Good morning real estate afficionados, from the World Headquarters of Optimism Atop the Hill (based in my study with a wonderful view of rural Williamson County, Texas).
I was sitting here reading my email this morning, going through the maze of "How to Survive" and "Get More Listings" spam from vendors, and it occurred to me - they want us to buy in to this sensationalism, but the real truth is that things are going briskly here in the Georgetown area.
Sure, we still have a little over 2 years of inventory in the $500-750k market here (on the west side), but you know what? If you have that kind of money to spend, you've seen them all and the ones that have sat forever have sat forever FOR A REASON.
NEWS ALERT: WELL LOCATED PROPERTIES THAT ARE APPROPRIATELY PRICED AND CLEAN/STAGED SELL QUICKLY...SOMETIMES WITH MULTIPLE OFFERS.
Holy cow. Is this a new truth? Well, I think you know the answer to that.
But it is kind of uncanny. With all the horrible news, I have been shocked to be involved in no less than FIVE different multiple offer situations in a span of two weeks. This tells me two things:
- Either sellers that are not selling aren't preparing their properties well enough, or
- Agents are not exercising their fiduciary responsibility to tell them that they are priced too high.
Right now, it IS a buyer's market - for the stale inventory. If your listing has been sitting, and there are no showings, revisit your marketing - starting with the price. Buyers do not care about houses that are built as "monuments to the seller." BUYERS CARE ABOUT VALUE. PERIOD.
I realize this sounds a bit condescending, and I don't mean to be critical. Often, sellers take an emotional approach to pricing their home, based on what they have in it, what others are asking, etc. They need us to tell them when their impressions of what TODAY's buyers want are skewed. Floorplans, finishout, location, competing inventory, success rate of the neighbhorhood, convicted sex offenders, school rankings....anything and everything could be a reason why your listing never makes it above choice #2 in the buyer's eyes. Our job is to find the anwer and deal with it if we can. Sometimes (like floorplan or location) the issue is unchangeable. Sometimes it is because the photos are teeny and you cannot see anything in them.
Regrettably, it is often price tag.
Because they view homes as a commodity, Buyers today measure value in two ways:
- I get more for my money, or
- I get the same for LESS money.
As a buyer's agent, I get frustrated with price tags that are nowhere near realistic. It paints a negative spin on our profession. "Well, my realtor didn't get it sold..."
Tell your sellers this simple principle about today's real estate buyer:
THE INTERNET HAS MADE BUYERS MORE EDUCATED THAN ANY OTHER POINT IN HISTORY.
I work with a lot of buyers. Many times, they show up for their very first visit to Texas with pre-conceived notions about what is and isn't overpriced! Of course, it is my job to reign them in and educate them, but when we put our listing agent hats on and wonder why no one is buying, we MUST consider the point above.
Gang, there is a lot of "pent-up demand" out there right now, regardless of what CNN says. Buyers are willing to buy if you give them a reason. Let's all take a look at our listings and look for a COMPELLING REASON to be chosen #1....because we all know: IT ONLY TAKES COMING IN SECOND TO NOT SELL YOUR HOME. In a time where prices are declining, you can cost yourself by not taking care of things early in the game.
Who knows? I may show up with a buyer for you...