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Putting Homes in the Fast Lane

In Oklahoma, Catherine has fallen in love with a new-construction property and is worried it will slip away if she waits to make a bid until after her current home sells. Fifteen hundred miles away in California, John is being transferred out of state by the military and needs to find a buyer for his home quickly—or put his new position in jeopardy. And Sarah, who’s been caring for her aging mother in Massachusetts, is now having to juggle a move into an assisted living facility at the same time as selling her mother’s home.

Even though these people have never met and are experiencing very different life changes and associated emotions and pressures, they have one thing in common: they all need to sell their home, not only for a fair price, but also in a short amount of time.

Luckily, in today’s consumer-focused market, a number of options are available to these sellers.

Several online real estate service providers recently introduced “buy now” options for sellers that guarantee an offer in as little as three days, with some offers coming within 24 hours. But as these digital disruptors seek to sell more homes faster electronically, consumers are left wanting more.

Whether it’s transparency in offer price, local market insight or the human touch, sellers are increasingly demanding the best of both worlds. That’s why ERA Real Estate offers qualified sellers the opportunity to participate in programs that combine a transparent, competitive offer with an ERA®-affiliated agent’s personal assistance navigating the landscape.

For Catherine, John and Sarah, a 40-year-old program offered by ERA Real Estate, the ERA Sellers Security PlanSM (ERA SSP), is the only franchise-backed program of its kind, designed specifically to help agents win more listings and give sellers the confidence that their home will sell at a fair price—and quickly. The program is simple, reliable and backed by decades of experience.

Here’s how it works: Owners of qualified properties work with an ERA agent to have the home evaluated and appraised. After a list price is established by a third-party appraisal, the ERA agent then starts to actively market the property, with the goal of selling the home at the highest possible price within six months of listing. If the property doesn’t sell, the home is purchased at 90 percent of the appraisal cost, less closing costs. The transaction is transparent, reliable and beneficial to both the agent and the seller.

Over the last year, the program has undergone several important updates to evolve with current market conditions, and to make it accessible to more sellers and more attractive to agents who use the program to better position listings to sell.

ERA Real Estate has also added a new, innovative alternative called ERA Express Sell for home sellers to take advantage of. Currently being piloted in Florida, the ERA Express Sell option allows sellers of qualified properties to sell their home for 86.5 percent of the appraised value as soon as 30 days from acceptance of a purchase offer. Between June and December 2016, ERA agents who offered the program to potential sellers significantly increased their capture rates.

Based on the success of the pilot, the franchisor has plans to launch it in various markets across the U.S., offering a two-lane option for agents to present to sellers—the fast lane and the express lane, both backed with the transparency and security of a seasoned franchise, and both able to provide sellers with a degree of security in knowing when their home will sell.

Catherine, for example, can make a contingency-free offer on a new-construction home, while John can be more nimble in his relocation, and Sarah has the opportunity to accept a fair market price for her mother’s home. On top of that, the agents working for each of them gain the trust of their client—as well as the listing.

“This additional ‘express lane’ offering, coupled with ERA’s legacy ‘fast lane’ program, can help agents—the lifeblood of the industry—win more listings, position homes better and increase their productivity,” says Sue Yannaccone, ERA Real Estate president and CEO. “Our biggest goal with these programs is to provide ERA-affiliated agents with new ways to support their communities while keeping the hallmarks consumers expect: accountability and trust.”

To qualify for the ERA Sellers Security Plan, homes must…

  • Be a single-family primary residence
  • Be valued between $50,000 and $750,000
  • Not be within the top 10 percent of the MLS
  • Be marketable
  • Be located in their broker’s primary marketplace
  • Meet absorption rate criteria

Sellers must…

  • Have a minimum of 10 percent gross equity in the home
  • Be current on all mortgages and have no liens filed against the property. The owner will be responsible for mortgage payments and maintenance on the home until closing.

Opt-Out Clause

The seller can opt-out of the listing agreement with the ERA broker within 21 days of being notified if they do not qualify for SSP.

For more information, please visit www.era.com.

Paige Tepping is RISMedia’s managing editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at paige@rismedia.com.

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