Entry by Jennifer Allan

A Perfect Example of the Need for RE Consulting


I have a situation in my personal life I'd like to share with you because it's a perfect example of a perfect opportunity for a RE consultant to step in and save the day. Or something like that ;-]

Here's the deal. I own a rental property about two hours from where I live now. It's going to be vacant for the first time in five years and I need to decide what I'm going to do with it. I have two big picture options, of course - I can re-rent it or I can try to sell it. But within those two options are lots of other sub-options... such as... should I renovate and sell? Or should I sell as-is? Should I refinance (to get rid of the PMI if the value is there), then re-rent and plan to renovate it when the market improves?

If I decide to sell, what improvements are most important in the local market? Should I stage it, and if so, who is the best stager in town? Handyman?

If I decide to rent, what will the market bear and where's the best place to advertise?

Yada yada yada.

So, here I am, trying to figure out what to do. I could call the real estate agent who sold me the house, but I don't want to feel pressured to list the house. I do my own property management (have for years), so I don't want or need a pitch for her company's management services, although I would probably be willing to pay someone to help show the house since I don't live nearby.

I need informed, objective assistance sorting through my options. I need someone who has good, reliable, local resources to refer to me. I need information and help interpreting that information. I may list the home for sale, and I may not, and if I do, I'm capable of handling some of the functionary AND fiduciary duties myself; in fact, I prefer to.

Chances are I will re-rent the property, so if a traditional non-consulting agent meets with me, I will have "wasted" her time since there will probably be no listing agreement in her foreseeable future. And she will know that, and thus, may not be completely objective in her counsel to me.

I need a consultant. Someone who knows the local market, has local resources, is willing and able to objectively help me sort through my options and come up with the best solution for ME. And I'd be happy to pay the consultant a reasonable fee for his or her time, experience and expertise... and perhaps most of all, his objectivity.

My friends, I'll bet $100 these opportunities are EVERYWHERE. And right now, there is NO ONE (to my knowledge) filling this role (besides practicing ACREs). Traditional agents aren't doing it, attorneys don't have the expertise... so people in my situation are floundering... perfectly willing to pay for help, but not knowing where to go...


Jennifer, great post. I saw yesterday a consulting company in Chandler, AZ, offering rental and property management services for a stated fee (www.go4cashflow.com), and was thinking maybe it is easier to offer for-fee services in the rental market ...

How much are you willing to pay for a service that you describe above?

Considering the location of the property, I'd be comfortable with $250 for an in-person consultation at the property. I'd expect the consultant to be prepared for our meeting with market information OR gather the details of thesituation from me, go back to the office and put it all together. I'd estimate it would take about 3 hours + a few follow-up emails or calls. Additional services (showing the property, meeting contractors, document preparation) would be extra.

As I think about this further, I bet I could come up with 20 or more services the consultant could offer me - and none of them have anything to do with a listing agreement.

Jennifer that is an excellent example of how an ACRE can help someone with a real estate need that doens't necessarily want to list the home.  You have outlined a good grasp of what exactly you need and how you would like to accomplish those items.  The problem I see is that the general public who may have similar situations may not have such an in depth understanding of what they need therefore they will just either not do anything, or spend to much and hire someone who's objective is not in sync with their own objectives.

Maybe a "Needs Analysis Checklist" might be helpful.

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to get a list of 209 tasks to sell a property.

I received a most-unusual-for-today's-market call to provide Buyer consulting services - the Buyer had sold his home using consulting services in a different state and wanted to utilize consulting services to buy his new home. He needed somebody that can help him navigate the Trustee Sale/foreclosure listings, the FSBO's and MLS. His intent was, if he finds a Trustee Sale that he can win to bid on it himself, and not utilize the services of a realtor.

This page contains a single entry by Jennifer Allan published on December 7, 2011 2:00 PM.

New alternative business model was the previous entry in this blog.

The quest for quality in real estate services is the next entry in this blog.

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