Technology advances can be wonderful. That comment especially applies to those of us who sell real estate. It used to be that my favorite invention of all time was GPS. For me it has saved me hours of extra time. Not wanting to look stupid or inconvenience my buyers I used to travel to all of the locations we would be visiting the day before, just to make sure I knew the route. GPS made navigating a breeze. (Of course the GPS on my iPhone is a step up as it even talks the directions to me as I go.) Now I discover matterport camera. Matterport, What A Great Service
Well, the matterport camera may have just taken over as my favorite. Here is the dollhouse view of Canyon Road Towers 401 and the dollhouse view it creates. Even this is amazing. From dollhouse you click on a room and you are taken there. You can move throughout the come as if you were right there.
The photo below shows a room view. You can travel throughout the home, see it all, by clicking your way through the home. It functions similar to Google Streets.
It also creates a to scale floor plan of the home. Don’t ask me how it does it, it seems impossible, but below is one of my listings plans that was created by matterport. How handy this is illustrated by a text I received this morning from the new buyer of Zion Summit 1004 who requested a floor plan to scale. Hot dog, where I often have to decline as they aren’t always available, he got this. I am still flabbergasted that this was created by a camera.
Here are some links to some of our most recent Mattterports
- 2412 Mile High Drive listed by Scott Rabin
- 3419 E Gun Club Road co-listed by Tim Jones
- 11323 Portobello Rd listed by Jonah Horsby
- 940 Donner Way listed by Lisa Jungemann
- 13439 South 1400 East in Draper also listed by Lisa Jungemann
- 5023 West Dock Street listed by Adam Frenza
- https://my.matterport.com/show/?m=2dmK4ihDwf9&mls=1 One of my listings
- https://my.matterport.com/show/?m=U22fEDmpe2j&mls=1 One of my listings
My guess, is that you will insist on this service whenever you put your home on the market. It is now another of the standard marketing tools I provide my sellers. It comes at a cost to me, but it is so worth it.
Here are two examples of the benefits because people can virtually walk through the home online. They see everything, ceiling to floor, wall to wall.
- More people can see it. I have sent the link out to 100’s of my contacts. I am getting feedback that they love it. Two have been forwarded to people out of the country. One is telling me they approve an offer being made and they haven’t even seen it.
- The second is a convenience factor. One negative thing is having people walk through your home day after day and hour after hour. Even when agents are instructed to give the seller a certain amount of notice it is not unusual to have someone knock on your door with, “I am sorry but my client wants to see it now?” Can we please do a last minute showing? Please, pretty please? What are you to say, you want to sell the darn thing. So many are just looky lou’s. Now they see it virtually on line before asking to see your home. The net result is that those that disturb you are pre qualified as to their interest.
Another Windermere marketing benefit is its international reach. We are a member of one of the premier international marketing sharing groups who have a world wide reach of buyers. This is accompanied by our Living Magazine which is targeted to local and out of our market qualified buyers.
I am committed to my clients and welcome the opportunity to assist you.
Larry Cragun – Windermere Real Estate
Condominium and Residential Specialist
Avoid Wire Fraud. Criminals disguised as trusted professionals, are prowling for transactions that may be vulnerable.
It is important to take the proper steps to avoid wire fraud by managing the transfer of money for your purchase.
The common way this can happen is to discover who you will be wiring money to (title company) and send you instructions to the wrong account – the fraudsters account. Once this happens your money is irretrievable.
Accessing your email is how they discover where you are to send them money, they then spoof you with a fake letterhead with fake instructions.
Not receiving the instructions by email is a protection. Having the instructions sent to you with a password to open the attachment is another way of protection.
My main recommended title company, First American has a most secure process that they have just implemented called secure portal. Within the Secure Portal, they can electronically sign opening paperwork, download wire instructions, and communicate with their closing team without relying on risky emails.
We simply provide our clients’ email and phone number when opening escrow and they take care of the rest in a most secure process.
Do it right, calm your fears, and stay secure. Don’t take this risk lightly and avoid wire fraud. There need not be a tragedy if you take the serious and cautious steps to protect yourselves. By the way, text is more secure for communication than is email.
Another say to protect yourselves is to setup your email with a two step process to access your email. The simple way to explain this process is that to open your email you need two things: something that you know and something that you have. 1- you know your login credentials and 2- you have your cell phone. When logging in a message is sent to your phone asking you if this is you. You must acknowledge to get in. Windermere is requiring all of its agents to have the two step setup.
