Arkansas Real Estate | Deaton Group Realty

Little Rock, North Little Rock, Maumelle, Bryant, Benton, Sherwood and surrounding areas

Little Rock AR Real Estate

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My Personal House For Sale – Serious Inquiries Only

Deaton House for sale
I apparently put my house for sale the other night. As a REALTOR, I know it is difficult to find a good REALTOR, so I am having these 4 fight it out for the sale. I even negotiated zero commissions, no exclusive listing agreement, they have only 30 days to sell it, each required to buy a useless full page spread in the local paper, they each bought me a home warranty, paying all my closing costs, no showings from 8-5 each day especially weekends since that is family time, the Great Dane will also be roaming around, and each are taking me out for steak dinner when it sells. Oh yeah, they let me list it for $999,999 regardless of what it’s actually worth. Serious inquiries only.

Thank You – From a Real Estate Viewpoint

As we come upon this year’s Thanksgiving season, I thought I would provide what I am thankful for from a real estate viewpoint.

Buyers & Sellers!  Even though this is what everyone would expect, it is truly the most important.  When it comes down to the basic foundation of my role as a REALTOR, I put buyers and sellers together by acting as their local, professional, project manager for the largest financial decision, and transaction, of their lives to this point.  You see, unlike most of the jobs in American, I don’t create buyers or sellers.  I don’t create homes.  I don’t have a ‘widget’ to sell.  Yet, I serve as a consultant to guide and protect those buyers and sellers who have chosen me to direct them through a very important, and large, finanical decision.
I have people tell me all the time that I’m a good salesman.  And I am, but not when it comes to real estate.  Better yet, I am a good “marketingman”.  I have a degree in Marketing Management and the purest definition of marketing is “Satisfying a customer’s need”.  I don’t have anything to sell as a REALTOR.  As a “marketingman”, my role is to listen and provide a solution to the needs of my clients.  From that standpoint, I’m a good problem solver.  But back to thanksgiving.  My entire family is thankful for those buyers and sellers who see the difference in what a true real estate professional can provide.  We appreciate your trust!
I’m thankful for the country that I live in.  It definitely has some problems right now, but, for now, this is the best country in the world.  Our democratic, and capitalistic, society has provided our country more success (financially, mentally, spiritually, economically) than any country in the history of this World.  I don’t understand why some want to change it to be like everyone else.  I don’t want to be like Greece, or France, or Germany, or Russia, or China.  I want to be the USA!
I am thankful for the importance and value that the residents of the USA place on homeownership.  This may sound simple, but homeownership is a huge component of the pride, and success, we have in America.  It is also associated with higher financial net worth, less neighborhood crime, community spirit, and higher educational success.  The feeling associated with owning your piece of this country is awesome.  Don’t lose this right to be in charge of your property!
I am thankful for all the preferred partners who help me, and my buyers and sellers, daily.  Without all of us working together, doing our individual jobs to the finest of our abilities, this advantage of homeownership would not be a reality in America.  “All you can do is all you can do”.  Art Williams said this year’s ago, but it hold true always.  All that I ask of anyone working with me is to do all they can do.  Nothing less, nothing more.  It is because of these individuals that I get to put buyers and sellers together:
Lenders:  I know this will freak some of you out, but if it wasn’t for some people being very successful financially, then the rest of us wouldn’t be able to do what we want to.  Lending is one of these.  Lenders are nothing more than people, or companies, who have made a great deal of money, lending some of their success to us common folks so we can also experience some of the American dream!  Get over the fact that people are more successful than you.  Without people being successful, there isn’t anything to spread around.  If you want to be more successful, isn’t it great to know that you have the freedom to work harder and reap the full rewards of your labor (for now).
Title:  I don’t know what all they do, don’t want to, but I really appreciate the Escrow and Title officers.  Especially my friend Michelle and Donna at All American Title.  Sometimes I have to use other title companies, but when I use All American, I know, and I can reassure my clients, that Michelle and crew will take care of all that paperwork to make sure that we legally transfer ownership title from one party to the next without someone, or something, ruining a perfectly good opportunity of homeownership.
Inspectors:  When you are involved in such a large financial decision, isn’t it good to do your research on this huge investment?  Yes.  Don’t ever purchase a home without having it properly inspected.  This one element of a real estate transaction could reassure your dream of ownership, or protect you from a costly mistake.  Remember, these guys are looking over everything about your new home so you know everything, no matter how small or how large.  It is always better to make an educated decision.  I’m thankful for the inspectors who protect my client’s investment.
Handyman/Service Provider:  After we find some necessary repairs from the inspection above, I’m thankful for those service providers who get the issues resolved in a timely manner, with good quality work.  Again, these guys protect the investment of my clients.
REALTORS:  I am thankful for most of my cooperating real estate agents.  Unfortunately, many agents feel they are in competition with the other agent involved, but is is not the case at all.  Both agents involved in the transaction, whether representing buyer or seller, are there to manage the transaction between these two parties, with the benefit of both parties in their focus.  You noticed that I said ‘most’ earlier.  It is my opinion there are too many licensed agents who don’t have a clue what they are doing and they shouldn’t be representing either buyers or sellers.  Our industry is plagued with too many licensed agents.  it is too easy to get a license.  I am thankful for the recent housing market downturn because it allowed about half of the licensed agents in Arkansas to get out of real estate industry.  We have plenty of room for others who need to get out also.
Arkansas Real Estate Commission:  Many don’t understand the value of AREC in protecting our industry, our agents, and our buyers and sellers.  Arkansas has been duplicated across this country for our real estate practices, contracts, and legislation.  Arkansas has one of the lowest financial burdens concerning ‘bad’ real estate deals in the country. It is because of AREC.
As your family approaches this Thanksgiving season, don’t forget to be thankful for the power of homeownership in this country.  It is the basis of our economy, our capitalistic foundation, our net worth, our communities, and our jobs.  It should be protected and advanced.

