They’re not ready to buy/sell if…



.This has been a tough year for real estate agents.  If you are looking for seller leads, you are frustrated because not a lot of people want to sell, and if you are helping buyers, you are frustrated because you can’t find what they want due to low inventories.

Recently I read an article about a seller refusing to move out after closing and wondered why the sales agent did not see the signs. Here are some encumbrances in our real estate journey that seem to be popping up.  Feel free to add to the list in comments.

Your sellers may not be ready to sell if….

  • Spouses are fighting over new condo or house.
  • Spouses are arguing over lake view or large property.
  • Spouses are yelling at each other.
  • In-laws have no plans to move out.
  • Adult children have no plans to move out.
  • They refuse to declutter/cut lawn.
  • They keep changing the month/season/year they want to sell.
  • They are waiting for home values to go up.
  • Expect an unreasonably high price.
  • Seller refuses showings….all of the time.
  • They just can’t leave that big tree in the back yard.
  • Sellers don’t have a plan where they want to move.

Your buyers may not be ready to commit if….

  • You have sent them hundreds of houses from the MLS but they haven’t wanted to tour any of them.
  • They won’t get prequalified.
  • They want 10 acres with a house near town under $200k.
  • They have lived in the same apartment for 20 years.
  • If the school year just started.
  • It’s raining too much to tour homes.
  • They remodeled the kitchen and are enjoying it too much.
  • Repeatedly changes his mind about what he wants.
  • City, suburbs or country?.
  • Every house is awesome. Let’s see some more!


Ruth Berklich is a Realtor for Keller Williams Rochester – Troy, MI

She can be reached at


Homes we need now


“Give the people what they want.”

Easily quoted, but for anyone in a sales position, it is often difficult to achieve.

I get excited when I go on an appointment to list a small ranch home.  I dread when a client wants one.  There just aren’t that many available in my area under $250,000.

If you are thinking of selling a ranch home, please call a local Realtor.  We just might break out into tears.

My community has a lot of high-end homes but needs small ranch home listings.  Specifically those about $250,000 because that is a median budget that our buyers have.  Some of our buyers are young, first time homeowners and some are people who want to downsize due to retirement or as recent empty nesters. (We hear from sellers, “just what are two people doing rambling around this big house?”)

I have had dreams of ranch homes.

Unfortunately, people have the perception that their ranch must be finished the HGTV way to get a buyer.  This is a misconception.  It is true that young buyers do not usually have much cash to upgrade and renovate, but they know that they can do this later. Seniors want very low maintenance brick homes with clean bathrooms and kitchens.  Many are going condo. (I dream of condos under $250K too.)

If a ranch has 3 bedrooms, 1.5+ bathrooms, a partial basement and a two car attached garage, it can be sold quickly in my community.  Oh, the HGTV junkies would like to have the trendiest kitchens, finished basements and spa-like bathrooms, but some like their own colors and designs. In fact, that new green glass backsplash tile you just put in might be replaced with white subway tile and the carpet might be taken out in favor of wood floors, so don’t let your feelings get hurt.

Our community is in desperate need of home listings under $300,000 for young families who wish to locate here, primarily for our award-winning schools, safe neighborhoods, easy access to expressways, shopping and dining.

Think of your first home.  You were excited to purchase it and you had grand visions of what you would do with it.  Now, buyers want well-maintained furnaces, newer roofs, good windows and a private yard with a deck or patio.

Buyers will supply their own dreams.



Ruth Berklich’s “community” in Michigan consists of Rochester, Rochester Hills, Oakland Township, Lake Orion, Shelby Township/Utica.

Ruth Berklich is a Realtor with Keller Williams Rochester – Troy, Michigan.  She can be reached though her webpage




So where is my next house?

My son graduates from high school this year. It has snuck up on us because we are not ready.

My husband and I planned years ago that we would sell our large house and downsize when our son graduates.  Our goals were 1) pay cash for my son’s college education, 2) buy a small house for its little maintenance (ie me to clean), and 3) find the house with the workshop or pole barn of my husband’s dreams.

So here we are and we have not replaced the upstairs carpeting, updated the master bath or painted the house exterior yet.  This is the third spring that we swore we would do these things.

Just for grins, I have started house hunting for us.  Not only to see the prices of what we want, but also to hold it over my husband’s head so that I can say “I told you so” when the right house comes along and we are not ready to sell. But I cannot find his dream workshop or pole barn.

I have two clients that are ready to list, but we cannot find homes for them either.  One wants a small ranch condo with a garage in a specific area that is also within a senior’s living budget.  The other is for a newer ranch with a three car garage under a specific price but with broader commuting options.

Why don’t more ranches have three car garages? We live in snow shrouded Michigan for gosh sakes!  We need one garage just for the riding tractors with plow attachments or jet skis! Why haven’t builders erected more senior living condos for purchase instead of building so many senior rentals – and at such high rental rates?

We’ve been searching, and I have driven the neighborhoods requested because if I see what my clients want, I will find myself knocking on doors to see if the owners would like to sell.

Because our area has been in a sellers’ market for so long, sales prices have been nicely increasing, quite noticeably in the last five years. So of course, what my buyers’ want is often above their budgets.  Mine too.

A broker in my office could not find houses for two of his clients last year, so he looked up old expireds that fit his clients’ requests and approached the homeowners to sell. When he told the owners that he had buyers for their homes, they practically closed the doors on this face because they had heard that line before from marketing real estate agents. However, his plan worked because he was able to give the sellers actual attractive offers from his clients.

