We Are In A Price War And Beauty Contest

Real Estate Agent with (512) 786-8300

The national media covers housing on a national level. Every once in a while, a journalist will actually point out, that the real estate climate, it best measured locally. Various areas of the country, may be experiencing completely different results. But one thing remains constant no matter what the region- we are in a price war and beauty contest. But what does that mean:

The Beauty Contest

It would be an understatement, to say the real estate market has changed in the past three years. One of the biggest changes is the increase in inventory, of available homes. The neighborhoods that were white hot in the early part of this decade, generally don't have homes that sell by simply sticking a sign in the yard. The area may still have appeal, but chances are there will be several homes to choose from. The same subdivision that had six homes to choose from in years past, may have twelve, fifteen, or quite possibly more.

The bottom line is that we are a buyers market. Which will cause the buyer to be very choosy. The government manipulated this in an artificial way by offering a first time buyer tax credit in the recent past, but when that expired, the market expired, and buyers, for the most part, seemingly have most of the leverage.

For the seller, that means the buyer is not your adversary, but the other sellers in your area, is who you are doing battle with. Your home must be prettier, shinier, and show better than the guy or gal down the street. Updated kitchens and bathrooms are imperative. Curb appeal is more important than ever. Remember, if you can't get them in the door, you can't get them to see your home. Bear in mind, the beauty contest in 2011 starts online. Ninety percent of home buyers began their search via the internet. Consumers don't have patience or the stomach to spend four dollars a gallon for gasoline. If you don't look good online, you will simply be passed on. Well staged homes, and professional looking pictures are the order of the day. 

Winning The Price War And Beauty Contest

I'm not breaking news, by suggesting that home buyers are price sensitive. It isn't enough for a seller to have a nice looking home. Although we real estate professionals show homes that are simply not market ready, the proliferation of real estate television shows and information online, have made for a more savvy presentation. We are showing homes that simply look better. But of the big three requirements- location, condition and price, it's the latter that most determines the success or failure for sellers in today's market.

Several pieces of advice, may make pricing your home  easier-

Consult with your trusted real estate professional, to determine price. While past markets used the previous six months of homes sales as a comparable, try to use the past three months as a better measure. Also, check pending home sales. Although the sold price is not yet public, there may be some trends developing you should know about.

Look at homes currently being marketed in the area, to find out what your competition is doing. These are the same homes the potential buyer of your home will be looking at. Are you priced competitively.

Do you have a pricing plan? This is perhaps, the most overlooked part, of homes, currently on the market. Do you have a plan to adjust the price of your home if it isn't selling? Will it be adjusted by a certain amount every twenty one days? Two months? Or is there a bottom line that has been determined? If a home is to be sold, and done so efficiently, have a pricing plan in place before the home goes on the market.

Remember, there are those who want to list their home, and those who wish to sell it. There is quite a difference in the two. If you are in that second category, remember we are in a price wary and beauty contest.





Posted by

Scott Hayes

Austin Real Estate Agency

Extraordinary Service, For Extraordinary People

Direct: 512-786-8300


Comments (7)

Myers Jackson
Auctioneer, Texas Flip N Move - Grapevine, TX
America's Auctioneer

great post, tell the news like it is

May 04, 2011 12:48 PM
Vance Booher
Re/Max Select, SRES - Greensburg, PA

Hi Scott.  I think the key is Beauty Contest - less so Buyer's Market - at least in our region of Western PA.  No question that Buyers across the nation THINK it is a buyer's market.  After all that's what they see nightly on the TV.  The truth in many areas - in fact probably most of the country outside of the Big Seven we see all the time - is that times are not as tough as CNN and FOX would make us believe.  Our average and median sales prices here haven't dipped much at all.  The PACE has slowed some, but prices aren't horrible.

What is really true is that BEAUTY prevails above all.  I don't care if it is an $85K inner-city flip, or a $Million dollar estate, if it isn't gorgeous, it will languish a while.  THAT is what Sellers need to know.  They must pay attention or pay the price - meaning reap a lower price if and when it ever sells.

May 04, 2011 12:56 PM
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents

Absolutely great post, i love that you get down and to the point. Thanks for sharing

May 04, 2011 01:18 PM
Lindsey Hasford
Edina Realty - Elk River, MN
Bringing you home...

So true Scott. It is really pinpointed down to the beauty contest here and price. Buyers will take their time and risk losing things they'd normally buy just to see what tomorrow will bring. They KNOW that there might be something better and are willing to chance it. All based on beauty and price.

May 04, 2011 02:16 PM
Karen Crowson
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Rancho Bernardo, CA
Your Agent for Change

A friend of mine shared that statement with me 5 years ago, and it was as true then as it was now.  Perhaps one day it won't be that way, but probably not in the very near future.

May 04, 2011 02:40 PM
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

I like that thinking...you're so right, it's the other selllers that are the enemy, not the buyer.

May 04, 2011 02:45 PM
Charita Cadenhead
eXp Realty - Birmingham, AL
Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama)

Scott I thought that it was so clever for you to point out that the seller's real adversary is their competition and NOT the buyer.  Put a spotlight on that statement alone.  Now if the sellers would just put up as much of a "fight" with the competition to better position their home, then there would be more solds far sooner. Click!

May 04, 2011 04:49 PM