I put off writing this for a few days. I rechecked my numbers from the system generated reports. I hate to break the bad news, but the local market is down over last year, and not by a little. By a lot. A lot is a 23% decrease over last year. That is no rounding error. As much as I would like to echo the sentiment from last months 5% decline – there is simply no way you can blame the harsh winter at this point. I checked May’s number so far and ran the numbers up until May 15 for comparison and it could show some signs of recovery with a 15% increase.
In light of the numbers above I want to give you some strategies you can use to help in the sale or purchase of a home.
If you are selling make sure your property stands out from the pack. Price it correctly -forget this ‘let’s test the market’ mentality. The buyer knows better and will skip your house and not even bid. Automated valuation and information is online, and if you have a great Realtor (like one from Perry Wellington of course) with computer skills and knowledge, the buyer will know whether your price is correct. Don’t forget, when you use Perry Wellington Realty, you save on commission, so you can be the most aggressive with your price – buyers know this and understand that they are saving money too.
Prepare it for sale – fix what needs fixing. Paint and prepare and stage the home for maximum appeal.
Look at your competition – what do the other homes in your price category offer – do you match or beat their appeal?
Pictures – excellent pictures showcase your property online – make sure your agent is NOT USING A CELL PHONE (I had to shout that out) to take your pictures.
Agent – You need a good agent to pull all of this together for your online and offline strategy. Eager, high tech agents with great social media skills and connections are a new breed of agent not found at many brokerages.
Brokerage – Perry Wellington now sells more than one out of every 10 homes in the local market, and we are now in the top 3 brokerages in sales volume. We did this in just a few short years. We use the same Multiple Listing Service and other brokerages and agents can’t wait to sell our houses – remember that the buyer is in control now, so the buyer tells the agent what houses they want to tour and buy.
Forget Print – Sellers still think that print advertising works. It is a tactic used locally, but almost nowhere else. Buyers are online – not looking in the local paper, for homes. Recently we sold a home for a seller in about 2 weeks. The seller told us that they interviewed another agent, who was charging 6.75% commission and they had magazines and books and newspaper ads and told the seller this is why the seller needed to use them as their agent. These ads the agent would use have a single small phoo and an abbreviated description of the property. The seller listed with us for 4.5% and got the same result – house sold quickly. Even if the agent had used the print method, it takes weeks if not almost a month for the house to appear in the print advertisements. This just doesn’t work anymore.
You are out there, but you are choosy. You are searching day and night online – scouring the internet for the home you desire. (This sounds like a Horoscope) Here are your tips.
Be prepared – Get Prequalified with a lender to make sure you can get the bid in on the house you like and get it accepted. Choose any lender, we recommend our own, of course – Circuit Mortgage.
Be prepared – Have money in the bank – save, save, save. We have a segment coming up on on our TV Show tomorrow discussing the timeline for having your finances in order.
Be prepared – to have competition. Despite the down sales, the desirable homes in certain price points move quickly and with multiple bidders. If you really love a house, don’t lose it over a lowball bid. Step up and buy it if you want it. Inventory is still scarce in some price points and once a house sells, you will regret that you didn’t make a better offer.
Be prepared – to see houses at a moment’s notice. Make sure you have an agent who can respond quickly and get you in the door. We use teams to make sure we always have coverage.
Get a Buyer’s agent – should have mentioned this sooner. They can coach you and be there for you and represent YOU through the process. Buyers should avoid using the same agent as the seller (DUAL AGENT) because the agent then represents NEITHER YOU NOR THE SELLER (I am shouting because you need to have YOUR agent represent you and not the one who is already working for the seller).
Most of all you should have a good time, this is an exciting time for you in hour house sale or house hunting.
All statistics courtesy Allegheny Highlands Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service.