Selling Your Scottsdale Home in Today's Market

By
Real Estate Agent with Realty Executives

House For Sale                                Price, Pitch & Product

In the challenging market that we are facing here in Scottsdale, never have the basics been more critical to successfully selling a house.  With more than 55,000 active listings in Maricopa County, buyers have never had more choices than they do right now.  To ensure that your property does not become one of those lonely houses that languishes on the market for months on end, you must stand out from the crowd.  How do you accomplish this?  Through careful analysis of your Price, Pitch & Product

PricePrice

Setting the proper list price is absolutely paramount in this climate.  Many sellers have fallen into the trap of "testing the market" at an unrealistic price.  While you could get away with this back when the market was going gangbusters, nothing will undermine your ultimate sales price like reaching too high at the outset.  The best shot at attaining peak market value is within the first 30 days.  This is when you get the attention of all of the buyers that are currently in the market.  By overpricing and missing out on the "new listing buzz," you resign yourself to either waiting for new buyers to enter the market or reducing your price to attract attention.  And once you start backpedaling on price, it has to be substantial to make an impact.  It is common for an overpriced listing to end up being reduced far below true market value once it has become stale or stigmatized.  To recapture the market's attention, the price cannot merely be brought in line with the competition, but must undercut it significantly.  This is true for any market, but is especially poignant in a market which has experienced declining values.  If you miss the mark initially, and values subsequently fall further ... it might get bloody.  Don't chase the market down.  Price your home realistically from the start.  If anything, price it just a tad low to prompt a sale before values have a chance to sag further.  Consult with a knowledgeable Realtor to establish the proper price.

PitchSales Pitch

A great price will go a long way toward getting your home sold, but only if buyers are aware of it.  Top market value is obtained by creating demand.  Demand is increased by casting as wide a net over qualified buyers as possible.  In addition to helping you determine the proper asking price for your home, fully exposing the property to the market is one of the key functions of your Realtor.  To this end, a two-pronged approach is needed.  First, is marketing directly to buyers.  Internet listings, virtual tours, open houses, property flyer distribution ... the works.  With approximately 80-85% of buyers beginning their searches online these days, smart agents are redirecting the bulk of their marketing campaigns to the virtual world.  Considering that the overwhelming majority of houses sell with the involvement of a buyer's agent, however, promoting the property within the industry is just as, if not more, vital.  This is the second prong.  Successful agents are quite adept at networking within the profession.  After all, there are a lot of agents out there who come in contact with a lot of buyers.  Promoting your property to this sales force is absolutely critical to get as many eyes on the property as possible.  Just throwing it on the MLS does not cut it, as agents have thousands from which to choose.  A good agent will expressly promote your house to the top producers in the area to ensure that your home does not get lost in the shuffle.  I have seen far more transactions result from tour groups, back channels and marketing meetings than traditional direct advertising. 

 

ProductClean That House!

Remember the purple carpet and pink walls that you could get away with in 2005?  Not anymore.  Buyers have never been more finicky about the condition of a home.  If your home has deficiencies, fix them, or it will drastically hinder your ability to sell.  Tired carpet should be replaced, and too bright colors should be toned down.  No dirty clothes strewn about the house.  No personal hygiene items left out on the bathroom countertops.  The landscaping needs to be immaculate.  Your agent should walk through the entire house, room by room, putting together a brutally honest list of items that are detrimental to sale.  Fix as many as possible.  It may be possible to sell the home without showcasing it to full potential, but the buyer will expect a big discount.  There is always a market for cheap, but that is not the market you wish to capture!  Shine that diamond to perfection, and keep it that way until you find your buyer.  Do not let apathy or laziness creep in as you never know when your buyer is going to walk through the door.  With the media, friends, co-workers and the family dog all telling people not to buy, you have enough objections to overcome that have nothing to do with your house.  To convince a buyer to take the plunge in this climate is no easy feat.  While you cannot do anything to ease their fears about buying in an allegedly free-falling market, you can remove as many objections to your particular home as possible.  You must leave a buyer with no reason NOT to buy your home

  1. Price it right. 
  2. Pitch it through an experienced Realtor. 
  3. Present your Product to the public in top condition.