5 Ways to Vividly & Painlessly Prove the Dangers of Overpricing

Sellers’ inclination to overprice their homes can seem as formidable and ever-present as gravity or any other law of nature. In some ways, it is the most natural thing ever – everyone wants to maximize the value of their possessions, especially when it comes to their largest assets.
But because overpricing can be so deadly to sellers’ ultimate goals, it’s our responsibility to leverage every strategy at our disposal to vividly paint the picture of how dangerous and counterproductive overpricing truly is, before they experience the pain and expense of a listing that won’t sell. Here’s how:
1. Show the list price of the lagging pending vs. the list price of the quick/solds.
When we pull comps, we often focus on the Sold properties, and their list vs. sale prices. If we can get some information from insiders about the pending comparable homes, that’s also useful – sometimes even more useful than the Solds. While many agents take a glance at the Active homes just to get a sense for the competition, when your Seller client is in danger of overpricing, it is worth scrutinizing the Actives more intensely.
You might be inclined to weed out Active comps that are clearly overpriced to stop your client from construing them as indicating the right price range for your home. I argue that we should be doing the exact opposite: look and see whether there are Active comps for your client’s home which have lagged on the market for a much longer time than the average DOM for the pending and solds in the area and seem to be significantly overpriced – maybe even falling into the same range as your client would like to list theirs. If you can find even one or two such overpriced, lagging outliers, consider showing them to your Seller as powerful examples of why they should not to list that price range.
2. Deep dive into the “slow” Sold comparables.
As you’re exploring the comps, spend some time talking your seller through another frequently overlooked subset of properties: those that sold, but sold very slowly when compared with the average number of days a home in your area stays on the market.
Often, these “slow” Solds will have been overpriced and will have sold way below asking – even below their reduced price. Pinpointing the:

  • original list price,
  • list price at the time the      home went off the market,
  • sold price and
  • number of Days on Market      (DOM)

