Lilian Jorgenson | Long and Foster Real Estate

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About This Episode

Building a New Home with Pets!
Long and Foster’s Top Producing Agent, Lilian Jorgenson, joins John to give her expert advice on listing your home and fielding offers! Today’s housing market is unique and Lilian provides an update on the current market and what we can expect moving forward; as well some key strategies to use to prevent delay when you’re selling your home.  John and Lilian also share some memorable highlights from a recent trip to Denmark! Tune in for this informative episode!
Lilian’s Website



[00:00:05] Speaker 1 Welcome to another episode of the Go with John Show. Today we are welcoming back Lilian Jorgensen to our long and foster studios in McLean, Virginia. Good morning, Lilian.


[00:00:16] Speaker 2 Good morning. It’s wonderful to be here on this sunny day. No storm, blue skies were ready to roll.


[00:00:22] Speaker 1 That’s it. Ready to rock and roll. So last time you were here, we want to continue the conversation about what folks go through and what do you do and how do you sell a house and what to expect in these these sorts of things. So on the last episode when you were in, we spoke about, you know, kind of things that happen to get your house ready or your home ready to listed and what kinds of things you do to get ready for for marketing and what kind of marketing you do. So today I thought we would talk a little bit about what happens when the home is listed and you start to get offers and showings and things like that. So talk a little bit about what happens when you when you get when you get some interest in a home.


[00:01:11] Speaker 2 So we are now in a very different market and have to totally switch our thinking and our strategy so we can talk a little bit about the market before 1st of July and the market after 1st of July. And we had the market where strategically we would put the house on the market on a Wednesday or Thursday with Open House for the weekend and let everybody know in the multiple listing that sellers will be looking at contracts on Monday or Tuesday, whatever you had decided and arranged with your sellers, how they would like to proceed. And we’ve come out of that market after a very hectic at least spring market since January, everything has slowed down a little bit. With interest rates going up. We are now finding ourselves having to rethink the way we get on the market and look to get our contracts. So we are so we are on the market a little longer. Contracts don’t occur the first day. We don’t get ten contracts the first day anymore. And so we have to take it day by day. So needless to say, when we do get a contract, hopefully within a week or so, then we treat that one as the one and only. And we don’t wait around to see if we’re going to get any more. Of course we could, but you don’t know. And as we say, for many, many years in the business, a bird in hand is better than ten on the roof. And it is extremely important that you are preparing your sellers when you list the home as to the whole procedure and expectation expectation expectations have to be downgraded just a little bit. We can’t assume that everything is going to go up and above the listing price. We can’t assume anything. So better be prepared for what we do know might happen. And sure enough, the contracts are coming in with offers. They’re coming in with all the contingencies financing, appraisal, home inspection, some time, even a home sale contingency, which means they can’t really buy your home until they sell yours. And that one is not very good. And unless is something extremely easy to sell, most sellers are a little bit hesitant to take that contract. They would rather know that they have sold. But financing and appraisals really are not the hurdles. It’s really not the problem. And we have to explain to the sellers that we can work with this home inspection. Again, everything is negotiable and they don’t have to fix anything. Or we worry about if when we get the report, if there’s something that do need to be done and it’s all negotiable, and sellers can say no, and of course buyers can say no. But I think in the market were in we really have to also be sensitive to the sellers need the sellers feelings about this whole process. Remember they only sell the house every normally five, seven, ten, 20 years. And everything we do is routine to us. But everything they go through is like a first because they might have sold a house 20 years ago, but it was different. And today is different. And explaining and educating yourself is really very, very. And so when the contract does come in, then they they know what to expect because you have already explained it to them. So you’re already keeping the pressure and the frustrations down by educating your clients.


[00:05:23] Speaker 1 So let’s so let’s kind of just recap a little bit. So coming in, I guess for the last, what, four years, four years, four or five years, it’s been a seller’s market and you would handle a transaction as a listing agent differently in a seller’s market as you are today. Right. In a seller’s market, you may, like you said, list a house on Wednesday, open house over the weekend, and you have offers the following week very, very few contingencies, if any. And then you just work to get to a settlement, right? Yeah. And now with interest rates rising, we’ve transitioned into more of a normal market, which a lot of people haven’t seen.


