The #1 Strategy to Get Your Home Sold Quickly
We're experiencing some changes to our market. There's been more inventory on the market, fewer homes under contract and homes that have been on the market for many "cumulative days on the market." We actually have about 2.5 months of inventory in King County right now, which is the highest it has been in years.
But homes are still selling. Buyers are still buying.
If you are thinking about putting your home on the market...I'm going to explain a very simple concept - but one that can be very hard to grasp as a home owner that wants to sell their home.
Selling a home in any real estate market - hot or cold - compares to buying produce at the grocery store.
The real estate market is a Living Thing.
I would like you to visualize for just a moment a beautiful bunch of grapes. These grapes are gorgeous. Picked at just the right time, and put on a lovely display with a slight mist of water to freshen them periodically.
At this time, the grocer decides to market these grapes at the peak price. After all, it's new inventory, and they are picture perfect.
The real estate maket has a Limited Shelf Life.
But then a week goes by. The grapes aren't quite as plump. And the grocer puts the grapes on sale - because well - the product needs to be moved, and new inventory is coming on the market.
1. In the housing market, the first week on the market is the make it or break it week. It's not that the house won't sell after a week, but when other, new and shiny houses are coming on the market each week - existing inventory can be overlooked by the new inventory entering the market.
It's also VERY important to note that when a home sits on the market for over a week, a buyer's agent will instantly think - "I can negotiate this home for better terms for my buyer. I'm going to ask for a better price. I'm going to add a bunch of contingencies."
The real estate market is impacted by Supply and Demand.
Alternatively, let's say, there was a hugely successful harvest, and now the grocer has an abundance of grapes. So many grapes - that in order not to lose money on his investment, he must put the grapes on sale just to get his inventory off the shelves.
2. In the housing market, when there is an abundance of inventory, if you don't strategize properly - the home will "sit on the shelves" and wither away amongst the other aging/dying inventory.
3. You just have to look at the housing market and inventory to know how to strategize the marketing of your home. I look at three data points:
Active Homes on the market. Who's my competition? How many homes are on the market nearby? What are all the other buyers looking at right now? What are the buyers other choices?
Pending Sales on the market. Who is successful at getting their home under contract? Why is that? What made those homes stand out? What was the condition of the home? Were there price changes? How many days did it sit on the market before it went under contract? Although it's not closed yet - it's definitely headed in the right direction.
Sold Homes on the market. This is the truest of true indicators for what the market is willng to bare. How long was the home on the market? What price was the listing price? What did the house actually sell for? What concessions, if any, were given? HINT: If you are serious about selling your hoome you need to be paying very close attention to Sold homes in your neighborhood.
The real estate market is consumer driven.
Yes, some grocers may argue that their grapes are better. And they may have been grown in a more luscious farm, and they may have been meticuluously cared for. And a consumer definitely appreciates that. But they are only so willing to pay for what they consider to be a similar bunch of grapes.
Sure, you might be willing to pay more if there were only ONE bunch of grapes left in the market. People might even fight over those grapes and offer the grocer more money. But, when there are many grapes, your buyer is definitely going to tell you what they are willing to spend.
4. You may have lived a beautiful life in your home and lovingly taken care of it. You may have upgraded your home to personalize it. But, in most cases - a buyer is only willing to pay so much home, regardless of upgrades - particularly if it's not a "must" on their checklist.
The real estate market is Price Driven.
You can have the plumpest grapes. You can present these grapes beautifully. But, would a consumer pay more for the SAME EXACT grapes between two side-by-side grocery stores?
5. You cannot compare apples to oranges. The same home in one part of town will be different than another part of town. You must compare your home to similar homes and in DIRECT distance to your own home. The same home in Factoria would be wildly different than the same home in Medina. And buyers recognize this. Internalize this.....no matter how amazing your home is - a buyer looking in Factoria will appeal to a different type of buyer than one that is purchasing in Medina.
Generally, I've noticed people are willing to drive for a deal, to get more home for their budget or simply a buy a home that they can afford. Where I'm from - they call that "drive until you qualify" for a home.
6. Think of things from a buyer's perspective. Every buyer has a budget. They have a low number. They have an upper limit. If you price your home too high, you will eliminate people that will immediately take you off their list as they find a similar home for a lower price.
SOME NOTABLE REMARKS:
If the market is incredibly hot (less than one month of inventory) - disregard the previous points and know that people will be fighting over your home and escalating the price.
If your home is in the top quartile of pricing, your home will sit on the home longer - simply because not as many people can afford/qualify for a home above certain price points. In our Seattle & Eastside market, I've noticed that homes under $1.3 Million that are priced properly - can and will sell. However, it's harder to move inventory of homes above the $1.3 Million price point.
Time of year can influence when you put your home on the market. There a cycles in any market place. Knowing when to sell is just as important as to know when you harvest your grapes.
The real estate market is already telling you everything you need to know. You just have to be willing to accept it and listen it.
So, there you have it. You can stage the home, you can market the home - but if the home isn't priced to sell - I'd argue you don't really want to sell at all.
If you or anyone you know is interested in buying or selling real estate, please reach out to me. Having been in the industry for over 20 years, in multiple states and markets - I've seen a lot - and will diligently navigate and advocate for YOU. Our team is at your service.
Kristin Bushnell is Designated Broker of Bushnell Real Estate Solutions and Co-owner of Bushnell Craft Brewing Company in Redmond, WA. Check out my profile here.
If you are ever interested in chatting about buying or selling real estate or becoming a member of our team, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 425-559-1355.