Everything Will Sell, Eventually

Real Estate Agent with Wolf Real Estate Professionals

Sellers who have selling experience under their belt, as well as real estate licensees who have "been around the block" know;  Everything sells - eventually.

What I mean when I say that is there are only so many factors that need to be considered in a property sale.  If you owe too much and cannot lower your price, you might have to plan to wait a long time.  Markets cycle; things change over time.  If you wait long enough, the circumstances will change. 

One example of things changing is interest rates.  When I was in real estate school in 1983 the instructor told us any interest rate under 10% was good for business.  It was 12% and 13% for a while. No one would ever have guessed it would be 4% for a 30 year fixed rate mortgage!

On the flip side, price and condition are everything.  If you have the latitude to make adjustments, that's exactly what you should do.  Sometimes improving the property over what the standards are for homes in your price range will make a big difference. 

For instance, I remember a builder in Anchorage back in 1999.  He took on a bunch of building lots and was on a crunch to get the houses he built on the lots sold.  Sales were floundering. 

Upgrading a house better than the competing homes can help sell it faster.The builder replaced the standard Formica counter-tops (remember these were BRAND NEW homes) with a basic granite.  He removed the standard white dishwashers and microwaves (brand new appliances!) and upgraded to stainless steel.  At the time, with these upgrades, these homes turned into a value  in their price range; sales picked up and the builder ended up selling all the homes.  The moral of the story is, you can improve your condition, you will probably still get your price and sell your property.

The other factor a seller has control over is price.  Believe me, no one likes to "dump a property," or appear desperate.  Everybody wants to receive as much as they can on a sale.  I'm not talking about slashing your price.  I'm talking about reducing below the competition so that the home become a value when compared to other properties on the market with similar attributes.

Lenders and banks that end up with property through foreclosure know this.  Believe me, they are rarely making money when they sell; just the opposite, they are taking a huge loss when they sell.  They don't want to lose any more than they have to.  However, banks know they are in the business of loaning money.  A vacant house is just a "non-performing" asset.  The lender is likely to review the market and lower the price to compete so the property is one of the best priced on the market.  The property will sell and lender will get the home off their books and put that money back to work.

Relocation companies know that, too.  Homes priced right will sell.  A relocation company will require monthly market evaluations to see if competing home inventory is increasing and what sales are happening on homes with similar qualities.  They often will get the price right to sell, even thought they don't want to lose money, they also don't want to sit on the market.

Sometimes we'll see home sellers say the problem is that their listing agent hasn't advertised their home enough, shown the home enough or open-housed it often enough

I'm not discounting that argument; it's true, some real estate licensees do more than others; however if the home is priced right and the condition of the home is better than the competition, the home will sell

On the flip-side, if the home is overpriced there is no amount of adverting, open houses or other activity that will sell the home.

Comments (71)

Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

I'm not so sure about everything selling eventually.

Well, maybe depending upon how long "eventually" turns out to be.

There's a vacant lot at the top of main street in our town. It's a sloping lot and borders on the State Highway on the North. It is zoned commercial - but our town has plenty of commercial vacancies, so who needs it? And how much extra money would it take to do the excavation necessary to actually build a structure?

To my knowledge, that lot has had a series of different real estate for sale signs on it for at least the past 15 years.

If it was going to sell, you'd think it would have done so at the peak of the bubble - when people were paying insane prices for both houses and building lots. But nope... there it sits.

Now there's another one... the house burned down and according to the city's new setback requirements, if someone were to build on it, the structure couldn't be more than about 15' deep. Unless the next door neighbor wants a bigger yard, I think it will sit there for a good long while.

Nov 16, 2010 08:17 AM
Michael Emerson
Keller Williams Realty - San Juan Capistrano, CA

You are right. There is a point where sales price vs. condition vs. location converge and a house gets sold. Hopefully the home is priced right and in great shape and both Buyer and Seller can feel good about the transaction.

Nov 16, 2010 08:49 AM
Heidi Hovatter - Sonora & Twain Harte
Century 21 Wildwood - Selling Homes and Cabins in Tuolumne County - Sonora, CA
Heidi The Home Hunter

If it is priced right it will sell no matter what market you are in!  Thanks for reminding us!