[00:06:05] Speaker 2 That’s right. I mean, agents actually have many, many agents haven’t seen a normal market. And I think we also have to remember, I think 50% of the agents were not in business ten, 15 years ago when interest rates were higher. Right. And they’re only used to these fast markets and great interest rates. Two and a half, three and a quarter, three and a half, 4%. It’s easy.


[00:06:33] Speaker 1 Yeah.


[00:06:33] Speaker 2 Just go do it. Well, easy. But anyway, relatively easier. I have lived through the markets of 19%, 15%, 13% interest rates. We did really well and we were so happy when the world was giving us six and 7%. That has been the norm for many, many years. So I think also now we have to educate the selling agents a little bit about what’s happening in the industry. And to get this contract, I’m sort of going back to basics, which I think we all have to do. And in preparing the rate sheets and a lot of agents don’t even know what that means. What are you talking about? Well, the lenders preparing options to how can you buy this house on an arm, which is adjustable rate mortgages on five year arms with your arm.


[00:07:26] Speaker 1 Right. So you’re talking about having a lender prepare loan options for the seller, right. So you’re listening at home and it’s and it’s prepared. So when people come in to see the seller’s home, you have financing options on the kitchen counter, right? They can pick.


[00:07:43] Speaker 2 Up. And the importance of that is that the selling agent may not even know or realize that you can buy with a different interest rate because they have only seen very, very low interest rates. Right. And I want that buyer coming into my listing to see, oh, actually, my payment can be this much lower if I go with an adjustable rate. And many, many people are not staying in their homes more than seven years or ten years. And during that period you can refinance if interest rates change. But if they only go up and up and up, then you you have the good rate. And by the way, their max on increases on these adjustable rates. They can only go up or down, usually 2%. Of course, that can change at any given moment in the industry. But so when the buyer sees that coming into your home, they may just buy this house because you put that information in the home that they were not aware of and other agents are not putting anything in the home, and you might be the lucky one to get that contract.


[00:08:55] Speaker 1 Right. So that’s a fantastic technique to use for for getting buyers excited about a home. So, so what else? Let’s go kind of talk through the thing. So we’re more of a normal market now and an offer comes in. So you already spoke a little bit about preparing your seller. So just to kind of recap, to make sure I captured what you said, when you take a listing, what you’re doing is you’re spending the time upfront to educate your seller on what’s going to happen when an offer comes in. Yeah. And you’re giving your seller a copy of the contract so they can read it in advance because you often don’t have time to read it when the actual offer comes in. That’s not the time to try to understand that. You want your sellers to understand the nuances of the of the contract beforehand. Yeah. So then when the offer comes in and you’re in, you’re saying offer now because it’s not a full price. So you’re, you’re, you’re getting offers now if you have $1,000,000 home, you may be getting an offer of 850.


[00:09:57] Speaker 2 Yeah, absolutely. I had 1000000 to 5 home and we got an offer for one one. Right.


[00:10:02] Speaker 1 So you have to work. You have to see if you can work it up.


[00:10:05] Speaker 2 And that one, we could never work up. Interesting, because now it’s a buyer’s market. Right. And the buyer said, no, I’m going to go find another house where they’ll negotiate. We didn’t get that offer. That was on day two. Right then day 11, we got another offer. 4 million won eight right on a two on a 1 million to 50. Right. And very surprised. I mean, I we were priced at assessed value, which, as you know, is 80% of the selling value. The county does not assesses at 100%. We wanted to sell right away and really thought this house was going to go right away. Yet we got this offer. It was an out-of-town client. And of course, they’re wonderful. They’re here to buy and they don’t really mess around too much. But in this instance, the buyers just couldn’t go much higher. And the best we were able to do was a million won nine and that was only another 10,000. We were hoping to have at least something with a two in it, a million to something. And I explained to my sellers who had bought a home and they kind of need to sell because it’s costing them every time they pass up a contract. And we all just took a deep breath and had a conversation and they decided that we will take this off and we will make it work. We’re going to have to take some money out of our savings to make this work. But we by this will bite the bullet. We don’t know what’s going to happen. Right. And two years ago, we couldn’t have gotten even this number. So we are very pleased that we can get this number now.


[00:11:51] Speaker 1 Right, right, right.


[00:11:52] Speaker 2 And so it’s the unknown today. We just don’t know.


[00:11:57] Speaker 1 And so let’s talk about the mechanics of the of the sale. So does it. So you’re going to have typically in this market that we’re in, we’re going to have the financing contingency and the appraisal contingency, which really are not a challenge right now. But then you have the home inspection contingency. So let’s talk about what’s happening with home inspections.


