My 5 Top Tips for Real Estate Transactions

Just in case my readers haven’t realized it yet, I am passionate about Real Estate. I read about it, watch shows about it, dream about it, and constantly think about it! So with all the information I have gleaned over the years, I have come up with the 5 best real estate tips I have ever read or been given.

“Anything is saleable at the right price.” Patrick Kennan told me this when I went to work for him in 2006. He couldn’t have said anything more accurate. A property does not sit on the market because it doesn’t have everything a buyer is looking for or because it is in the wrong area. It sits on the market because it is not priced right. SIMPLE!

Robert Kiyosaki of “Rich Dad Poor Dad” fame says that one should only buy a property if you can make a profit when buying. In other words, only buy property that you can sell the next day for a profit. If you are a property investor you need to be able to spot the bargains if you are going to make any money in this business. As an investor you cannot afford to wait years before you realize a profit in your investment property.

The next best advice I’ve ever received is from Richard Courtney, author of “Buyers are liars and Sellers are too.” (Catchy title, hey?) He has learnt over time that your first offer is usually the best. A seller and his agent should nurture the first offer as if it would be the only one. Counteroffer by all means, but don’t chase the buyer away. The next offer you get may only come after a price reduction. This is so true and I can’t emphasize it enough to my clients.

“Don’t be greedy!” says John J Mack. (former CEO of Morgan Stanley) I don’t know whether I can attribute the quote to him, as it seems to me he may have plagiarized it from the Bible or some unsuspecting Sunday school teacher. Anyway, you get my point – we should never be greedy, in life and in property transactions. He says that if you have made a sound property investment, made some profit, then take it and move on. Greed will eventually catch up with you. In Real Estate as in any other business, your reputation is everything. “ To be successful over the long term, you need to do business in a way that earns you a reputation for quality, integrity and honesty,” adds Mr Mack. I just wish more Zimbabwean businessmen and women would heed his advice!

Finally, George E. Grace (long time Estate Agent and member of the Real Estate Board of New York) advises to always negotiate, but I like to temper this with Scott A Wolstein’s tip of “Walk away if necessary”. Don’t fall in love with an investment property. When the negotiations get to the point where there is a winner and a loser, then walk away from the deal. If you want a deal to work, then spend more time listening to what your adversary needs and less time making your demands. You’ve got 2 ears and only 1 mouth for a reason. Use them proportionately and you will be able to conclude a transaction where your adversary feels he got a deal and you can walk away knowing you did too!

I am sure that there are many more tips to success in Real Estate but these are my favourite ones, because at the end of the day, they ring true!