Selling a home in today's market is difficult, but it is not impossible if you fully understand the reality of what you are up against!

By
Real Estate Agent with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers

Southern Mansion by Richard WeisserI have been doing a lot of listing presentations lately. Most of these would-be sellers are homeowners that are not in arrears on their mortgage payments, and that own houses that few first-time homebuyers can afford. They are really caught in the pinch.

As I start my presentation, I tell the potential sellers that there are certain inescapable realities with which one must come to terms if they are going to be successful in the quest for a consummated sale.

Once these market driven tenets are understood, the process of selling a non-distressed property can be accelerated.

Here are some of those realities:

  1. All properties are competing with foreclosures, bank-owned and short sale properties. And whether or not that affects the ‘appraisal" of a property, it always diminishes the pool of an already limited number of buyers. There is a glut of homes for sale and a relatively few qualified purchasers that are ready and able to buy.
  2. There are few or no incentives available for "move-up" buyers to purchase larger or more expensive homes. Since most of the credits and assistance programs are geared towards first time buyers, with little or no money for down-payment, price is the key factor when determining affordability. The monthly mortgage payment is the determining factor for most of the purchasers that are buying today.
  3. Purchasers with no ready cash can only purchase houses that qualify for unique federally backed funding. While this is an excellent method of liquidating foreclosed properties, it perpetuates the problem by creating an unfair competitive advantage that further erodes the conventional market.
  4. No qualified purchaser with ready cash and good credit wants to purchase an expensive property in an unstable market. Most want to "hedge their bets" by purchasing below market price to offset the possibility of future price declines.
  5. And finally, there is an all-consuming overriding desire on behalf of some purchasers to "steal" a house. Although there are plenty of them looking, few will ever purchase a home. As they make one lowball offer after another, the interest rates have inched ever higher and higher, making even less likely that these bargain hunters will ever close a deal.

River House at dusk by Richard WeisserTo offset these realities, a seller must make their "product" as attractive as possible, both in terms of price and appeal. Pricing the property correctly from the get-go is a must, and should include as many purchasing incentives as possible.

  1. Be prepared to pay closing costs, provide a home warranty, prepay homeowner association fees and any other legal obligation in an effort to diminish the actual cash outlay from a purchaser.
  2. Keep the house in pristine condition, inside and out. This is the one area where the conventional home seller can excel over a distressed property. A house that is move-in ready and correctly presented can really make a difference.
  3. Keep an open mind towards all offers. Expect the lowball offer, and attempt to make it work without contempt or resentment. Every purchaser wants to feel like they "tried" to get their best deal.
  4. And most importantly, make the home available to should on a moments notice. The houses that are the easiest to show get shown the most. It sounds obvious, but if an agent is sitting outside with a buyer, make certain that they can see the house right then. If a seller asks for an appointment, the chance of getting the house shown is probably diminished by 75%!

If these realities are recognized and addressed, there is a good chance that the property will sell. And that's good for sellers and buyers alike!

All content, including text, original art, photographs and images, is the exclusive property of Coweta Fayette Real Estate, Inc., and may not be used without the expressed written permission of Coweta Fayette Real Estate of ERA United Realty Newnan Georgia. All information is believed to be accurate but is not warranted, Copyright 2003-2009. Richard Weisser 770-827-6225.
Learn more about Coweta County and Fayette County Georgia Real Estate, and to search the entire Georgia MLS for free with no registration required visit CowetaFayetteRealEstate.com! Photos of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

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Topic:
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Comments 17 New Comment

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Ambassador
1,391,653
Tammy Lankford
Your Lake Sinclair Expert (706-485-9668)
Lane Realty

Great list and I really LOVE # 4.  In this market WHO would make you have to have a 24 hour appointment to show their home.  Not a very motivated seller I say.  A missed showing could just be a missed sale.

July 01, 2009 08:28 AM
Rainmaker
122,037
Jim Valentine
RE/MAX Realty Affiliates

Richard,  Very good summary of this market.  Buyers and Sellers must be aware of everything on your list as they proceed to buy and sell.  It will help them get a more three dimensional perspective of their situation that will help them make "real" decisions.  I agree with your comment on those looking to steal a home.  They may be making offers, but few are going together.  They usually miss out on everything, and, more importantly, they never get the home they really want.  Life is too short to not live in a home you really really like.  Great post!

July 01, 2009 08:36 AM
Rainmaker
437,009
JL Boney, III
Columbia, SC Real Estate
Russell and Jeffcoat

The sellers that realize they have to make effort to sell their home, usually manage to do so. There are however a lot of sellers out there that refuse to get it.

July 01, 2009 09:29 AM
Rainmaker
657,392
Pacita Dimacali
Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA
Alain Pinel

Richard

We all encounter difficult and unrealistic sellers from time to time. Some sellers are still deluded into thinking they'll get multiple offer at, or above their list price. Well yes, they will, if the list prices are below market value.

I talked to a listing agent who was fired from her listing. She said the seller yelled and screamed at her for even suggesting that the offer I brought from my buyers was a good one. The property is re-listed with another agency --- wonder how long that one will last before the seller yells and screams again.

July 01, 2009 02:48 PM
Rainmaker
142,381
Cristal Drake
Realtor - Fullerton Real Estate
Prudential California Realty

As always Richard, well said! Your points about no incentive for move up buyers is key. Here are the ones that did not buy more than they could afford, have equity that would like a larger home so that a lucky first time buyer could buy theirs but where is their incentive? 

July 01, 2009 08:47 PM
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Richard Weisser

Richard Weisser Coweta Newnan Homes for Sale
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Additional Information

Author Bio: Richard Weisser is a Georgia real estate broker, licensed auctioneer, and has been writing about Georgia Real Estate since 1999.

Coweta Fayette Real Estate offers opinions and helpful information to consumers and real estate professionals in the Coweta County Georgia area.

Coweta Fayette Real Estate allows you to search the entire Georgia MLS for free with NO registration required!

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