Nov 16, 2010 09:23 AM
RhondaHeaslip NanaimoRealEstate
RE/MAX of Nanaimo - Nanaimo, BC

A good article, bang on. Price it properly if you want it to sell. The price must reflect what the market will bear,not what the seller thinks he/she needs to get out of the home. If the two numbers meet, that's a bonus.

Nov 16, 2010 10:58 AM
Tom Waite
Thomas Waite Real Estate Broker - Cypress, CA
So Cal-Apartment Bldg Investments





Nov 16, 2010 11:03 AM
DeeDee Riley
Lyon Real Estate - El Dorado Hills CA - El Dorado Hills, CA
Realtor - El Dorado Hills & the Surrounding Areas

Great post Dan!  Bottom line here is "priced right".  Most things can be overlooked for the right price!

Nov 16, 2010 12:25 PM
Jenefer Joseph

You could not have said it better. Pricing is everything in this market followed by location.

Nov 16, 2010 12:52 PM
Carol Tunis
Florida Homes Realty & Mortgage - Saint Augustine, FL
Carol Tunis...a "HouseSold" name!

I have a seller that is asking me what to do to sell his house with a very small yard.  I told him to lower the price enough to make the yard no longer an issue.  Well, we're almost there!  Great post...

Nov 16, 2010 01:19 PM
Pam Engle

So true! And about condition....it had better be clean!!  Even a $700,000 home can't be cluttered and dirty!!!  A relatively small effort toward improving condition!

Nov 16, 2010 03:47 PM
Pam Engle

So true! And about condition....it had better be clean!!  Even a $700,000 home can't be cluttered and dirty!!!  A relatively small effort toward improving condition!

Nov 16, 2010 03:47 PM
Jon Quist
Tucson's BUYERS ONLY Realtor since 1996

In just about any area, the right price is number one.

Better "curb appeal" is number two.

If you do your homework, the prospects will see that you are at the right price, and that doesn't mean it's a giveaway, either. Just better is all we ask.

Nov 16, 2010 05:08 PM
Agnes Pau
Re/Max - Sabre Realty - Coquitlam, BC

Great post!  I appreciate your insight.

Nov 16, 2010 05:48 PM
Sharon Newton
Las Vegas, NV
Making Real Estate Simple

Pricing ahead of the market will always be better for you and of course more importantly your CLIENT.

Nov 17, 2010 05:31 AM
Eugene Lew
RE/MAX equity group - Happy Valley, OR

I've seen some houses sit on the market for 3 or 4 years, and a few that are still on the market. Some sellers don't have to sell, so they sit on it. Who knows when they'll sell.

Nov 17, 2010 05:56 PM
Noreen Fennell
Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty - Tuxedo, NY
Professional Service, Serious Results

Great post.  Absolutely right--everything will sell--eventually.  The variable is how much pain will it take to get there.  As many said before me--price it right now--sell it now.  Overprice it and chase the market down and settle for what you will eventually get, the choice is yours Mr or Ms Seller. In this market--price, condition and seller motivation is key.

Nov 18, 2010 11:35 AM
Dennis Neal
RE/MAX, Big Bear - Big Bear Lake, CA
Your Home Sold in 21 Days or We Sell It For Free

Hopefully the seller is still be around to see it sell.

Nov 19, 2010 06:21 AM
Dan Wolf
Wolf Real Estate Professionals - Anchorage, AK

Dennis and Terri, :) 

That's funny.  You are right.  Everything sells, but it might not be with you or your seller, huh?

Thanks for your comment;

Nov 19, 2010 06:28 AM
Harry Logan
RE/MAX executives realty - Winnipeg, MB
Your Satisfaction is Guaranteed!

Great post Dan! Very sound reasoning! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Nov 20, 2010 04:40 AM
Wayne B. Pruner
Oregon First - Tigard, OR
Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI

Good stuff. These days you have to know what homes are competing against yours and price accordingly.

Nov 21, 2010 12:42 PM
Matt Robinson
Professional Investors Guild - Pensacola, FL

I wholeheartedly agree, and see it first hand every day.  I specialize in short sales, and we have a pretty systematic approach to dropping the price.  Once we hit what I call the "sweet spot", the floodgates open, the showings start coming, and an offer is always immenent.  It can be a 4000 sq ft mansion or a dumpy trailer in the woods, everything will sell at the right price.

Jul 26, 2011 07:00 AM