Greg and Katie were recently referred to me by a client, for whom I sold their home back in the "good old days" of 2001. You remember what it was like back then, don't you? You could be assured of selling your home near the top of your market range, and even then, it wouldn't take longer than 90 days.
Greg and Katie knew that they were in for a rude surprise in this market. They had heard the horror stories of friends, whose homes were still sitting on the market after a year! They had seen the "For Sale" signs in their neighborhood being overgrown by the weeds growing up in the lawn around them. Their hopes weren't high.
Against this backdrop, I came in with my "Total Market Overview". For regular readers of my posts, you have seen glimpses of my TMO with my monthly market statistics. The TMO gives a big picture of the total real estate market for our area. When Greg and Katie saw that the inventory of homes in our area had reached 19 months worth of sales, their expectations fell even further.
One thing about the TMO - you sure get to understand that your home is not "unique". Your home is competing for attention with many other homes - sometimes, more than 100! The only way to even have a chance at selling amongst so much competition is to offer a terrific value. And, you have to be among the top 3 in homes like yours on the market. When agents go to show homes, they'll show the top 3 similar homes, and maybe a few more. If you're not among those 3, your home will likely never be shown.
Having worked all summer to prepare their home for sale, Greg and Katie were able to offer a great home. What they learned from the TMO was how they would have to price their home in order to gain that "top 3" position.
Well, let me quote here exactly what Greg wrote about the effectiveness of our strategy.
"If we can sell our home in under 3 weeks in this market I will be tickled pink."
In fact, we closed on the sale of Greg and Katie's home yesterday. Here's the proof!
The moral of the story?
A professional Realtor knows their market, inside and out. They will listen to your needs and wants, and will do their best to help you achieve them. But realize that it's a huge market for homes out there, and you have to know what your competition is doing. If you tell your Realtor that you want to sell at the top of the price range, and have it all done in 30 days - well, that's just not going to happen in this market.
Instead, ask your Realtor - "What price will it take for me to sell my home in the next 90 days?" While you may be disappointed in the amount, at least you will know what it will take. Only then can you know whether to even bother trying to sell. If you're not willing to consider a price that will get you in the top 3 of your competition, then you need to be prepared for your home being on the market a long, long time.
For sure, it won't be on the market for only 3 weeks, like Greg and Katie!