Spring Real Estate Markets, Are You Ready to Sell?

By
Real Estate Agent with Crye-Leike REALTORS® 165062

The end of January is approaching fast, and based on my observations I realize a lot of sellers are going to try to get a jump on the spring market.  Will they sell their Atlanta home, or just list it?  What does that mean?  It means that more sellers will be listing their homes much earlier this year than normal trying to avoid the fierce competition to sell a home in the peak of the market. But the question to ask, is will they be successful?

In a normal spring Atlanta real estate market sellers will normally place their homes on the market around mid-April.  This allows the seller to list a home, and perhaps make some adjustments to price and appearance and have it close by the time the children are getting out of school.  This year things will be different.  There are not as many buyers, and other Atlanta home sellers are getting hip to the fact that selling a home is not a given.  So when home inventory is down this time of year, many will try to get a sale before the competition gives them a run for the money.  Sellers will try to get a jump on the market by placing it on the market early.  Timing is one thing in this coming real estate market, and strategy is another thing.  It will take more than a sign in the ground to sell a home.  This time it is going to take some real planning.  This is a market that a home seller may only get one chance at bat!  With over 80% of all home sales begining on the Inernet, will your home be found?  If a website cannot be found, neither can your home!  For over 11 years, buyers and sellers have been selling Atlanta homes for sale on the number #1 Atlanta real estate site - AtlantaBestHomes.Com

Items to consider when selling a home:

  • Does your agent have a marketing plan to sell your home?
  • Does your agent have a website that can be found on the Internet?
  • Can they demonstrate the business it generates?  Closed deals, clients?  Testimonials?
  • Can the agent's website be found on page 1 of the Internet?
  • How many unique visitors a day visit the site?
  • Price - is it competitive?
  • Condition of home, paint, mechanics.
  • Updates, and upgrades - how does your home compare to the competition?
  • Will you negotiate with the buyer?
Posted by

James Crawford ABR, Broker Associate

 

 

 

 

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Rainmaker
1,048,125
Bill Gassett
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Hopkinton, MA
Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate

I like to get a jump on the market with my homes. April is the time it starts to get a lot busier here with much more inventory. I like to start having my clients get their homes on around the end of February to March.

Jan 26, 2009 01:42 AM #1
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Jim Crawford
Crye-Leike REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
Jim Crawford Atlanta Best Listing Agents & REALTOR

Bill Gassett Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate (RE/MAX Executive Realty)   I will bet you this year will be very different, and there will be a tremendous ruch before the spring market.

Jan 26, 2009 01:58 AM #2
Rainmaker
174,819
Richard Stabile
Re/Max Real Estate Limited - Oradell, NJ
Bergen County New Homes Builder Realtor

Jim:

I was born ready! The west coast due to very low prices has picked up. The word on the street is that money is starting to hit the mortgage market. All we have been saying Jim may come to pass.

Let get busy!

Richard

Jan 26, 2009 07:34 AM #3
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Jim Crawford
Crye-Leike REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
Jim Crawford Atlanta Best Listing Agents & REALTOR
Jan 26, 2009 08:05 AM #4
Rainer
46,339
Sandy Blanton
Pensacola Real Estate - Team Sandy Blanton Realty, Inc. - Pensacola, FL
Pensacola Real Estate- #1 in 07null- 09null

Jim, I think you missed the biggest thing to consider when looking into an agent. The website is important, but it's not the most important and certainly shouldn't be on the top of the list. The most important thing to consider is the agent's track record. How many homes have they sold? How many homes have they sold recently (in the past year)? What is their percentage of list to sales price ratio? Do they have a list of these recent sales, testimonials, and an advertising plan to share (that includes internet marketing)? The most important thing is results. I don't know about your area, but in mine, the top ranking local real estate sites do not translate into the best Realtors. In fact, of the top 3 Realtors (highest number of residential sales, considered the local experts) in our area, none are on the 1st page on a google search. My website is the only one on the second page! Don't hire an agent based on their google ranking and traffic to their website, hire them based on their expertise and ability to sell your home for the most amount of money, in the shortest time, and with the least hassles. The best Realtors should also have a great site and an aggressive internet marketing plan but #1 online does not translate to #1 in "the real world" in Pensacola.

