It’s a great time to be a salesperson.
Interest rates have never been so low. This offsets some of the price increases, as lower mortgage rates mean a smaller monthly mortgage. Ads spend less time in the market. There is apparently no bottleneck of pent-up demand that is burning due to an already insufficient supply of housing in the market.
Yes, we are in one of the best selling markets that local real estate professionals remember. This doesn’t mean that salespeople can just sit back and go with the flow. Sellers should always compete with other ads and resist the temptation to save money.
The first big mistake is the all too common conclusion that “if the market is so hot I can save money and sell on my own”. There are examples of successful homeowners, but there are others who are not. The reality is that about 90% of all FSBOs (for sale by owner) end up signing up with an agent because they don’t know how to negotiate and don’t understand that sellers have legal obligations. The bottom line is that a professional real estate agent handles most real estate transactions because they are trained to market, negotiate, and handle situations that sellers could never have imagined.
Another all too common mistake is overpricing. Sure, prices have and likely will continue to rise, but we’re not at the point where there are bidding wars for every listing. The price is critical. Carefully review the benchmarking analysis your real estate agent has prepared for your specific property. It will show what works and what does not for homes similar to your listing. Once done, a price that hits the market sweet spot will attract more buyers and offers than a price that’s too high.
Once the offers start to come in, take a good look at them because the highest offer is not always the best offer. Here are a few things to consider:
• The amount of the deposit.
• The amount of the deposit.
• What type of financing does the potential buyer provide? If the property is not valued at the price offered, can the buyer make up the difference or will they want to renegotiate?
• What type of contingencies? Will the buyer do a home inspection? It’s also crucial that sellers take care of any repairs they know should be done before home inspections. Home inspection issues are currently one of the biggest issues slowing transactions and slowing closings.
Currently, the average time a home spends on the market is just over 100 days. That’s the average, and it’s driven by overpriced properties that persist in the market, squabbling over the unexpected, or one of the many common issues in real estate transactions. Properties that are strategically priced and deal with pre-approved buyers tend to move faster, usually much faster.
Kristi Bailey is President of NETAR, the voice of real estate in Northeast Tennessee. NETAR is the largest trade association in Northeast Tennessee, in the Southwest Virginia region, representing more than 1,200 members and 100 affiliates involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.