Zupas Coming to St. George and Top Home Buying Challenges! (St. George Real Estate Morning Drive Show)
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Jeremy Larkin and The Larkin Group @ Keller Williams Realty can be reached by calling 435-767-9821, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mike: KDXU News Time. It is 8:35 on a Thursday. It is time, once again, for another edition of the St. George Real Estate Morning Drive as we check in, of course, with the voice of St. George Real Estate. Here is Jeremy Larkin.
Jeremy: Yes, the little pause that you heard Mike make, it was actually him nudging me back awake. I apologize. I was just slipping off to sleep here in the studio.
Mike: Anything I can do, Jeremy.
Jeremy: I know.
Mike: I am here for you.
Jeremy: No way, man. On a beautiful morning like today, I had that little, I do not know if you guys have this, you do, you get up at four in the morning. It is the hour after I wake up, I have that little dozie. Good morning, Michelle, welcome to the show.
Michelle: Good morning.
Jeremy: I have got Michelle Evans here, our Director of Buyers at the Larkin Group. Amazing woman. It is like one hour after I get up –
Jeremy: — I am ready to go back for a nap. And I always say if I could take ten minutes and nap right then, I would be so solid. It would make the whole day. But I did not.
Jeremy: And I did make my bed. Did you guys make your bed this morning?
Michelle: Sure did.
Michelle: Jesse says no.
Jesse: My wife was still in bed.
Jeremy: No, I did not really do a good job, but I was walking out of the house and flicked that thing up. That bedspread. There is something about it.
Michelle: Yeah, when you come home, you feel respected like ah, that feels good.
Michelle: It is inviting.
Jeremy: It is like when you get money in your wallet and then you put it all in crooked and crazy. You have got to put, Suzy Orman, I was reading one of her books.
Jeremy: She says put all your dollar bills in and then your fives and then your tens and then your twenties. And some people have fifties and hundreds. I do not even know what those look like.
Michelle: Who is even on those?
Jeremy: Yeah, I do not even, jeeminy Christmas. So, yeah, it is like making your bed and having the money in your wallet straight. You just have to do it.
Jeremy: So I did. It was lazy.
Michelle: Good for you.
Jeremy: It was lazy, but I did it.
Michelle: My money is jammed in there.
Jeremy: It is wedged in there. I know. You have a lot.
Michelle: Oh yeah?
Jeremy: Let me tell you something, guys. I had some fun and sad, disappointing news. We will find out if it is real, but McCrae Heppel, our good friend over at Eagle Gate Title had made a Facebook post about Zupas coming to St. George. He said last time it was a false alarm. This time it is real. Zupas is taking over the Brick Oven at the corner of River Road and the Boulevard. It should be open in the next 3-6 months. Thank you for the info, Links Commercial Real Estate. Yeah, buddy. This is pretty cool. I saw this this morning, and we are going to share this into our Facebook page. If you are not watching, by the way, good morning, you can watch us Facebook dot com slash Jeremy Larkin. Just the way it sounds. This is kind of a deal. I am Zupas aficionado.
Michelle: Oh, a fan.
Jeremy: I am a huge fan. I am a huge fan.
Michelle: The basil tomato soup –
Michelle: — with the orzo.
Jeremy: See I am a chicken tortilla guy.
Jeremy: What is it called?
Michelle: Yeah. Chicken tortilla soup.
Jeremy: And I do a lot of chicken chili. It is what they call it. Something like that.
Michelle: Oh. I have never had a bad anything in there.
Jeremy: Well, here is what I get at Zupas. I get the TSA, which is not for the security administration that runs the airports.
