Show - December 2, 2023

🌟 **Coming Up on Real Talk Real Estate with Jay & Christina Day!** 🌟

🏠 **December Edition: Navigating the Holiday Real Estate Market** 🎄

✨ As the festive season rolls in, so do the big questions in real estate! Join us, Jay Day and Christina Day, as we dive into some hot topics on our December show:

1️⃣ **Holiday Home Decor: To Decorate or Not?**
   - Does decking the halls affect your home's market appeal? Let's discuss!

2️⃣ **Listing During the Holidays: To List or to Wait?**
   - Is now the right time to put your house on the market? We're breaking it down.

3️⃣ **Choosing the Right Agent: Not Just Anyone Can Ace This Market**
   - Discover what it takes to find an agent who can navigate diverse demographics and locations.

4️⃣  **Key Questions to Ask Your Real Estate Agent**
   - Before you hire, know what to ask. We're arming you with essential questions.

🔥 Whether you're selling, buying, or just love real estate talk, this is an episode you can't afford to miss!

📆 Tune in to "Real Talk Real Estate" and let's make this holiday season the most profitable yet!

#RealTalkRealEstate #JayAndChristinaDay #RealEstateTips #HolidayHomes


Jay Day:

Good mornin, WFMD listeners. I'm Jay Day.

Christina Day:

And Christina Day.

Jay Day:

With Real Talk Real Estate. We missed you guys last month, but we are back celebrating after Thanksgiving. We're already in December. It's a little crazy to think how quickly time has passed, but let's talk about what's going on outside of holiday chaos and getting everything ready to roll for the holidays.

Christina Day:

I know, it's amazing. It's Christmas already. It feels like it should be still middle of the year. So one of the questions we get a lot, and I think now is a really good time to kind of talk about that, is to decorate or not to decorate. If you are going to be selling your house and to list it or to wait.

Jay Day:

Well to decorate or not decorate, that is the Shakespearean question.

Christina Day:

So my thoughts, and you might have differing thoughts, but my thoughts are if you already have had your photos done, great, go ahead and decorate. It's not going to hurt because the people who are going to be coming through, usually our homes feel warm and cozy and have a nice vibe about them when we have our decorations up. So it could be a good thing and create a nice vibe. I know years ago when you sold my house, that was in Worman's Mill, we had decorations up when we got a contract.

Jay Day:

Yeah, no, I actually agree with you on that. I have a couple of clients right now that were a little bummed. They're like, I would've liked to have a contract by now. I want to decorate. I'm like, we already have all the photography done. I was like, go and be you enjoy your decorations. And I'm like, it's not going to cause any problems that I expect.

Christina Day:

Now the question to list or wait, and you and I also might differ on opinion with this though. My thought is if you weren't already on the market before Thanksgiving, it probably makes sense to wait until January because you don't want to get kind of lost in the holiday shuffle. And this is also area dependent. So some areas Christmas is a less impactful event in other areas it's very relevant and a large part of your population might be doing traveling, shopping, partying, and I know universally every year the industry itself slows down a good bit. So I think that you could be losing audience and accruing days on market unnecessarily.

Jay Day:

Yeah, I think it all depends, like you said, location and timing for people. I actually had, one of my clients was considering pausing their listing for a period of time and I told them once we get into December if they wanted to do that, I totally understood that they could potentially lose somebody. But I understand because the amount of people looking does drop dramatically, especially for the area they were in. And like you said, there are other areas where maybe people don't celebrate as many people celebrate Christmas, so they're out and about looking and doing things.

Christina Day:

Still doing things. And I do believe that the people who are serious about buying, they're not going to be as distracted or derailed by the fact that it's Christmas. I think you lose kind of that middle of the road group that could move if the right thing came along or opt not to, they're not going to be as highly focused. But if you had your house on the market prior to Thanksgiving, I am a firm believer that we do not take it off, that we leave it on and that we ride out that time where we do see a lot of people take their homes off the market. So whereas your client might be taking their house off the market because they just don't want to deal with selling while celebrating. For me and my clients, I'm saying, let's stay the course and see if we can capture that lesser inventory. And we are seeing a little bit of an inventory drop from last month to this month anyway because of that. Because people go, oh, I'll just wait.

