Well, depending on the area you live, you're most likely experiencing a real estate buyer's market. We commonly use this term when certain things happen in the real estate and financial world. When interest rates rise, speculative buying slows, investors start selling and people in general start cashing in on the equity they have built in their homes for the past 5 or more years, inventory rises, buying slows and voila! … a buyer's market .
For you sellers out there, I hope to enlighten you on what drives the sale of your home in a buyer's market, what you should expect from your Realtor in such a market and what you should not expect from your Realtor.
Just to set the record straight … I am not sticking up for Realtors just because I am one. Quite frankly, and as you may have read in previous articles I've written, I feel that Realtors in general should be more educated and have more general Business experience to better protect their clients real estate assets. I also feel that they need a better understanding of contracts and how to write and negotiate better terms for their clients. Let's face it … the goal for everyone involved in a real estate transaction (buyer, seller, Realtor (s), lender, title company / attorney, etc.) is to CLOSE THE TRANSACTION.
First of all … EVERYONE needs to communicate better and stop CYA (covering your you know what) if an issue presents itself. We've all heard there is strength in numbers. So, why not act and work as a team? Yes, buyers, sellers and everyone else involved fail the transaction more times than not causing a closing closing or worse … no closing at all.
So, what is driving real estate in a buyer's market? It's simple. EXPOSURE, LOCATION and PRICE!
With literal thousands and thousands of homes on the market in most areas, competition is stiff. As a seller, what are you going to do in this buyer's market to ensure your house is the very next home that sells in your market? Well, you can start by hiring a Realtor. Why? Realtors have access to tools that will EXPOSE your house to literally thousands of other Realtors through the MLS system. Math is very important in real estate. The more people that know your house is for sale, the more that will want to see it. The more that see it, the better chance you'll get an offer. Exposure goes farther than just advertising on the MLS system, but not as far as some of you might think. If your home is located in a high relocation area or community, it might behoove your Realtor to expose your property to out-of-area Realtors that may have clients that often relocate to your area. If your home is a luxury home, there are many luxury home magazines and such they can place your home to gain exposure. In all honesty though, print ads and home ads do not sell real estate. People do. Realtors spend money in print ads and home ads to appease their sellers. Of course most Realtors do what other Realtors do and it becomes "the normal" course of action when selling your home and there leads to what seller expect. It sees, based on the number of print and homes ads and the tremendous amounts of money Realtors spend on such advertising, sellers have Realtors trained to be order takers … instead of Realtors being the experts and advising their clients on what is really best … as we're paid to do.
In a buyer's market, location is a factor in selling your home. Quite honestly, with so much inventory and sellers practically giving away their firstborn, buyers would rather be in a more affluent area, a golf community, a 55+ community or another highly sought after area / community. Do not fear if your home is not located in the most desirable area … as there is a buyer for every home. It may take a bit longer. So, patience is key … but DO NOT GIVE AWAY THE FARM! Knowing this ahead of time will save future heartache.
Many Realtors believe price is king in a buyer's market. I like to say Realtors with limited creativity believe price is king in buyer's market. Let's not forget the majority of buyer's are using Realtors to show them homes. So, who are you Marketing to? REALTORS !!! You want the largest group of people (Realtors) to know your property is for sale and choose it over the other 100 homes in your area for sale. WOW! How do you ensure your home will be one of the five homes the realtor will show his / her client? Price is only one part of the equation. Keep in mind, most Realtors get paid a percentage of the sale price. So, the buyer's agent is expecting for a higher sale price … just like the seller's agent and seller. A good way to ensure a higher rate of showings is to include an incentive for buyer's agents in your advertising. After all, the buyer is relying on their agent to recommend the houses they see. The most common incentives are money bonuses. You can get even more creative and offer a plasma TV or cruise. The opportunities are limitless. In addition to agent incentives, you can sweeten up the deal with a buyer incentive like an extended home warranty, new carpet allowance, pay for their cable for a year, or offer to pay their first 2 or 3 months mortgage payments.
Bottom line to ALL SELLERS out there … pick a Realtor that has a creative approach to Marketing your property in a position of strength. You'll be glad you did.
If you have been disappointed in the past at the level of service and / or results your Realtor has delivered, I would suggest you interview many Realtors before making a decision as to who will absolutely be responsible for the Marketing and sale of one of your highest valued assets.