If you are a seller who really wants to move on, set your price to fit the current market, which unfortunately is down from 5 years ago (ask your agent by how much!) I am not an agent, but I always tell sellers that BOTH presentation and price are crucial to selling their home quickly and without price reductions. I never discuss or suggest prices, because that is the agent's territory, but I often ask "what does your agent think about your price?" I advise sellers that if they don't want to waste money and time on staging, maintenance, taxes, etc., they need to price their home realistically.
Selling Real Estate is easy, it comes down to one simple question for the seller. Do you want to sell or do you want to stay? Every Bergen county home sells, either to a buyer who has the money to purchase it or to the seller who believes that their home is worth more than the market will bear. When the property is sold to a willing buyer a transaction happens. When the property is sold to the seller, nothing happens.
What type of seller do you want to be?
The Seller who wants to sell
This seller realizes that this is a very challenging market. The educated seller has chosen to work with a Realtor. They understand the value of having a seasoned professional in their corner. They have done everything that they can to make their home more marketable. This seller has realistic expectations and wants to maximize what they receive for their property. They have carefully looked at supporting values in their neighborhood. More importantly, they understand the trend line. This seller has a good understanding of what their home is worth today and more importantly what their home will be worth in the next few months. This seller makes it easy for agents to show their property to prospective buyers. Wanting the most money for their home is a constant in any market. This seller wants to sell!
The Seller who wants to stay
The seller who wants to stay will look at what homes have sold for in the distant past. They will recall that a neighbor across the street sold their Bergen County home for a lot of money five years ago and will want to get that amount for their home because their home is nicer. This type of seller may or may not employ the services of a Realtor. They will probably try to sell as an unrepresented seller to "save" money. They will make comments like, "we aren't in any rush to sell" or "I'm not giving my home away". When it comes to setting up showings, this seller will typically give a small window of time to set up the showing. Typically they will need to be present at each and every showing. Despite working full time, they have decided to add Real Estate Salesperson to their resume. The seller who wants to stay is usually very selfish. This seller will be insulted if an offer comes in at anything under the asking price. They honestly believe that the market will bounce back and they will get more money next year. This seller wants to stay.
How bad attitudes affect the real estate market?
Currently, there are many homes available. Imagine with me for a second that all the sellers who truly don't want to sell had their homes removed from the market. We could clear up a good percentage of the inventory. There would be less homes available and the sellers who are left would really want to sell their homes. Personally I have seen these sellers who want to stay (and not sell) clog up the market. Their home has a clear value. Typically $50,000 to $75,000 less than they are willing to accept. The seller is committed to staying if they don't get their price. The home stays on the market, then expires, never once engaging the market.
Why people sell.
People sell in all markets. People buy in all markets. Don't forget that simple truth. While it may be challenging to get homes sold in this market, it is not impossible. People sell for a variety of reasons. They may be looking for a bigger or smaller home. Perhaps they are sick of taking care of a large yard and want to move to a condo. Some folks can't afford the home that they are in. People are still relocating into and out of New Jersey. Some are ready to retire and move to a warmer climate. As children grow up and move out, people don't need a large home. When the time is right for you to sell you will know it. Before even thinking of putting your home on the market, make sure that you are committed to selling. Be the seller who wants to sell. Otherwise you are setting yourself up for a lot of inconvenience and heartache.
Get Educated. Get Empowered.
For more information on this or any other topic, call Sal Poliandro, Broker Associate, Realtor, Marketing Advisor,
Short Sale Specialist and CDPE, Certified Distressed Property Expert
Follow me on Twitter: @salanddawn
Sal can be reached by snail mail at RE/MAX Properties 73 East Allendale Road Saddle River, NJ 07458