Behind the Fine Print: The Truth About Guaranteed Sale Programs
“Your Home Sold Or We’ll Buy It!”
What is a guaranteed sale program, and why are real estate agents offering such a guarantee? Guaranteed sale programs have been done before and will likely be a part of the industry in some capacity for years to come. Guarantees must be offered only by a brokerage, and any agent advertising such a guarantee must represent a brokerage where all Realtors within that brokerage can offer the same program.
It’s a good thing whenever a business is willing to stand behind the service they promise. However, guaranteed sales can be misleading in that agents offering these guarantees typically aren’t interested in buying your home. Instead, they want your listing. These guaranteed sale programs are normally packed with disqualifiers (deal breakers) absent from the promotional ads, and are designed relieve the brokerage from its obligation to buy the property. The ads are specifically designed that way — requiring a consumer to call in and get that information, at which time the agent will invite themselves over in order to see the home and explain their offer price and program terms.
The program terms are separate from the value of your property, and what the guaranteed price might be. The common disqualifiers and questions a consumer should be aware of and ask are:
- Do I need to list the home with the agent for a specific period allowing them the opportunity to find some other buyer before they’ll buy my home?
- How long is that listing commitment?
- Who sets the price for my listing?
- Are there regular price reductions built into my listing agreement?
- Am I required to buy another home in order to qualify for the guarantee?
- Does my home need to be within or under a specific value to be considered for a guarantee?
- What is the guaranteed price?
- Are there any other disqualifiers like rejected showings?
- If I refuse an offer that nets me the same or more money than the guaranteed price but doesn’t fit with my possession needs, does the guarantee get voided?
- Do condos qualify?
- Exactly what kind of home (and home seller) is qualified for the program?
The slippery part of this “guarantee” is that the agents who promote them are often reluctant to discuss the disqualifiers until they are in your home. It’s much easier to pressure home buyers in person, at which point many people are too polite to refuse or too distracted to consider how restrictive these terms are. They may suggest that, although you may not qualify for their guaranteed sale program, you could benefit by having them represent your home because their program might attract buyers selling their qualified homes.
Don’t get trapped by compelling, too-good-to-be-true “special offers” that never seem to apply to regular consumers. Know your home’s worth and choose to spend your time and money on a real estate service that works hard for your business, with tangible results and reasonable terms: no fine print or evasive phone calls.
There’s nothing more compelling than an offer; specifically an actual offer based on real market value. To sell at full value without being “For Sale” visit Sweetly’s homepage and get an offer today.