[00:12:22] Speaker 2 Yes. So we are selling, of course, older homes a lot. And there’s always something. Right. And but it’s really important that you explain to the seller that we can work through these things. And and the reason is so important, they don’t get hung up on it and decline the contract because of that contingency is once you have the buyer under contract, they have paid for an appraisal that they have almost moved in. This is the home they’re buying. We are down the road. A week later, the home inspection is scheduled. And so you just explain to your sellers that there are some things that are going to come up and they’re all negotiable. And here it’s very crucial that you have also a wonderful relationship with your fellow agent that wrote the contract. Don’t let your ego your age and don’t let your egos get in the way. Don’t be arrogant. Treat that other agent with respect. You need him or her on your side through the whole process. Develop that relationship where it’s a give and take. And my strategy was, well, we did not get what we expected and but I’m so happy my seller accepted your offer. I hope you will be respectful at the home inspection because that just really isn’t any money to do anything else with. We need it a little more, but we do understand your buyer and we do want to move on. But please help me with your home inspector and on your side of the transaction. And I got the answer absolutely. Lilian Of course, I’ll do my very best and I will have that conversation with my buyers and hopefully everything will be fine. And so that more or less told me I’m not going to be nickel and dimed to death, but if there is a serious problem, that really is a problem, whatever it could be, then we do have to deal with it because if they walk away because of it, then I have to disclose to the next buyer that we have a problem. You don’t want to be in that situation and that. And so down the road your sellers are also into it and they understand they don’t want to go back on the market. And we may have to go 5050 in on a repair or we may have to buy the. All it can do what we have to do. Of course, this is unknowable until I get the report and the addendum from the selling agent. But that relationship with your fellow colleague, I can’t stress enough how important that is.


[00:15:19] Speaker 1 Mm hmm. Yep. So. So, you know, I guess at the highest level, you don’t really know what’s going to happen. Every transaction is different, but we certainly know that there are really three different kinds of real estate markets. You have a seller’s market where things are very painful for the buyers that are in that market and the sellers are in the captured seat. Then we have more of a normal market where there’s pretty good balance between the two sides. And then you have a buyer’s market where things are very painful for the sellers. So interestingly enough, we’ve just gone from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market and we just skipped over kind of that period of time where you’re in the middle ground. I guess there still are some areas in the Northern Virginia market where.


[00:16:09] Speaker 2 The D.C. market, I understand, is very, very hot. And there are pockets where these home townhomes or other homes will sell in a day or two, right. Certainly. I can’t say for everything across the board, but I do know with my listings they are sitting, they’re not selling. They’ve been on the market a month, six weeks, four weeks, three weeks, which is unheard of in the last six months, since January. Everything has just been sold in in a day or two with multiple offers. And this goes across the board from the low end to the high end. I had a almost $4 million home that had two contracts on a over list price in 24 hours in McLean. And that’s the way it’s been. Yeah. And of course, a lot of agents don’t know any other markets. They came into the business in this market and they’re totally lost going through what we’re going through now. Now it’s all about patience. It’s about education. It’s about remaining positive, be kind. Remember the stress that your salary is under and the emotional feelings because it is so 75% emotional. You are the one that has to be the psychiatrist, the psychologist, the doctor, the friend, the whatever, and keep things calm. You cannot afford to lose your temper or lose anything. They count on you and you have to come true. And then the next day, UCLA will say, Lilian, I’m really sorry. I was just so abrupt yesterday. I’m sorry I lost it. And I’m just under so much stress. And I said, no problem. You know, I deal with this on a weekly basis and you go through this on a every ten year basis. So that is why I’m here with you all the way. And I think once you take that attitude and they know they can let loose excuse me, they can be honest with you and let them blow up and let them blow out steam that you are not going to be angry, that you understand. And and then they can come back the next day and and just say, gosh, you know, I realize it was crazy, but I’m really happy we are where we are. So we all feel better and we move on and then we get to settlement.


[00:18:42] Speaker 1 Great. All right. We’re going to take a quick break. And when we come back, we’re going to have a little more with Lilian Jorgensen, who happens to also be my mom.


[00:18:54] Speaker 2 Thank you.


