This got fouled up last night but it’s fixed now:
Category Archive: ‘Thinking of Selling?’
The political circus got kicked down the road a couple of months, and weather will be great for another week – it’s a perfect time to sell your house!
But you’ve already been on the market for a few months, and no luck. You experienced a big rush in the beginning, but now it’s down to a trickle. You think – if someone would just make an offer…..
What can sellers do to get their home sold in the next 30 days?
Start with putting yourself in the buyers’ shoes, and examine your online presence – is it compelling? Are there quality photos and video? Does the listing make you want to go see the house?
Then look at how your price compares with others for sale in the neighborhood. If there are two or more competing homes for sale, and nobody is selling, then a breakout is needed. Lower your price to be the cheapest of the bunch, or the cheapest $/sf – and make the gap big enough that it is obvious to buyers that you are the best deal.
Nothing works as well as lowering your price. But there are other things you can do to help the cause - complete as many of these items as possible:
Jim’s A La Carte List:
- Lower the price by at least 5%
- Add/improve photos.
- Produce a new video tour.
- Pay Buyer’s closing costs – specify the amount.
- Offer to Buydown the mortgage rate (1% or 1.5% sounds good).
- Rent back your home after closing for a premium rate.
- Offer a quick or flexible close date.
- Vacate home to make it look better and increase showings.
- Re-examine the usefulness of range pricing (drop it).
- Install lockbox and make it obvious on listing.
- No restrictions on showings – show anytime.
- Paint and carpet – and spend some real money!
- Clean the carpet.
- Improve the curb appeal.
- Get neighbor’s dog to stop barking.
- Get rid of the smell.
- Include recent sales in your listing to prove your price.
- Mention the specific schools.
- Pay a Full Commission to Buyer’s Agent (3% or more)
- Pay a Bonus to the Agents.
- Hire a professional salesperson.
Whatever you can do to provide more ease and transparency will help. Buyers are moving quickly, and your first impression needs to grab them!
My new listing in Park Village, south of the 56 freeway and just two exits east of Carmel Valley – open this weekend 12-3pm:
My new listing in Carlsbad’s Rancho Carrillo – open Saturday from 12-3pm:
Yesterday I spoke with a seller who was wondering whether to sell now, or wait until next spring to catch the more traditional selling season.
I suggested the following thoughts and strategy:
The velocity of rising prices should slow down, so let’s consider next year’s value to be at most +5% of what it is today, but if everything else is even, you might as well wait to sell.
Other potential sellers are thinking the same thing, which could crowd the field – which is a vote for selling now, when everyone else isn’t.
Mortgage rates should reflect the health of the economy, so we’ll call that even.
Certainty vs. uncertainty is a vote for selling today. Any economic surprise or natural disaster might make you regret not selling – especially if it was a local earthquake that prevented you from selling at any reasonable price.
Distressed sales have been a non-factor, though if when checking foreclosureradar.com you find multiple defaulters in your immediate vicinity, sell now instead of later in case lenders seize the moment.
If there are more than two high comps nearby to support your price, then you should sell now. You need recent solid sales to sell for top dollar.
If there are three or more active listing nearby, then wait ’til next year, and hope they hold out for top dollar. You don’t want to crowd the field.
If the move to the next home is flexible, then timing the sale of your existing home should really be determined by the recent sales activity nearby. In the tight-inventory era, we have seen how sales can dry up and leave the next seller gasping for evidence to support their optimistic price. It makes it harder to sell, and even tougher to get top dollar.
Older areas are prone to have lower-priced sales, so that should weigh in too – estate sales typically don’t care what time of year they sell, the heirs just want to get their hands on the money. If two or more of those hit the market, they could take a few percentage points out of your wallet next spring.
If you are in a great school district (CV), wait until next year. Buyers with kids don’t want to disrupt the on-going school year, especially if they are moving from a different district.
Consider all the factors, and do what is best for you – and get good help!
Home buyers are hoping that higher rates will cause prices to come down, and while it could certainly happen – here are reasons why they won’t:
Prices have increased so much, so fast, that sellers are emboldened. If it would have taken the 5-10 years to bottom out like many predicted, there would be more seller fatigue. But today’s disappointed sellers will be more likely to think that the next rise in prices in right around the corner – and they will wait, rather than dump.