Jay Day:

Yeah, we saw again, all price and area dependent, but we also saw a little bit of a boost. We had some homes that had been sitting on the market for a period of time that went under contract right before Thanksgiving.

Christina Day:

Now I have theories on that. I do think that the interest rate drop that we saw mid-November really spurred some of that activity. And when we talk about rates today, I think that that's a good tie in timing wise. We saw those rates drop and we saw the activity increase on homes that had been sitting, the lack of inventory, we do have inventory down compared to where we were a month ago. So if that's the case, then the lesser inventory, the lesser rate and the statistical number that they use for how many people come and go in the marketplace based on interest rate is 1% interest rate, 5 million buyers coming and going. So if you see an increase, you lose 5 million buyers. If you have a decrease, you gain 5 million buyers.

Jay Day:

Well, and I definitely agree with that. I think the rates hitting just below seven really stirred some activity because people know the rates do fluctuate dramatically and they have not had a six in front of them for a while. And people that were really ready to roll, if they found something that worked, they were ready to pull the trigger because you don't know if they're going to go back up close to 8% again and how quickly that could happen because it did happen much quicker than all of the economists were predicting.

Christina Day:

And the other interesting thing about the interest rates, so I checked in with our lender shortly after Thanksgiving, and he has rates that are something with a six in front of it. And that's pretty amazing considering a month ago we were something within eight in front of it and you felt lucky to have something with a seven in front of it. So that's a significant 1% or so drop. That's definitely good cause for some additional activity, which I think is great. So holidays are addressed. It's to list or not to list really? I think it depends on your area and I think it depends on your need. right?

Jay Day:

Well, let's go into, as the market has been changing, we are starting to see more people calling us because their home did not sell with another agent, whether it was pricing, marketing, conversation, setting the right expectation for the longest during the covid time, a lot of homes would sell regardless. You didn't have to see as much of the negotiation skills that are required. A lot of people were pulling back on their budgets for marketing. They didn't need to do things, which we did not pull back on that. And there were no inspections. There were very, very few contingencies. And we're seeing pretty much almost everything is having inspections and the navigating through that process. And the negotiation process is starting to show the people that may not have the experience in the transactions of how to handle those situations.

Christina Day:

Oh yeah, absolutely.

Jay Day:

So what are you looking for when you're trying to find the right agent?

Christina Day:

So hiring the right agent is key. And how do you know who the right agent is? So there's a couple of things you need to think about for an agent to be able to get the job done properly. And one was what you just mentioned, which is the ability to negotiate and the ability to handle things as they come up. So as a consumer, you don't realize all of the milestones and all of the things that can create a problem and cost you your sale and cost you significant money. So you don't know what to ask. So this is going to be your template. The other thing that agents need to be able to do is to advertise your property. And I actually was on an appointment the other day and the guy says, so what are you going to do to advertise my property? Besides put it in the MLS, like every single agent will. And that's a great question because advertising is truly key to be able to get the appropriate reach for your property. How many people are going to see it? And we've talked about this many times before. There's the reach that everybody has just via being on the MLS. We all have that. So then it's the white noise, everybody's there. So how do you distinguish yourself and get more visibility? So a couple of the things that are truly important, and I actually have an appointment this week where the folks were listed with somebody else. I looked at the photos and I was actually really sad for them that the agent that they had did not have them stage that house. They're trying to get top dollar and they did not stage the house.

Jay Day:

Well, I think maybe it was on the podcast. I talked about it. I've had people that said the agent didn't get the house sold, and they asked what their plan was, what's their marketing plan? And they've said they don't have one. And we have a ridiculous marketing plan because our job, and even during covid, we told people, our job is to get you the maximum amount of exposure. Yes, probably anybody can put your home on the market and get it sold, but are they going to get you the most possible? You're not leaving anything on the table. And the best terms overall.

Christina Day:

True, true.

Jay Day:

So the marketing reach does make a huge difference. And anyone's listening to this, you've heard and you see in the news that the real estate sales are down and they are because there's just a lack of inventory. So if there's not as many homes being sold, the agents may not have as big of a marketing budget and they're not going to skimp on making the money they need to pay their mortgages. So they're going to start pulling and skimping in other areas.

