a low ball offer. The longer it is on the market the less you are likely to get for your home. If you doubt, that let me show you the actual, factual numbers.

To illustrate my point here is an actual situation. A home is on the market, well sort of. Sorry, it is on the market I am sure in the sellers mind. The home is vacant. The listing agent is a co agent with a non MLS agent who is the owner of the home. It appears that the sharing of the listing is only to get the home in the MLS. In Utah not all legally licensed agents are members of the MLS. They should be but some are not (very few). Their clients should demand that for the own protection. The MLS has important data every agent should have access to and it implements stricter ethics rules, even requires an arbitration process to settle disputes.
The sales prevention program is this. There is no way an agent can show the home without contacting two agents. First the MLS agent who then refers you to the non MLS agent. So if you wanted to show the home you have two hurdles to go over.

Personally, as a buyers agent, I generally want no part of introducing my client to another agent. I prefer not to have to make an appointment, although that isn’t always a practical choice. My response when this situation arises is to just move on.

What is in it for the second agent? One can only guess. One guess might be to discourage a sale unless he, the second agent makes the sale. That way he gets two sides of the deal. He does hold an open house each week. He does sell some units this way.

Is this the reason? If not, what else could it be? The agent knows me, if you read this my friend I welcome you to change my thoughts. Please do. But if I am right, you have a fiduciary responsibility to your seller. My assumption, if correct, puts that role in question.

My approach, the right approach, is to do everything possible to shorten the time my clients homes is for sale. This way they are most likely to get top dollar and to end the seemingly long and arduous journey. Good agents do that by eliminating all hurdles preventing every possible prospect from seeing the home.

Posted on February 15, 2018 at 6:54 pm
Larry Cragun | Category: Sales Prevention Programs

They Can’t Get In Is A Sales Prevention Program

Continuing Kathleen and mine favorite topic: Sales prevention issues, or things we notice when looking at properties, Sales Prevention Program #82: They Can’t Get In is a sales prevention program.

If an agent can’t get in to show the home or condo, how in the world can it be sold? The process that works is to have a Supra Lock Box, or key box easily accessed in front of the residence. This key box should provide all agents the necessary to enter the home. The Supra key box records what agent entered the home, and at what time. A notice is sent to the listing agent with the ability to copy the notice to the home owner.

Recently I have seen these sales prevention instances.

One doesn’t want to confuse an agent. So how about putting clear identification on the lock box, which condominium the lock box belongs to. It’s bad at Canyon Road Towers, it’s a horrible situation at Parc Gateway. Its unbelievably bad there, so bad it isn’t worth showing the units where figuring out the lock box is a waste of time.

I had an occasion at the Metro Condominiums where no key matched the house. Some careless agent had put back the wrong key in the box. There were five units for sale there, what a mess. That could be alleviated to a great degree by going to the effort of adding a  simple identification ring with a number on it. They cost about .35 cents at Glens Keys.

I have gone to listings where there was a key box, but where it was empty. Figure that one out.

Recently I had to call an agent, fortunately he answered his phone, to inquire where the key box was. The answer, “Oh, its out in back, attached to the gas meter”. Great, the gas meter was covered by a large plant.

Whatever your situation is, it might be wise to see if  your agent, for some silly reason, has joined the Sales Prevention Item #82 club.

Larry Cragun Windermere Real Estate

Salt Lake City Residential & Condominium Professional

Posted on January 10, 2018 at 9:38 pm
Larry Cragun | Category: Sales Prevention Programs, Zion Summit | Tagged , , , ,

If They Can’t See It Will They Buy It? Sales Prevention Program #31

If They Can’t See It Will They Buy It? Sales Prevention Program #31 I make two important points here: 1- from the photo, get rid of the clutter. For most buyers it’s in the way, all they see is the clutter. If all they see is clutter they are likely to move on to the next home. Oh, and if the clutter includes a tank with a boa constrictor in it, (like in one showing I had) count on it, they are gone to the next property. Can’t See Will Buy Think ahead if your property is going to be rented.

2- Think ahead if your property is going to be rented. You and your renter most likely have opposite goals. They may not want you to sell. They most likely won’t care about how it looks. They aren’t likely to be a cooperative asset in showing your home. It would be nice if there was a “keep it neat and tidy clause” but throw that hope out the window. 