Jan 28, 2009 01:43 AM #5
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Jim Crawford
Crye-Leike REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
Jim Crawford Atlanta Best Listing Agents & REALTOR

Pensacola Real Estate - Team Sandy Blanton Realty, Inc I agree with you on some items, but I have my own opinion on others.  Good list but the percentage to list price sales ratio really means nothing.* It is about netting the most for the seller. It has nothing to do with how good my numbers look, but what benefits the seller most. A bottom line cash to walk away with from the deal. 

As far as the Internet,  agents that do market today must be on page one, especially in this market.  Testimonials and everything else are online.  In Atlanta most of the agents on page one of the Internet are still producing and in deed are great real estate professionals.

* an agent can have a great ratio by the mere fact that they give away a listing

Example 2 identical listings side by side one agent lists for 200K and sells for 200K - the average is 100% LP/SP ratio.  The other agent lists at 250K and sells at 225K - there LP/SP ratio is lousy, but the seller nets 25K more.

Jan 28, 2009 02:28 AM #6
Rainer
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Sandy Blanton
Pensacola Real Estate - Team Sandy Blanton Realty, Inc. - Pensacola, FL
Pensacola Real Estate- #1 in 07null- 09null

Jim, interesting opinions. Obviously netting the seller is the most money is the #1 goal and overpricing a listing will certainly not do that. Aside from underpricing listings, which almost never happens in our market excluding the short sales and foreclosures, list to sales price ratio is EXTREMELY important. If a home is listed at $250k by agent x and sells at $225k..there is a laundry list of issues. That means the home was priced 10% above market! The fact that they even got showings to get an offer in the first place is almost amazing. Knowingly taking a listing 10% above market value is nothing short of extreme negligence in my opinion. In most cases, this home will not sell and will continue to depreciate during the listing period (an average of another 6% in our area, if it's a 6 month listing), doing the seller, the agent, and everyone else in this economy a great injustice.  When a home is priced correctly, it will sell for the most amount of money, and it will likely sell quickly. The best agents in our area have high list to sales price ratios, if an agent has a low ratio....they are overpricing the listings and costing the seller money.

If the home next door is identical and just sold for 200k, getting the other one to appraise for 225k is just problem #2 as this home will be used in the appraisal (assuming it isn't grossly underpriced).

 

 

Jan 28, 2009 02:54 AM #7
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Jim Crawford
Crye-Leike REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
Jim Crawford Atlanta Best Listing Agents & REALTOR

 Pensacola Real Estate - Team Sandy Blanton Realty, Inc I totally disagree.The math bares out the truth.  It is a gerat net to the seller that matters not the LP/SP ratio.

Another example is that LP/SP ratio does not take into consideration Sellers Contributions!  You can have a great LP/SP ratioand the sellers are paying over 10K in closing costs because their agent is not a good negotiator.  Seller's contributions do not show up in the agents great LP/SP ratio!  Again it is what the seller nets.

In my opinion, that agents need to understand that what we are trained in class, has no bearing on reality.  I sold a home years ago where all the other agents said the home should be priced at 375-389K.  I listed the home at 450K, and sold it for 432K.  My LP/SP ratio is really bad on that deal, but my sellers netted 50K more than he other agents with great LP/SP ratios.  Sorry, LP/SP ratio on the agent level is not a measure of performance, but it is a listing tool.  It is sort of like the agent that says they have no listings expire, because they withdraw them from the MLS before they expire.  It is deceptive and self serving.