[00:19:02] Speaker 1 Welcome back. We’re still here with Lilian Jorgensen. Thanks again for coming in today.


[00:19:06] Speaker 2 Yeah, you’re.


[00:19:07] Speaker 1 Welcome. So let’s talk about something really exciting.


[00:19:11] Speaker 2 Well, that would be our trip to Denmark.


[00:19:13] Speaker 1 Yes. So you just went back to Denmark and we were lucky enough to be able to go with you. And you got remarried for your 60th wedding anniversary.


[00:19:25] Speaker 2 And everyone should have their children and grandchildren at their wedding. Right.


[00:19:30] Speaker 1 That they’re at their first wedding, I’m not sure. That would be something to talk about.


[00:19:36] Speaker 2 But it was a little omen. Yes. Yes. So for years, my husband had been saying, well, when we get to 60 years, we should go back to Denmark and get married again. We were married in Denmark in March of 1962. And in my little hometown of Colling. And of course, I was saying, yes, of course. Yeah, yeah. And you go on with your daily lives. Well, well, here it is this year and 2022. And we reached our 60 years in March. And so we did, in fact, decide to go back to Denmark. And we were lucky enough to be able to make an appointment with the priest who baptized my 15 year old grandson, who unfortunately couldn’t make it. My daughter could not make it. And it and also my brother and sister in law were married in that same charming little church in Copenhagen. So we did go back and we had a wonderful ten days in Denmark. And John and his family went. And I think we all had a really fun.


[00:20:49] Speaker 1 It was it was a lot of fun. Yes.


[00:20:50] Speaker 2 Not often.


[00:20:51] Speaker 1 Yeah. So so we got to Denmark and apparently there was bad weather for two or three weeks before we got there and we showed up and it was just the next day it cleared up. Yeah. And we had the we had your wedding ceremony at the church in Copenhagen, which was not where you originally got married.


[00:21:08] Speaker 2 Because where we got married, no one was alive anymore. We have to remember our ages and the priest and everyone. We knew that they were gone. Yeah, it’s just a fact of life. And so that’s why we went with a younger generation of priests that we knew in October in Copenhagen. And it was very charming. And the typical church, that’s the same, more or less all over the country. And we had a lovely ceremony. And of course, when it came to my turn to talk to my husband, I cried. I couldn’t say anything. And he was wonderful. He had a lot of wonderful words to say. He did fine, but I just couldn’t take it. I guess that’s a female thing. So anyway, we it was just us family there. And we had a wonderful photographer who took a lot of pictures and then we enjoyed the sunny afternoon. It was raining and misty in the morning and we got out of the church. And the sun was shining from a blue sky. Couldn’t have been any better. Yep. So we had a lovely dinner at the yacht club and yeah, it was a wonderful 24 hours.


[00:22:26] Speaker 1 So then we wanted to do something fun and drive to Colleen, where you’re from and where you originally got married. And so we hopped in the car, which is planned out ahead of time. We were going to go to Colleen for two days. We drive the, what, 4 hours.


[00:22:42] Speaker 2 3 hours.


[00:22:43] Speaker 1 3 hours.


[00:22:44] Speaker 2 Hours to get there. Yeah. And we got there.


[00:22:47] Speaker 1 And we went to Legoland in Colleen. Yeah. Which interesting side note, you actually went to school.


[00:22:54] Speaker 2 With the inventor of.


[00:22:56] Speaker 1 Lego and Legos would have been in Colleen. Lego Lin would have been in Colleen. Yeah. If the powers in the government in Colleen would have given him an airport. He wanted an airport and they said, No, we don’t need an airport.


[00:23:10] Speaker 2 We want to give him an airport.


[00:23:12] Speaker 1 So he went to be.


[00:23:13] Speaker 2 Like, I’m just going to go outside calling, which is about 30 kilometers and I’m going to buy up the land there and I’m going to build my own airport. And of course, the rest is history with the factory being built there, the airport being built there. That’s a central hub for most of Europe, for connections and of course, a wonderful, wonderful Legoland with miniature buildings, copying famous buildings all over the world. The motto for Kirk Kristiansen was that he wanted to have something for children to come and recognize from their country all over the world. So going to Legoland, you will see all these very famous buildings from the Taj Mahal to. The Mount Rushmore here in America. That, by the way, was built of 4.5 million Lego blocks, the Dutch canals with the boat sailing. We have a little this an Indian village where you can roast a hot dogs and things. They have pan for gold for the children and they bring up rocks that are yellow and they turn them in and they are giving a gold coin in return. Really?