on even a few slow Solds can paint a vivid picture of the path of an overpriced home in a seller’s mind, very efficiently.
And the opposite is true: if you can find a few examples of Sold comparables which were listed low and sold high, those two types of examples, together, make the picture even more powerful.
3. Help your seller see what buyers will see, online.
Visit your local Board or MLS’s website and get a read on how many homes in your area sell in the price range/bracket your seller wants to list at, versus how many sell in the price range you’re recommending. Say, for example, your client wants to list at $415,000 and you think the home would do better at $385,000. If there were 200 homes sold last quarter at $350,000-$400,000 and only 75 sold between $400,000-$450,000, chances are great that buyers in your area are much more likely to be conducting their online home searches in the sub-$400,000 range, statistically speaking.
You know the rest: the more buyer search results the listing falls into, the more buyers will want to view the place – and the more viewings you get, the better the chances of getting an offer.
Additionally, take the opportunity before the list price is set in stone to sit down with your seller and slip on the virtual shoes of the average buyer you’ll want to court for their home. Run online searches at several different price points – including the one the seller believes in and the one you are recommending – to see what the competition looks like online, and how the seller’s home will measure up against the other in terms of the specs buyers use to pick the homes they want to see in person (e.g., beds, baths, square feet, location).
The two-part goal, as you discuss it with your seller, should be to list the property at a price point which:
(a) falls into the broadest possible bucket of online searchers and
(b) makes every buyer who sees it in the context of the other homes in the same price bracket put your seller’s home at the top of the list of places they want to view.
4. Take the seller on a tour of competitive properties.
In some situations, the specs of the comps simply don’t make it crystal clear that a seller’s home would be overpriced. This happens most often when a property’s condition or location pale in comparison to the competition. In these instances, when you feel strongly about your pricing recommendation, consider taking your seller on a short tour of the competition – physically taking them to view competitive properties, in real life.
Show your Seller what their home will be up against, by touring them through one or two of each of the following:

  • homes in the price range they      want, in their neighborhood
  • homes in the price range they      want, in other parts of town which buyers will likely also be considering
  • homes in your recommended      price range, to show how their home is poised to compete well against      these properties.

Showing your Seller the competition in real life can also be a powerful segue to a conversation around property preparation. If you think your Seller’s home would be fairly priced at the range they want to target with $25,000 in improvements, show them the homes which have the improvements you suggest and are listed/selling at their desired price point . That puts the Seller in the driver’s seat on how to proceed: invest some dough, or price it more appropriately.
5. Be strategic with your past client references.
If you know a particular seller-to-be is fixated on a too-high price, be strategic with the past client references you give them. Ideally, you want to connect them with past seller clients who were similarly situated to where they are now; people who are highly likely to do two things:

  • Share relatable experiences      about their own thoughts and actions from property preparation through      close of escrow, painting a positive picture of the ultimate outcome they      had working with you; and
  • Discuss their experience      setting – and later, lowering – their home’s list price, as follows: “We      were wrong. Your name here was right. And we could have saved ourselves a      lot of stress if we’d listened to your name here from the beginning.”

Other sellers who have been in precisely the same spot as your current client have a level of credibility in vouching for your pricing skills that you can simply not ever have or get in talking about yourself. Having come out the other end of escrow with a favorable result, they can also talk to the overall legitimacy and soundness of your professional advice, and can do the heavy lifting when it comes to countering every Seller’s fear: that their agent is suggesting a lower price just to make their own job of getting the place sold easier.
As you can see, there are themes here to the categories of overpricing pitfalls you’ll want to illustrate for your seller – it poses the dangers of: making a home lag on the market; eventual, painful price cuts and excruciating lowball offers. The worst danger? Many overpriced homes simply don’t sell at all. But before they fail to sell, they suck up just as much time, energy and cash in preparation and marketing as right-priced homes, causing an above-average amount of woe, hand-wringing and sleepless nights for both agent and seller.
It might seem time-consuming, but pulling out all the stops to prove the hazards of overpricing in advance saves everyone, in the long run.

Top 10 Worst Home-Showing Offenses

When it comes to presenting a home to buyers, some sellers are clueless.  Don’t leave potential buyers with a bad impression of your home?
Oh No They Didn’t!