Michelle: They do not pat you down to –
Jeremy: Turkey, spinach, artichoke. So Jesse is hiding over in the corner this morning. Jesse Poll. Just because this guy is great. He set up our camera. I told him I was going to fire him from doing our camera work yesterday, but he changed his mind. He is going to keep doing it. It took me 15 takes to shoot a video for our Basket Brigade charity that we are going to deliver –
Jeremy: I do not know. I took a screen shot that there were so many takes and half of the takes were my fault. But gang, digressing back, I guess because I still have it pulled up here, Zupas. Zupas is coming to town. We will see. I am going to share the link from Links Commercial Real Estate. That is kind of fun. You can check this over at the Larkin Group’s Facebook page. Kind of going to be fascinating. Our listeners out there, whoever is watching us on Facebook live, chime in. Are you a Zupas fan? Do you even know what Zupas is? And sorry, Kneaders, Zupas is like two to seven steps ahead. They –
Michelle: They rock it.
Jeremy: They are so good.
Michelle: So good. That little strawberry.
Jeremy: Oh, oh, oh.
Michelle: Chocolate covered strawberry.
Jeremy: So check it out. If you do not know what Zupas is, they are just kind of, I do not know how to describe it. It is fresh food. People call it a sandwich shop, but it is so much different than that. It is just very fresh foods, salads and sandwiches, and you are ordering right there, and they are prepping it in front of you. It is just fantastic.
Michelle: It is good.
Jeremy: It is the very best. So Zupas fans out there, check us out at Facebook dot com this morning slash Jeremy Larkin. Or, or 94.9FM 890AM, and we are going to talk to today a little bit about what you think the biggest stresses of home buyers and sellers are. Jesse, I am going to plug you in on the microphone for one second. I need to give you a quick update on our basket brigade. What do you know? Tell us what we have going on about the Basket Brigade charity.
Jesse: So at Basket Brigade, we are at, I believe, 120 families, and we are going for probably 2-250 this year. Right now, we are still collecting money to see who wants to feed a family. That is probably the best part is either volunteering or really feeding a family in the area. It is just unbelievable.
Jeremy: I put you on the spot.
Jesse: You did.
Jeremy: I put you on the spot. How many years have we done this now?
Jesse: This is the, I think this is the fourth, but is it the third? This is the fourth year we have done it. The third year we have been running it.
Jeremy: The fourth year that we have handled it ourselves. Was it the Palmer family?
Jesse: Yeah, the Palmer family.
Jeremy: They are all remarried and stuff like that, so it is kind of hard to keep the names straight. So we took this over from the Palmer family, but this is year number three for us.
Jeremy: We fed 264 families last year. What about, where else are we at? What was it the year before? Do you remember?
Jesse: 222, the year before.
Jeremy: 222, like the 222nd. So we did 222, and we did 264 last year.
Jeremy: We are cranking up. What do you feel like our biggest needs are right now? Because a week from Saturday, we are delivering Thanksgiving to, we are delivering Thanksgiving to the homes –
Jeremy: — of our families in need.
Jesse: One, we need drivers. We are in the state of Utah, which we have 100 kids and one driver. So we do need drivers the day of.
Jeremy: Yeah, thank you for that.
Jesse: So if you guys could volunteer. Come and help us put the baskets together and drive them to where they go, that would be awesome. We also need more nominations. If we are going to get 250 this year, we need about 130 more families. And we could always use some more money, some dough, because it does cost money to feed these families.
Jeremy: So what does it cost us to feed a family this year?
Jesse: About $45 to feed one family.
Jeremy: Okay. Okay.
Jesse: And you go can to either Facebook Utah Basket Brigade on Facebook or St. George Basket Brigade dot org to do all three of those things – volunteer, nominate or donate.
Jeremy: And my Google drive just decided to come back to life after I rebooted everything.
Jesse: Oh good, so you can tell us where we are at.
Jeremy: 119. We are 119 families.
Jesse: Oh, I was close. I said 120. I was guessing at 120.
Jeremy: Very, very close. So, 119 families. Jesse has almost taken this on like his pet project.
Jesse: This is my favorite event of the year. Close in front of Santa Claus, but this is my favorite.
Jeremy: So he has been known to dress up a little bit at Christmas time. So thank you.
Jesse: I am out of here.
Jeremy: We are going to put a show on.
