It's a Pricing War and A Beauty Contest!
In 2008, I attended my first CRS Sellabration in Hawaii. It was an incredible experience, especially coming off of my best year in real estate and on track to have another incredible year. One of the most enlightening statements was that today's market is a pricing war and a beauty contest by the late Howard Brinton. It is still true today.
When I meet with a seller, I tell them this: Buyers will only pay the highest price for the prettiest property. Great photos will get them in the door, but the offer comes when you do the right things and show beautifully up close and personal. If you skimp with cheap flooring and carpet, cut corners with the trim and finish work, and let the landscaping get overgrown....you are decreasing your profit margin.
Though there is a shortage of listings for buyers to view right now in our market, the buyers are discriminating. If you cut corners, they are factoring in the cost to fix it in their offer. Buyers are smart. A new roof is not a second layer. They are factoring the cost of a complete tearoff and replacement. That cheap carpet is new, but it is cheap and showing wear just from the amount of showings in the house. (This was true with the house that we bought ourselves a little over two years ago. It had been on the market for over 6 months and the new carpet had a traffic pattern already.)
I recently showed a home that was a flip. They put in tile surrounds in both bathrooms but failed to clean up and put on the trim/finish work. It was sloppy, and upon further inspection, it was clear that the entire house was done this way, cutting corners to save money and time and just get it on the market. Once we saw the "workmanship" in one area, we looked again at everything. That house, which if it would have shown as fabulous in person as it did in photos, would have sold quickly. Now it is still on the market 120 days later and languishing. The lawn has not been mowed, they removed the staging, and the wasp nests are by the door to chase away any agent that is brave enough to try to get in!
May the best house win in this market! Calling the right agent is a good start. But even better is knowing where to save money and how to get the most from it!
P.s. The home pictured is BEAUTIFUL and a great example of being the prettiest house on the market. It is the listing at 406 Agape Avenue in Urbana, Iowa and is priced at $199,900. Click here to see more photos.