Avoid Wire Fraud
Greetings from the Windermere Foundation!
With the close of the third quarter, I’d like to provide an update about our fundraising efforts through the Windermere Foundation. So far this year, we’ve donated $1,214,576 to non-profit organizations in communities throughout the Western U.S. that provide services to low-income and homeless families. During the third quarter, the Windermere Foundation collected over $742,226 in donations; 70 percent of which came from individual contributions and fundraisers, while 30 percent came from donations through Windermere agent sales transactions. This brings the grand total to $37,151,731 raised since 1989!
If you would like to learn more about how the Windermere Foundation is supporting low-income and homeless families, you can read the latest Windermere Blog. This quarter’s blog features the Foundation’s support of continuing education scholarship programs. I encourage you to share this blog on social media and with your clients, so they can see how your generosity is helping others in your community.
Thank you for all you do to support the Windermere Foundation! Together, we are able to make a real difference for those in need in our local communities.
To learn more about the Windermere Foundation, visit WindermereFoundation.com
So I hop over to Harmons City Creek on Friday about lunch time and what do you know – it’s rockin! Great Music at the back street entrance.
And did I partake? No way, Kathleen fixed Italian for lunch.
But I did hang around for the upbeat music.
Larry K Cragun – Windermere Real Estate
Condominium and Residential Professional
801-244-1666 – firstname.lastname@example.org
What About Investing In Real Estate? Part 1 of a series. We have seen the ups and downs, even the crashes of our investments. I have been through much, as you probably have. Where should we invest? Should we invest?
Here is the first of some random thoughts and opinions for your consideration. I will address others in future articles. This series has a Salt Lake City focus.
As you read these articles be sure that I see the safest investment is free and clear real estate that can earn you income. In a market crash you my just have to lower your rents. What is more likely in Utah is a 10 year run up. Some say that Salt Lake City is a future of being a world wide hub. Consider how much happier that you would be if you had made your real estate purchase as recent as three years ago. (Three years!)
1- Duplex and/or fourplexes. I’m not into encouraging your going this route. The exception might be if you are living in one of them. Why do I have this opinion? The answer comes from extensive study for a client who thought that this would be his preferred route. The problem here is that so many are after this piece of the market that sellers can get away with what I consider to be absurd. The typical pricing offers a 5% cap rate. In other words if you paid cash for a $400,000 property you would achieve a $20,000 cash return. That might sound nice but virtually every property offered with this return is absolutely a deferred maintenance pit. Most of these are assuming that you are going to manage the headaches yourself. So you get all the phone calls and you get to subtract these costs from your revenue. If you hire a property management company, reduce the rate of return. The 5% is in my opinion too low and it will be reduced by the upkeep and property management.
What went through my mind on this recent study was that these are absolute junk. Don’t pit your future on junk. That’s my opinion.
For your information, my background includes an extensive part of my real estate career in the commercial side of real estate. I was the director of real estate acquisitions for a commercial real estate developer. I have been CCIM trained on numerous aspects of commercial real estate. I focus on residential because of the consistency in this market. However, upon joining Windermere I have been motivated by their strong commercial real estate department to look for good options for my clients. There are good options. In my opinion duplexes and fourplexes aren’t currently a good way to go.
Larry K Cragun – Windermere Real Estate
A short video about this amazing marketing company. This is our short 46th anniversary video. Click Here
Zillow Zaps Buyers Brains, where is Zorro when you need him?
We have been riding the valley for the perfect home, not to be found. It’s been two years from listing to listing. Then it’s offer accepted then dang, it’s off the market, seller decides he’s not a seller. Buyer confounded, disappointed, and discouraged. A year later the seller still not willing and the buyer can’t find the perfect home.
Whoopee, we find it. Preparations being made to offer full price. Buyer is ready to tackle the world, oh joy. Then neighbor gets involved, says lets look at Zillow. Buyers brain becomes messed up, fried you might say. Help I say, where the heck is help, perhaps it’s time for Zorro to the rescue, I need some help. The price offered is $685,000 and Zillow Zestimate says its worth $459,000. Zap and damn. Buyers brain is zapped, but only for a few moments. I show them facts that we have from data in the MLS. The home is priced right.