Jesse: The show must go –
Jeremy: St. George Basket Brigade dot org and feed a family or nominate a family or families and when we say a family in need, notice we do not say needy family. There is a difference. These are not needy people. These are people who are going through some type of crisis whether it be financial or a family situation. Some of them would not be folks you would think need a meal, but there is some other element going on.
Michelle: Just need some support and some love and let them know that people care in our community.
Jesse: Yep. Yep. It is going to be incredible. And that is what it is. It is just that hey, someone loves you type, the message is fantastic. So, all right, gang, let’s transition. You know what to do with the Basket Brigade. We have teased around and had some good times here this morning, and I was not, man, there are six lanes on Bluff Street. This thing is pretty cool.
Jesse: It threw me off that I could actually take Bluff to come to the Cherry Creek Studio this morning. I am Jeremy Larkin, host of the St. George Real Estate Morning Drive. I have got Michelle Evans with me, our Director of Buyers.
Michelle: Thank you.
Jesse: She is a lovely human.
Michelle: Why I thank you.
Jesse: I think you are. I think you are. Michelle has been in my business world now six years.
Michelle: Six. Yeah. That is right.
Jesse: Yeah, six years we have spent cruising along here, and good morning to all of our friends there who are pinging in and watching us on Facebook Live. Michelle, tell people, I say Director of Buyers, they do not really know what that means. Right? So if you just envision a person in fluorescent vest with a lit-up wand directing –
Michelle: Directing people everywhere they need to go.
Jeremy: Do you know what I think of?
Jeremy: Traffic controller. So tell people what your, how would you describe your role?
Michelle: Well, we have several agents on our team and their exclusive role is to help folks buy land or homes or investment properties, and so I help head that up and help train those folks and be on the cutting edge of what is out there with inventory and help them buy.
Jeremy: Yeah. Do you have any idea how many clients you have served over time?
Michelle: I know it is a couple hundred.
Jeremy: It is many.
Michelle: 250, maybe somewhere around there.
Jeremy: It is many. Yeah, it is many.
Jeremy: The reason that I even ask is that when we speak with buyers and sellers, there is obviously on the selling side, some people want to go at it on their own. Kind of like For Sale By Owner.
Jeremy: They want to do their own thing. On the buyer’s side, there really is not a term for people who want to just buy a home on their own. I do not know that there is a terminology.
Jeremy: The terminology would just be somebody who feels like they maybe might save a commission or lower the price of the home that they are buying by going to the listing agent.
Jeremy: That is not as slick as FSBO, For Sale By Owner.
Michelle: Right. No fancy term for it.
Jeremy: The reason I put it out there is let’s say that it has been 250 transactions. You think about the average person, human being who is going to buy or sell real estate. They are going to do that in their lifetime 5-7 times, the average person, max.
Jeremy: Now, there is going to be a listener well, I have bought and sold 25 rentals. I understand that. You are not average.
Michelle: Right. That is the exception.
Jeremy: And the person who says I have never bought a home, that is also not average. We are talking about an average. If you think about Michelle having walked down the aisle with these buyers, right, and taken them right to the altar, 250 times, I want you to think about how many lifetimes is required to do that 250 times. And of course, that is, she came to join the Larkin Group six years ago and then you were where before that? Was it Weichert? Was it Century 21? What did they call themselves then?
Michelle: Well, it was Century 21, and now they have change. Now they are Weichert in town.
Michelle: I was with Century 21.
Jeremy: Why did you even, what I want to know is why did you even get in the business? What were you doing before and what would possess you? Because most of us just failed into this. I did.
Jeremy: It was just kind of my alternate career.
Michelle: Right. Right. Well, I was going as a solo agent doing listings and buyers. And then I had a really great friend that said you really ought to check out Keller Williams. It is amazing. And I thought well, I will stroll over there and see. I am pretty loyal where I am, and I like the folks that I am working with. It seems to be going fine and walked over and was just blown away by the professionalism and the training and the culture of Keller Williams. So I joined Keller Williams and then had the opportunity to meet you and you said you were looking for a buyer’s agent, and I thought well, I do not really even know what that means.