It used to be that a seller could put his house on the market then pick out his next home when his property sold because there were a lot of available options out there.  Now, prospective sellers don’t want to list unless they can find what they really want in their price range.

Or they have refinanced and have decided to stay.

Oh, and it’s an election year .

So, this is going to be an interesting year for home buyers.


SDRandCo 141

Ruth Berklich is a Realtor with Keller Williams Rochester – Troy, Michigan.  She can be reached at or (248) 609-8000.

There is poo everywhere, but not here

So much to be thankful for this coming new year


At Christmas Eve service, where each member in the congregation holds a lit candle, hushed, listening to “What Child Is This” sung by the choir, enters a small girl, running down the aisle with her dress flying up around her knees,  whisper-yelling to her mother, “Mommy, come quick!  Daddy needs your help!  There is baby poo everywhere!”

Congratulations to most of us as we survived another family holiday season consisting of extended family, party crashers, in-laws and out-laws, crazies we brag about and people we have never seen before, wondering just who invited them.

When I was very young living in Michigan, I just assumed everyone was a Christian.  We would drive along the neighborhood streets of snow viewing glorious holiday decorations, but came across some homes without lights.

When we asked my mother why the houses did not have beautiful Christmas lights,  as children do, we would remember only her first explanation and the last.  “Well, some people cannot afford lights, some people live down south during Michigan winters, some are older people who cannot put them up alone  and some may be other religions like the Jewish.” (We did not know anything about Hanukkah.)

As we grew older, we would pass homes without lights, feel sad for those people living in the house, then say, “They must be Jewish.”

This season, I roamed from party to party, flew halfway across the United States, saw third cousins newly born and held them just to have that new baby smell on my clothes, snapped at my husband for licking his fingers in public, berated my grown son for eating dessert first, tolerated repeated Christmas songs on the radio and in stores, and listened to the teens who knew it all who will someday change the world.

But in that single moment, when Mommy ran to help Daddy with the baby’s poo,  I realized that I live a blessed life, and not because my kids are out of the diaper stage, but through the Grace of God.

Though we are not considered financially well off, we can pay our bills, enjoy good health, have food on the table, cars that run and grown children in a good school systems. There are soldiers fighting evil for the world for me since I cannot fight next to them, I do not have any cancers that have slowly decimated so many of my family members, and no one is in the hospital or on the 11 o’clock news.

So much to be thankful to start 2016!

To my family, friends, clients, pastors who keep us in Remembrance of Him, and soldiers wherever you are, I hope your 2016 will be everything you wish for!

Happy New Year!

Ruth Berklich


Ruth Berklich enjoys her career as a Realtor with Keller Williams Rochester – Troy, Michigan, and mother of 2, or 3 if you count her husband.







My mother wanted me to be a lawyer, but I thought I was too honest


Being an honest Realtor has cost me and other honest agents many listings over our careers because often home sellers don’t want to hear the truth about the market price of their houses.  These sellers will eventually list with the agent who will offer the inflated asking price fully expecting to get it.

However, any sales person of any product line will tell you that product price is key.  People won’t pay $20 for a box of crayons just as they won’t pay for a house that is over-priced.

A man I worked with many years ago needed to sell his Pontiac and upgrade to a larger vehicle to accommodate his growing family, but he was having a tough time with the price.  He explained, “My wife’s water broke in that car with two of our kids.  It has sentimental value to me.  How am I going to let it go for less than $6,000?”  First of all — eeeww!— TMI. I think he ended up selling the car for half that amount because that is what the car was worth, but it took him a long time to get there. Home sellers are the same.  They have raised their children, pets and had extended family in their house so they believe it is worth more because the memories are priceless.

You know you have done this.  You see the big ice cream cone given to the person in front of you in line.  When you make your order to a different clerk, your cone ends up a little smaller than the other guy’s.  You think, “Why couldn’t I have gotten that other clerk?”  Home sellers want the best, most advertised agents thinking that they will get the most for their house if they list with that agent.  However, they may not know that this flashy agent only has a 60 percent closure rate.  They may not know that the agent over prices just to get the listing then expects multiple price reductions when it does not sell or the house sells at a far lower price after a long time on the market. Sellers get frustrated, insisting that they were low-balled when the right price by a caring agent would have sold better.

Best Buy is a profitable enterprise because its pricing agents are brilliant.  Best Buy doesn’t usually charge high prices of large items such as refrigerators, washing machines and laptops because it makes a lot of money from televisions and cell phones.  To get consumers into the store, Best Buy will offer huge bargains on these kinds of items knowing you will eventually buy more products. (Think of the $35 laminate sheet you paid to have put on your new phone.)   Best Buy knows it has a lot of competition, so it just needs to get you in the door first – they know you won’t shop elsewhere if you are getting what you want at the right price. If a home seller contracts with the agent who prices their house right, the sellers have a better chance at getting the best qualified buyers in to see the home who will give their best offers because buyers know they have competition for this home.  Think about all of the multiple cash offers that have been going around in every market.  Competition is king.

Above all, reputation is key in real estate.  If I am an honest agent, pricing right and marketing houses well, I am giving my best, most professional service and selling houses at great prices.  It is always best to get a win-win situation for buyers and sellers – and I get the referrals that I deserve.

Ruth Berklich is a Realtor for Keller Williams, Rochester – Troy MI   Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn/Instagram/Snapchat

Photo is not me.

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