I work for a real estate agency in Buncombe County, NC–ERA Sunburst Realty. They make this unusual promise that if your home qualifies, we will do our very best to sell it and if it doesn’t sell within a certain time frame, ERA will buy it. You know up front what you will be paid for your home (between 80 and 90% of the appraised value)…. unless it sells for more before the listing period is over. You can cancel at any time. You can go ahead and shop for and purchase your next home because you already have a contract on the home you are selling. You can move on with your life.
This sounds really good and I tend to be skeptical of big business, so I looked into it. I even became certified as an ERA Sellers Security Plan agent. As I was trained through the material, I suspiciously thought the qualifications would be prohibitive—the purpose of ERA’s plan to be only to get the agent’s foot in the door. But, the qualifications don’t seem to be unreasonable. You, as the seller, have to pay for a pre-home inspection, an appraisal, and a home warranty (all good practices for any seller in this market). You have to agree to purchase your next home through an ERA Real Estate firm (not too unreasonable). Your home has to be in decent shape and in a decent location (i.e., not near a railroad or supermarket). You must agree to some staging tactics (another norm in this market). The absorption rate in your area must be 15 months, or less (not that unusual for Buncombe County real estate). Your home value has to be less than in the top 20% of sales for the area and less than $750,000 (true for most of you).
The interesting thing is that with all of you out there in Buncombe County trying to sell your homes, there doesn’t seem to be much interest in this opportunity. It’s weird. I’ve sent out dozens of letters to homeowners of expired listings and no one responds. Maybe no one is actually reading the letters? I can’t figure out why you aren’t interested in this.
It really seems like a good thing. Get more information from the ERA Sellers Security Plan website and then give me a call if you live in Buncombe County and are trying to sell your normal, decent home.
ERA Sunburst Realty
111 Central Avenue
Asheville, NC 28801