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Why agent Zoki Mbolekwa thinks guarantees are a step above cash

September 30, 2022
/ by 
O'licia Parker-Smith
Why agent Zoki Mbolekwa thinks guarantees are a step above cash

Tampa Real Estate Agent Zoki Mbolekwa's experience with Ribbon has led him to conclude that Ribbon guarantees are a step above cash offers. Find out why and how a Ribbon offer can help you or your clients today.

After kicking off his real estate career in 2017, Zoki Mbolekwa gave himself some time to see if real estate was his true calling. “I gave myself six months to determine if I liked it or not,” says Zoki. “I liked it and I was having some decent success.”

Over the last three years, Zoki focused on helping sellers in the Tampa, Florida market and now finds most of his business through referrals. “I'm predominantly a listing agent but I do buys as well. I did 10 million for the first time and I'll probably get close to that again this year,” Zoki adds.

Recently, there have been signs of a shifting market across the U.S., but that hasn’t slowed down business for Zoki.

What’s happening in the Tampa market?

While the national real estate market has experienced significant cooling, Tampa, Florida remains one of the hottest housing markets in the Sun Belt. In June 2022, housing prices were up 28.8% year-over-year and selling for a median price of $425,000. Only 941 homes were sold in June, down from 1,312 the year before. 

The average home in Tampa sells for about 1% over listing price and goes pending in around eight days. The city’s hottest homes can sell for 5% above listing price and go pending in around four days.

Despite steep housing prices and competition, Zoki has seen signs of a changing market. “We're definitely seeing a shift right now. As a matter of fact, I lowered the price on a listing yesterday and I haven't done that in two years,” Zoki explains.

“I can tell you what happened yesterday and what's happening now. I can't tell what's going to happen tomorrow,” he adds.

Signs of a shifting market

When asked “how much is my house worth?” by his customers around the beginning of summer, Zoki would respond with “well, how much do you want for your house?”

Real estate agents typically determine a home’s value by doing a comparative market analysis, or CMA. The agent will look at the property location, the condition of the property, and the state of the housing market in that area and then compare it to similar properties that are either on the market or have recently sold. 

However, over the last two years, over half of U.S. homes were selling for more than the asking price. This means that contrary to what a CMA revealed, sellers could command more because of the state of the real estate market.

“I always tell people I give information, I share advice, and you make decisions,” says Zoki. “I say this is what the market tells me on you what your house is worth but where we are in this market today, that means nothing.”

In the Tampa market today, Zoki believes that it’s shifting back to what it was before the pandemic and that a comparative market analysis will more accurately tell a seller what they’ll get for their home.

Why Ribbon guarantees are a step above cash

Although the market is shifting, Ribbon is still a viable tool to provide certainty in an uncertain market.

Ribbon helps buyers turn their offers into cash and RibbonCash Offers are guaranteed to close after inspection. Plus, by making an all-cash offer with Ribbon, you can eliminate home selling and inspection contingencies, so you’re 3x more likely to win. You’ll also get appraisal protection so that you won’t lose out on financing. This makes offers even stronger. 

In Zoki’s first experience with Ribbon, he helped his seller put their house on the market for $450,000. Once offers started coming in, he received an offer at $470,000 cash and a Ribbon offer at $462,000. After going back and forth, Zoki’s seller decided to go with the Ribbon offer.

“I told him that for a cash deal, he can still walk away on closing day and surrender his deposit. Then we're back on the market hoping that we can get a buyer,” explains Zoki. “We went with the Ribbon offer. I couldn’t believe how perfect it was. What's better than cash? A guarantee to sell. That guarantee is a step above cash.”

The market is changing, but Zoki says it will be interesting to see the impact Ribbon offers will have for sellers in the market.