April 18, 2008
Take a look in just about any neighborhood and you may find the sign of distressed times. Foreclosures are on the rise and that can cause a lot of panic for sellers who aren't in the same financial crisis.
"We're in a very price-sensitive market and obviously in any buyers' market that's the case," says Chris Heller, President of The Heller Real Estate Group, Inc. at Keller Williams.
The increase of awareness about foreclosures is stimulating buyers to keep fishing and pushing for even lower prices for homes.
"So the sellers who are not in foreclosure or who are not in distress have to compete with those properties with the same pool of buyers. So there are two things that they can do; the two things are: pricing the property so it is competitively priced ... and they have to make sure that the property shows in absolute perfect condition," says Heller. He adds, "The more choices the buyer has, the more critical the showing condition."
Get clear about your market-length time. Having an accurate picture of how long you can have your home on the market will help you to price it correctly. Remember, that buyers aren't going to pay a premium price out of sympathy simply because the seller owes more on the mortgage. Price your home based on its worth, not on what you owe.
Work with an agent. Now more than ever, an experienced agent can help provide the advice and knowledge sellers need to get their home sold. Agents can also help to aggressively market your home so that it doesn't get lost in a sea of foreclosure homes.
Price your home correctly from the start.
All too often sellers end up taking a humble ride down and diminishing their possible gain. "They end up chasing the market down -- whether they realize it or not," says Heller. Price is critical. When determining price, don't just look at computer screen shots of homes that are selling in your neighborhood, get in the car and take a ride around to view the exterior and interior of properties that your home will be competing against -- that's exactly what buyers will do. Overpricing your home will cause it to sit on the market for an extended period. Eventually your listing will become stale and you may receive many lowball offers from buyers who are simply fishing to see how low you'll go. If a home is slightly underpriced you can generate more attention and improve your chances of getting a qualified offer.
Choose the best methods to promote your home. "Nowadays, advertising isn't really important because every buyer has access to almost complete information via the Internet -- everyone can find the properties," says Heller. "Advertising used to be important when buyers didn't have access to the property or a way of finding the property, but now buyers can do their own shopping, searching, and finding. They're going to do that based on their perception of value and how it's priced based on the other properties that they are looking at," explains Heller. However, that doesn't mean you shouldn't have virtual tours and lots of pictures loaded on websites that feature your home -- buyers like to preview before they actually see the home in person.
Make your home the best value "Buyers are going to look at all their options. We have to make it painfully obvious that we're the best value. It doesn't always mean the lowest price. It may mean a nicer house for the same price. It may mean having more goodies for the same price. It may mean having a lower price, but the buyers have the information and prices of what's available and they will choose the one that is the best value -- and we're either going to help sell the other homes or the other homes are going to help sell ours," says Heller.
By Phoebe Chongchua Copyright © 2008 Realty Times.