Similar to Zorro can be facts not Zillow fiction. Zestimates are admitted fiction. Founder Rich Barton was on a Seattle television interview with writer and agent Larry Cragun. He admitted that the Zestimate is just an estimate. He stated it could be as much as 13% off. This in a State where County records record the sales price.
Utah is a non disclosure state. As such the sales prices are not recorded and published by the Counties. Therefore the Zesimate is zapping peoples brains when they publish values. This Zestimate was off by over double Barton’s admitted 13%.
The buyer came to me excited and confused. “This looks like a great home but it’s a bit overpriced”. “It is I say, how much overpriced”? “Well maybe a couple of hundred thousand dollars he says”.
Now my brain is fried.
There is a secondary Zillow issue. Zillow lets any agent become the expert in a zip code, expert or not. They only need to pay the price to buy that zip code. Experts aren’t always hungry to pay for leads. I don’t. So when someone searches on Zillow they may end up with just any old agent, even one quite hungry for business, even a new agent. That’s not the way to pick your agent. Doing so, you once again may need the help of Zorro.
Larry Cragun – Windermere Real Estate
over 25 years in the real estate and mortgage industry.
About Larry Cragun Windermere Real Estate I write this post to share why I believe I am a great choice for you to use to find your home or condo. Thus the title Why Larry Cragun Why Windermere Real Estate.
The not too long ago photo includes my talented wife Kathleen. She is an important partner in my real estate practice. She has been an award winning and magazine published interior designer during her business career, and considered to be the best designer in whatever firm she worked for or whomever she performed her magic for. She brings to my clients an important eye on how to best present your home for sale. She is an important second opinion on home values, understanding that value is based on more than the square foot of the home. Having Kathleen as my partner is your asset.
I have over 30 years of experience in this industry, including owning one of the largest mortgage companies in Washington State, which I sold prior to the housing crash. Understanding financing is a big asset for my clients.
I am one of the most successful condo focused agents in Salt Lake City. I understand the market. I understand value. I understand the benefits one building vs another. I have sold condos from Draper and Daybreak to North Ogden.
Also, selling condominiums is not like selling homes. Their are sometimes hidden risks not all agents can spot. An important issue is what does FHA think of the property. Is it FHA approved? If not why not? There are many things to understand and many things an agent needs to help you evaluate. I am good at this.
Last year I closed on a condo in Governors Plaza. The buyer came to me off of my website: http://ItsGreatInSaltLake.com/ She had been doing research and as I mentioned the condo product that was available out there she seemed to know they weren’t what she was looking for. She mentioned that she really liked Governors Plaza. Nothing listed matched her wishes. So I went to work looking for something not currently on the market and found the right one. It was perfect for her. It took a bit of price negotiating with the seller but all went down just fine.
This buyer is another example of my approach to this business. She was defensive when we first spoke on the phone. She had talked with other agents she felt were high pressure, were trying to immediately lock her down as their client. Sensing this resistance I shared my philosophy, “if it isn’t working between us, no problem”. I won’t try and contract you with a buyers contract, except when we make the offer and it will only be on that specific property, which contract is required by Utah law. Mutual respect is the rule I try and follow and look for.
All of this was while I was licensed with MediaOne Real Estate, a subsidiary of The Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News. In January we learned that Windermere Utah had purchased MediaOne Real Estate. At first I, as were my colleagues, were extremely concerned about what this meant for us and our clients. The concern quickly turn to excitement. Their marketing power is unlike any brokerage I have been licensed with in my entire real estate career. I began to realize that I had more to offer to buyers and sellers than before, and in fact I suggest I have more to offer now than my competition. Take for example the Matterport Camera Windermere just purchased. It provides the current internet shopper, which are the majority of shoppers the ability to actually walk through the home on line, with a beginning overhead view of the floorplan. It is amazing. I am currently scheduling filming with each of my listings to include a Matterport show for my sellers. List with me and you will have a fabulous tool to share, and for me to market with. It is at a cost to me, but man is it worth it. Here is a sample: . https://my.matterport.com/
If we meet I will share many other things we have at our disposal for you, such as the Living magazine Windermere publishes to high end and other targeted potential buyers.
To buyers, besides Matterport, besides our terrific search on my site, I have special tools to assist you. For example neighborhood news advertised at the bottom of my website. Subscribing here will provide you a monthly report by zip code of every on home or condo on market, under contract, and sold in that zip code, that month. You receive that report as long as you desire. Pretty cool for sure.
