In today’s buyer oriented market, this is probably the key component of any marketing plan
Unlike a few years ago when you could set any price and wait for the market to reach it, every property must now be priced aggressively from the outset. This means taking a very close look at all comparable sales in the region. The market is stable and in some areas still declining so buyers are waiting for the best “deal” before even making an offer. A few thousand dollars can make the difference between a home being sold or simply never being shown.
The condition will get your home shown, but you will not receive a premium for your upgrades.
If your home doesn’t look great in your online pictures and the pictures are not supported by a simply drive by the property, you’ve probably lost the sale. Today, there are many do it yourself buyers. Even if working with an agent, buyers are continually out checking properties on their own online, in person in the neighborhood, and simply dropping in on Open Houses. This means the properties are continually being shown at all hours of the day and night and often with next to no notice. Today’s buyers don’t look through the clutter, they will simply find another property that “looks better”.
This is probably the number one issue currently being addressed in the market.
You have a great offer, have accepted the offer, and multi-weeks down the line, the buyer cannot move forward because the property “doesn’t appraise”. In this market, appraisers are appraising to function, not to upgrades, so a homeowner needs to understand that even if a buyer is willing to pay a premium, they may not be able to get the property to appraise for that value. Those items will attract the buyers and receive the offers, but at this point, you won’t receive your due for the time, money, and work that you have invested. Appraisers no longer are trying to match the contract price—any value may result from an appraisal today.
Next to appraisals, this is probably the second biggest issue.
Most buyers can still get pre-approved for a loan. The problem arises, that many of these same buyers will never get a loan through underwriting. With the continuing changes in Washington, the ever changing underwriting standards, and the bank paranoia, any potential issue can result in a loan being pulled at any time prior to settlement—even the same day! Many sales are delayed or tank the week before closing. In many ways, settlements are becoming an art so be ready for anything at the last minute.
Next to pricing, this probably can have the most impact on your successful sale.
Your property must be exposed everywhere. Maximum pictures need to be posted, videos need to be made, signs need to be visible, blogs need to be posted, information needs to be available in all formats 24 hours a day on as many sites and venues as possible. Ten years ago the newspapers were key as the primary source of real estate information, today they have become almost irrelevant. Buyers want pictures, details, school information, neighborhood information now. There are tons of sites delivering this information, your home information needs to be just as available.