Rents are rising; which puts pressure on buyers to buy and sellers to stay.
Loan mods are working. They might be temporary, and there are probably a number of defaulters getting a free ride, but with higher prices, those psuedo-homeowners will do whatever it takes to hold out longer to see if they can cash in…again.
The media keeps saying that it is still cheap, historically.
Lenders keep getting more creative. The mortgage industry is known for its hybrids – you hear them pushing more of the 5, 7, & 10-year adjustable loans now, and the piggybacks (where the buyer gets a 1st and 2nd mortgage to lower the down payment required) are back!
REOs and short sales are over, and nobody is going to ‘give it away’ now.
How homes are sold is changing. You saw on video where Spencer said that his Zillow is already the national MLS, and other players have to be licking their chops when they see the buffoons at NAR stumbling all over themselves. Google could be a game-changer too – click HERE to see their patent for ‘software applications for real estate multiple listing services’. The excitement will help to propel sales.
- Inventories may be up, but you don’t see many quality buys.
All factions are lined up in support of housing, and today’s buyers are comfortable with looking long-term.
The higher prices/rates are reasoned away by the pull of the ultimate goal – owning a home in which to raise the family. The most-motivated buyers are the ones buying, and with prices only going up at 1% at a time, a few more bucks won’t slow them down.
Question their price, and you’ll hear, “Well, we’ve had lots of showings!”, as if that means something in an environment of low inventory – of course you have had lots of showings, there isn’t anything else to see.
My old rule-of-thumb was that lots of showings but no offers meant that you were 5% to 10% wrong on price.
But today’s buyers are looking at anything and everything that might be close - which means if you are selling and having plenty of showings but no offers, then you are probably closer to being 10% wrong on price. (Or your local market is fading).
What else could it mean?
You have a significant defect that isn’t that obvious by looking at the listing. If it is something you can fix (carpet & paint, etc.), you should fix, because buyers don’t mind paying retail for a retail product.
Agents are using your house to sell the house down the street.
How do you know which is which?
If you are getting repeat visits from the same buyers, then the price is close – hang in there until the better buys nearby are cleared out.
If you are only getting the one-time hit-and-runs, then you have bigger problems. But lowering your price will fix any and all of them!
NEW YORK — Blackstone Group LP, which has spent $5 billion to acquire almost 30,000 U.S. single-family houses, is nearing the later stages of its buying as home prices jump, said Jonathan Gray, the firm’s global head of real estate.
The market has become more “challenging” as competitors enter the business of buying homes to rent out, Gray said Monday.
Blackstone (NYSE: BX), based in New York, has acquired houses in 13 metropolitan areas and is continuing to make purchases, he said.
“For our type of capital and the returns we hope to generate, my guess is we’re in the later stages of this,” Gray said. “That does not mean the housing recovery itself will not continue for a number of years.”
Blackstone is the largest of the private-equity companies taking advantage of the foreclosure crisis to build portfolios of single-family homes to rent, helping to diminish supply and drive up real estate values in some areas.
U.S. home prices jumped 10.9 percent in March, the most in seven years, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller index of 20 cities.
Blackstone’s purchases represent a fraction of the U.S. housing market and rebounding prices are the result of basic supply and demand,
Gray said. U.S. population growth has outstripped homebuilding because property prices aren’t high enough to spur new construction, creating a shortage, he said.
“There are about 150 million homes in the United States,” Gray said. “We own about 29,000. In the last year, there were 5.6 million homes bought and sold. Of those, we were 24,000. We are a very small percentage.”
The housing recovery is “midstream,” with the eastern part of the U.S. representing good value, Gray said.
National prices are still down about 28 percent from the 2006 peak, according to the Case-Shiller index.
Here’s a summary of today’s open house.
I had at least 40-50 people stop in, including 11 realtors. Most were familiar with the model-match house that just went pending 100 yards away – and who raised their price from $640,000 to $660,000 at the same time.
My listing is priced at $649,900 – scroll down to previous post for tour: