Naples FL Blog

Real Estate Lesson Learned Through Experience
May 25th, 2009 1:53 PM

There was an article in the Naples Daily News on Saturday, May 24th by Realtor® in the Estero/Bonita Springs area.  One of the things that the author mentioned in this article was that selling Realtors® should help humanize their Buyers to the listing Realtors® and Sellers. 

This article reminded me of a time when I was a younger agent and interest rates were in the high teens.  Believe me when I say you had to be creative to sell homes during those times.  I taught myself about contract sales, holding second mortgages, VA,  FHA, and lease purchase loans. I would explain all the different ways a Buyer could purchase a home to my Sellers.

At the time I worked for a large independent brokerage in Berwyn, IL named Pav Realtors®.  Berwyn at the time had a large Senior population that owned their homes free and clear. With CD interest rates at the time under mortgage rates, a Seller could make more money selling their home on contract (with a balloon payment) then purchasing CD's.  This arrangement could work out very well for both a Seller and Buyer.  A Seller would receive a down payment from the Buyer.  The Buyer would make payments on the loan amount amortized over 30 years with a balloon payment in 3-5 years.  The Seller would retain ownership of the property until the loan was paid off.  The Buyer would have an interest rate that was lower than the current mortgage rates and the ability to refinance when the mortgage interest rates decreased. 

I had listed a home that was owned by a Senior who was adamant against contract sales.  She even made me write in the listing agreement that she would NOT accept any contract sales.  This Seller owned her home free and clear.  When a contract finally came in on her home, we ended up with not one but two contracts the same day!

The first offer came from the mother of two sons.  She was buying the home for her sons to live.  When the mother viewed the home, she verbally tore apart the home, pointing out all the homes flaws to her agent.   This was the home my Senior Seller had raised her family.  My Seller was there for the showing.  Hey, she was a Senior and she was NOT going out of the house on a bitterly cold wintery January day!  The mother's offer was a for a conventional mortgage with 20% down and a closing date that would accommodate my Senior Seller moving out of the home.

The second offer came from a husband and wife with a baby.  While the home was being shown, my Senior Seller held the baby.  Everything about the offer was the same as the first except this Buyer was asking for a contract sale.

I am sure you can guess that my Seller accepted the contract sale from the young family.  She totally rejected the conventional sale.  I will never forget her words when she countered the contract sale; "Honey, do you think we could do a 3 year balloon instead of a 5 year balloon?  I don't know how long I will be around."

A good Realtor® will never discount humanizing the Buyer to the Seller.  I'll never forget the Senior Seller that taught me this lesson.

Should you be thinking of selling your home in Naples and would like a candid assessment of what it would take to sell your home in today's market, I would be happy to provide you with a free market evaluation.  Feel free to give me a call at 239-594-2780 or e-mail me at

Looking for a home in Naples?  Search here, once at the search page, you can search by development, save your search and new listing updates will be e-mailed to you.

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About the author:

Lynn Wilber is a Real Estate Professional who lives in Naples.  Her 31 years of real estate experience and her area expertise have been valuable resources for Naples Sellers and Buyers.  For more information, please contact Lynn Wilber or call 239-594-2780.

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Posted by Lynn H. Wilber on May 25th, 2009 1:53 PMPost a Comment

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