The sale of your home is supported by this tripod.  Do these three things, and yours will be a success story.  If any leg is weak, however, it all comes crashing down.  Don't become just another statistic for the media to breathlessly report.  Don't allow yourself to become a victim of a slow market.  Take the proper steps and get your house sold!

 

Paul Slaybaugh is your Scottsdale, AZ Realtor.  Please visit www.rayandpaul.com for all of your Scottsdale, Phoenix and Paradise Valley Real Estate needs.

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Rainmaker
331,719
Paul Slaybaugh
Realty Executives - Scottsdale, AZ
Scottsdale, AZ Real Estate
Ah, how can I have forgotten the most important "P," Brian?  I think I'll use that!  Thanks for commenting.
Oct 10, 2007 08:24 AM #4
Rainmaker
204,202
Jennifer Monroe
Savvy + Company Real Estate - Charlotte, NC
Real Estate REALTORĀ®/Broker in Beautiful Charlotte

This is fantastic Paul!! I want to send it to all my listings and future listings. The most crucial point that drives home the message is this:

"It is common for an overpriced listing to end up being reduced far below true market value once it has become stale or stigmatized."

When will they ever learn??? They can follow all the rest of this terrific advice and if they can't let go of unrealistic greed, then nothing else matters. 

Oct 10, 2007 09:19 AM #5
Rainer
55,837
Calie Waterhouse
Chandler, AZ
Education & Promotion Specialist
Another wonderful post, Paul, however, I agree with Brian - It should be four P's, as you have definitely earned a place of honor. (Great marketing idea, too!)  Thanks for sharing! - Calie
Oct 10, 2007 09:20 AM #6
Rainmaker
331,719
Paul Slaybaugh
Realty Executives - Scottsdale, AZ
Scottsdale, AZ Real Estate
That is the gospel truth, Jennifer.  If there is one part that is most generally out of whack, it's price.  Human nature is to swing for the fences and hope to get lucky.  This often has disastrous consequences when selling a property, unfortunately.  Thank you for taking the time to comment!
Oct 10, 2007 09:40 AM #7
Rainmaker
331,719
Paul Slaybaugh
Realty Executives - Scottsdale, AZ
Scottsdale, AZ Real Estate
Thank you, Calie.  I think you're right.  That would make an excellent slogan, wouldn't it ... hmmm.
Oct 10, 2007 09:41 AM #8
Rainer
77,274
Yvonne Root
rooms b.y. root - Prescott, AZ
Home Stager - Northern Arizona
Paul, With your permission I would like to include your information in my own marketing material. I wish I would have had this article to present to the class I recently taught at our local college. The class was for people who are getting ready to sell their homes. Come to think of it, I could have welcomed them to the class, handed out this article and said, "Get this down and you will know what you need to know. Have a great day. Bye-bye." Wonderful post with excellent information. Did I mention the 5 I gave it? 
Oct 10, 2007 12:52 PM #9
Rainmaker
331,719
Paul Slaybaugh
Realty Executives - Scottsdale, AZ
Scottsdale, AZ Real Estate

You absolutely have my permission to use this post, Yvonne.  I highly doubt that you are not already fully armed with pertinent information, but you are always welcome to any tidbit you find useful in my blog.  Thank you for finding the time to follow my musings and always having a kind word to say.  I won't discourage the high rating, either. ;)

