Real Estate Information Archive


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Bargain Smartly to Get the Best Deal

by Mark Brace

Bargaining is an art, particularly when the buyer wants to make a rock-bottom bid without insulting the seller.

"The offer has to be palatable and show you've done your homework," says Deb Greene, president of the Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS®.

Sheri Fine, an associate with Edina Realty in Minneapolis, agrees. "Sometimes an unreasonably lowball offer can make a seller so angry they won't make a counter offer or deal with a buyer."

Here are their suggestions for coming up with a number that is competitive and compelling.
  • That an offer that is more than 10 percent off the list price isn’t customary and is likely to be rejected.
  • Realizes that there are other attractive homes on the market and won’t be shattered if the sellers reject their lowball offer.
  • Recognize the home’s strengths as well as its weakness.
  • Make a list of reasons to share with the seller for offering less than list price.
  • Instead of asking for the price to be lowered, negotiate other tangibles such as repairs, closing dates, and closing costs.
  • And lastly be respectful whenever you are around the seller.

Source: Star-Tribune, Lynn Underwood (11/17/07)

As the Public may not be aware yet, but the Grand Rapids Association of Realtors (GRAR) is switching technology used to run its MLS system. For the past 14 years GRAR has programmed and operated it’s own RE/Source (in-house MLS), This MLS has proved to costly and difficult to keep-up in today’s highly connected society to maintain and program. On February 1, 2007 GRAR elected to convert its in-house MLS system to an outside Provider, and Solid Earth’s “LIST-IT MLS” system was selected. The anticipated conversion date is December 6, 2007, and then all GRAR Realtors will be using a Forced over to the new MLS system.


For me I’m very excited about all of the extremely powerful tools that are now going to be available to the realtors that we could only dream of a for the last several years. It’s about time we as Realtor s caught up to the emerging technology to provide high quality detailed information to our Clients. I feel fortunate to have a strong computer background, and know that all Realtors are going to be on a learning curve for the next 6 months to a year. After previewing the new Solid Earth system today, I think most realtors won’t even be able to utilize all the power tools and features available, and they will continue operate the way they have been doing without embracing the technology change. Realtors will now have such comprehensive local area information that if you were buying and selling a home, you would absolutely want to consult with a Realtor, the database and statistical features will be seen as a must have to be able to accurately position a property to draw an offer, and or value a property to determine a proper and most likely offer price for any property for buyers.

For Sale By Owner people are going to be left in the dust, because they won’t be able to compete with the tools and information available to the professionals that buy and sell everyday. Again I’m so very excited we are moving to this incredibly powerful new MLS system. Looking forawrd to amazing my clients in the future.


Grand Rapids' newest hotel, the luxury brand JW Marriott, opened September 21 with some 250 new employees. That number could rise to 300 over the next couple of years. So far, the hotel has hired 198 people, and is hiring more as we speak.


The hotel received over 4,000 applications from all over the world, and has conducted 2,500 interviews thus far -- 1,200 of those were in just one week.


So far, about 10 percent of the new hires are former Grand Rapids residents who are taking on new jobs so they can return home.


"There's so much written about the exodus of college students from the state," says George Aquino, general manager. "To me the most rewarding part of the whole job piece is realizing that people from West Michigan eventually come back. Our executive chef moved back from Orlando and he's been gone for about 20 years. Our director of finance moved back from Denver, another person from Scottsdale, and several from San Diego and Newport Beach."


There's also a trend of people who want to move here from Lansing, Kalamazoo, and Detroit, Aquino says. The reason they've given is that the economy is better here.


To-date the hotel has filled all of its management positions, and is looking to fill openings in accounting, human resources, hotel operations, food and beverage restaurant management, housekeeping, and banquet and event staff. Wages start at $8.50 an hour for administrative personnel and $10 an hour for banquet servers.

Just how friendly toward entrepreneurs are the policies Michigan's elected officials implemented in 2006? According to the Small Business Survival Index 2007 released this month, those policies were the sixth friendliest in the nation. That's an improvement over last year when the state's policies affecting small businesses ranked tenth.


The Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council conducted the twelfth annual study, which ranks all 50 states and the District of Columbia according to 31 major government-imposed or government-related costs that affect small businesses. Those costs include personal income tax, capital gains tax rates, health insurance mandates, electricity costs, and workers compensation benefits.


Among the Index's findings was the rate of job growth across the country. From August 2003 to August 2007 job growth in the top 25 states in the Index was 8 percent, compared to 4.7 percent job growth in the bottom 25 states and D.C.


That means that during that four years, the top 25 states created jobs 70 percent faster that the bottom 26 of the Index. The study did not indicate how many jobs Michigan entrepreneurs established.


To-date, Michigan's 21st Century Jobs Fund has issued $135 million in grants and loans to 67 companies, non-profits, and research firms in the industries of life sciences, alternative energy, homeland security/defense, and automotive/advanced manufacturing.


Source: Michigan Economic Development Corporation

Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4

Contact Information

Mark Brace, Realtor, ABR, GRI, CRS, SRES, e-PRO, A
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Michigan Real Estate
3000 East Beltline NE
Grand Rapids MI 49525
Direct: (616) 447-7025
Cell: (616) 540-7705
Fax: (616) 447-7025

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Michigan Real Estate is a full service, locally operated real estate brokerage company backed by the strength of a solid national and global brand. Our full service businesses include Residential, Commercial, Relocation, Mortgage, Insurance, Home Services and New Homes & Land. Our core values, service philosophy, cutting edge technology, and most importantly our people are what make us the leading real estate company in Michigan. We are committed to providing the highest quality real estate services possible and making each customer's experience one that surpasses their expectations.