Paul Herrick Real Estate Video Blog


Sept. 18, 2017

Real Estate Myth Busting: Part 2


Home sale guarantees are often too good to be true. Here’s how they really work.


Welcome back to the second part of my series on real estate myth busting. Today I’m excited to bust one of the biggest myths out there, home sale guarantees.


I was on the way to work the other day and I heard an advertisement from another local agent. They said, “If your home doesn’t sell, we'll buy it for a price that’s agreeable to you.”



Ask how many homes the agent

has personally sold in 2017.



The truth of the matter is that if you want to accept an offer that’s pennies on the dollar, their offer might be agreeable to you. But who wants to accept an offer like that?


It’s well known in the real estate community that 80% of sellers choose to list with the very first agent who speaks with them. Do you want to be a statistic? Of course not. You want to take the time to look at all your options.


If you’d like to know what your home is actually worth in this market, we would be happy to provide you with a valuation. If you have any other questions for us or are thinking about buying or selling your home, we would love to hear from you soon. Give us a call or send us an email anytime.

Sept. 1, 2017

Myth-Busting a Common Real Estate Agent Claim


Don’t be swayed by false advertising—there are two questions you need to ask in order to determine if a listing agent is the right fit for you.


It’s time for some myth-busting. On my way to work today, I heard an advertisement from a local real estate agent who was saying that they have the buyers. I thought to myself, Really?


I promptly went to the local MLS and pulled up expired and withdrawn listings for 2017. So far this year, 7,030 homes were listed on the market but did not sell. So my question for this agent is, “Where are all those buyers?”


I drilled in a little deeper to look at this agent’s specific numbers. I won’t go into detail, but suffice to say if I got those scores in school, I would have flunked.


So, don’t believe those grandiose claims. Instead, make sure that you ask these two very specific questions when evaluating a listing agent:


1. How many homes have you personally listed and sold in the last year? You have to say “personally” because some agents will tell you how many homes their group or office has sold. You don’t want that number—you want to know how many homes that specific agent has sold.



Ask how many homes the agent

has personally sold in 2017.



2. How many homes did you list but not sell in the last year? This will reveal the agent’s success rate—and their failure rate.


If you would like to learn more about how to uncover an agent’s report card, give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!

July 28, 2017

3 Reasons You Should Work With an Individual Agent


Should you hire an individual real estate agent or a real estate team? I’ll go over three things you should consider today.


When listing your home for sale, is it better to hire an individual agent or a team of agents? I’ve been getting this question a lot lately, and I believe there are three points that you should consider:


1. Experience: When you hire an individual agent, ask about their sales history, both in and outside of the real estate industry. That will give you a good idea of who you’re hiring.


When you hire a team, it can be a different story. Since there are so many agents on a team, they can pull a bait and switch. A certain, experienced agent might come out to your listing appointment but when your listing gets back to the office, you may be assigned to a junior or apprentice agent.



Real estate teams are mini-bureaucracies.



2. Focus: An individual agent can focus on the sale of your home without worrying about personnel issues. When you work with a team, you’re dealing with a mini-bureaucracy. There are a lot of people involved and a lot of different moving parts. It’s common for these teams to get mixed up and think someone else was supposed to handle part of your transaction. As a result, you get caught up in the shuffle with those junior agents.


3. Accountability: If something goes wrong in the transaction, which it almost always does, who do you call? When you work with an individual agent, they are the ones responsible, they already know what’s going on, and they can fix it.


In a team environment, there are many hands involved in the transaction and you might not know who is responsible. You have to call the team lead, and then they have to go and find out what the problem is and who’s responsible—which ultimately means that you’ll have to wait longer for the issue to get resolved.


All of these problems can be avoided by hiring a qualified individual agent.


If you have any questions about selling your house or know someone who is looking for an agent, give me a call. I would be happy to help you!