Sometimes it is best to vacate the home. Here is a real example of why. I had seen the interior of a home in the high 600 price range. The agent did a great job of photos. A buyer I am working with loves what she sees, including the location and the building as she saw it from the drive by. There is a second one we have been in and it is a possibility. But the client wants to consider both of them. The problem is, we can’t show the second home. The renter won’t cooperate. We gave 72 hour notice, but the answer is no.

Of course it’s no. The renter doesn’t want to have to move from these cherry digs.

Another tip, don’t under price the rent. Not only cherry digs but sweet rental price. There is a lot of motivation by the renter to be a sales prevention participant.

If our buyer is impatient it’s probable she will by the other option she has it down to and the renter wins by not having to move for awhile longer. The seller might be screwed financially too. The longer it sits on the market the more likely the price will drop. Also, the first buyer in being the best buyer philosophy may just apply here.

NEXT DAY UPDATE: It’s worse than I have ever seen. The tenant has just threatened a lawsuit against the agent, if the agent shows us the unit again. He say’s the only way it can be entered by the listing agent is if he has a signed purchase and sale agreement. What’s the chances of that without the client seeing it? It probably isn’t irrelevant that the renter tried to buy it at a much lower price a few months ago. I also found out today that the seller really needs the money from a sale. This is not a good situation.

Posted on January 8, 2018 at 6:21 pm
Larry Cragun | Category: Condominiums, Sales Prevention Programs

Sales Prevention Program Item 79 – The Snake Isn’t Funny



Sales Prevention Program issues are usually quite different than this one. This one is a doozy one might say. There are lots of reasons to stop viewings, which of course is the key to finding the right buyer. Please notice that you have to get past the snake to get to the Supra lock box. Oh dear, he’s not real. It’s a prank.

As a listing agent we are responsible to create home shopper traffic to see the home. The more people that see the home the more likely just the right buyer is likely to walk in.

This photo was put in our Facebook Group by an agent that turned around and ran. He didn’t bother to find out and went on to another property. The photo was taken with his special lens.

Maybe this was all for fun but in fact it caused a potential buyer, maybe the right buyer to move on to see other properties.

Now you may not be doing the rattlesnake thing but what do you do to get your home in tip top shape to sell? Is it free of clutter? Is there too much furniture in the home? Is it clean? I learned a hard lesson on a home purchase when I was a young guy. Every time we went to preview the property the sinks counters were piled high with dishes. It was impossible to see the counter tops. It didn’t dawn on us that the dishes were hiding something. They were, they were hiding a kitchen counter that had rotted out. The entire counter top needed replacing. Was it a big deal, not really, but had we know the situation we would have required them to replace it or compensate us for having to do it ourselves.

Posted on January 5, 2018 at 11:09 pm
Larry Cragun | Category: Sales Prevention Programs

Make It Difficult To See And It Won’t Be Shown – Sales Prevention Program Item # 1

Sales Prevention Program #1,

I am looking for a home for a buyer that has just sold their home and feel an urgency to get their next purchase arranged. They want to really understand their options.

With those factors I am preparing to take them out in a couple of days. There are 13 on the market that meet their criteria: price range, location, size, and neighborhood.

As I am routing this busy day I discover that one of the possible options requires me to schedule an appointment which is somewhat difficult to schedule as it is near the end of our tour.

Usually this isn’t a serious problem but I just took the home off of our tour. The reason is in the rules of showing:

  • I have to call the owner. (OK, this I don’t prefer)
  • I get a requirement to wait for a text. (Oh brother)
  • I get a text that requires me to go to a website to schedule the appt. (Really?)
  • They require I provide the name of my buyer. (NO!)

I have had enough experience to know that dealing directly with the owner is not always wise. I would do that and do that begrudgingly. But this list I won’t do unless the client insists. They won’t they have lots of options.

So in this situation with a real buyer, they the sellers are missing the opportunity to sell to this real buyer.

There are a lot of articles coming on what I call “sales prevention programs”. I recommend that you take these issues seriously. As I am transferring and updating from my other website: you can find what has been over 100 articles by me there.

Posted on January 5, 2018 at 8:14 pm
Larry Cragun | Category: Sales Prevention Programs