You have probably been noticing more price reductions, and more properties coming on market lately. Many people have been waiting for a change, a shift from the crazy lack of inventory and bidding wars that we witnessed earlier in the year.
Some of you (hello buyers!) are hoping for a crash in prices like we saw in the middle of the recession. This is not going to happen, peeps. Sorry to burst that bubble.
Why? Today's market is very, very different from what we had back then. Lending has changed, different buyers are bringing money to the market. Heck, even how appraisals are done is completely different. Still with me, or are your eyes glazing over?
What we are more likely to see coming up in the next fiew months is a slight slow down rather than a crash, a leveling off if you will. Let me explain...
Ways for Buyers to Capitalize
Are you looking for houses every day (c'mon you can tell me) and hoping the rates will stay low through spring so you can get serious? Those price reductions you have been seeing pop up everywhere do not mean the market is coming down. Rather, it means sellers (and the agents working with them) are finally adjusting their expectatations for those particular homes. This is good for you -- this grounding means more reasonable prices. But, it also means more buyers will come out of hibernation earlier in the spring. Heck, it's hard to wait that long after you've been looking.
The average square foot pricing of sold homes (not active) has stayed pretty steady lately.
Contrary to popular thought, buyers can't always see everything that's out there for sale. Case in point: A condo coming on market at a great price was just shared to me by another broker. We talk to each other...a lot. We know what's coming on market, what just fell out of contract, and what price adjustments are likely to happen soon. Try getting Zillow to share that info with you.
Back on Market Listings
This, my friend, can be a secret weapon. The websites that churn out those new listings and spit them out into your inbox each morning do not show you the ones that went under contract the day after going on market, and then, very quietly, came back on. The older a listing is, even if it showed it face very briefly, makes it old news in the web world eyes. I can find that gem for you.
Get comfortable visualizing
Step away from the HGTV. I know Joanna and Chip or the brothers told you your new home should have everything done/easy/glowing so all you need to do is change the color of an accent wall and add a doggy door for your pooch.
Real life is quite different, so work with an agent (hello there handsome!) that can visualize what really needs to be done, what costs bucks and what is easy. Don't underestimate the ugly duckling property that's waiting for a bit of elbow grease. Not handy you say? All fixer-uppers are not created equally. Let's go find the one that fits your style and budget.
How Sellers Can Benefit
Did you grit your teeth and hunker down in your chair a bit when you came to this part of the story? Are you thinking that some parts of our market are slowing, but yours is bulletproof? You've got that house that everyone wants, at least that's what all your friends and the agent friend that wants your listing told you.
Here's the thing, no one knows where our market will shift, or when it will happen. By placing your home in front of the right eyes (targeted marketing) and thoroughly analyzing trends in your specific neighborhood (custom analysis) and staging your property for photos (pack up those doilies and family photos) you will position your home properly right out of the gate.
There's no time for testing the market with a price that's too high. Nail it early, and you avoid the extra months of mortgage payments and overhead. Then you can move on with your life.
One of the best things you can do as a seller is to choose an agent that's going to be upfront and honest with you. It may seem tempting to choose the one with the lowest commission and highest promised price, but this can be costly.
At the end of the day, you want to net the most money for you home possible. That cut rate brokerage won't have the marketing prowess to put your home in front of the right buyer eyes, and won't take the time to constantly update their research to make sure their marketing is getting hits on the internet. And most of all, the agent that promised you a couple percentage points less for their commission -- how are their negotiation skills? You don't want to be left high and dry making all of the little nuanced decisions because they are inexperienced, or really just want their check.
Choosing the wrong agent (Aunt Tammy, Cousin Jack) may feel right when you are talking turkey at the holiday table, but let's think about that stomachache you'll be fighting two months out when your listing is collecting dust and Jack is on the slopes or thinking about giving up on real estate because he can't make a go of it.
Get in touch with us, and we'll share our book Preparing for a Successful Sale with you.