by Sean Hess (www.SeanHess.com), Broker and Manager for St. Augustine Team Realty (www.StAugustineTeamRealty.com). Join us on Facebook.
I saw a post this morning on an online forum from a seller who wanted to know what % he could charge over market value and still sell his home.
I’d like to paraphrase the Trix Rabbit here: “Silly Seller, Real Estate is for Pros.”
Actually, you can overcharge for your home in Orlando, becuase Orlando is where Fantasy Land is located, and that be the only place you can sell your home for over market right now. And then when you’re finished you can ride “It’s a Small World.”
Market price is simply the place where a willing seller and a willing buyer meet. We use recent sales to give us the most recent indication of where buyers are at in terms of what they are willing to pay for, and what list price we expect to see activity at. For example, if most homes in a neighborhood are selling around $150,000, but several of them are listed at $170,000, then you can list at $170,000 but don’t expect more than $150,000. The best thing you can do is actually list at $150,000 and get that offer right away instead of paying for 6 months of house payments, utilities, etc. Head over that top line and you will fail to sell…and your neighbors also trying to sell their home will thank you for taking yourself out of the game.
“But Sean, if I list for $150,000 they’re going to bring me an offer of $140,000.”
Possibly, but the offer will be in the first few weeks and if they are serious they will come up. If it really is a $150,000 house someone will come along even if these koombas don’t. And, after you run the numbers, maybe $140,000 works after all.
Think about it: if you’re paying $2000 a month in carrying costs and you are listed at $170,000 and you end up selling seven months later at $142,000, you’ve just spent $14,000 to get an offer that was only $2000 better than what you would have gotten the first week…at a net loss of $12,000. That $12,000 should have been going into your new home.
If you have a home that does not lend itself to more uniform pricing, you should at least be able to determine a range…and right now the way things are the best professional advice I have for this market, today, is to head for the lower end or below that range.
You really want a few more dollars (and a faster sale) beyond list price? Take this advice I found online from Glendale, California, real estate agent Keith Sorem:
1. Most home sellers do not properly prepare their homes for sale. One of main reasons that home sellers hire a Realtor is to find out what they can do to their home with limited time and money to make it the most marketable.
2. It is not how much money or time you spend, it is where. The benefit to hiring a Realtor to sell your home is that they know the local market, what is on the market, and what buyers want.
3. Declutter – space is money. Get rid of everything that you do not need.
4. Clean – as you never have before, including windows, light fxtures….maybe hire a professional cleaner.
5. Paint – all must look freshly painted.
6. Staging touches – I give my clients a staging checklist. After doing all the above, add, fresh flowers, flowering plants, expensive looking and/or new towels in the bath, linens on the dining table, etc.