I hate having to ask sellers this but there comes a time in a listing when you may need to. I've noticed so many more homes go on the market this last week after Memorial Day and that's pretty typical. It's not a good idea to list on a holiday weekend even though some agents will find the timing perfect and may argue. I don't like listing on the weekend but rather the weekend before. You have a better chance at getting existing home buyers and be one of the first on the market before the big push of summer.
Now it seems there is a house for sale on every block, which is great for buyers but not so great for sellers. Unfortunately, anyone who lists now may need to lower their price soon, especially if they priced their home to comparable sales just a month ago. The market is now getting saturated with homes and buyers have their pick, so why pay last month's prices if they don't have to?
This is where the bottom line comes in. We never like to go as low as we have to but it's important to know your bottom line... and most homeowners don't really want to admit what that is.
For instance, a current homeowner has a great home that is probably worth $420,000. A month ago comparable sales were selling at $450,000 but just this week, 10 similar homes went on the market priced at or below $430,000. She wanted to list at $440,000 but being the highest priced home is not going to get many looks, especially if you can buy a similar house down the street for $30K less.
And sellers always think they have a better house but to buyers, that's not really what matters. Maybe the buyer doesn't care you have an upgraded kitchen or new roof; they'd rather spend less out of the gate than go with some upgrades for $30K more.
I asked what this client's bottom line is and she said she wouldn't go a penny under $415,000. Well, that may be what she wants but is that really her bottom line? She owes $260,000 on the house and after Realtor fees and closing costs, selling at $440,000 would net her about $130,000, which she is not rolling into another house. Seems like a nice chunk of change but if that money is earmarked for something else, like paying off debt or bills, you may think you need a certain amount when in reality, you just don't want to go that low.
I'm certainly not saying give away the bank by any means but if your closest competition is $20K under yours and you don't really need that $20K, what's more imporant to you? Holding out for more and sitting on the market forever or lowering it to get it sold.
Only the homeowner can make that decision, but the goal is to sell for the highest price. Now that summer has hit, that highest price may be much lower than originally anticipated.