There Goes the Neighborhood (Sales)…
There Goes the Neighborhood (Sales)…
While driving around my neighborhood, I noticed that on my street there are no less than 5 houses listed for sale and I know of one more family getting ready to list their house in the upcoming month. This got me thinking. What do you do when you need or want to sell your house but everyone else on your street has beaten you to it?
I posed this and several other questions to the agents on Team Gale and here are their responses.
“What to do when every house around you is up for sale?”
“Let’s talk about why you are selling. Do you NEED to sell and if so, what is the urgency. 30 days, 90 days 120 days etc…. In an oversaturated market such as the one we find ourselves in today, price is KING. Price overcomes all objectives. If many houses are for sale in the same neighborhood where the homes are all similar then why is someone going to buy yours? Price. Price. Price. If you don’t need to sell then don’t.” -Dana Little
“If every house around you is up for sale, you need to stand out the most. Example: curb appeal (fresh mailbox, fence painted, new outdoor lamp sidewalks free of weeds) everything from your street to your doorstep needs to be in tip top shape! You will also need to be priced below everyone else in the neighborhood. Using a Coldwell Banker agent allows you access to the Coldwell Banker Home Enhancement Guide” -Cheryl Kuntz
“If you’re wondering if now is the time to sell, I would say now is generally not the ideal time if you don’t have to, unless you’re leveraging the current market and getting a larger home. For example, if you’re selling a home for $200,000 that has seen a 20% decline in value from its high price in 2007, that’s a $50,000 loss. However, if you’re able to buy a home for $300,000 that also suffered the same 20% decline, that home would have been $375,000 a few years ago- saving you $75,000 versus what it would have cost you versus if you bought it in 2007. That’s a savings to you of $25,000 to buy that home now instead.” -Tom Gale
“How do you price your property competitively?”
“When I am pricing in this market the very first thing I say to sellers is “I can tell you where to price your home so this it is likely to be the first to sell in your neighborhood, but I cannot put a price on your quality of life” I go on to explain that if they want to sell vs. need to sell then there is a reason they want to move on to something different. I cannot put a price on how valuable that “want” is to them. Only they can determine just how important it is to move on with their lives. If the price to sell their house does not match nicely with their desire to be somewhere else then I can’t sell their home. Basically, I ask them to really dig deep down and decide for themselves just how valuable is their happiness. Can they afford to sell for $195,000 and get on with their lives and be happier elsewhere or are they going to insist on selling for $205,000 at the expense of their individual happiness. This approach always really does well for me. People are going through life so fast that they never really stop and ask themselves just how happy they are where they are and how much happier they would be somewhere else. This question has made [one of] my sellers drop their price to where they are bringing almost $100K to the closing table just to get on with the next phase of their life. Now I realize not everyone can afford to do this and sometimes the negative to this question is ‘I want badly to be somewhere else (close to grandkids, aging parents etc.) but I simply can’t afford it at this time.’ I have told people I just can’t sell their house if that is the honest situation. I always tell them I am in the business of selling houses, not listing houses and if I can’t sell it then I don’t want to list it.” -Dana Little
“You must price it below all others in the neighborhood and offer more than the other homes offer.” -Cheryl Kuntz
“Pricing your home right is always important in getting your home sold, but that is more true now than ever. Hiring the right REALTOR that knows the market and your neighborhood is critical in making sure your home is ‘in’ the market and not just ‘on’ the market.” -Tom Gale
“How do you make your property stand out in the crowd?”
“PRICE! But, it you can afford to paint interior it is the least expensive way to make your house stand out. Yard work is #2. In an over saturated market curb appeal is really important. With so much new construction priced so well, the paint really helps a house feel clean and new. If you are living in it while I am trying to sell it then you need to get life down to the bare minimum. This is always easy to say but hard to enforce. Agent feedback is really helpful in this case.” -Dana Little
“By using a Coldwell Banker/Team Gale agent you will have access to The Coldwell Banker Home Enhancement Guide and our own Ryanna Avery ‘The Stager’” -Cheryl Kuntz
“In addition to pricing the home appropriately, you also need to make sure the home is move-in ready. Now is not the time to show your home with stains or tears in the carpet, or to have bold wall colors that don’t have broad appeal. Spending a few dollars on improvements like these may not allow you to sell your home for more money, but they will dramatically decrease the time it takes for your home to sell. Take the time to get your home ready before you put it on the market because as the old saying goes ‘You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.’” -Tom Gale
“Should you even list your property if it is not an urgent need to sell?”
“No. Why would you add inventory to a market that is already listing way more than selling right now. Goes back to #1 – what is your motivation?” -Dana Little
“If you do not have an urgency to sell, and you don’t have much equity in your home, I suggest that you do not sell at this time.” -Cheryl Kuntz
My personal overall summation of all the questions posed came from our own “Open House King” Allen LaCoe who states:
“As an agent when I list properties I like to preview the properties around my listing to know the competition....sometimes even bring the sellers along to see what they are up against. Seeing is believing. I believe a compelling price will sell the house, sold price per square foot is a good indicator of what ball park you should price the new listing in. EVERY home needs some sort of help with staging. We all have way too much ‘stuff’ even us as agents. Less is more when selling a home; sellers do not want buyers looking at your ‘stuff’ and not the house which is what they are actually buying. If you have outdated furniture invest in some slip covers makes a huge difference. Old furniture dates a house. Listing depends on the individual sellers’ needs, if they can afford to sell and if the home will sell. I just read an article about the banks holding 1 million foreclosures nationally from the market until next year. As we all know the foreclosure business has slowed down dramatically this year. My personal thoughts are if you're contemplating selling now verses next year....now is probably going to net the seller a better bottom line. If the supply increases then prices must come down further to even out the supply / demand ratio. I always tell sellers they have to do what is best for themselves. Sometimes that's waiting this market out.”
If you are considering selling, always consult a real estate agent, even more so if you are considering selling in an oversaturated market. As Dana said, agents can’t put a value on your life, only you can. But by consulting one, you can at least have a fair understanding of what the market is doing and what to expect.
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Written by Mary Beth Tice, Team Gale Marketing Assistant
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Posted in Seller Tips on Aug 02, 2011