Here are the 10 most common responses from buyer’s agents when asked about the worst mistakes they see when presenting for-sale homes to clients:
1. Leftover home owners
By far, one of the top offenses cited by buyer’s agents was home owners still lingering around when agents arrived with clients to preview the home. Awkward encounters ranged from buyers finding sellers taking a shower, asleep in the bed, to even the “stalker sellers” who liked to follow buyers and the agent all over the home to see what they thought.
2. Pets and their messes
Numerous agents also cited the not-so-friendly dog and kitty encounters as a top offense. Even pets left in a crate can pose a distraction since they might make noise the entire time others are in the house. Plus, if they seem mean, the buyer might not even step in the room.
3. Bad smells
A displeasing smell can really turn buyers off. Common offenses include cooking smells lingering around the home, such as garlic, fried bacon, or fish. Also, watch for cigarette smoke and animal smells, agents say.  Sellers get immune to the smell that their pets have embedded on their property, but anyone opening the door will smell it immediately, even if there are air fresheners trying to cover up the smell. If you have a pet, there will be an odor. Don’t send your buyers away: Paint, and clean the carpeting. Take the odor seriously and do what is needed, even if it means replacing the carpet.
4. Critters running wild
Wild animals and pests roaming around is a surefire way to send buyers running. Agents described worms crawling on the floor and bats and raccoons lounging in the attic.
5. Odd home makeovers
Do-it-yourself disasters were also prevalent, like doors opening the wrong way or unprofessional paint jobs. Also, rooms not being used for their intended purposes can confuse buyers, such as an office being used as a bedroom even though it has no closet.
6. Dirt and clutter
There were a number of offenses cited when it came to cleanliness: Dirty laundry piles, un-flushed toilets, dishes on the counter or in the sink, un-made beds, clothes scattered about, soiled carpets, dirty air conditioner filters, and overflowing trash cans.
7. Personal information left in plain sight
Sellers should be careful not to leave in plain sight important documents that may pique buyers’ curiosity. Some agents say they’ve seen personal information like bank and credit card statements, even mortgage payoff notices, left on the kitchen counter.
8. Too dark
Dark or dimly lit houses aren’t showing the home in the best light.  Be careful with CFL bulbs as by the time the bulbs light up, the buyer is gone.  Energy efficient bulbs need time to warm up before they are at their brightest, so staging professionals usually recommend agents arrive early to a showing to turn on any light fixtures with CFL bulbs at least 10 minutes prior.
9. Keys missing from lockboxes
All too often, agents arrive at a listing appointment with their client only to find there’s no key to get in.
10. Distracting photos
Watch the photos displayed on the walls too, agents warn. An agent from Kentucky, recalls showing a family a home that had life-sized, nude photos hanging, which left her clients racing for the door covering their eyes.  Another agent recalled showing a home to a client, who was staring at a painting in the master bedroom of a woman in lingerie. It was the owner of the home…and the listing agent!
October 2012 | By Melissa Dittmann Tracey

What it takes to sell your home!

What it takes to sell your home!
This is not rocket science these days, but it isn’t always what you see on HGTV either.  Today’s market is a “Price War” and a “Beauty Contest”, the first time we have been in both, at the same time.
Everyone thinks their home is the best in the neighborhood, but for most of us living in a developed neighborhood or subdivision, in a home built by a generic builder, your home is most like 99% of the homes in the neighborhood in terms of features (flooring style, crown molding, trimwork, etc), and probably the same exact house as yours is every 3rd houses down the street.  It is a big ‘awakening’ when I take my sellers and show them other homes for sale in their neighborhood.  Usually, the comment is “yeah, our house is just like theirs”.
In Central Arkansas for 2012, we are experiencing a high inventory of homes for sale, which has kept us in that “buyer’s market” mentality.  I say ‘mentality’ because whether your neighborhood has a stable, declining, or increasing market, the buyers today still think it is their market.
So, what does it take to sell your home?  Focus on the main areas:  Curb Appeal, Kitchen, Bathrooms & Staging/Detailing.
The goal is to eliminate any ‘negative’ thoughts from a buyer.  Yes, ‘any’!  Why, because most people ‘overestimate’ the cost of fixup by at least double the actual amount, and if they get ‘negative vibes’ from your home, they will just go to the next one.
Curb appeal is your first priority.  If it doesn’t appeal to the buyers from the outside, it will be hard to convert them with the inside.  Not impossible, but definitely a challenge.  I had buyers recently, who didn’t even want to go inside just because the outside was not appealing to them.  Good lawn, good landscaping features, clean exterior, pickup, fresh colorful flowers, fresh mulch, etc.  Most of this is easy stuff.
Once inside, buyers go ‘ga-ga’ over kitchens and bathrooms.  To have the limited buyers choose your home over the others, look into updating plumbing and lighting fixtures in these two areas, and keep them spotless.  New cabinet knobs and hinges go a long way.  What about a fresh paint job on cabinet doors, and maybe a little effect like ‘glazing’.  It seems stained cabinets are the ‘in’ trend right now for buyer preference, with granite countertops.
Finally, stage the home.  Clean it, declutter, properly place furniture to maximize space perception and flow.  You may even have to eliminate some furniture.  Put it in storage, or move it to another room that doesn’t have enough furniture.  This would be an excellent opportunity to bring in an interior design professional.  (Insert ad here – Have I mentioned that all my clients have access to a licensed Interior Designer, at no charge.)
Buyer are different these days.  They want the perfect house at a fair market value….maybe even a little discount!