Oct 10, 2007 01:18 PM #10
Rainer
77,274
Yvonne Root
rooms b.y. root - Prescott, AZ
Home Stager - Northern Arizona
Thanks Paul! I will include your contact info with what I use. 
Oct 10, 2007 02:08 PM #11
Rainmaker
301,261
Karen Otto
Home Star Staging - Plano, TX
Plano Home Staging, Dallas Home Staging, www.homes
Great info (you can thank Yvonne Root for sending me your way) she's a fan and now I can see why.
Oct 10, 2007 03:01 PM #12
Rainmaker
331,719
Paul Slaybaugh
Realty Executives - Scottsdale, AZ
Scottsdale, AZ Real Estate
I hope it helps, Yvonne!
Oct 10, 2007 03:15 PM #13
Rainmaker
331,719
Paul Slaybaugh
Realty Executives - Scottsdale, AZ
Scottsdale, AZ Real Estate
Well thank you again Yvonne, this time for introducing Karen.  I'll be sure to visit your blog as well, Karen.  I appreciate you giving mine a read.
Oct 10, 2007 03:18 PM #14
Rainer
274,098
Adam Waldman
Westcott Group Real Estate Company - Hauppauge, NY
Realtor - Long Island
PAUL:  You know that you're right.  We all know that you're right.  I even believe that some consumers know that you're right.  For some strange reason, no matter how much we make rational arguments to support everything that you mentioned, people are still willing to "test" the market at inflated prices.  We can all keep plugging away verball, and blogging about it, but it will still take time for the public to accept what we're saying.  Great job!  Hopefully the message will get through to consumers.
Oct 10, 2007 08:36 PM #15
Rainmaker
331,719
Paul Slaybaugh
Realty Executives - Scottsdale, AZ
Scottsdale, AZ Real Estate
All we can do is spread the word, Adam.  There is a certain segment of the public that will refuse to accept the advice and counseling of a Realtor as anything other than self-serving.  The thinking being that we agents just want a lower price to facilitate a fast sale.  These are the people that end up getting hurt the most, as they steadfastly refuse to acknowledge the truth.  Of course, without these unfortunate souls who price themselves out of the running, hire the cheapest agent they can find, and fail to get the home prepped for the market, my listings wouldn't look so great in comparison!  My clients and I should really be sending these folks Christmas cards and gift baskets.  Thanks, as always, for commenting, Adam.
Oct 10, 2007 09:07 PM #16
Rainer
19,893
Dru Bloomfield
Realty ONE Group - Scottsdale, AZ
Scottsdale AZ Real Estate

Paul, You've hit the nail on the head with this timely post.  It's something to share with every prospective seller. 

And yes, I agree, you are the fourth P -- the one that brings it all together.

Oct 11, 2007 05:12 AM #17
Rainmaker
331,719
Paul Slaybaugh
Realty Executives - Scottsdale, AZ
Scottsdale, AZ Real Estate
Thank you, Dru.  You and I are going to have a cross-sale one of these days, and it's going to be a pleasure.  I appreciate your comments.
Oct 11, 2007 09:42 AM #18
Rainer
19,893
Dru Bloomfield
Realty ONE Group - Scottsdale, AZ
Scottsdale AZ Real Estate

More than one, I hope! 

Oct 11, 2007 09:58 AM #19
Rainmaker
331,719
Paul Slaybaugh
Realty Executives - Scottsdale, AZ
Scottsdale, AZ Real Estate
Absolutely, Dru!  We can make it a habit.
Oct 11, 2007 10:38 AM #20
Rainer
44,657
Ginger Wilcox
Trulia - Larkspur, CA

Great information Paul.  People who try and "test" the market  are looking for a big F on their grade report!  As for presentation, people used to be willing to adjust the price to account for appearance.  These days, it seems the first appearance can make or break it, even if it is priced well. 

Oct 12, 2007 12:05 AM #21
Rainmaker
331,719
Paul Slaybaugh
Realty Executives - Scottsdale, AZ
Scottsdale, AZ Real Estate
Absolutely, Ginger.  Buyers expect both great price and great condition right now.  You can't use one to compensate for the other as was possible in more seller friendly times.  Thanks for your input.
Oct 12, 2007 12:20 AM #22
Rainer
5,175
David Franklin Farkas
HouseHealing.com - Amherst, MA

Hi Paul...

I'm just about to post a case study that speaks to this. Why does one house sell and another one that seems 'better' does not? What you're saying is right on and good advice... AND there may be other factors.

Blissings...

Mar 27, 2009 08:14 PM #23
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Rainmaker
331,719

Paul Slaybaugh

Scottsdale, AZ Real Estate
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