Michelle: I did not know.
Jeremy: What does this mean? What is this terminology?
Michelle: Yeah, what is that? And thought in my history, I probably really love working with buyers. I do not mind working with sellers either, but I really enjoy the process of helping folks buy a home. It is difficult. It can be difficult and stressful, but it is really a joyful one. It is really rewarding.
Jeremy: And as an educator –
Jeremy: It was resonant with you.
Michelle: Yes, yes.
Jeremy: I have a good friend who also would say resignant. We kind of get confused about whether it is resonant or resignant. But anyway, I think it is resonant.
Michelle: I believe it is. Yeah, just teaching people about the market, teaching people about the process. It is especially fun with first-time homebuyers because they have a lot of questions. They are not sure what to do and what to do first. So it is just lovely to sit down with those folks, answer their questions, tell them what they do, what I do, what the lender does, what title does, and just walk them through the process and then help them find their first home.
Michelle: That is fun.
Michelle: It is a great job.
Jeremy: And it is not easy.
Michelle: No. No, not easy. There are a lot of hurdles along the way.
Jeremy: Because according to HGTV what you do is you get on camera –
Jeremy: — and first of all, you have got to be a celebrity, and then you just –
Michelle: I will work on that.
Jeremy: — drive around and you show them four, yeah, you show them four or five homes, actually three, because three is all that really fits into a 30-minute episode on HGTV.
Jeremy: And then they write an awesome offer and –
Michelle: That same day.
Jeremy: And that is it.
Jeremy: And that is kind of how it works.
Michelle: Yeah, it is certainly not like that. That is TV.
Jeremy: That is television.
Michelle: That is taking the whole process and smashing it into 30 minutes.
Jeremy: Oh, you mean like the Bachelor and the Bachelorette? That is not an accurate depiction of dating in the real world either?
Jeremy: Just lining up 27 people to date one person? Oh, okay. Because I was getting confused also by that.
Michelle: Right. Yeah. It is dating.
Jeremy: It is television, so Michelle comes to us, and she has been directing our buyer team this year, and I was looking in our system. They have closed 83 transactions this year, and that is a lot of buyers. My gosh, it is $23 million dollars in real estate that you and or your cohorts have handled this year.
Jeremy: We have got some amazing ladies that work with her. Jessica Marron, Marlene Mussehl, and Alexandria Ludlow. These are great ladies and Dezlee Hancock is kind of like the little secret weapon in there, who is –
Michelle: Yes, she is.
Jeremy: So this is kind of cool. We have done something different with our business. Back in the olden days, whatever those were, a real estate agent would do everything with the client. Right?
Michelle: Right. So many balls in the air.
Jeremy: Racing around town, they were in high heels or a suit coat and a tie, putting, pounding signs into the ground and sweating and doing open houses and writing offers and receiving offers and processing paperwork. It was kind of maniacal. We have taken a very, it is more of a popular approach now. It is not unique anymore. But we have a team of people, so we have got ten folks between all of us –
Jeremy: — cruising around and helping our clients. It means that we have administrative support in the office. Someone answering the phone at all times.
Jeremy: I mentioned Dezlee who works with us. She will go out and Michelle is best served writing offers, negotiating for clients, meeting with clients face to face, and Dezi will go out show a lot of those homes.
Michelle: That is right.
Jeremy: She is great and really adept at getting to know the needs of the client, getting in the car with them, taking them out. It is a different model. So, $23 million dollars this year.
Michelle: Well, I think some people have run into that frustration where they will call their agent and their agent is out of town or not available, and they think, ah, especially in the market that we have been in.
Michelle: That is not good. You have got to get in there. Early bird gets the worm. You want to get in there and see if that house is a fit for you. I think what we have set up is a way to best serve the client such that we can meet their needs on their schedule, their timeframe.
Michelle: Because if I cannot go, Dezlee can go. Or if Alex cannot go, Dezlee can go.