Why Did My Home Not Sell?

Many homeowners, over the past couple of years especially, have been frustrated with their home not selling in today’s market?  It’s tempting to blame marketing, your listing agent, a bad local market or other factors.  It could be any of these, or a combination.

I recently sat down with my agent team to discuss why there are so many “Expired” listings.  An expired listing is one put on the market, but it never sold during the active listing agreement timeframes.  The home was ‘rejected’ by the market’s buyers!  That sounds a little harsh, but it is reality.  Unless no homes similar to yours sold anytime during your listing period, the buyers were there, but they didn’t want your home, and instead chose another.

Central Arkansas local agents experience a 25% expiration rate!  This means that 1 out of 4 listings put on the market by agents will go to an expired status.  That is an extremely high rate.  Another staggering statistic from Central Arkansas agent force – only 50% of the homes put on the market, ever sell at all!

All agents are not created equal!

Here is some encouraging news!  My personal expiration rate is only 2%, and my sold ratio is 86%.    I even have agent team members with sold ratios pushing 100%!  Not bad!

Back to expireds.  Let’s look at this situation as a very straight-forward formula:

                                                                Supply   +   Price

Time on Market =     ___________________________

                                                 Home Quality   +   Marketing
 

Now, think back to your high school algebra (who said you would never us algebra in real life!), increasing anything on top (Supply, Price, or both) will increase Time on Market.  Increasing anything on bottom (Quality, Marketing, or both), will decrease Time on Market!

Expired_Actions

Red = FrownGreen = Happy

You, nor I, can control Supply and Demand, but we can react accordingly to it.  But the seller does control Price and Quality, and the real estate agent controls marketing (at least the good ones do – some agents still think marketing real estate is the for sale sign). 

This formula is useful for any listing, but especially an expired listing.  The expired listing  has sat on the market a long time = High days on market.  In order to lower the days on market for the expired listing from now on, it is imperative to have an (1) appropriate pricing strategy, (2) the quality of the home be in its best condition, AND (3) the marketing be at it highest level (insert my Digital Marketing Strategy here). 

As with all equations, the formula doesn’t lie, and it doesn’t get emotional.  As partners, myself and the sellers control 3 of the 4 elements in the equation above.  That is pretty good odds that together, we can lower the overall days on market needed to sell your home in the appropriate time frame.

Students, you can put down your pencils.  And pick up your phone instead!
If you, or someone you know, has experienced an expired listing in the past 3 years, please call me.  I guarantee you that we can sell your home, not just list it, by applying the strategies of the Time on Market equation.

Homes for Heroes Program is now available in Little Rock and North Little Rock

Homes for Heroes Program is now available in Little Rock and North Little Rock
Guess who is Little Rock & North Little Rock’s newly appointed real estate agent to the Homes for Heroes Program?  That’s right, I recently became the official REALTOR with a national program called Homes for Heroes®.
Homes for Heroes® is an organization that was formed after the tragic events of 9/11 as a way say “Thank You” to the heroes of our nation.  It is an organization that gives back to our local heroes who include, but are not limited to: Military personnel, Police/Peace Officers, Firefighters, First Responders, Teachers, and Health Care Workers.  This program allows me to give back to my local community heroes by giving them discounts and rebates when they buy or sell homes, commercial real estate, or land with me.
We also have other professional affiliates that are willing to give back to our local heroes creating a well rounded savings package for our community heroes that continues to give back to them even after they close.  These include, but are not limited to: insurance companies, home inspectors, pest inspectors, title companies, stagers, contractors and other local businesses.
So get the word out!  Homes for Heroes® is available to our local heroes anywhere in the United States and you may be a hero or know of a hero that would benefit from this program.  This program does not stop at giving back when our heroes utilize our services.  We also offer the Homes for Heroes Foundation®.  The Homes for Heroes Foundation® is a public charity exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Its mission is to provide or coordinate financial assistance and housing resources to our Nation’s Heroes such as Military personnel, Police/Peace Officers, Firefighter and First Responders who demonstrate neediness.
For more information about Homes for Heroes® or the Foundation, please log onto www.HomesForHeroes.com. For your convenience please see the frequently asked questions attached.
This is where you, or a loved one who is active or a retired, can register for more information. Or you may contact me, Scott Deaton with Deaton Group Realty at 501-580-9151 or email: scottadeaton@sbcglobal.net or website: www.ScottDeaton.com