I love helping people with their real estate needs, as do most in this business. It’s a very satisfying career and I am glad to have come out of retirement to enjoy it again. I am pretty state of the art with technology, started a dotcom, am about to have a company publish an app I designed, and am grateful for finding a cool niche in Utah. I look forward to assisting some of you.
Larry Cragun – Windermere Real Estate
Residential and Condominium professional.
A Selling Agents duty. The story of unit 1012 clearly explains what a selling agents duty really is. Unit 1012 is a condo in Salt Lake City that I have listed for sale and that is about to close.
One point about a selling agents duty is that he or she the agent are to follow the instructions of the sellers, providing that those instructions are legal and ethical. But there is more to this story than mine as a selling agents duty.
I insert here a few statements of what a selling agents duty is not. 1- It is not to think first and primarily about the commission. Too many times I find that the need or desire for a commission drives the actions of an agent. For example, if an agent wants a quick close for their own personal needs or hopes they will price the home low. They often come back after a couple of weeks if the home hasn’t sold with the story, it’s price too high, lower the price. This may be a marketing problem, a market condition problem, or simply the right buyer hasn’t seen the place yet vs. a wrong price.
It is not a selling agents duty to give away information to a buyer that hurts the sellers position. For example, telling the buyer that the seller will accept a lower offer, when that has not been authorized by a seller, in writing.
The story of unit 1012 affirms to me that I am on the right track with my attitude that it is my duty as a selling agent to get the highest price for my sellers unless they want it priced lower for expedient offers. In looking at the market I determined that the value of 1012 was about $250,000. We priced it at $249,900. We received multiple offers over the life of the listing at $230,000.00.
These offers were so far off of what the owners expected they refused to do a counter offer to an y of these. One agent was almost demanding that I get the sellers to counter. That was not my duty. I learned decades ago that countering a ridiculous offer is a waste of time. As the sellers agent I responded to the pushy agent that if the buyer wanted the property they should try again. The conversation turned to what I would call, hostile. I concluded the agent was not experienced and told him so.
This is a condo that has a drop dead view, is remodeled, and unlike most on the market at this price.
Two months later we went under contract at asking price. The appraisal is in at $250,000.00
This is not a market for bargain hunters. I have no idea if the buyer really wanted 1012. His agent was so hostile to me, took my response personal, i may have made the situation unworkable for personality conflicts. That’s something I will likely never really know. I do know that my sellers were able to get $20,000 more via their patience and trust in my correctly knowing the market value of their condo.
A Selling Agents Duty is allegiance to the seller
Larry Cragun Windermere Real Estate
Residential and Condominium Professional
Windermere Utah Acquires MediaOne Real Estate and it was quite a shock to many of us. It has been my long term attitude that the brokerage brand does not make the agent. I believed that the skill of the agent and that agents work ethic had everything to do with his or her success and therefore the success of the agents clients.
That attitude took a right turn not long after I licensed in Utah. In Utah I licensed with a similar company to those I was used to, one that gave no support but also gave me almost 100% of the commission. Upon the constant urging of Kathleen I joined MediaOne Real Estate. She saw and valued the tremendous newspaper advertising presence they had in the Deseret News and The Salt Lake Tribune. In my interview I discovered the lengthy list of backup support they provided besides their advertising. Joining MediaOne was a no-brainer.
Because of my volume I became the target for almost all of the Salt Lake City brokerages recruiters. “Sorry, I am very happy and no thanks” was always my response.
So into my business life comes the announcement. “we have been acquired”. It turns out to be good news. Windermere was not a new brand to me, my daughter was a “Windermere agent” in Seattle. In that market Windermere is one of the market leaders. The good news is that instead of losing benefits for my clients and myself we have additional benefits. I still give up a larger share of commission as in MediaOne but the marketing benefits are added upon. Windermere’s presence for referrals and marketing is multi-state. They publish a quarterly magazine of our listings to high end and targeted income earners. Their web savvy is state of the art. It was critical to all of us at MediaOne Real Estate to keep our newspaper advertising. With the acquisition it is better.
I have to admit that moving to MediaOne countered my “brand names don’t help” attitude. I can see that it’s another step of progress to now be with Windermere Utah.
Larry Cragun Windermere Real Estate
Salt Lake City Residential & Condominium Professional