Christina Day:

If they ever even had a budget allotted. I mean, we know a lot of people who they don't pay to market. Their marketing consists of it's going in the MLS, you're getting a sign in the yard. And like we said, that could have worked for the last couple of years in the frenzy of things. I mean, we actually pulled back on one item and that was print marketing. And part of the reason we did was you couldn't get the brochures printed fast enough to get 'em to the house because the house would've had multiple offers by the time the brochure showed up.

Jay Day:

It was a combination of that. And then also we didn't want to get ourselves in trouble by allowing people to touch things. Some people were extremely paranoid.

Christina Day:

But even once the covid ended, it was,

Jay Day:

A timing thing too.

Christina Day:

You couldn't get 'em there quick enough. And actually we're making a return to brochures in January. We will have our brochures back in the signs and at the house. We're working on our timing for delivery of those because now that the market has slowed down, it's not as common that the house is going to sell. It still does, but it's not as common that the house is going to sell that quick. So it's better to have the tools there and not need them than to have needed them and not have them. So having a marketing budget is key. Having a reach, having a reputation, having the ability, I mean, I have agents reach out to me all the time, do you have anything coming up or, hey, I have this coming up, it's incoming soon. Go take a look at it. Would love to work with you again.

Jay Day:

Alright, so what else are you talking about with the advertisements? Things that make the most sense to do right now?

Christina Day:

So I think that some of the things with advertising that people don't think to do is professional photos. I'm seeing a lot of skimping back on professional photos.

Jay Day:

Yeah, I've noticed that too.

Christina Day:

They just don't look nice.

Jay Day:

Even though the phones have great cameras. It's not the same.

Christina Day:

It's not the same.

Jay Day:

As the fusion, the HD. I mean, there's all types of things.

Christina Day:

And the appropriate angle and the appropriate flash. And there's just so many things that go into photography. Agents stay in your lane. You are not a photographer and you are not a stager. So that's another thing. We're not seeing staging being done, which is generally an investment on the agent's part to help make the home show its best. And then there's also what type of paid internet advertising are you doing to reach people who are searching for things? What type of Google presence do they have? What type of Facebook presence do they have? So where people are looking, most people go to social media for the bulk of their news and information. So if they're looking on social media, do you have a presence there or are you showing it to the 500 friends you have? 250 of which are real estate agents, right? So if you have somebody who only has a few hundred friends or whatever they might be, is that truly a buying audience or do you have somebody who has a reach? Like our team page, the Jay Day and the Day Home Team page has 5,000 people. Our affiliation with the WFRE radio station posts our listings on a page that has 32,000 followers. So there's 37,000 potentially interested people having a podcast where people tune in and then the homes are featured. And there's advertising that goes along with that. There's a lot of things that agents who operate at a high level can do and put money into than agents who don't can.

Jay Day:

Yeah, they don't. Or their agents just getting started that don't have the funds to do that. So I was going to say, if you're listening to this and you're like, okay, of course you guys are going to say all this stuff because you do all these things. Let's say I wanted to interview and talk to multiple agents. What are the questions that you would recommend any seller anywhere, even if they're in areas listening to this because their streaming and we don't service that area, what question should they be asking the agents that they're meeting with.

Christina Day:

With? So I think right now, more than ever, how much experience do you have and experience is a combination of years in the business and units. How many homes have you sold?

Jay Day:

Okay. I was going to say you might want to explain units. Okay. Yeah.

Christina Day:

So, if you were looking at years, one of the things that years tells us is how many markets have you successfully sold through and thrived in? So anybody who has started in the last three years knows one type of market, and that's a seller's market. If you had,

Jay Day:

And that's beyond a seller's market.

Christina Day:

It was outside of the box of reality. The other thing is, I want to know if I'm interviewing somebody, how many buyers have you represented and how many sellers have you represented? Because they are very different transactions depending on what side of the table you're on. You were talking about inspections. Do you know how to negotiate an inspection? Do you know what is appropriate to ask for and what is not? Do you know what should be a deal killer and what shouldn't. And do you look at it? If I'm a seller, through the eyes of a seller, and if I'm a buyer, do you know how to advocate for me as a buyer?

