Working with buyers can be unpredictable. One week they are convinced they want to live in the country and the next week we are in Folsom looking at new track homes. They wouldn’t consider paying more than $400,000 but all the homes they want to preview are priced at more than $450,000. Two-story homes are out one week and the next week they’re a better value. A three-bedroom is not an option until it is.
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Buyers are challenging because often they don’t have a good understanding of the real estate market. Perhaps they are new to the area, unfamiliar with schools, shopping and neighborhood amenities. It may take time for them to develop a sense for home values. As they become more knowledgeable their priorities may change.
Sellers on the other hand are pretty predictable. They all have the same priorities. They want the highest price possible for their home. They want to sell the home as quickly as possible, they don’t want their home life to be interrupted and they want a hassle-free escrow with no surprises. The challenge for agents is to make that all happen simultaneously.
With sellers pretty much in agreement in what they want to accomplish, one would assume that the accepted approach to marketing their homes would be predictable as a typical shopping experience with one of our large grocers. All the stores are clean, well-lit and attractive with spacious aisles, courteous clerks and competitive prices. Naturally, that isn’t the case.
Only about one-third of all the active listings are correctly priced, in good condition and easily accessible for showing. These listings sell quickly and for a higher price. As an example, of the 180 homes closing escrow over the last six weeks, one-third sold within 30 days of being listed at 99 percent of their selling price. Another third of the sales during that time were on the market between 45 and 90 days and sold at 96 percent of their listing price and another third were listed more than 90 days and sold for 95 percent of their listed price. All these sellers had the same goal of a fast sale and higher price yet only one-third achieved it. What’s up with that?
The National Association of Realtors recently asked 5,000 agents what they believed were the biggest mistakes that sellers make when selling their home. Although every circumstance is different, here are the top 10.
Ken Calhoon is a local real estate broker and can be reached at [email protected].