[00:24:36] Speaker 1 A fake a fake gold coin.


[00:24:37] Speaker 2 So I think gold coin for them is very, very special. It is just so special. I know there are lands all over the world now and we have several in America up north in Connecticut, Florida and on the West Coast. But they are not like the real thing. I guess it’s very hard to duplicate the real thing. Mm hmm. I should hope that I’m actually trying to see if I can get Legoland to come right here in our area, which I came very close to succeeding back in 1990. But Disney announced they were going to come to Gainesville. And then then that didn’t happen. But when Lego heard that, they pulled out. That’s how close we were to getting Lego here at Legoland here in our area.


[00:25:23] Speaker 1 So then after Legoland, we went over to calling and we were supposed to spend the night and spend the next day in Colleen. And we show up at the hotel and we want to check in. And then we find out that Colleen is closing at 6 a.m. yet.


[00:25:40] Speaker 2 All.


[00:25:40] Speaker 1 Day, the whole day and 6 p.m.. And they tell us if you’re not out of here by 6 a.m., you’re not going to be able to leave until 6 p.m.. I’d never heard of such a thing. Right.


[00:25:50] Speaker 2 But in Denmark, they set their own rules and it was a royal run. A royal remains the crown princess, his wife, Mary. They were running and their children and they run in different cities. In one day they’ll cover three or four cities. Just imagine running ten kilometers and then you get in the car and drive to another city and then you run again. Right. And they closed the city for.


[00:26:18] Speaker 1 The whole day.


[00:26:18] Speaker 2 For the whole day. It was crazy. We ran into that in corporate.


[00:26:21] Speaker 1 Well, I was going to get to that in a second, so. Right. So we were staying.


[00:26:25] Speaker 2 Calling.


[00:26:26] Speaker 1 And we were supposed to stay the whole day, but we got up at 5 a.m. to make sure we were out of there by 6 a.m. and we were in the car at 5:45 a.m.. And they’re closing up the streets? Yep. Already putting up the barricades. We drive to Copenhagen and Copenhagen is closed.


[00:26:43] Speaker 2 Right. I won’t pass parts of the inner city.


[00:26:47] Speaker 1 Right where we were.


[00:26:48] Speaker 2 Right where we were going.


[00:26:49] Speaker 1 So the prince was running in Copenhagen and his wife was running in cold calling on the same day. And we got caught in the middle of that mess. Yeah, and that was really something. Yeah. And that and the taxi cab drivers in Copenhagen had said they have never seen the city shut down like this. We couldn’t get anywhere.


[00:27:09] Speaker 2 Right. It’s because it’s getting more and more popular. Yeah. And people are coming out to watch and they just closed down the whole area. Yeah. Because they can.


[00:27:18] Speaker 1 Yep. So and then we got on the plane and left shortly after that. So that was a little summary of our of our of our weekend. It was it was a lot of fun. It was a lot of fun. So. Yeah. All right, Mom. Lilian, people people always say, well, why do you call your mom? Lilian? And I say, Well, in a professional. In a professional setting, absolutely.


[00:27:37] Speaker 2 Yes. Yeah.


[00:27:38] Speaker 1 But there’s a lot of people out there that want me to call your mom, so I got them both in today.


[00:27:42] Speaker 2 Yeah, you got them both. And I appreciate that, son.


[00:27:45] Speaker 1 All right. Well, thanks for coming in and thanks for talking about contracts and the market. And thanks for sharing a little bit about our Denmark trip. So that concludes another episode of the Go with John Show and go out there and build something extraordinary. Yes. Let’s give it a whirl. You ready, Nick? Is it rolling? Okay, well, so welcome to another episode of the Go with John Show. Today we are welcoming back to our long and foster studios in McLean, Virginia, Lilian Jorgensen.


[00:28:35] Speaker 2 Good morning. How? How did you get that?


[00:28:46] Speaker 3 Oh, you.


[00:28:54] Speaker 2 I tried, you know.


[00:28:55] Speaker 1 Well, you’re reading your paper.


[00:28:57] Speaker 3 Yeah.


[00:28:58] Speaker 2 You gonna keep talking about welcoming back? Okay. You want to try it again?


[00:29:04] Speaker 1 Yeah. Yeah.