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By Kim Murphy
Murphy & Murphy Southern California Realty 

Real Estate Round Up: Real estate cha-cha-cha


Last updated 6/16/2018 at 5:19pm

I am often struck by the friendliness of “Fallbrookians.” We don’t drive too fast. We stop to let people cross the street in the middle of the block. We stop to corral loose dogs so vehicles don’t hit them. We sell fruit and vegetables from our yards using the honor system.

People speak to you when you’re waiting in line at the grocery store, and they let you go in front of them if you only have a few items. This friendliness is one of the most wonderful characteristics of our town, and I love it for those qualities of kindness.

Selling real estate for over 22 years has opened my eyes to a much different character in people. We always try to explain the process of buying and selling homes as a dance, with one person stepping back and the other forward, and then the dancers move the other way. But lately, it seems as if clients see the selling and buying process as more of a boxing match.

When I step outside of the actual process and analyze the end game of selling a home, it is very simple – find common ground that can allow a seller to sell and a buyer to buy.

It’s a relationship where the buyer and seller are playing for the same prize, with slightly different motives. Sellers always want the most they can possibly get for their home, as they should. We strive to help them achieve that every single time.

Buyers, on the other hand, always want to pay as little as possible for that same home. So how can we get back to dancing when it seems like we are a huge distance apart?

It starts with the seller. How important is it to sell? I would think that if you are willing to put yourself through the inconvenience of putting your home on the market, that you’re probably motivated, right? Preparing a home for sale can require repairs, painting, staging and general sprucing up. And then, the home needs to be able to be seen by buyers, pretty much at their convenience. Sounds like a commitment of time and possibly money, right?

Buyers, on the other hand, have probably already gone through that with their current home, and have spent countless hours searching the internet for that perfect home, followed by lots of time with their realtor looking at homes to see if the photos and description are what they appear to be online.

So, wouldn’t it make sense to go into this process with the mindset that compromise will get you what you want? Currently, 30 percent of all listings reduce their price at some point in the listing period. Apparently, those sellers are willing to negotiate to achieve their goal of selling their home. Approaching the buyer in the same way, will achieve the same success.

So, what can you do to set yourself up for success if you are a seller? Start with being honest about what you can do to get your home ready for the market. Take care of the repairs of which you are aware. If you don’t know what needs fixing, consider getting a professional home inspection to help you decide. This can also help you when you’re negotiating the purchase price, because you have a professional report as a reference.

Spruce up the inside of your property with fresh paint and clean or new floor coverings. Clear out any extra furniture or accessories that might make the property seem smaller than it is. Update the landscaping, especially at the front door, so there is curb appeal. And most importantly, price it correctly! After all, buyers have access to a lot of information these days so they are informed.

Buyers, approach the purchase as if you were receiving the offer. If I got punched in the stomach, I would want to gasp for air. That is what happens when a buyer submits a low offer. Sellers are put off, which makes moving forward that much harder.

Sellers are also put off by “one and done” offers. In other words, write an offer that you will reasonably consider a counter offer to, with the expectation that you will respond to a reasonable counter offer from the seller. Remember that it is a dance, and when played to the right music, both seller and buyer end up enjoying it!

Kim Murphy can be reached at or (760) 415-9292 or at 130 N Main Avenue, in Fallbrook. Her broker license is #01229921, and she is on the board of directors for the California Association of Realtors.


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