Jan 28, 2009 03:14 AM #8
Rainer
46,339
Sandy Blanton
Pensacola Real Estate - Team Sandy Blanton Realty, Inc. - Pensacola, FL
Pensacola Real Estate- #1 in 07null- 09null

Jim, interesting views... Based on real world experience, I couldn't disagree more about the lp/sp ratio as it is most definitely a measure of performance and skill as is the number of units sold etc...  But we're all entitled to our opinions. It's not self serving to boast statistics and experience to a seller, as we are applying for a job and these are some of our credentials. I don't think that a Google ranking and clicks to a website has anything to do with the caliber of agent. It does show their experience with SEO or pay per click, or their affiliation and monetary commitment to a service to do this for them. My experience with local real estate and Realtors (again, each area is different) does not help your theories. Also, if you listed a home at 450 and sold it for 432, your lp/sp ratio isn't that bad..it's 96%! As for the other agents that qouted lower values; they were incorrect in their market analysis and pricing strategy. Listing the home below value doesn't even benefit the agent, as I'm sure they would have prefered to receive the commission on the additonal 50k- completely different issue though.

Jan 28, 2009 12:42 PM #9
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Jim Crawford
Crye-Leike REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
Jim Crawford Atlanta Best Listing Agents & REALTOR

Pensacola Real Estate - Team Sandy Blanton Realty, Inc.  Thanks for your thoughts. I hold firm on my opinion of LP/ SP ratios.   I agree fully with you that web knowledge without real estate knowledge is worthless.   A person must fully understand real estate estate, marketing, negotiations, have  a knowledge of contract verbiage etc.  

It is OK to have a difference of opinion, and you can freely share your opinion here.  However,  I feel a 4% spread is misleading when one agent gives away the home, and the other generated $50,000 more in profit in the sellers pocket. So how is a 96% LP/SP ratio compare to a person saying they have a 98% LP/SP ratio?  It is only relative to the price sold, and profit generated.  The profit is the measure of success not a ratio.  That would be absurd.

If I were a seller, I would prefer the $50,000 extra dollars in my account rather than listening to my listing agents bragging rights to have a better set of sales statistics. Who does that benefit?  In my opinion it benefits only the agent. As a seller, after the sale, I do not care what my agent quotes.  All I care about is putting the most money possible in the bank.  An agent would have to show me the benefits by their performance and that is measured by profit.  Sorry, my banker and my accountant would agree with that. 50K in the bank can do a lot of things. 

Money and profit are things I value more than statistical abilities. You would have to tell me how an agents higher LP/SP ratio benefits the seller. It has to be net dollar.  I still view it as only a listing tool that has questionable value and beneficial only to the agent, and my example above explained how one agent can have a higher ratio and the seller loses 50K. 

Thank you for your comments. 

Jan 28, 2009 02:30 PM #10
Anonymous
Sarah

Here in Buckhead, I have noticed that a lot of listings that stood on the market most of last year were withdrawn in December. I assume that they will be relisted in the spring. There were also a surprising number of listings that came on the market in December, and have already had price reductions.  I saw one house in particular that had great bones, on a great lot, but needed a ton of work - total updating (it was built in the 60s), new master and family room were needed. Who wants to take that on right now?

 

Question for you - I am not a realtor, please forgive the ignorance - if a house was listed most of last year, and did not sell, is there some sort of legal contract with the listing agent that if the house sells within the next 2 years, a commission must go to the agent even if the seller ends up selling by owner?

 

- Sarah

Jan 29, 2009 09:25 PM #11
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Jim Crawford
Crye-Leike REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
Jim Crawford Atlanta Best Listing Agents & REALTOR

Sarah First of all a lot of persons are trying to sell their homes in-town due to the tax increases, budget and service cutbacks and the huge increase in water bills.   The carrying costs to live in-town in the future may be prohibitive for the average homeowner.  So more taxes, and less services(police, fire etc) is a hard pill to swallow for most.  I also agree with you that no one wants to take on a major project in this market!

On listings that expire.  As long as they have not re-listed, there is a clause that should the home receive an offer ___days after a commission is due...  Normally I fill in 90 - 180 days, but any agent and home owner can agree to different terms.  It is negotiable.

Jan 30, 2009 12:54 AM #12
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