OKAY, HERE'S WHERE I GO MEDIEVAL ON Y'ALL:
We saw it throughout most of 2008 especially the last two quarters: Home sellers with nice homes, in okay condition at what was considered (in their minds) to be a good price. And they waited and waited and frustration grew and they waited some more. Surely some potential buyer would see the same value in their home that they themselves saw.
Well, sorry to break it to you folks, if you haven't figured it out by now, here's the cold hard truth: Buyers will only pay what they perceive to be a fair amount for a great deal. And they know if it's not your house, there'll be another one just like it or better at a lower price down the road. All they have to do is wait. But, as a seller you may not be able to wait. So what is a seller to do?
New Year, New Plan:
Its simple there are only two variables to the solution: have the BEST LOOKING, house for the BEST PRICE. When I say this I mean: BEST LOOKING, BEST CONDITION, and LOWEST PRICE. There is no half-way. Wouldn't you want the best you could get for your money?
I speak with so many sellers who just aren't willing to do what it takes:
Take care of all maintenance items: New paint, new carpet, (yes paint and carpet are maintenance items not upgrades!) clean, clean, clean, repair any broken anything including refinishing worn hardwood floors.
- Upgrade, if your home does not have above the neighborhood standard in appliances, kitchen counters, flooring and master bath facilities, also upgrade primary lighting in foyer, dining room and kitchen at the very least.
- Stage it: hire a professional: this is not the time to be guessing based on what you see on TV.
- Price it lower than all comparables, not in the middle. NO, I'm not a Realtor and would never contradict what a seller's Realtor would tell their client, however, I will be honest and I do have financial sales and marketing background and enough common sense to know that this is not the time to mess around.
So many sellers are still saying, with a bit of swagger: "Well I'm not going to give it away!" Just remember: what you perceive as a good value and what the market perceives as value may be two different things. If you are in a position where you must sell in this market: check your ego at the door or you may be giving it away after all: to the BANK.
Be on the look out for my next post: THE BRIGHT SIDE: There always is one.
Your friend, the brutally honest Stager.