Jeremy: Which is so fantastic.
Jeremy: To say you cannot be in two places at one time, that would be HGTV.
Michelle: That is right. Yeah.
Jeremy: Super human.
Michelle: That is fairy land.
Jeremy: That is fairy land. What do you think, Michelle, so let’s talk to this, what do you think the biggest challenge is? Maybe there are a couple. When you start to get into three or four, we probably have too many.
Jeremy: What are the top two or three challenges that your clients face, have been facing and that challenge is going to change right now? It feels like it is changing.
Michelle: It is.
Jeremy: What have they been?
Michelle: Well, I think it depends on the price point. If it is under, I would say, about $400,000, the biggest challenge has been lack of inventory.
Michelle: Not only not a lot of inventory, but then once somebody finds a property and they put in an offer, then they find out they are up against six other offers.
Michelle: So the odds are –
Jeremy: Which is just kind of emotionally and psychologically, there are two different things going on there.
Michelle: It is so draining.
Jeremy: It is pretty exhausting.
Michelle: It is exhausting. It is exhausting. And I think some people have felt pretty beat up by the process.
Jeremy: Yeah, the term that I always use is buyer fatigue.
Jeremy: So you write an offer, typically, what a buyer would do is maybe write the first offer on a home that was not a good enough offer. Right?
Michelle: Right. Yeah.
Jeremy: Does this resonate?
Michelle: Yeah, try to go low.
Jeremy: You try to go low. And then they try on a second home, and they get beat out. And then they try on a third home, and there are six offers. And what do they start thinking at this point?
Michelle: That they are never going to get a home, for one.
Jeremy: Yeah, and maybe, maybe it is just not worth it. Maybe I am just not going to mess with this right now.
Michelle: Yeah. Right. Right.
Jeremy: Because I heard interest rates are skyrocketing. Right. That is how people take the news that interest rates went up a quarter of a point.
Jeremy: So with this buyer fatigue, what you are saying is people will get, so what is something that a buyer might say that is frustrated, besides curse words. Let’s not use those.
Michelle: Yeah, let’s not do that on the radio.
Jeremy: But what would be a stance that client would take that is worn out, that got beat out on a home? What are the things they are saying?
Michelle: Right now it will be well, maybe we will just wait until after the holidays.
Jeremy: Okay. Okay.
Michelle: Maybe we will just wait. Do you think there are more properties coming on the market, they will say.
Jeremy: Got it.
Michelle: Do you think there is more inventory coming on? With all this building isn’t there more inventory?
Michelle: Well, yes, but not necessarily in your price point and maybe not necessarily in the area that you need it to be. So there is some frustration there. We cannot always find what they are looking for.
Jeremy: One of the common comments would be maybe we will just wait until the holidays are over.
Michelle: Yeah, wait until the new year.
Jeremy: Interestingly, one of the greatest challenges of home sellers, which is kind of bizarre, so Michelle Evans is with us. Our Director of Buyers at Larkin Group, and we are talking about some of the greatest challenges of buyers and sellers, and she mentioned that buyers are writing offers and then they are getting beat out, under 400. That there was a lack of inventory. There was not a lot of homes available for them.
Michelle: Right. Not a lot to choose from.
Jeremy: Interestingly, I think what happens with sellers is they have a problem that is a different problem that does not even seem like it is a problem. But it is that when the market gets escalated like this, the sellers want to ask more than their home is worth more than what the market will support.
Jeremy: And then they get into a fatigue situation where they price their home at 400, and then they find out it is not showing so they price it at 385, and they find that it is not showing. And then they finally get to $369,000, and they get an offer and that took 90 days and they are pretty frustrated, and they have been making their beds every morning like we talked about.
Michelle: Right. Well, the frustrating part with that is that in the eyes of the buyer, something is wrong with that home.
Michelle: So it is really not a good strategy. If you are overpricing and then you keep coming down and coming down and coming down, then the buyer is on guard like what is wrong with that home.
