November 28, 2012
Home owners, sellers, and buyers find themselves in a strange market at this particular time. Sales have increased drastically over the preceding months of 2012, while the number of available homes for sale has been steadily decreasing. We find the number of listings on the market at near record lows when new buyers are steadily entering the market. What does this mean to home sellers? Has the market swung back to a seller's market?
We have to keep in mind, although we see a drastic swing in numbers and statistics, it takes time for the general public to digest and understand the actual market. Are we entering a seller's market phase? It usually take 12 months of figures to establish a swing in the market and we are quickly approaching that milestone.
What does this mean for sellers in this market? How can a home seller take advantage of the current market trend?
The simple answer is to follow a few simple guidelines true in any market.
Know your market
Choose a reliable Real Estate Agent
Set a marketing plan
Know the potential bottom line profit
Set your price at or a little above the current market price
Prepare to negotiate
Check prices of similar homes in the area. Don't compare just prices, also look at size, age, features, and incentives. A good Real Estate Agent can supply all the information you need.
Choose an agent able to provide you with the most recent information using the technology and resources available. Make certain your agent is accessible at all times to set showings, gather reports, provide vital market updates.
Today's media generation demands pictures and wants them instantly. Based on experience, few if any will take the time to download and view a video. This may seem strange, but buyers want to view a number of homes in the minimum amount of time. Maybe it is due to the time and location many potential buyers shop for homes. Pictures are viewed with no sound and can be quickly scanned. 20-25 pictures can be viewed in less than a half minute. A video can take that long to download, and once it begins to run, everyone will hear it. Get the picture?
The type of camera is important. New cameras offer more features and higher resolution, but is it required? All real estate search sites limit the size of the file viewed, no matter what size has been uploaded, or how long it takes you to download. Loading files of 2,3,4 megs does nothing to improve the quality of the photo viewed, although it may take longer to load. 100K is the preferred and recommended file size most sites will display. They load quickly and eliminate distortion experienced when the file is compressed. Many newer digital cameras do not offer a 640x480 shooting mode. The camera lens is also an important feature. A 24mm offers the widest viewing angle without distortion. You can tell the instant a pictures opens if it was taken with a quality 24mm lens which provides the greatest viewing experience. The number of pictures is important. What room do you think is over looked by most agents? If it is the most important room to the buyer, you may be loosing potential customers.
Set dates and goals. If showing numbers are low, change the list price at predetermined increments over a period of time. Remember, the first 2 weeks of marketing are the most important. Avoid experimenting with wishful pricing for more than a few days. Plan your updates and price reductions. Know what web sites are looking for and how they determine viewing order.
Know all the expenses involved. Determine a potential selling price and date. Allow for all the expenses. Include commission, taxes, title, closing costs, potential repairs, etc. In your estimate. Write down and account for all the details involved.
Listen to what buyers have been saying about the market over the past few months. Prepare for their negotiation strategies. Typically buyers follow the market. Sellers have the potential to be ahead of the market. When you know what tactics buyers are most likely to use, it makes negotiating easier.
Negotiating begins with the Real Estate Agent you choose and the Listing Contract you sign. Find out what your Agent knows about marketing. This may surprise you and alert you to the few with little or no marketing skills. Besides marketing, you can also negotiate the length of the Listing Contract and commission. Take advantage of the market. There may not be a better market for sellers for a long time. It's your home and it is up to you to protect your investment.
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