Jay Day:

Yeah. And I mean even with the industry growing the way that it did, I was seeing, and now that we're back into inspections, it's really, really interesting because we will talk about Maryland specifically. So Maryland changed their addendum for inspections, and it was very detailed now where you have a one sheet and you either initial mechanical, radon, lead, wood destroy an insect, chimney, all these different things. So recently I had one where they elected, I think radon, wood destroy an insect and the structural mechanical. Then we get the inspection report back. And two interesting things on this, and this isn't the first time I've seen this, it's condo ownership. Yes, it's a townhouse, but it's condo ownership. So the inspection included all of these things for the outside of the building. And it was interesting, even before that one, we had another person who was interested that wanted to write, but they wanted to make sure they asked if the shutters could be changed, if this could be done, if the exterior could be painted. And we're like, you can't even do that yourself, period. It's a condo. You don't even have the rights to do that. So anyway, I get this inspection report and it's got a ton of things all with the outside. So I called the agent what we're supposed to do call instead of emailing and said, hey, just want to remind you, this is condo ownership. Even if my person wanted to do all of these things that your guy listed, we can't agree to it because she has no rights to touch any of these pieces, period. And she was like, oh, well just put that in your response. Well, one, that deal could have blown up because they had, I mean to me, we get into the whole ethical thing too, of understanding what your job is and what you can do and can't do. The other part was they added in, one of the things was to have the seller pay to have a chimney inspection done. And I was like, well, that was waived. And no, well, I didn't say it. Sorry. My seller was like, well, we had another one that had that and this one didn't. And I picked the one that had three inspections instead of five.

Christina Day:

And now you're not changing it. Thank you, sir.

Jay Day:

Yeah. So it's just really interesting because when you see the people that have maybe not done as much, it becomes really, really obvious when you're in the middle of the transaction.

Christina Day:

Oh yeah. We're seeing crazy stuff come up.

Jay Day:

And trying to keep your sellers and buyers from freaking out or overreacting to things is an important part. I mean, like I said, it's been very, very interesting. I had another one where we had an inspector go in. The inspector went in and decided they were going to add a radon test without having it on the inspection addendum. And the funny part was, I didn't even know that it was happening. I didn't even know that it happened. I got a text from agent on the weekend saying, oh, the inspector needs to go pick up his radon canister. And I said, excuse me. Well, actually first I pulled up the contract because trying to remember everything about every property.

Christina Day:

Double check, just double check, make sure.

Jay Day:

And I'm like, there's none on here. And I said, well, I'll have to check with the seller because, and that was another one. We had multiple offers. They picked the one that had less inspections. And I was like, well, technically I said, my sellers might. I said, I don't know what they're going to say. They may just throw it away. I'm like, that was never a part of the deal. So again, just knowing how to handle a transaction.

Christina Day:

And let's talk about the liability on that. So people will send things over and they'll say, it's for informational purposes only. There's no such thing as informational purposes only. That is not a checkbox. Right? And the form, the way it's written now you have the right to negotiate. You have the right to terminate both. So let's say they go, oh, well, they just wanted to know for their own information, and let's say the radon came back high and then they just terminate because though there was nothing else wrong with the house that would've caused them to terminate, the radon caused them to want to terminate and they terminate. That was not an agreed to inspection. If they wanted to do a radon, they should have asked for it. The seller could have accepted and said, sure, totally fine with that. And under those circumstances, no problem. But the liability that it creates for the seller, and then they feel like they have to be nice, or am I being too hard by saying no, that's up to them. But the reality is you've created yet another reason that somebody could opt to walk away.

Jay Day:

And to me, that was the same thing with the inspection requests where they had all this exterior stuff on the condo because your check boxes are, you either agree to modify some, you agree to do everything that's on the list, or you agree to do nothing. Or actually, I guess it's a four. You could also do a credit and based on your response, unless you check that you agree to do everything, it's

Christina Day:

A counter.

