Buyer And Seller Tips

Learn to prepare a plan for your real estate venture. Our business is teaching you how to research effectively, choose wisely, finance appropriately and survive the whole procedure.


1. Have a Schedule in MindSit down with your real estate agent and figure out a time frame, working backwards from the time of escrow. It usually takes about 30 days to close escrow (though this is negotiable), and can take anywhere from 2 days to a few months to sell your space. Do you need to make improvements to your loft before you can sell it? Find a replacement property? These are all things you’ll want to determine before listing your loft so that you can be ready to sell as soon as you put it on the market. We ask our clients to really think about when and why they want to sell, because once a property is listed there is a great deal of traffic. We aggressively market all of our properties with weekly newspaper ads, online postings, magazine publications and the multiple listing service and free recorded messages. We also host open houses and other promotional events to give our properties maximum exposure.

2. Set a Realistic Price

The biggest mistake most sellers (and their agents) make is pricing their homes too high. The first thing a buyer notices about a property is the price. If it’s too high, you’ll scare off potential buyers and your loft will sit on the market. When a property sits on the market, buyers may begin to wonder what’s wrong with it and pass up a perfectly great space simply because it was priced too high from the start.

We look at the numbers, analyzing comparable sales in the area over the past few months and taking into account any improvements and special features of our clients’ homes. Most of our properties sell within a few weeks, many with multiple offers.

3. Show Your Loft in its Best Light

Simple improvements can add thousands of dollars to the value of your loft. A fresh coat of paint, thorough cleaning and excellent lighting may be all that you need. If you’re selling a major fixer-upper, we can help with that too. We have access to designers, architects, contractors – all the resources you need to make your place picture perfect for its sale. Just as we encourage our buyers to look beyond simple cosmetic problems that are easy to fix, we encourage our sellers to improve those simple things because it increases the appeal of the home to many potential buyers.

1. Work with a Buyer’s AgentMany buyers walk into an open house and write an offer with the listing agent. We don’t encourage that. Your agent should be working just for you, with your best interests – both with service and price – in mind. We show our clients many different properties listed with a multitude of agencies, including sales by owners and developers. If we can’t find you what you’re looking for or what you want is outside our area of expertise, we refer you to someone who can. We guide our buyers through the entire process, from getting pre-approved with a lender until the close of escrow.

2. Work with a Lender and Get Pre-approved

By taking a look at your financial situation and looking at your credit history, a lender can let you know what specific loan programs would be best for you. They can also help you understand what it takes to qualify for the loan that you want. We work closely with lenders who are extremely familiar with financing lofts and unique spaces.

Many lenders call this process “pre-qualification.” Pre-qualification is useful for letting you know how much you can afford. However, it is not the same as “pre-approval”.

If you would like to be certain that you can be approved for a loan, you will need to be “pre-approved”. In the approval process, all of your documentation is completed and submitted to an underwriter. In today’s real estate market, many sellers won’t even look at an offer unless it’s accompanied by a pre-approval letter. It’s free, and at no obligation to the lender.

3. Find the Right Property

Begin searching for a space that meets your needs. Make two lists: one with all the features your loft would have in a perfect world, and one with things you absolutely cannot live with (or without). Somewhere in the middle is probably where we’ll focus our search. Remember, some things that may make a space seem unappealing may be easy to change (a wall that breaks up a room, worn carpet, cabinets, etc). We’ll try to help you think outside the box, and even help you with the design process afterwards.

When the time is right, make an offer. Don’t expect that every offer will lead to a contract. We’ll do our best to make your offer as strong as it can be, but sometimes it takes a few tries before you find the right match.

4. Shop around for Service

Save as much as you can on the purchase by shopping around for title, escrow and other services when you can. As a buyer, you won’t always have your pick, but we’ll negotiate on your behalf as much as possible. We work with many different companies and always try to get the best deals for our clients.

5. Be flexible and trust in the process.

In this market, anything can happen between contract acceptance and closing. It could be that the inspections reveal areas of concern that the seller is unwilling to fix and the repair costs exceed your budget. As your real estate consultants, we strive to tie up loose ends as quickly as possible. You’ll probably feel a bit out of control during this transition time — it feels like everyone else has taken over your life. The seller, your lender, the appraiser, the inspectors, they all have the power to say yes or no to your plans. We’ll try our best to let you know ahead of time what your expenses will be, and what the unknowns are. Many buyers feel frustrated when costs are higher than anticipated. That’s why we prepare our clients for every possible outcome, and help them make the best decisions for their sale or purchase.

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