Prepare yourself for this one if you’ve read my blog before, my advice is terribly predictable. As you may know, my favorite law of real estate is “The market never lies–not ever.” The other thing about the market–it never stops changing. We are in some peculiar times right now.
The recent seller party (aka the covid market) is clearly winding down, but that doesn’t mean it’s over. In my opinion, we are back to the way things were before the pandemic and in case anyone has forgotten, that market was very strong and very much in favor of sellers. That’s all still true, it’s just that compared to the way things were during 2020-2021, we’ve gotten spoiled.
Here’s a post I wrote a while back and the theories and arguments are still 100% true since they are universal. Now…back to my predictable advice.
How can I be so confident? Because I know it’s not an exposure issue and that only leaves the price.
The only two factors in selling anything are price and exposure. Think Walmart: If a product sits on an end cap at Walmart for an entire week, we know literally thousands of people have walked by and decided to keep on walking. Therefore we know it’s overpriced. If that same product is priced perfectly but sitting in the back room, the problem is exposure–no one knows about it.
I’m going to use one of our property’s as an example on this. This property’s problem is definitely not exposure. Here’s how I know. The web stats say that 23000+ people have seen the property online. 444 of them have clicked on the listing to view all the details/photos. 5 people have saved it or printed it, but zero people have asked for more information or a showing. Not good.
Today’s buyers have seen the property (your web stats absolutely confirm this) and have elected not to call, set up a showing, or make any offers. The daily seller choice (above) simply states that you can wait and see what tomorrow brings or you can lower the price and see if you can jump start today’s buyer pool. This all comes down to whether you are more pressed to sell now vs selling for a certain price. That choice is unique to each seller, so I can’t tell you what to do there.
What I can tell you is that once you find the right price–the price that wakes up today’s buyers–you will see nearly instant activity.
I have a listing right now in the $500k+ price range that we’ve had for 7+ months. Almost no activity to speak of in 7 months, but the seller was stuck on his original price. Two days ago he lowered his price. Within 24 hours we had 11 showings and two offers.
On the other hand, years ago I had a seller with a stunning 4 bedroom in a dollhouse subdivision. Over 200 showings spread out over four years (that’s not a typo). Every single person said they loved the house but it was overpriced. No offers, just the same feedback for four…long…years. The seller was dead set on getting his price. You know what, four years into the listing, he got it. At the closing he laughed and actually said “I told you so”.
My point is that it doesn’t matter how long the property has been on the market. Once you find the price that suits today’s buyer pool, they will wake up and start coming after the house–no exceptions. My dad used to say, “I don’t care if you’re selling a one-room shack by a railroad track–there’s a price that buyers will pay today.” He wasn’t wrong. Neither was my stubborn four year seller. He knew that eventually someone would come along and pay him what he was asking.
You can examine the amount of upgrades you have, the lack or abundance of homes priced around you, and maybe you have even dropped the price a week ago but the bottom line is that the market gets the final say and as you know, the market never lies–not ever.
For an extreme example, if the home were suddenly priced at $100, not only would you have a line of buyers down the street, you’d probably have national news vans parked on the street to get a look at this insane seller–but the property would sell. As dad said, there’s a price that someone will pay today. We just haven’t found that price yet.
Be patient or be aggressive–no third option.
I know–A boring and predictable answer. This comes from another rule by which we live in the office: “Embrace reality and deal with it.” I can’t change the market. All I can do is tell my trusted clients what they need to hear and not what they want to hear. I wish I had something else for you, but all I have today is the truth.
After 20 years and several thousand transactions I’ve found a lot of these universal tuths when selling, and knowing them before you have to face them is key to selling faster for the top of what the market is willing to pay you. I’ve written all of that and so much more in my latest book, “You Can Sell It: How to Advertise, Negotiate, and Close Your Home in Today’s Real Estate Market”.
You can find it at YCSIBook.com, available in paperback, Kindle, and Audible/iTunes. It’s a comprehensive guide for anyone selling their home. As a bonus, you will also get over 50 pages of forms, checklists, templates, and scripts to help you crush it.
What lessons have you learned? What secret plays are you willing to share with me?
Share your thoughts and comments with me by emailing [email protected] I read and respond to every email…eventually.
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