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Principal: Andy Sachs
Real Estate Company: Coldwell Banker Years in real estate: 3
Region served: Central Connecticut
Average sales price in your market: $500,000

Average time on market: 6 months

You have been very successful getting expired listings and converting FSBOs. When and why did you start going after this segment of the market? Expireds and FSBOs are the low-hanging fruit. When I first started, I didn’t have experience in real estate and I did not have a name but what I did have was solid marketing experience. Also I am not afraid of rejection and that’s what it takes to go after expired listings. Expireds are really fascinating. You are dealing with people who want to sell their homes and they are unhappy because they have not yet sold. So it’s a great opportunity to be their knight in shining armor.

How has the FSBO market changed since the recession? Are there as many as there once were? I have never sold real estate in a great market so this is all I know. What I can tell you is that there are fewer for sale by owners (FSBOs) in my market. To the FSBO seller that has not sold, we are a necessary evil. I don’t go after them that much because the turnaround/conversion time is so long. Plus that seller usually has an inflated sense of what their home is worth and that presents its own set of problems.

Are you going after expireds differently in today’s market? I approach each one with the same excitement that I have for the last three years. Even if I don’t get the listing as the second agent, I always thank them and say, “I hope I bring you the buyer.” I find I may get the expired listing yet, maybe as the third or even fourth agent. I used to always want to be the second agent in and now I am happy to be the third or fourth. Unless they are willing to price it aggressively at the outset rather than letting it languish on the market, it’s not always worth being the second agent in.

How do you help FSBO and expired sellers price the property effectively once they sign with you? Both types of sellers have a skewed understanding of what their home is worth and probably haven’t been getting the right marketing, so pricing and intricate market knowledge are very important. For expired listings, I have to let them know why their homes didn’t sell. Once that’s out of the way I help them price their homes correctly and market them effectively.

How do you help negotiate the best price. Many buyers try a low-ball offer in this market. I don’t like it but I don’t discourage low-ball offers anymore. I let them make one low-ball offer to test the waters see what happens. The key with a low-ball offer, however, is not getting the seller upset, so I make sure that I present the low offer gently. On the sell side, I try to price the house right where it should be so that there is not much negotiating that needs to happen. I may lose listings with that strategy but the listings I do get I sell.

Why did you become a Member of Top 5? A lot of people look at real estate agents as being one step above a used car salesman and a necessary evil. Top 5 is committed to raising the bar. Frankly it was the Top 5 tagline that sold me-“leading real estate agents providing leading real estate information.”

How are you/will you utilize the Top 5 program to help build your business? All the weekly Real Estate Social Networking System emails are great and I forward them to my clients. The literature is fantastic and it really puts me on a pedestal out there. It tells perspective clients that I am a real estate professional and that I am a top agent and that I am a person they can trust to truly manage their investments.

What is the key to a successful life in real estate? You have to have a sense of humor.