If you bought or sold your first home after 2001 then you may be perplexed by the current market. If your home has been on the market over three weeks without an offer and few people are showing up at the Sunday Open House… Relax… Do not panic.. You did not choose the wrong agent… This is just a return to a normal market.
Over the last 5 years we became accustomed to a frantic and fast paced market where property sold in a day with multiple offers and selling prices far over the listed price. The last four months have seen a change from that mad whirl to a slower paced normal market.
In a normal market it may take 30-90 days for a property to sell. The list price will be close to what the house down the street sold for last month and maybe a bit under, not $200,000 over that price. The best offer you receive may be the first offer and it will likely be below the list price. If you are lucky you may get four potential buyers through an open house. Your Nephew who quit his job as an engineer to make millions in real estate is probably getting ready to go back to engineering.
Potential buyers are taking weeks or months to make a decision about a property. They are no longer willing to pay top dollar for a home in poor condition. They might look at a fixer if it is priced right but will not pay a premium price for a marginal property.
A prospective purchaser will buy when they perceive a definite value. They will no longer be willing to overpay on the assumption that the home will double in value in 6 months. This does not mean that prices are dropping drastically because they aren’t. It does mean prices will increase at a slower pace. If a property is perceived as an excellent value then you will see multiple offers. I know of 6 properties in the last two weeks that sold for over list price with multiple offers. They were all listed at market value and in excellent condition.
Many Sellers have a hard time adjusting to a slower market. They do not want to believe the Great Times are over and now they must settle for Good Times. Many Sellers get into trouble and wind up chasing a down market. They continue to list at a price higher then market value in the hope that someone will still pay their price. In the long run sellers who chase a market almost always lose more then if they had priced their property correctly when it was first listed. None of us is smarter then the market!
If you are thinking of selling soon here are a few tips:
Get your home in market condition.
*Take a good look at your home. If you have not painted recently then paint
the interior and exterior if necessary. If the carpet is worn replace it.
Have the house professionally cleaned including windows. Make those minor repairs you have been putting off.
*Look at the exterior of your home. Landscaping is often the key to selling a home.
Buyers make half their decision on a property based on the exterior
of the home. Many will not even get out of the car if the exterior is not
*Price your property at market value. Sellers always think a buyer will make a
lower offer on their home even if it is over priced… but they don’t. Buyers
rarely look at property well over their price range in the hope the seller
takes a lower offer. Your agent will give you current market COMPS
on similar homes in your area. Ask questions and view some of the competition to
see what they are like compared to your property.
*Have realistic expectations. Relax.. and your home will sell at the right price.