More than six years of a housing depression taught us to adjust, adapt, and learn new dynamics of selling in a declining market. This greatest of challenges has brought us back to the very fundamentals of our trade, selling real estate in the public marketplace.
At the core, beneath all the novel ideas of marketing, technologies, advertising, and sales strategies, there are three absolutes to selling your property- Price, Location, and Condition. Apply these properly and most of the work is done. The rest of the glitter is just about improving competitive advantages. There can be other dynamics that play a heightened role for a time. For a time such as this, I add a 4th dynamic which has played loudly for the past 5 years- Sometimes there are no buyers in a particular market.
1. Price Can Sell Anything, Anytime!
Nothing is as important as pricing the property right. Regardless of the condition of the property, market conditions, or location issues, price can be adjusted to compensate and sell any home in a reasonable time. The banks prove this everyday by selling a high volume of foreclosed properties quickly (accepted offer within 30 days). Banks cannot afford to keep these homes on their books so buyers often get the property at more than 15% under current market pricing. The bottom line is that pricing, appropriate to the goal, works even when other efforts do not.
Buyers today have almost all market knowledge at their finger tips and they are savvy about good values, deals, steals, and overpriced properties. If you list your $200,000 property with me today for $50,000 I will have a cash offer for you in a few hours! List it at $215,000 and it will sit there waiting for a price reduction; at $235,000 you are wasting your time; it will not sell no matter what you want or what a Realtor® promises you. No one controls the marketplace! No one can change it! No one violates its realities and gets rewarded for it. If your property sits on the market without showings or offers for too long, it is overpriced, at least as it is right now.
Of course most people do not want to unload their property like banks do; they want to sell it at fair market value. Only recent sold properties reveal what market value really is. Actively listed comparable properties on the market are nothing more than opinions of value by agents (sometimes flawed) or the dreams of owners (sometimes unrealistic). These prices may change often and dramatically until they reach true market value and sell. Active listings should be viewed only to evaluate your competitive position to gain a buyer who might be in the market place. To get a better price, the following principles apply…
2. Location Is The Standard for Real Estate Value:
Location, location, location has always been the key to establishing value and sale-ability in the marketplace. Location is about ‘local’ issues right down to the very home’s area, neighborhood, and setting. If you are where people want to be, you will sell it for more money and quicker. Right now urban living is in vogue, is green, is less expensive for commuting, and is convenient to restaurants and great shopping, etc. Guess what? The Pearl District in Portland is expensive and yet it sells well! Walking distance to McMinnville’s down town or convenience to a select school gets a better price. A quiet cul-de-sac sells easier than a home on a busy feeder street. Highway visibility for a commercial space is more expensive than on secondary streets even if the buildings are more attractive. On the other hand a home next to the highway is in trouble in the same way that a home near airport noise suffers. You will have greater challenges on a gravel road, in areas with no cell reception, next door to a dilapidated home, or near a smelly business. These are difficult to sell; therefore, the property has to adjust pricing to move it.
3. The Property Condition Can Get a Quicker Sale and a Better Price!
Home “flippers” want a fixer-upper but they also require the low price which goes with it.