Jeremy: Yes. Yes. Okay so, question. In this current market, and it is evolving. How do buyers approach that? We kind of have limited time on the show.
Jeremy: How do they approach there is a lack of inventory, I cannot find what I want. How do you approach it?
Michelle: Well, we as buyer agents, we are going to be looking for things that are off market. That is part of the reason you would want to use an agent. Right? Because we are going to be looking for things that are off market, and you want somebody to be holding your hand through the process, helping you find things, getting you on a search so that you can see what is coming on the market, on the MLS. We have got a personalized search for you. So you are not going to get a deluge of properties in your inbox. You are going to get things that are paired down just to your criteria.
Jeremy: Would it be typical for somebody to, a home to just come on the market and be just gone the same day?
Jeremy: Yeah, like before a buyer even knows it because they are busy tending to their child or working.
Michelle: Right. Right. Exactly.
Jeremy: So it hit the market, come off and ah.
Michelle: Yeah, I did not even see that one.
Jeremy: Yeah, darn it.
Michelle: So if you have got an agent watching for you, looking, because we see the hot sheet on the MLS every morning.
Michelle: We are looking for that, and we have got a list of buyers that are looking. So we are seeing do any of those match up? Does this fit –
Michelle: — that price point? Is this what you are looking for?
Jeremy: Well, what I think is kind of cool about what you are saying is we actually have access to a whole bunch of housing inventory that is not really on the market, and these are –
Jeremy: — homes that are either not yet on the market or they were previously on the market, they did not sell, for whatever reason, the seller took the home off the market –
Jeremy: And we have access to go back really almost an indefinite amount of time and start saying hey, did you ever sell your home. I have a buyer who wants to be in Santa Clara Heights, Little Valley, Green Springs. Right?
Jeremy: Absolutely, and for the sellers, this challenge of pricing their home too high, I do not know if you are going to like the solution. When the market starts to correct like this, people say are home values falling? No, the extra 10% the sellers were trying to get was actually never real. So they did not fall. It was the cream on the top that just had to wiped off.
Jeremy: Because it was not actually real. There is this perception that maybe values fell.
Michelle: Right. Right. When they really did not.
Jeremy: No, not at all. Home values are not falling.
Michelle: What we are seeing with buyers, a lot of them, they are not paying that list price anymore. They are digging in their heels and they are not doing it.
Jeremy: Up to 90 days ago, they were.
Michelle: That is right. It was take it or not.
Jeremy: Two minutes. Two-minute bell. Incredible. What do you think? Final thought. We are moving into a new market.
Jeremy: What becomes the challenge now for buyers? If values are not falling but sellers cannot get their prices and buyers are going I am not willing to pay that. Then what happens?
Michelle: Well, then we have some negotiation issues. Right? Then we have got to take a look at where can we find the sweet spot?
Jeremy: Which is like the new stress, right?
Michelle: Yeah, it is a new stress. It is more negotiating.
Jeremy: Because the idea is like oh, great I can get a better deal?
Jeremy: Only in this interim period when the buyer and seller cannot come together in the middle, that is hard.
Michelle: It is hard. It is hard. And I think people need to consider, especially those in the lower price points, if you are going to be waiting for a better deal or more inventory, keep in mind that interest rates are more than likely going to go up one more time before the end of the year.
Michelle: And for some people, that just edges them right out of the market.
Jeremy: Yeah, if you are right on the cusp, and I will wrap up with this thought, if you were trying to afford a $1620 mortgage payment and interest rates go up a quarter point, it went to $1680 or $1700 and you are out.
Michelle: That is right.
Jeremy: Guys, visit us. Thank you, Michelle.
Michelle: Thank you.
Jeremy: That was Director of Buyers. Please visit the St. George Basket Brigade dot org website and donate or nominate a family. We are 9 days out. Ten, ten. Thank you, Mike.
Mike: You have been listening to the St. George Real Estate Morning Drive with the voice of St. George Real Estate Jeremy Larkin. And as always, if you would like more information, please call 275-1690 or find them online at Sold in St. George dot com.