Jay Day:

It is a counter, and the buyer has the right to cancel. That's right. So when they put stuff in, that's not even things that you can do. I mean, I was like, wow, this is not, it hit me that the Maryland realtors, when they just made that change, that could blow up really, really easily, and that's why I wanted to have a conversation with the agent so they knew we weren't pushing back. We just can't do it. If she wanted, there was an issue with a hole in one of the gutters or something, I'm like, she cannot fix that. That's not possible.

Christina Day:

That's for the condo association.

Jay Day:

And the condo association, from what my client told me, it can take them, they have 60 days to respond to even say if they're going to do anything. Say you live there and you saw that there was an issue by law, their rules say they have 60 days to get back to you, and if you're closing in a week and a half from this or two weeks after the inspection, that definitely does not give you time to get things even handled.

Christina Day:

True. Then there's other things that come up, appraisal issues, title issues, what will cause the lender to have an issue, structuring a contract of sale when there's two separate parcels, but they're selling it as one. So there's a lot of things that through experience, you will know, and that's experienced through years and various market conditions. It's experienced through having encountered these things and learned along the way. So I kind of equate it to when you're hiring a surgeon and we're by no means surgeons, surgeons are way brighter, but what I'm saying is,

Jay Day:

They're brighter about surgery.

Christina Day:

Yes. When you hire a surgeon, you do not want the guy who just got out of medical school and this is his first time. You probably don't want the guy who it's his 20th time. You want the guy who's done this hundreds or even thousands of times.

Jay Day:

But you don't want the guy who's as close to retirement with the shaky hands, either.

Christina Day:

No, but it's okay to be new. So I'm not saying it's not okay to be new, but when you are new, in my opinion, the ethical and responsible thing to do as a new agent is to have a mentor and to have somebody who is going to partner with you on those sales, who has the experience and the know-how so that the consumer is not knowingly getting an inexperienced person. You have to recognize, I don't know what I don't know because I'm new here, and maybe I've been in the business three years and I've worked with a lot of buyers, and I go, okay, now I want to list houses. Okay, great. Who's helping you through that?

Jay Day:

It's like what they do with plumbers and electricians. I think the term is journeyman or there's a,

Christina Day:

Yes, and they have a,

Jay Day:

There's an apprenticeship period that you have to work under someone who,h

Christina Day:

We don't have that in real estate folks. No, we should. And so for our team, we do for our team, everybody goes through that pairing process so that they learn and they grow, and they are hearing what the team is experiencing and getting those lessons along the way. That's one of the benefits being on a team, but there's that apprenticeship period and that recognition that we are all always growing and learning. Even some of our agents who have been with us seven years, we still collaborate and help each other through, well, what do you think of this and how should I respond to that? And what do you think the best thing to show them would be? That's the benefit of the togetherness of a team.

Jay Day:

Yeah. I mean, even I've been doing this almost 20 years, and almost every single listing that I take on personally, I'll have either you or Amy without giving you my opinions. I'll say, Hey, look at the comps on this and tell me where you're landing just to make sure that I'm not missing something, because two sets of eyes is better than one.

Christina Day:

And three is great, right? Yeah. And when you're doing this, guys, the fact is you want to use data-driven advice. You don't want speculation and theory. I can sit back and talk about what I think, but if I look at the data and I see the actual numbers and what's happening in the market, and I'm truly a student of the market, we spend a lot of time evaluating numbers and activity and what is truly happening out there. That is what's going to give you the best insight as to how to go forward with pricing, how to go forward with when to list, what the expectation should be, as opposed to just walking in and going, oh my God, the house is gorgeous. It's going to be great. We're going to sell it. No problem.

Jay Day:

Yeah. So I guess the gist of this show, we had a whole lot more to cover, however, we went down a path that I think is extremely important. For you listeners, if you have any questions at all, please feel free to reach out to our team. You can visit our website at dayhometeam.com. Again, dayhometeam.com. You can call us directly at (866) 702-9038. Again, (866) 702-9038. We're here. We're experienced. We'll be more than happy to chat with you about what your options are and to walk you through this journey. Again, thanks for tuning in. I'm Jay Day.

Christina Day:

and Christina Day.

Jay Day:

with Real Talk Real Estate. Have a wonderful Christmas.

Christina Day:

Yeah, Merry Christmas.

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