June 12, 2017

3 Major Benefits That Come With Property Investing



Why invest in property? There are three reasons I want to share with you.


There are many reasons to purchase an investment property, but three stand out as the most compelling.


      1. Appreciation: If you think historically rising real estate values are a good future indicator, an investment property is a good choice for you. I personally believe that 10, 20, and 30 years from now, property values will be much higher, making it an excellent investment vehicle.

              With a rental unit, a tenant pays the mortgage for you.

      2. A tenant pays your asset: Aside from the down payment and costs associated with buying the property, you have a tenant effectively buying the property for you by paying for the mortgage.


      3. Positive cash flow: Of course, you want to buy an investment property where the numbers make sense. If the investment has positive cash flow, you get a monthly stipend month after month. You can use this money now, or use it to reinvest in the property to pay down the loan even faster.


When you cash out on an investment property later in life, you'll be able to have a more luxurious life, pay for your kids' college, and many other things. If you'd like to learn more about investing in real estate, don't hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. Let's talk soon!

May 23, 2017

How to Prepare Your Home for Sale With Pets

Today, I'd like to show you a few steps you can take to help sell your home if you are a pet owner.

If you have a pet and you're looking to sell your home, then read on for some helpful advice.

The good news is, many homebuyers are looking for a pet-friendly home.

Two out of three of us have a pet, and 61% of pet owners say they have trouble finding a home that is a good match for their pet.

In fact, a recent survey estimates that 31% of animal owners frequently don't put in an offer because a home would not suit their pet.

This means that if your home is a good match for a pet, it will be attractive to a large pool of dedicated animal owners. 

On the other hand, 67% of Realtors also estimate that actually having a pet in your home can make it harder for you to sell.

So what can you do? Here are three things I typically recommend:

1. Repair any damage

Floors, walls, doors, the yard — these are some typical areas that pets love to chew, scratch, and dig up. 

Repairing this damage is an investment that will pay for itself many times over in terms of a higher selling price.


Pet owners are less sensitive to odors in their home than prospective buyers are.

2. Get a professional to remove pet odors

Many pet owners are less sensitive to odors in their home than prospective buyers will be. 

That's why you should hire a professional cleaning crew to clean any carpets, rugs, or upholstery that have absorbed pet odors. 

Once you're done with the cleaning, ask a friend or your Realtor for a sniff assessment to make sure the job is really complete. 

3. Take your pet out during showings

Some people are afraid of animals. Others are allergic. And regardless of the time, money, and effort you've put in to clean and repair your home, many buyers will be prejudiced by knowing that a pet currently lives there. 

That's why I recommend taking your pet out during showings and also removing any pet objects such as toys, food bowls, or scratching posts. 

By following these three simple guidelines, you will be able to sell your home for top dollar, whether the buyer is a pet owner or not. 

If you’re curious what you could get for your home in the current market, check out my home value calculator on my site.

And in case you have any questions or concerns about preparing your home for a sale, give me a call. I’m here to help. 

April 6, 2017

How Can You Tell If You’re Picking the Right Agent?

When picking a real estate agent, there are two main factors you must weigh before making a decision.

I had a really interesting question asked of me the other day from a really close friend of mine. He asked, “Given all the real estate agents out there, how do you distinguish yourself from the many of them?”

In other words, if you’re in the process of hiring an agent, what factors should you consider before making a decision?

The answer I gave my friend was simple: experience. Does the real estate agent you’re considering hiring have past sales experience? After all, real estate is generally a very expensive asset. Many times, it’s the most expensive asset anyone will ever own in their lifetime. Does your prospective agent have any sales experience prior to real estate? Quite frankly, they don’t teach you the sales side of the business in real estate school. 


Experience is the most important thing an agent can bring to the table.


The second factor you must consider is their past and current sales performance within the real estate industry. That will give you a glimpse of their track record and whether they’re on an upward or downward slope in their career.

