Have you ever invested in a stock that was labeled “hot” on the front page of a local newspaper? If you have then you are familiar with the analogy “that ship has sailed”. The local housing market is in a similar state.
Local headlines have sellers feeling unrealistically bullish of late, and it’s not just about price. We are beginning to hear: “we’ll let the buyer fix that” and “we’ve already done enough” and “we don’t want to spend the money”, etc. These are the refrains that will leave sellers at a dead-end when their property fails to sell. When we face sellers with similar resolve we find it best to walk away.
Selling today is very different from just a few years ago. All aspects of property preparation, pricing, photos, and development of marketing materials must be choreographed down to the hour. Initial exposure to the market for every listing occurs the moment it is entered into the MLS system. There are no do-overs. The age-old saying, “you can only make one first impression” has never been more relevant.
If an offer is not forthcoming within the first two weeks on the market a property can be stigmatized i.e., buyers and their respective brokers will view it as overpriced. A property may be overpriced for the surrounding market, or overpriced due to the condition of the property itself. Limitations on showings such as “24 hour notice required”, “no MLS keybox” and “showings only between X:00 AM and Y:00 PM” severely limit showings, and potential offers in a fast market.
Know that a shortage of competition does not equate to selling for more money than your property is worth and/or that less preparation is required. The shortage of competition increases the odds that your property will sell in a shorter time frame, and closer to full price. If you and your broker adhere to this perception you will succeed, and possibly benefit from a multiple offer scenario that causes your list price to be exceeded. If you attempt to anticipate where a multiple offer scenario may end up in price the odds are that you will fail, possibly ending up with a lower price than if you had taken a straight up approach to pricing to begin with. We see it happen…every day.
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