The average agent sells between four and six homes a year. Six homes a year only equates to one home sold every two months. An experienced agent, on the other hand, does more along the lines of three, four, five, or even six transactions a month. Knowing what their sales volume is will also give you some insight on what the current market is doing. 

Asking about these things will give you a good indication of whether you’re hiring experience or taking a risk on a new or inexperienced agent. If you have any questions about hiring the right agent or are looking to buy or sell a home, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I’d be happy to help you.

Feb. 10, 2017

What Should You Look for in a Listing Agent?

Do you want a listing agent who will actively and aggressively work to sell your home? Or do you want a passive agent?  

Many times when I meet with seller clients, they aren’t sure what they’re looking for in an agent. Specifically, they don’t know what kind of sales approach they want the agent to use. 

Some sellers want a passive agent to sell their home while others look for more active or aggressive agents. What’s the difference? 

Let’s say there is a buyer in your house. The buyer tells the listing agent they are thinking about putting in a sales contract but they would like to talk it over tonight and get back to the agent in the morning. Would you rather have your agent actively ask for the buyer to submit a purchase contract? Or would you rather have your agent let them go, leaving the next move entirely up to the buyer? 

When I put it that way, I’m sure you want an aggressive agent to actually sell your home. 

How can you tell if an agent is aggressive or not? If they actively and repeatedly ask for your business during their listing presentation, then you can be assured that the agent will actively and aggressively ask buyers to submit a sales contract on your home. In fact, 70% of all homes sell thanks to active and aggressive lead follow up.  

If you have any other questions about what to look for in a listing agent or if you are curious about our current market, give me a call. I would be happy to help you. 


Dec. 19, 2016

Happy Holidays From Our Team

I had a great year in 2016, and it’s thanks to all of you. I wanted to express my gratitude today. 

I just wanted to stop by and say thank you and happy holidays to all of my clients that trusted me with their business and their referrals in 2016. You helped make 2016 a banner year, so thank you.

We aim to help even more people in 2017, but we need your help. If you know anyone who is thinking about buying or selling in the next year, don’t hesitate to send them my way. If you are thinking about entering the market in 2017, I would be more than happy to help.

I wish you all a merry Christmas, and a happy and healthy New Year. I look forward to hearing from you soon!

Nov. 4, 2016

Can You Sell a Home Over the Holidays?


Is selling a home over the holiday season a good idea? The answer is yes, for two main reasons:


1. You have more serious buyers. Buyers who are actually out looking for real estate over the holiday season are very serious. They may have to purchase a home by the end of the year for tax purposes, or they may be getting relocated for a job that starts early next year. They really need to get a deal done.


2. Many sellers buy into the myth that selling during the holiday season is a bad idea. These sellers won't put their home on the market or they simply won't release it to the market altogether. We know that because of the theory of supply and demand, fewer sellers on the market means less competition for you and a more favorable sale. 


If you're thinking about buying or selling real estate in Northern Virginia, give me a call or send me an email today. I'd love to work with you!

Sept. 30, 2016

What’s the Matter With Contingent Offers?


Each month I receive several contingent contract offers on the listings I have for sale. Let me first explain what a contingent offer is. It’s where a buyer agrees to buy your home, but only if they sell their current home first. Sellers often get contingent offers and wonder if it’s worth it to accept them.


First of all, understand that with a contingent offer you are transferring a lot of knowns to a lot of unknowns. You know your house, your decision makers, and the home’s price. When you accept a contingent offer, you are transferring all of that responsibility to the unknown. An unknown home, an unknown agent, and maybe even an unknown market.


Generally, it is not advisable to accept a contingent offer on a home. Only under one circumstance would I recommend doing so. If the buyer’s home is aggressively and actively priced, it indicates they are motivated to buy. This should quell any fears about accepting a contingent offer in this case.


If you have any questions about selling your home or anything else real estate-related, give us a call or send us an email. We would love to hear from you!